Broadband Physics Unleashes Digital Capacity with Altera Stratix FPGAs

5/11/2004 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and Broadband Physics announced that Altera’s programmable logic solutions enabled the implementation of Broadband Physics’ novel Sub-band Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology to unleash unprecedented digital capacity from cable networks. SDM is a unique mathematical innovation that delivers up to three times the digital capacity and the lowest cost of transport compared to alternative cable broadband implementations including Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and Ultra Wideband (UWB).

Broadband Physics relied on Stratix® FPGAs to deliver the high performance required for this application, and also saved months of development time by taking advantage of the Stratix edition of Altera’s digital signal processing (DSP) development kit. “We needed the highest-performance FPGAs to handle the mathematically-intensive SDM transforms and processing that are at the heart of this new technology,” said Tracy Hall, Broadband Physics’ director of systems engineering. “Not only did Stratix FPGAs deliver the DSP performance we needed, but we also cut our development time by at least a quarter and saved thousands of dollars in engineering costs by leveraging Altera’s Stratix DSP development board and DSP MegaCoreTM intellectual property functions.”

Hall continued, “Altera’s Stratix DSP development board contains many of the features that we would have designed in ourselves. As a result, we were able to save a considerable amount of engineering effort by integrating it into our prototype system. As we develop this technology further, we look forward to even greater performance gains by using Stratix II FPGAs. Additionally, we plan to realize substantial costs savings through Altera’s HardCopy® structured ASICs, which will broaden the reach of our technology.”

Digital cable providers are challenged to increase the breadth and types of data transferred across their networks to accommodate new data-intensive content such as high-definition television (HDTV) broadcasts and additional services such as video-on-demand. Broadband Physics’ SDM technology addresses that need by exploiting the bandwidth available in existing cable networks without requiring any changes to the network architecture. Stratix FPGAs are employed by Broadband Physics in both their cable headend system that transmits signals across the cable, and in the demonstration set-top box that receives the data. The prototype systems include Stratix DSP development boards as part of the actual hardware implementation.

“Technology leaders like Broadband Physics face a tremendous opportunity as the demand for greater capacity increases,” said Todd Scott, senior director of Altera’s digital consumer and broadcast business unit. “Altera’s ability to facilitate rapid development of broadband solutions which address this demand provides them with a critical competitive edge. Broadband Physics’ SDM technology implementation is another example of Altera’s compelling proposition for broadcast technology developers who need flexible hardware to realize their vision in the shortest amount of time, and a clear path towards cost reduction for rapid rollout to the mass market.”

About SDM Technology
Broadband Physics, Inc. is bringing to market a new modulation called Sub-band Division Multiplexing (SDM). The company’s SDM innovation provides a novel leap over existing technology by cost effectively releasing more digital capacity at higher performance from existing last-mile networks. The company is initially focused on cable networks. For cable, SDM's highest RF bandwidth efficiency combined with low implementation costs provides up to a 7x gain in value of digital transport capacity value gain for the cable operator. SDM increases head-end density (reduces footprint) and increases digital downstream rates in the set-top box and cable modem to speeds approaching 200-Mbps for the same cost as existing 30-42Mbps technologies.

SDM solutions are well-matched architecturally to existing cable systems, permitting incremental introduction with existing services and without requiring changes to the cable plant, additional costly head-end equipment, or cumbersome parallel network service overlays. SDM solutions provide unprecedented provisioning flexibility, greater control over bandwidth resources, and lower overall cost of digital transport between headend and subscriber. SDM is a now-and-future technology for cable, immediately releasing more digital capacity for existing and new services, and incrementally scaling to remain superior to telco and satellite competition in the future.

About Broadband Physics, Inc.
Broadband Physics, Inc., a Silicon Valley fabless semiconductor start-up, is a private company founded in 1997 and headquartered in Cupertino, CA. For more information, visit

About the Stratix Device Family
The Stratix device family is the industry’s first family of production-qualified FPGAs built on a 0.13-micron, all-layer copper process and the winner of EDN magazine’s 2002 Digital IC Innovation Award. Featuring embedded DSP blocks, embedded RAM blocks and support for leading edge and emerging I/O standards, Stratix devices give designers the performance and densities they need to meet the challenges of high-bandwidth system design. For more information about the Stratix device family, visit

About Altera
Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) is the world's pioneer in system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions. Combining programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide. More information is available at

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

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