What is the issue affecting my modem ?


 

Latency / Jitter

Latency is how long each network operation takes to accomplish. A typical web page takes 20-100+ operations to complete before its done loading. How long each operation takes adds up and dominates your experience. Web page loads are slowed by latency more then bandwidth ( speed ) issues. Latency affects everything you do on the net. Each operation from a keystroke while gaming to using a VPN to watching/listening to a stream involves lots of network operations per second.

Jitter is how much latency jumps around. So if latency varies radically jumping from 10 seconds to sometimes as low as .001 second for each operation then it has high jitter. Jitter makes the internet experience random and frustrating, for some applications like gaming, its fatal as you die in game from jitter.

A "speed" test is almost meaningless to a typical user these days as latency has become the real issue.

Until mid 2017 latency and jitter HAVE NOT BEEN TESTED DURING CHIP DESIGN OR MANUFACTURING. MODEM/ROUTER MANUFACTURERS HAVE NOT TESTED FOR IT. ISP have not tested for it. THERE IS NOT EVEN A STANDARD FOR TESTING. Cable Labs the industry standards body did not even think about including it in any standard. This has led to manufacturers and ISPs ignoring this issue completely and performance of many things on the internet today suffer from this malady.

Some chip makers have hidden latency and jitter issues from common tests that are in use by consumers and even ISPs. Ping CANNOT be used reliably to test for latency or jitter.

This gross oversight has led to a really horrendous performance issue that got deployed to millions of users on ISPs all over the world. The Intel Puma 6/7 chips exhibit really terrible latency spikes and jitter which affect almost all uses by businesses and consumers. The affects range from slow and juddery web page loading to a large range of issues with gaming to issues with VPNs and applications like high frequency stock trading.

Until Intel released its Puma 6 chip Broadcom dominated the modem chip market. The Broadcom chip does not have latency or jitter issues. As no one had ever seen these kinds of issues before, no one was looking for them. They slipped under the radar for everyone including Intel. Which has resulted apparently in a chip that Intel seems unable or unwilling to fix with firmware.

The issue has been hard to identify as there have not been standard tests for this and this has left consumers unsure what's causing the issues and leaving the ISPs trying to figure out what's causing issues for its consumers. The worst affect is that consumers assume the poor level of performance is "normal"

The number of affected devices is over one million world wide and growing still as Intel is still shipping these chips as fast as they can make them with Amazon still selling modems/gateways as fast as they can despite bad press reports and clear tests indicating the issues.

Below are charts showing the issue. The higher the line the longer a network operation takes.



On the left you can see the Intel Puma 6 VS the Broadcom on the right. The performance on the Intel Puma is shockingly bad and has generated a lot of press its so atrocious.

This performance issue exists in ALL Puma 6/7 devices and was confirmed by Intel

 

 

I have done a live video showing the spikes and showing how the common ping test cannot detect the issue

 


 

Limited bandwidth with packet loss under load

 

The Intel Puma chip is easily overloaded. When this occurs it drops packets and has large latency increases

So when you try and do more then one thing at once everything slows down dramatically depending on what you doing.

 

This does not occur to any serious degree with the Broadcom chip

The red is complete packet loss, or loss of data in simple terms. This chart shows that the Intel Puma chip has trouble with tiny streams of data of only 0.2Mbps.

 

The Virgin Media Hub 3 has others problems but is a example of a Puma 6  gateway.