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Digital SWM theory and speculation


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236 replies to this topic

#201 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 02:16 PM

I looked through the Euro CSS document that HoTat2 had looked for a while back and recently mentioned in another thread, since it sounded like it might have some relevance to SWM. I don't think it works the way he seemed to suggest, or maybe I misinterpreted what he was describing. The standard only describes "static" allocation of slots (channels) so it is fixed at receiver installation time, and the method (tones identifying available slots) seems unlikely to share anything with SWM.

 

I found an updated standard, and a link that showed the first few pages. It looks like it has been expanded to 32 slots, more bands, etc. but probably works in a similar manner. Still based on DiSEqC. It can be found at http://www.evs.ee/ee...607-2013-en.pdf, but for some reason that direct link doesn't work. You need to click on the third tab in the middle of the page starting with "Eelvaade" and then you can access the PDF.


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#202 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:19 PM

I was thinking further about the choice of frequencies for DSWM, matching exactly with the nine frequencies used by ASWM. Obviously that was done for compatibility reasons with ASWM. So I wondered how much compatibility between ASWM and DSWM is possible, and how easily could it be achieved?

 

Learning that it is possible for a DRE receiver to fix its SWM channel assignment indicates that receivers driving the SWM channel selection is at least possible with the DSWM13, but the more I think about it makes perfect sense that this is how SWM in general works. I had always sort of thought the SWM assigned channels without ever really thinking about it - bias from my computing background I guess thinking of the SWM as a "server". I'm still trying to come up with a way that can be tested/verified to be absolutely certain.

 

So assuming the receiver drives the process, how does a receiver choose its SWM channel? Well, the easiest way would be to start at the lowest channel and ask the SWM, "can I use channel x?" If it says no, the receiver goes up to the next channel until there are no more channels left and tosses out a 776 error. When I have fewer than 8 receivers connected to a SWM, they always use the lowest channels after a cold start of everything, so it is clearly using some sort of bottom-up assignment strategy. I haven't ever tried powering them on one at a time to verify they assign in a strict lowest to highest order, but I can if anyone is skeptical on this point (H20s still have the SWM signal screen so I can still determine what channels are being used)

 

When we look at the information Directv has released for ASWM, it shows the channel numbers and frequencies. Channel 1 is the guide channel, channels 2-9 are user channels. So the receiver would try 2 through 9, one at a time, before giving up. What happens if a receiver with firmware that knows about DSWM is connected to a DSWM? Well, it can ask for and receive channels above 9, of course. What if that same receiver was connected to a ASWM but "thought" it was connected to a DSWM? What happens when it asks for channel 10, which doesn't exist? Maybe the ASWM says "no" or maybe it says "error", either way it doesn't say "yes" so the receiver doesn't try to use it.

 

If this is indeed how it works, achieving compatibility with a receiver that knows about a DSWM being connected to either an ASWM or a DSWM would require no extra effort. So little effort, that there would be no need to tell a receiver it is connected to a DSWM - if it knows about the DSWM it knows channels higher than 9 exist and what frequencies they'd be found at, so it knows to ask about them and can use them if they're provided. It is possible it may ask any SWM it is connected to - no harm in asking them all for channel 10, the worst that can happen if you ask an ASWM for channel 10 is that it says something other than "yes"!

 

What about a receiver that only knows about ASWM connected to DSWM? It would ask for channels 2-9 as before, and the DSWM would reply "yes" to one of them. But wait, the DSWM spaces channels 51.03 MHz apart! The receiver thinks they're 102.06 MHz apart, so whatever channel it is assigned won't be found in the right spot. That's a problem, right? Maybe not. What if the DSWM uses the same channel number / frequency assignments for the first nine channels that the ASWM does, then channel 10 fits between channels 1 & 2, channel 11 fits between 2 & 3, and so on? That would preserve the compatibility, with the only "effort" needed being numbering them in a funny order. After all, 102.06 MHz is a rather odd number. Whatever reason that exact spacing was used in ASWM, there's certainly no reason it would have been used again in the DSWM, if not to preserve compatibility with receivers that don't know about the DSWM.

