News Release

Cisco and Conexant to Jointly Develop Cable Modems for Europe, China, Australia, Latin America and Other Worldwide Markets

Cable Modem Reference Design Enables Residential Broadband Access over Cable Networks Based upon the DVB and DAVIC Standards.
Dec 15, 1999

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Dec. 15, 1999 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet and the leader in standards-based digital cable solutions, and Conexant Systems, Inc., a leader in semiconductor products and systems solutions for communications electronics, today announced their collaboration on a reference design for a complete, end-to-end cable modem system. This jointly developed reference design will make it significantly easier for a wide range of cable modem vendors to quickly enter European and other worldwide markets with DVB/DAVIC-compliant products that interoperate with Cisco's cable network infrastructure equipment. The announcement was made here at the cable industry's Western Show, which runs through Dec. 17.

The reference design will speed development of widely interoperable products from a broad spectrum of manufacturers, by supporting key worldwide standards:

  • Digital video broadcasting (DVB)-return channel cable and local multipoint distribution service (RCCL), or DVB-RCCL
  • Digital Audio Video Council (DAVIC)

The reference design is based on Conexant's single-chip InfoSurgeT programmable cable modem solution, and draws upon Cisco's expertise in interactive network adaptor (INA) systems and DVB cable media access control (MAC) technology. It will comply with the latest DVB and DAVIC standards supported by leading multiple-system operators (MSOs) throughout the world.

DVB and DAVIC are global standards for interactive video, audio, data and voice services, and they also provide the foundation for a more extensive Euromodem specification established by the European Cable Communications Association (ECCA). ECCA is the parent organization for the EuroCableLabs industry standards group, and represents European cable operators with a combined total subscriber base exceeding 40 million. The broader availability of affordable, DVB/DAVIC-compliant cable modems is expected to speed the deployment of a wide variety of converging data, voice and video/audio services. The DVB/DAVIC cable modem system offers transmission speeds of up to 1000 times the speed offered by traditional dial-up V.90 modem technology.

"Cisco and Conexant share the common goal of supporting all major data over cable standards," said Paul Bosco, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Cable and Wireless Business Unit. "We are pleased to be working with Conexant to give cable operators and cable modem vendors an alternative to the proprietary solutions that now dominate European and other worldwide cable modem markets."

"This joint development combines the strengths of two prominent leaders in DVB and DAVIC product and technology development," said Dan Marotta, vice president and general manager of Conexant's Digital Infotainment Division. "Together, Cisco and Conexant create a strong team that can help MSOs drive DVB penetration throughout European and worldwide markets in both cable modem and set-top box applications."

Cisco, through its acquisition of Cocom A/S, is a leader in the DVB/DAVIC cable access market. The company helped found the DVB/DAVIC interoperability consortium and is a leading supplier of DVB-RCCL/DAVIC cable modems. Conexant this year was the first semiconductor vendor to offer a single-chip, programmable cable modem solution that supports both DVB/DAVIC standards and ECCA Euromodem functionality.

Manufacturers who use the two companies' reference design will be able to add their own box and branding, while retaining the unprecedented flexibility to customize feature sets, support new standards, or migrate to future capabilities such as Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and home networking.

Cisco and Conexant expect to release their jointly developed reference design in the second calendar quarter of 2000. This partnership on broadband residential cable products extends an existing relationship between the two companies, who have already cooperated extensively on products and technologies for the high-speed wide area networking marketplace.

About Conexant Systems

With revenues of approximately $1.5 billion, Conexant is the world's largest independent company focused exclusively on providing semiconductor products and systems solutions for communications electronics. With more than 30 years of experience in developing communications technology, the company draws upon its expertise in mixed-signal processing to deliver integrated systems and semiconductor products for a broad range of communications applications. These products facilitate communications worldwide through wireline voice and data communications networks, cordless and cellular wireless telephony systems, personal imaging devices and equipment, and emerging cable and wireless broadband communications networks. The company aligns its business into five product platforms: Network Access, Wireless Communications, Digital Infotainment, Personal Imaging, and Personal Computing.

Conexant is a member of the Nasdaq-100 Index, which represents the largest and most active stocks listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market across major industry groups. For more information, visit Conexant at

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is theworldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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