Patent number 8605747 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Systems and methods consistent with the principles of the invention relate generally to data communication and, more particularly, to data communication within cable modem systems.
"In cable modem systems, a cable modem termination system (CMTS) at one end of a cable network typically services multiple cable modems (CMs) connected to the cable network. CMs are generally installed locally at the end-user's location, and communicate with the CMTS, which may be installed at a cable company's facility. The CMTS transmits data and messages to the CMs in a 'downstream' direction and receives data bursts from the CMs in an 'upstream' direction.
"Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) is a commonly used communications protocol that defines interface requirements for CMs. DOCSIS 2.0, for example, builds upon the capabilities of DOCSIS 1.0 and DOCSIS 1.1 and adds throughput in the upstream portion of the cable system. This increased upstream data capacity enables symmetrical and time-critical services such as videoconferencing and peer-to-peer applications. When sharing a communication channel with a CMTS, the CMs may use modulation schemes in which the modems transmit data bursts to the CMTS during designated time intervals.
"CMTSs typically receive data though a number of physical ports and further distinguish between different frequencies or 'channels' of data using a number of internal receivers. Current CMTSs typically have a fixed relationship between their internal receivers and the physical ports.
"Certain data communication, such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), may require data blocks to be transmitted on an upstream channel on a periodic basis, such as once in every 10 ms, 20 ms, or 30 ms time interval. The same time period may be allocated to the data communication within each time interval. It is important to use each upstream channel as fully as possible. Therefore, data blocks from different data communications may be packed together as much as possible.
"CM initialization requires that certain information be communicated from the CMs to the CMTS on the upstream channels. As a result, CM initialization requires a lot of bandwidth, thereby limiting the amount of data communication that can occur on the upstream channels.
"CM initialization includes two characteristics: initial maintenance and registration. For initial maintenance, the CMTS allocates a certain portion of every time interval for initialization of CMs. For example, the CMTS allocates 1.6 ms within each 10 ms time interval for initialization of a CM. During registration, a CM transmits a large packet (e.g., 1500 byte registration packet) to the CMTS. The packet must be transmitted without any disturbances and cannot be fragmented.
"CM initialization may not occur during every time interval. The CMTS, nevertheless, must allocate a portion of each time interval for CM initialization. For example, a 1.6 ms period of each time interval may be dedicated to CM initialization, leaving an 8.4 ms period for other data communication. When the 1.6 ms period is not used for CM initialization, then this period is wasted, leading to an inefficient use of upstream channel bandwidth.
"Accordingly, there is a need to more efficiently use upstream channel bandwidth in cable modem systems."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Systems and methods consistent with the principles of the invention address this and other needs by dedicating one upstream channel for use in cable modem initialization. The remaining upstream channels remain free to handle data communications.
"In accordance with one aspect of the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, a method for initializing devices in a cable modem system is provided. The method, which is performed by at least one of the devices, includes receiving upstream channel identifiers on downstream channels. Each of the upstream channel identifiers identifies one of a group of upstream channels. At least one of the upstream channels is dedicated to providing initialization opportunities. The at least one upstream channel includes less than all of the upstream channels. The method also includes reading from a first one of the upstream channels identified by a first one of the upstream channel identifiers, determining whether the first upstream channel is the at least one upstream channel that provides initialization opportunities, and performing initialization when the first upstream channel is the at least one upstream channel.
"According to another aspect, a system for initializing devices in a cable modem network is provided. The system may provide downstream channels for transmitting data to the devices and upstream channels for receiving data from the devices. At least one of the upstream channels is dedicated to providing initialization opportunities. The system may also transmit upstream channel identifiers, which identify the upstream channels, on the downstream channels and receive initialization data on the at least one upstream channel.
"According to yet another aspect, a cable modem termination system includes input ports and receivers connected to the input ports. The input ports are configured to receive data on upstream channels from multiple cable modems. At least one of the upstream channels is dedicated to receiving initialization data from the cable modems. The at least one upstream channel includes less than all of the upstream channels. The receivers are configured to process the data, including the initialization data, from the cable modems.
"According to a further aspect, a cable modem termination system includes input ports and receivers connected to the input ports. The input ports are configured to receive data associated with multiple upstream channels. One of the upstream channels may transport initialization data and others of the upstream channels may transport no initialization data. The receivers correspond to the upstream channels and are configured to process the data received by the input ports.
"According to another aspect, a cable modem system includes a cable modem termination system connected to multiple cable modems via upstream channels and downstream channels. The cable modem termination system is configured to provide initialization opportunities for the cable modems on at least one of the upstream channels, where the at least one upstream channel is dedicated to handling cable modem initialization. The cable modem termination system is further configured to transmit upstream channel identifiers on the downstream channels, where each of the upstream channel identifiers identifies one of the upstream channels. The cable modem termination system is also configured to receive initialization data on the at least one upstream channel."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Beser,
Keywords for this news article include: Cable Modem, Electronics,
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