 

So why care about compatibility between ASWM and DSWM at all? Just include a "DSWM" switch type field and tell the receiver what it is connected to. That's certainly one way, and maybe that is how it works. But if it can be done so that "SWM" switch type represents both ASWM and DSWM, and receivers with firmware that know or do not know about DSWM can both interoperate with ASWM as well as DSWM, isn't that better? If this was difficult to achieve, it may not be worth the effort. But if it works like I'm describing, it was no effort at all. There are some obvious benefits to this compatibility, such as receivers with old firmware working on a DSWM until/if they're updated and MDUs being able to mix & match ASWM and DSWM without needing to re-do satellite setup on affected units.

 

There's one big potential gotcha here. What if the "channel number" field in whatever command format is sent over the SWM control channel is a 3 digit bitfield, allowing represention of channels 2-9 only? It's possible, if the protocol was not designed to ever be expanded with additional SWM channels. The Euro CSS standard uses a 3 bit bitfield for the "slot", for example. One key difference though may be in the physical layer used to send the commands. The Euro standard uses DiSEqC signalling, with 1.5ms needed to represent a single bit. With parity overhead, that's only 600 bps! It is easy to see why they wanted the most compact command format possible. The longer the duration of the command, the greater the possibility of collisions. According to P Smith, the 2.3 MHz FSK control channel has a 230 kbps rate "worst case", though I'm not sure where he came by that figure. If that's the case, there would be much less reason to save every bit as the Euro CSS command format did, and makes it more likely (though by no means certain) that there would have been some additional bits used to represent the channel number to allow for future growth.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#203 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:27 PM

well, if you will provide these two freqs near 2.3 MHz what FTM technology is using for FSK modulated signals ... then the bitrate would be calculated exactly



#204 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:17 AM

Once again you've taken a very "long walk", which wouldn't be needed as the SWM identifies itself to the receiver during boot.

You like to "what if", but don't seem to look at "what is".

Every SWiM I've had, SWM8, LNB, and -16, has been "identified" during boot and the receiver doesn't allow it to be changed.

 

"Channels"

The new ones were added by using better filters that basically cut the spacing needed between them by 2.

The channel numbering is still 1-14 consecutively "and" don't match the older frequencies "exactly", other than #1 for the guide.

 

To this end, I don't see anyway a receiver without the firmware support for the DSWM will work.


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#205 ONLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:30 AM

well, if you will provide these two freqs near 2.3 MHz what FTM technology is using for FSK modulated signals ... then the bitrate would be calculated exactly

Actually, in a MoCA document Slice posted last year titled; 

 

"MoCA 1.1 Specification for Device RF Characteristics" (Doc. V1.0-20120815)

 

It actually list the ASWM FSK control signal specifications:

Tx carrier frequency ---- 2.3 Mhz (±10 Khz)

Tx FSK frequency shift ---- ±40 Khz (± +10 Khz/-5 Khz)

Asynchronous symbol rate ---- 39 Kilobaud (±5%)

Transmitter carrier max. power ---- -1 dbm (into 75 ohms) 

 

 

So since FSK uses 1 bit per baud of course, the bit rate must be 39 kbps, for the ASWM anyhow.


Edited by HoTat2, 23 February 2014 - 03:44 AM.

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#206 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 12:44 PM

nice quote - thank you !

so, it is 39 kbps (I did guess it's  at least 230 kbps)

perhaps no need high speed for service communication between a host and one/two/three targets



#207 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:00 PM

Once again you've taken a very "long walk", which wouldn't be needed as the SWM identifies itself to the receiver during boot.

You like to "what if", but don't seem to look at "what is".

Every SWiM I've had, SWM8, LNB, and -16, has been "identified" during boot and the receiver doesn't allow it to be changed.

 

"Channels"

The new ones were added by using better filters that basically cut the spacing needed between them by 2.

