Inside RDK

Inside RDK: Intel Makes RDK-B its Primary Stack


Intel Corp. plans to make RDK for Broadband (RDK-B) the primary stack on its Intel® Puma 7 SoC, citing the emergence of DOCSIS 3.1 as the inflection point that invited a revisit of which stack to use — because supporting multiple stacks was not desirable.

A year ago, industry cohesion around RDK-B as a core broadband platform was nascent, but momentum around DOCSIS 3.1, to increase downstream/upstream capacity by 50%, was mounting.

Today, things have gotten clearer, noted Jim Crammond, Sr. Director, Cable Operator Business for Intel, a presenter at the RDK European Summit. “We still have one operator very keen on deploying RDK-B, and others are either ‘yes, RDK-B is what we want,’ or their OEM will decide — and quite a few of them are saying ‘I need to run RDK-B, so if you’re giving me that, great.’”

Currently, most OEMs use the Intel Gateway stack, which is with Intel Puma 6. The Intel Puma 7 brings with it more options, Crammond explained, including the transfer of packet processing from an ARM 11 processor to the newer, beefier Atom™ processor. “That’s what we’re doing — the next release will have RDK-B as the stack,” he said, noting that the software is in engineering release now, with general availability in January of ’17.

Intel is committed to open source, especially with RDK-B. It will continue to fill gaps, in terms of features and inclusions, as it develops and releases the Intel Puma 7 SoC — things like DOCSIS 3.1, selective LAN port forwarding, IPSec pass-through over GRE, PPPoE, among others. “They won’t all be there in our first release, but by mid-next year they will.”

Effectively, Crammond said, RDK-B is Intel’s exclusive stack for Puma 7. “We will not be supporting another stack on Puma 7. We call it our primary stack — it’s the one we’ll provide to OEMs, with all new features and functions on that stack.”