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Are you ready for some Japanese ONU install and hardware pr0n? This is excerpted from research we did on Passave (PMCS).

outside_enclosureAll photos and component data (click to enlarge) are courtesy of a Japanese web page. I used Google to translate the page – available here. (I don’t think human translators have much to worry about yet). Zoro, whoever you are, thank you.

Zoro was very excited about his GE-PON install. (Translation courtesy of Google)

It is I who use ADSL test service with Mita, but moving, in Musashi boundary, and Yono. Directly, it was the フレッツ ADSL, but with Yono public corporation was converted to DION light and it is the ざ to be, however light it cannot call the VDSL after all, -, with thinking, the everyday life which soaks the pillow with the saliva came continuing… that me to yesterday. It succeeded in coming home finally pulling the optical circuit to the home in Musashi boundary. From today the joke you probably will walk cleanly with feeling!

That’s exactly how I felt when I had Verizon FiOS installed! I too can now “walk cleanly with feeling” and no longer have a wet pillow in the morning.

Set Top BoxesIt appears that Zoro has a complex install at his home, including GE-PON ONU, SOHO router, and some kind of Windows Media Center Extender (MCE). The MCE appears to connect over the PON connection to … something. Not sure if this is a set-top box talking to an IPTV provider or if it is a homebrew network. Regardless, sounds like it isn’t working too well. Anyone who can translate the original and shed some light on this mystery, please do so.

GEPON ONUHe also has the full gratuitous shot of the Mitsubishi AS-1000GN GE-PON ONU and all of the components inside.

Mmmmmm. Nice.

Try clicking on the photo – I’ve annotated all of the components using Flickr using information provided by Zoro.

We’ve got:

  • Passave (PSVE) PAS6001-B as the IEEE 802.3ah MAC.
  • Freescale (FSL) Powerquicc MPC852TVR50 … probably doing control, not in datapath.
  • Assorted memories… Flash, SRAM.
  • Altera (ALTR) FPGAs, sounds like one sits in the datapath. It’s hooked up to two IDT (IDT) 71V546S133PF ZBT RAMs. Looks like the Altera chip is doing some sort of protocol processing that the Passave device couldn’t do.
  • Vitesse (VTSS) VSC8201RX Gigabit Ethernet Copper PHY – according to Zoro it only runs 10/100, a limitation of the Altera glue FPGA.
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) TNETE2201B as the TBI to serial 1.25G SERDES that connects the Passave MAC to the GE-PON optics (not shown here).

Unfortunately, no shot of the optics or the diplexer. It looks like an SFF footprint is being used based on the solder patterns shown in the photo. An astute reader I shared this with in advance pointed out the lack of SFF alignment holes- which means it is homebrew from discretes, and not an off-the-shelf module. It likely has many Melco components.

According to Passave the PAS6001 has been discontinued in favor of the PAS6201. Looks like this new device has FEC and some classification integrated on board…. likely eliminating some or all of the FPGAs. It also looks like it will support clients at Gigabit Ethernet. The TI and Vitesse chips would stay for now though integration of those is inevitable.

BOM Cost Analysis:

  • Passave MAC – $25
  • Vitesse Copper PHY – $2
  • TI SERDES – $2
  • Freescale CPU – $6
  • FPGAs – Need help here. Altera EP1C20F400C6 $98 and EP1C12F256C6 $56 on website. This is high and nowhere near the 100K+ pricing Melco would pay. I’m going to ball park $40 for both devices
  • Optics and Diplexer- $30
  • IDT Memory – 2 x $2 = $4
  • Flash Memories – $5
  • Assorted power and discretes – $10
  • Build and Case – $20
  • Market research for free – priceless

Total Cost: $144

NTT must have paid about $250 for this ONU. The FPGA hack is very expensive, and was probably a big barrier to entry for ONU suppliers. We’ve learned of several custom features NTT requested not in the ITU spec – that’s probably how they were implemented.

The next generation Passave device should eliminate the Powerquicc, FPGAs, and the IDT memories used by the datapath FPGA. Assuming the MAC pricing stays the same the total BOM drops to $94, not including potential cost reductions in optics. We’re hearing SFF GE-PON optics are going for around $20 from aggressive suppliers trying to capture this business.

Passave device ASP based on their S-1 filings and NTT install rates. This was the price in the first 1/2 of 2005, it is likely lower by now.


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  1. Here is the way I would have translated the Japanese:

    I was an early adopter of ADSL service and a long-time user of NTT’s FLETS ADSL. After moving I was able to switch to DION a so-called Fiber based service. However, VDSL is not PON. So, I was left drooling on my pillow each night. But, that was the me of yesterday. Today I finally had Fiber pulled to my home. So, today I will walk feeling fine and dandy!!

    Posted by DJA | June 5, 2006, 1:37 AM
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