The channel numbering is still 1-14 consecutively "and" don't match the older frequencies "exactly", other than #1 for the guide.

 

To this end, I don't see anyway a receiver without the firmware support for the DSWM will work.

 

I know the SWM identifies itself -  you've stated that several times. My intent was to point out how simple it would be to achieve ASWM/DSWM compatibility in both directions even without that, since a receiver with older firmware may not know what to make of a DSWM's identification.

 

Let me put it to you another way - given that the SWM identifies itself, what need would there be for the receiver to be configured for DSWM vs ASWM? Regardless of how receivers with old firmware may act when connected with a DSWM, there's zero reason for a receiver with updated firmware that knows about a DSWM to have a switch type "DSWM" configurable. What benefit is there for that, when it will know without being told?

 

The consecutive channel numbering for the DSWM13 used in documents and setup/info displays in DRE firmware receivers wouldn't necessarily be the same as the internal SWM to receiver communication (which may start at 0, for instance) Besides, in the DRE market that the DSWM13 was designed for and uses receivers with custom firmware for, interoperability between ASWM and DSWM would be irrelevant. The usefulness of interoperability of receivers with outdated firmware with DSWM even when DSWM is used in general purpose markets is kind of questionable, but if it is being done we probably wouldn't know for sure until a general purpose DSWM is released. I was simply posing a possible explanation of why the frequencies match. Maybe there's some other reason why they use those particular frequencies, but I think it is reasonable to explore reasons why they would re-use those exact same frequencies.

 

However, you now say they aren't the "exact" same frequencies. If the frequency you gave for DSWM13 channel 14, 1637.39 MHz, is correct how it is possible they don't match? That's exactly 13 steps of 51.03 MHz above 974 MHz. Is the channel spacing not identical across 1-14? We know ASWM uses exactly 102.06 MHz, not the rounded off value of 102 MHz shown in most of Directv's SWM documentation. If you doubt that I can supply you proof.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#208 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:01 PM

nice quote - thank you !

so, it is 39 kbps (I did guess it's  at least 230 kbps)

perhaps no need high speed for service communication between a host and one/two/three targets

 

OK, so still pretty fast considering it is likely only a handful of bytes would be exchanged unless the communication between SWM and receiver is a lot more complex than anyone guesses.


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#209 ONLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:42 PM

I know the SWM identifies itself - you've stated that several times. My intent was to point out how simple it would be to achieve ASWM/DSWM compatibility in both directions even without that, since a receiver with older firmware may not know what to make of a DSWM's identification.

Let me put it to you another way - given that the SWM identifies itself, what need would there be for the receiver to be configured for DSWM vs ASWM? Regardless of how receivers with old firmware may act when connected with a DSWM, there's zero reason for a receiver with updated firmware that knows about a DSWM to have a switch type "DSWM" configurable. What benefit is there for that, when it will know without being told?

The consecutive channel numbering for the DSWM13 used in documents and setup/info displays in DRE firmware receivers wouldn't necessarily be the same as the internal SWM to receiver communication (which may start at 0, for instance) Besides, in the DRE market that the DSWM13 was designed for and uses receivers with custom firmware for, interoperability between ASWM and DSWM would be irrelevant. The usefulness of interoperability of receivers with outdated firmware with DSWM even when DSWM is used in general purpose markets is kind of questionable, but if it is being done we probably wouldn't know for sure until a general purpose DSWM is released. I was simply posing a possible explanation of why the frequencies match. Maybe there's some other reason why they use those particular frequencies, but I think it is reasonable to explore reasons why they would re-use those exact same frequencies.

However, you now say they aren't the "exact" same frequencies. If the frequency you gave for DSWM13 channel 14, 1637.39 MHz, is correct how it is possible they don't match? That's exactly 13 steps of 51.03 MHz above 974 MHz. Is the channel spacing not identical across 1-14? We know ASWM uses exactly 102.06 MHz, not the rounded off value of 102 MHz shown in most of Directv's SWM documentation. If you doubt that I can supply you proof.


