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The envelope, please: Intel wins a technical Emmy

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The envelope, please: Intel wins a technical


Technology and Engineering Emmys are for technological achievements so significant they materially affect the transmission, recording, or reception of television.


On Sunday April 16th at a ceremony during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention, Intel collected a very shiny and very real Emmy award for our work on the software defined network. More specifically, the virtualized cable modem termination system, which realized a world’s first for Intel and our collaborators, Comcast and Harmonic.

Technology and Engineering Emmys are reserved for technological achievements so significant they will materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television for the entire industry. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awards only a handful of Technology and Engineering trophies each year (in 1960, a single Emmy was awarded for a revolutionary new type of video camera). Previous innovations include Netflix’s recommendation engine and industry standards like HDCP and HDMI (another Intel win). This year, there are just five winners, and Intel’s work on the virtualized cable modem termination system is among them.


How this innovation makes your life better

For the cable industry, the benefits of virtualization and the software defined network are numerous (and sometimes deeply technical). But what about the average person sitting at home streaming their favorite series? How does this virtualized cable modem termination system help make that happen? 

Simply, a cable modem termination system is one of many pieces of equipment and computer hardware at a cable company's facility that delivers high-speed internet. With this innovation, cable providers can now use software to handle the management, control and data processing on a network edge server instead of a dedicated piece of equipment.

This breakthrough means cable providers can offer higher speeds and better power efficiency without bearing the cost of replacing portions of the existing hybrid fiber coaxial cable infrastructure. That increases broadband speeds and offers a better user experience for customers with ballooning data needs.


Trailblazing a path for everyone else to follow

Intel’s contributions went beyond problem solving, architecture design, testing and software development. All those elements were important, but the most critical catalyst for success was this open source work – it allowed Comcast, Harmonic and Intel to build something the rest of the industry could use. Now, this serves as a pioneering blueprint for the rest of the cable industry to transition toward.

About the Author
Alexander (Alex) D. Quach is a vice president and general manager of the Wireline and Core Network Division (WCND) within the Network and Edge Group at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for driving Intel’s business across service provider wireline access networks (broadband, cable) and wireless core networks. WCND is specifically focused on the industry transition to virtualized and cloud native solutions along with the 5G next generation core to edge network.Quach was a marketing manager for test and measurement products at Tektronix Inc. before joining Intel® in 1997 as a product marketing engineer for desktop products. He was responsible for promoting the growth of Intel's wireless connectivity business in multiple market segments, including machine-to-machine communication, the automotive sector, low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking and client connectivity. Prior to that, Quach led Intel's wireless connectivity solutions business within the Client Computing Group, where he focused on mobile client platforms based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, wireless gigabit (WiGig) and cellular technologies. Earlier in his Intel career, as director of wireless marketing for the company's mobile wireless business unit, he led marketing for Intel's WiMAX product portfolio. Quach also spent several years as a customer marketing manager in the service provider group.Quach has dual bachelor’s degrees in physics and psychology and an MBA from the University of Washington