Our client commissioned us to extend their residential cable product line, adding Wi-Fi access with multiple-BSSIDs as a CPE device for the first time. We had previously done several projects to migrate legacy platforms based on VxWorks to new platforms using Linux for their SMB gateways, so we had familiarity with their software. Plus, our core competencies in DOCSIS and Wi-Fi made selecting Vatt Systems Private Limited for this project, an easy choice.
The project involved porting the gateway stack from a reference platform, to a new customer-selected hardware platform running Linux with a multimedia processing architecture and DOCSIS. 3.0 subsystem. In addition to the gateway stack, we also had to integrate the wireless chipset drivers, implement 802.1x authentication and encryption and configure WMM to deliver appropriate QoS for different applications over Wi-Fi. It was also necessary to provide SNMP v1/v2/v3 based management and enhance the UI and functionality of end-user and Service Provider provisioning interfaces to support all system features. The entire project took 10 months with 6 engineers.
The project was to build new DOCSIS cable modem with T1/E1 circuit emulation, targeted at small to medium sized businesses. It would allow business customers to hook-up a small PBX or Key System and reduce circuit costs by passing packetized voice over the cable network, where it is split off to PSTN at the cable headend. This capability would provide a competitive advantage to ISPs using our client's equipment as they could sell converged services over the cable network to their business customers.
Our role was to design the interface hardware and the glue logic using MII as an interface to a T1/E1 daughter board and provide the SIP stack to convert voice to packets at the gateway end. We provided board design, layout, parts selection and schematics, giving the customer a final BOM. We also had to change the software and provide direct bridging functionality between the T1/E1 daughter card and the Cable Modem. This meant creating a pseudo driver to interface directly with the base cable modem and then optimizing the data plane to minimize latency and jitter.
After bring-up, we performed comprehensive signal integrity verification, as well as end-to-end jitter and latency testing. We also supported the client extensively during deployment of field trials at MSO's such as Time Warner, COX and many more, including capturing and analyzing voice samples, and further examining the impact of ingress and random noise on voice quality, using noise generators in our labs.
Our customer was using a Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) gateway from a third party vendor running on a slow, chassis based legacy hardware platform that was due for EOL. They wanted to extend the life of the solution, retain the original application software, upgrade performance and double capacity. This was for a specific project with one of their Service Provider clients, and they had a limited time-window before beginning field trials.
They had obtained licenses which permitted them to port the FMC gateway software to their platform of choice. It was a tricky project, as we were dealing with completely undocumented source on the legacy VxWorks RTOS platform, and needed to reproduce and validate the functionality on Solaris OS. This included porting application co-processor cards that off-loaded media switching and voice signaling.
With a team of four highly experienced platform and software engineers Vatt Systems Private Limited successfully migrated the software to an ATCA-compliant COTS chassis on a Solaris operating system within a fully configurable virtual machine architecture. Not only did we extend the life and capacity of the system, we were also able to consolidate the functions of three separate application cards (Resource Management, Media Gateway and Signaling Gateway) as VMs on a single ACTA-blade. This significantly reduced platform hardware cost.
We also upgraded the customer's Solaris based Network Management System to manage this new ATCA platform. We provided new chassis and application card views with the ability to show run time events/alarms and traps on the WEB-GUI display.
Vatt Systems Private Limited was engaged to upgrade a series of residential and business cable modem products from legacy VxWorks on a MIPS CPU to new platforms using Linux on a multi-core ARM CPU. The first challenge was converting the existing VxWorks software, firmware and drivers to full native Linux application support, since the two have different memory models, and many VxWorks functions operate differently in Linux, or are missing altogether. We also optimized the software design for more efficient operation in a multi-threaded Linux environment.
In addition we were required to extend system functionality with VoIP support by implementing a SIP stack, as well as adding RIP-2 routing protocol support to several CPE devices. In order to add RIP-2 to what was formerly a layer 2 device, we needed to implemented data-plane changes to convert the CPE from a bridging device to a router/routed device. This involved adding a pseudo ARP table and a routing table, and designing a test suite to validate these changes and verify interoperability.
Our client, a leader in cable modem equipment, had a widely deployed telephony gateway product, which provided connections for 2 analog phones over cable. In order to extend the life of this successful product, they decided to upgrade the RJ45 management port to Ethernet and SIP, so they could connect a local Femtocell to it, and enable up to five additional 3G/4G devices to make calls over the cable infrastructure.
Our mission was to activate the Ethernet port and implement a SIP stack to connect Femtocell sessions to the cable headend. In addition the solution needed to be plug-and-go, so that users could upgrade their service by plugging in the Femtocell, without needing a truck roll or phone support. This project involved a lot of QoS work using the Unsolicited Grant Service (UGS) features of DOCSIS 2.0 and required detailed performance validation, since we needed to deliver carrier-grade voice quality for up to five concurrent Femtocell calls as well as the two existing analog lines. The project took six months with six software engineers, and two test engineers.