When you see Dswim and all the lnbs listed in recievrs it sounds like you think that's there for people to select to make sure it works right. I think it's there simply because that stuff is in the firmware and the only things that are truly selectable are old legacy lnbs as everything else is all automatic anymore. They have gotten rid of the you chose and made it all auto going forward and just happen to still list all the new with the old. And if the receiver can't identify exactly what is being used for the new stuff it doesn't work right or at all.

#210 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 05:28 PM

I know the SWM identifies itself -  you've stated that several times. My intent was to point out how simple it would be to achieve ASWM/DSWM compatibility in both directions even without that, since a receiver with older firmware may not know what to make of a DSWM's identification.
 
Let me put it to you another way - given that the SWM identifies itself, what need would there be for the receiver to be configured for DSWM vs ASWM? Regardless of how receivers with old firmware may act when connected with a DSWM, there's zero reason for a receiver with updated firmware that knows about a DSWM to have a switch type "DSWM" configurable. What benefit is there for that, when it will know without being told?

It seems no matter how many times I post it, you don't grasp the implications.
There are many ways things "could be done", but haven't been done for whatever reason(s).
I've been trying to steer this topic toward what "is being done", while pointing out what isn't.
 
The DSWM13 is currently restricted to only DRE certified installers, so "what if" for other applications is sort of pointless.
 
There is a small run of DSWMLNBs, but no word on where they're going or how they will be used.
 
There is no other DSWM and nothing "in the pipe" for MDU use.
 
This might change [or not] in the future.
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#211 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 08:10 PM

"What is being done" today is the DSWM13. I'm only interested in the DSWM13 insofar as it is the only known implementation of the DSWM technology at this point. The DSWM13 is a known quantity, at least for you and others "in the know" and few people will ever even encounter one (except maybe on some future hotel stay)

 

A lot can be learned about DSWM from the DSWM13, but due to the DRE market's tightly controlled installations and customized firmware, there are some things about it that will not shared with more general purpose products using DSWM that I assume will appear someday. Certainly the 13 channel limit and the high output will not be shared by future DSWMs, but that may not be all.

 

I appreciate what you contribute to my speculation as far as "what is being done", or prodding me towards realizing that it makes more sense to have the receiver in charge of channel selection, for example. But you seem to want to limit discussion to only what you know is being done in the DSWM13, and fail to realize that different implementation choices may be made in products targeted other markets. Yes, by definition talking about such products, since none exist, is speculation, but that's the purpose of this thread :)


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#212 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 08:21 PM

Yes, by definition talking about such products, since none exist, is speculation, but that's the purpose of this thread :)

Without even a "wisp of smoke on the horizon" for something, speculating about it is kind of a waste of time, to the degree you seem to want on this subject.
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#213 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 08:42 PM

When you see Dswim and all the lnbs listed in recievrs it sounds like you think that's there for people to select to make sure it works right. I think it's there simply because that stuff is in the firmware and the only things that are truly selectable are old legacy lnbs as everything else is all automatic anymore. They have gotten rid of the you chose and made it all auto going forward and just happen to still list all the new with the old. And if the receiver can't identify exactly what is being used for the new stuff it doesn't work right or at all.

 

I've never used a SWM LNB, but it sounds like you're saying the receiver automatically detects the SWM LNB, and tells the difference between a SL3S and SL5S? If so, I wouldn't be all that surprised - and I'd assume that likewise will automatically detect the SL3DS (whether it knows what to do with it is another matter)

 

The DRE receivers use custom firmware, but I imagine it is mostly based on NR firmware. They aren't going to start from scratch, there would be a lot of code shared between the two. Most likely the dish types list is part of that shared code, so perhaps adding it in support of the DRE market made it appear in everyone's list. Is that the extent of the shared code that has anything to do with DSWM? There's no way for us to know, and it really doesn't matter until there are general purpose DSWMs available.

