First gigabit-over-COPPER chipset lands

Sckipio's new chipset promised to deliver over 250m cables


Israeli outfit Sckipio has revealed what it claims is the world's first G.fast chipset.

G.fast is widely seen as a successor standard to VDSL, as it delivers broadband over telcos' existing copper connections, but can do so at up to a gigabit-per-second. That's a speed comparable with that achievable over hybrid fiber coax (the medium for cable television) under the DOCSIS 3.1 standard. A gig-per-second is also often mentioned as the kind of speeds subscribers will want from fibre-to-the-premises networks, but as G.fast doesn't require the installation of a new cable of any sort to homes or businesses it is touted as a less disruptive way to improve broadband.

Sckipio says its chipset operates with “distribution point units (DPU) … deployed within 250 meters of the home”. Each DPU “can support up to 16 residences” but requires an optic fibre connection to the rest of a telco's network.

The company's chipset announcement covers both DPUs and customer premises equipment. The latter look familiar: German outfit Lantiq has put it to work in a reference design four a four-Ethernet-port, WiFi-equipped home router.

Sckipio has also created a reference design for a DPU, which it says can serve 16 residences. The reference design's dimensions are (w)25cm x (h)4.6cm x (l) 18cm, so a stack capable of serving a hundred or so on-street cabinets wouldn't need to be colossi in order to do a decent job on your street.

Sckipio's also not saying what speeds customers will achieve at the end of 250m of copper.

The launch of the chipsets is therefore welcome but also raises plenty of questions. The list of companies using the designs is also a little underwhelming: Sckipio's done deals with designers but as yet no big networking brand has put its name to a G.fast device. Once that kind of outfit puts its name to G.fast things will become more interesting. ®


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