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Advantages of DOCSIS 3.1 | Benefits of DOCSIS 4.0 standard

This page covers benefits or advantages of DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 4.0 standards. It mentions benefits of DOCSIS 3.1 standard and advantages of DOCSIS 4.0 standard.

What is DOCSIS ?

DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. The standards have been managed by CableLabs along with other popular companies such as Cisco, Broadcom, Intel, Netgear, ARRIS, Texas Instruments and so on. It allows transmission and reception of high bandwidth data over existing cable TV network or HFC network. HFC is the short form of Hybrid Fiber Coaxial network. Following are the main features of DOCSIS standard versions viz. 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and 4.0 published till now. DOCSIS has been adopted by cable operators across the globe to provide internet data, voice services and video services over existing cable TV systems.

DOCSIS 1.0 : Published : 1997, Highlights : Initial cable broadband technology, Downstream data rate : 40 Mbps, Upstream data rate : 10 Mbps
DOCSIS 1.1 : Published : 2001, Highlights : Added Voice over IP service, Downstream : 40 Mbps, Upstream : 10 Mbps
DOCSIS 2.0 : Published : 2002, Highlights : Higher upstream speed, Downstream : 40 Mbps, Upstream : 30 Mbps
DOCSIS 3.0 : Published : 2008, Highlights : Greatly enhances capacity, Downstream : 1 Gbps, Upstream : 100-200 Mbps
DOCSIS 3.1 : Published : 2016, Highlights : Capacity and efficiency progression, Downstream : 10 Gbps, Upstream : 1-2 Gbps
DOCSIS 4.0 : Published : 2019, Highlights :Symmetrical streaming and increased upload speeds, Downstream : 10 Gbps, Upstream : 6 Gbps

DOCSIS architecture

The figure depicts DOCSIS architecture and its elements. As shown DOCSIS cable modem (CM) is the main interface between HFC network which is installed and maintained by cable company. The Cable modem allows connections with different customer premises devices to access the internet. CMTS is the main element located at cable operator side which is connected to the internet. CMTS stands for Cable Modem Termination System. DOCSIS defines messages and data types exchanged between CMTS and CM. DOCSIS network offers bi-directional flow of IP data between CM and CMTS over existing HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax cable) system. Downstream refers to data flow from cable company to customer premises equipment where as upstream refers to data flow from CM (i.e. cable modem) to cable company (i.e. CMTS side).

What is DOCSIS 3.1 ?

It is published in 2016 which offers downstream data rate of 10 Gbps and Upstream data rate of 1 to 2 Gbps. It is broadband focused and uses multi channel QAM to map binary data to increase the capacity. Refer QAM and its benefits >>. It uses OFDM to make system spectrum efficient. MAC layer provides various enhancement so that CMTS can control bandwidth allocation, supports traffic prioritization, variable length packets and so on.

Benefits or advantages of DOCSIS 3.1

Following are the benefits or advantages of DOCSIS 3.1:
➨It is backward compatible and hence allows seamless transition from DOCSIS 3.0.
➨It uses same coax cable as last mile technology compare to fiber which requires new infrastructure and new cable layout to customer premises. This makes it Cost effective and easy to install.
➨DOCSIS 3.1 Cable modem uses new certificate based enhanced security feature. This prevents malicious firmware being downloaded to cable modem. Moreover it allows secure software download after authentication success.
➨It reduces packet latency over cable network by improvement in packet queueing mechanism. This makes it more efficient for VoIP calls and online gaming.
➨It supports light sleep modes during IDLE period. This reduces overall power consumption.
➨DOCSIS 3.1 uses OFDM based QAM compare to SC-QAM used by DOCSIS 3.0. Hence more data bits can be mapped in the same frequency spectrum compare to DOCSIS 3.0. Due to OFDM and higher order modulation schemes, DOCSIS 3.1 supports higher throughput and makes use of spectrum efficiently. Refer difference between Single Carrier and OFDM >>.
➨DOCSIS 3.1 allocates higher frequency spectrum compare to its predecessor DOCSIS 3.0. DOCSIS 3.0 uses frequency band from 5 MHz to 65 MHz for upstream traffic and from 85 MHz to 1002 MHz for downstream traffic. DOCSIS 3.1 uses frequency band from 5 MHz to 204 MHz for upstream traffic and from 252 MHz to 1788 MHz for downstream traffic.

What is DOCSIS 4.0 ?

This is the latest DOCSIS standard published which is also known as "Full duplex DOCSIS 3.1". It allows major enhancement to upstream speed supported by previous version DOCSIS 3.0. It offers downstream speed of 10 Gbps and upstream speed of 6 Gbps. It uses higher bandwidth to support large spectrum of data. It offers lower latency and faster speeds. It allows use of multi gigabit symmetric services over HFC. It is used in various applications viz. video conferencing, IoT, hard drive backups, distance learning, virtual reality, IoT cloud applications, health care, Home security cameras etc.

Benefits or advantages of DOCSIS 4.0

Following are the benefits or advantages of DOCSIS 4.0:
➨It is backward compatible with previous DOCSIS standard versions. Hence it allows seamless transition from DOCSIS 3.1.
➨It supports symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds and hence delivers double download speed and quadruple upload speed compare to DOCSIS 3.1.
➨It offers similar lower latency as achieved in DOCSIS 3.1. Hence consumers can have better experience using multimedia and online gaming applications.
➨Increased security and higher reliability



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