 

I believe the DSWM and ASWM will operate similarly enough that there will never be a "DSWM" switch type added to the firmware. ASWM and DSWM will both be "SWM". If a receiver connected to a DSWM13 shows switch type "DSWM" then I'll eat my words.


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#214 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 08:51 PM

Something else I stumbled across that may help answer something I'd always wondered about the ASWM - why did they use that 102.06 MHz spacing? That seems like such an odd number to choose. Perhaps this is already known and I've just never seen it before, but if you look at the transponder center frequencies for Ku band you see:

 

tpn 1    12224.00 MHz

tpn 8    12326.06 MHz

tpn 15  12428.12 MHz

tpn 22  12530.18 MHz

tpn 29  12632.24 MHz

 

Subtract LO freq of 11250 MHz from each and you have the center frequencies for the first five SWM channels. That begs another question, "why would they choose to exactly match existing transponder frequencies?" but that may be where that spacing originated.


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#215 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 10:03 PM

"I'm done" until there is something "worth posting".
Kicking the same can over and over is a waste of time.
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#216 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:22 PM

Saw something interesting in Entropic's Q4 earnings transcript from a few weeks ago.

 

http://seekingalpha....ipt?part=single

 

For the DBS ODU market, we introduced the world's first Digital Channels Stacking Switch solution, which we also showcased at CES. We're the market innovator and leader in analog CSS, as well as the new generation of digital CSS.

 

We're encouraged by the feedback we have received from customers, which confirms we are in a very strong position to continue our leadership in the overall satellite outdoor unit market for years to come.

 

As a case in point, earlier this year, we announced DIRECTV has started to deploy our digital CSS technology, making the world's first commercial implementation of a digital single-wire solution. Initially, DIRECTV is targeting multiple dwelling units and hospitality properties with our first generation of digital CSS silicon. The overall DBS ODU market is expected to transition from analog to digital CSS over the coming years. We believe the initial transition to digital will start later this year in a modest way, and we should see a more broad-based transition happening in late 2015 and into 2016.

 

Our understanding and from talking to our direct OEM customers and the end customers that the deployment of digital swim is going to be quite modest in 2014. We have a multi-switch opportunity there as one other competitor that has some small amount of volume that they'll probably deploy as well. The vast majority of what will be deployed in 2014 will continue to be analogue CSS as we understand it. As we get into second-generation digital CSS, we'll see that deploying in 2015, and we believe we're in a very strong position to have significant market share in that business. And really, the volume portion of that, we believe, is really second half of 2015.

 

 

The mention of MDUs along with hospitality makes me wonder if there might not be a DSWM targeted at that market coming later this year, unless some MDUs have loop thru wiring and could use the DSWM13? 20 tuners on a wire for a switch that's pretty much a drop in replacement for the SWM8 would be nice to have in that market, even if it costs more per tuner for the switch itself.

 

The residential market looks like the second half of 2015 and into early 2016. With the constant push back of D14 and D15, that still sounds like it might be aligned with the transition to a new LNB that receives RDBS bands ("needed" only if Directv uses RDBS for customer content, of course) as I've suggested before. But definitely nothing coming anytime soon, as VOS and Stuart have stated.

 

I gather from the mention of first generation and second generation there will be a second generation ASIC, made on a smaller process. VOS stated a delta of $4 between SWM8 and SWM16, so that's probably the benchmark figure for the cost of turning a legacy LNB into a SWM LNB. I suggested a production cost (based on mass production) of a little under $10 for the 45nm ASIC, a shrink to 20nm which could start production later this year to meet a H2 2015 deployment goal would drop the cost below $4 to turn a legacy LNB into a DSWM LNB.

 

I have no idea what the reference to "one other competitor" in this market is. Is Dish going to start using DSWM technology? I don't really know anything about what they're using now, but I thought it wasn't a SWM style technology, but simple stacking of 500 MHz bands. Has Dish said anything about a technology change coming? My understanding is that it is harder to do larger setups with Dish, so such a change would make them more competitive vs Directv in commercial/MDU deployments.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#217 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:08 PM

I've said early on a replacement for the SWM-32 in the MDU market would make a lot of sense.

The change to Genies has increased the demand for tuners and currently are requiring one SWM output per Genie.

This has to be a load on the MDU.

20-24 channels per output "might be" a solution and also may be two years away too.


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#218 ONLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:31 PM

Saw something interesting in Entropic's Q4 earnings transcript from a few weeks ago.

http://seekingalpha....ipt?part=single




The mention of MDUs along with hospitality makes me wonder if there might not be a DSWM targeted at that market coming later this year, unless some MDUs have loop thru wiring and could use the DSWM13? 20 tuners on a wire for a switch that's pretty much a drop in replacement for the SWM8 would be nice to have in that market, even if it costs more per tuner for the switch itself.

The residential market looks like the second half of 2015 and into early 2016. With the constant push back of D14 and D15, that still sounds like it might be aligned with the transition to a new LNB that receives RDBS bands ("needed" only if Directv uses RDBS for customer content, of course) as I've suggested before. But definitely nothing coming anytime soon, as VOS and Stuart have stated.

I gather from the mention of first generation and second generation there will be a second generation ASIC, made on a smaller process. VOS stated a delta of $4 between SWM8 and SWM16, so that's probably the benchmark figure for the cost of turning a legacy LNB into a SWM LNB. I suggested a production cost (based on mass production) of a little under $10 for the 45nm ASIC, a shrink to 20nm which could start production later this year to meet a H2 2015 deployment goal would drop the cost below $4 to turn a legacy LNB into a DSWM LNB.

I have no idea what the reference to "one other competitor" in this market is. Is Dish going to start using DSWM technology? I don't really know anything about what they're using now, but I thought it wasn't a SWM style technology, but simple stacking of 500 MHz bands. Has Dish said anything about a technology change coming? My understanding is that it is harder to do larger setups with Dish, so such a change would make them more competitive vs Directv in commercial/MDU deployments.


I think by competitor he is more talking about their competitors not directv's.

#219 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:24 AM

I think by competitor he is more talking about their competitors not directv's.

 

Yep, you're absolutely right! Trying to read that while I was on a conference call may not have led to full comprehension :) Here's the question that paragraph was in response to:

 

The first question I have relates to your additional swim business with the transition to digital swim at DIRECTV. I know one of your competitors has been talking about having won some business there and the business ramping in the second half of 2014, and I think you make similar comments. So I'm just curious to know how you see Entropic splitting the business with that competitor as DIRECTV switches to digital swim modules and, not only for the second half of 2014, but as well 2015.

 

 

I never expected two companies had separately designed a DSWM ASIC. Maybe Entropic didn't drop the price of the RF5201 as quickly as Directv would have liked and they wanted a little competition this time around?

 

I assumed Entropic outsourced the DSWM ASIC design to NXP, but Entropic must have designed the EN5400 internally, and NXP's was a separate effort - or they were designing it for someone else. I wish he would have named the competitor in that question...

 

Two different ASIC designs would partially explain the difference between Entropic's EN5400 having only 20 (user) channels and NXP's having 23. So then the question is, is the competitor a second source for the DSWM13, or was the win for a different DSWM product for the MDU market?


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21


#220 OFFLINE   slice1900

slice1900

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:38 AM

I googled for a few minutes to see if I could pin down if NXP is the competitor or not. Couldn't find anything for certain, but did find Broadcom announced the BCM4551 at CES. Built in 28nm, with 24 channels from 8 LNB inputs covering 250-2350 MHz, supporting both FSK and DiSEqC commands - claims compatibility with North America, Europe and APAC.

 

No way to know for sure from this announcement if its DSWM compatible, but the inclusion of FSK at least makes that a possibility. As far as I know, everyone else's CSS standards use DiSEqC.


SL5, PI-6S, SA-6AL 3xSWM16, 21 H20-100, 1 H20-600, 7 H24-700/AM21





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