back to article Intel's buggy Puma 6 chipset earns Arris a gigabit-modem lawsuit

Cable modem maker Arris is facing a class-action suit in America over its handling of a lag-prone line of cable modems. The complaint, filed in the Northern California District Court, accuses the vendor of violating four consumer protection laws and seeks relief for folks in the Golden State who purchased an Arris SURFboard …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Danger for Chipzilla?

    While Arris is facing the music now, why isn't Chipzilla in someone's crosshairs? Chipzilla made the dodgy silicon not Arris.

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: Danger for Chipzilla?

      Not sure on US law, but in the UK, the contract of sale is between the consumer and the vendor. The fact the vendor is a victim of crap products from a supplier isn't part of the contract of sale.

      Under UK law, the Sale of Goods act would be applicable and it sounds like the modem would fail under the premise of being "fit for a given purpose" and the buyer should return to point of sale for a full refund.

    2. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Danger for Chipzilla?

      Yes, Intel are ultimately to blame. But if Arris had done proper QA and testing the device would never have been greenlit for release to manufacture. Unless they DID know about it but hoped no one would notice or care which is even worse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Danger for Chipzilla?

        VM certainly knew. Look at the forum. It was flagged up as in issue during the community testing of the Hub 3. What did VM do about it ?? A big fat zero. Just carried on with the rollout.

        Leaving those signing up with the "gaming" package wondering exactly what they've got that helps their gaming, rather than hindering it.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Arris opted for a chipset from Intel's rival Broadcom in its latest gigabit cable modem"

    Arris make the boxes.

    Who knew?

    So the suit is saying it's their fault for not co-ordinating a fix roll out off of Intel's under performing hardware.

    Which seems a rather limiting view of the plaintiffs lawyers given the root cause is Intel's silicon can't get it up.

    1. cyberdemon

      Re: "Arris opted for a chipset from Intel's rival Broadcom in its latest gigabit cable modem"

      All that needs to happen is for Arris to file a claim against Intel, for the damages it had to pay out under the class action, its costs for defending the suit, plus additional damages to its reputation. The judge in THAT case would be making the call as to whether Intel's shit silicon was Arris' responsibility.

      IANAL, but I suspect Arris would have a good case!

      1. Sir Sham Cad

        Re: I suspect Arris would have a good case

        I think the issue here is, if I've read the article correctly, that unlike other manufacturers who used the shit Intel chipset, Arris have not properly addressed the issue via firmware corrections and have basically done a half arsed job and, internally, said "right, let's not use Intel for the next box, all sorted."

        As with you, IANAL, but I suspect that whilst Arris would likely have a good case against Intel it would be limited to initial reputational damage and the costs of developing and issuing a fix. That said, this is America and, frankly, who the hell knows how it would be dealt with this week.

  3. Natalie Gritpants

    Any more details on the Puma 6 problem?

    I worked on the docsis demod part of puma7, it was a complete redesign so have no idea about bugs in 6 or 7, my contract ended at RTL delivery and these things have a massive firmware component to go which may or may not be common. If it's a hardware problem the fix is to send out new modems with new ASICs in them. Am now working on fixed wireless broadband and it uses FPGAs, more expensive per unit but you can update in the field (much cheaper than sending someone up a high tower with a new box).

    1. jamesb2147

      Re: Any more details on the Puma 6 problem?

      Google the DSLReports thread(s) on Puma 6. They're by far the most detailed accounting I've seen of the issue, detailing steps to replicate and measure the bugs' effects and tools to use every step of the way. They also have the latest status on firmware which, IIRC, does significantly better than early releases.

  4. kend1

    Under this article there is a "More" link with a Puma tag, Please add this article to the list?

  5. Michael Sanders

    complete non compete

    Didn't we all learn on this very website about the dodgy Intel non-disclosure agreements? They probably couldn't say anything. In any case, Intel is making some serious mistakes and missteps these days. Even worse ones than Arris doing absolutely no testing or not caring.

  6. earl grey Silver badge

    lawyer: I just made a bazillion bucks

    And here's a fiver toward your new modem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lawyer: I just made a bazillion bucks

      It's never not funny when you think that most of these class action lawsuits are nothing more than a money vehicle for large law firms. When all is said and done, plaintiffs can expect a whopping great payout of $.75, if they are lucky. Perhaps the core plaintiff makes off with some larger bucks and big smiles from their new pals at the Dewey, Cheetum, & Howe Law Firm.

      Here's a tip, just use the cable modem that your ISP gave you. There are no secret tricks to getting proper bandwidth, aside from moving to somewhere other than the US, where broadband is generally a shit, joke, overpriced, low bandwidth, mess controlled by the supreme gatekeepers who complain so loudly about that nasty Network Neutrality, yet can't control their own quality or lapses of privacy against their customers. The day is coming when we can also cut the ISP cord. I can make a mesh. You can make a mesh. A mesh here, a little mesh there, mesh, mesh, everywhere. Who's going to stop us?

      1. kain preacher

        Re: lawyer: I just made a bazillion bucks

        "Here's a tip, just use the cable modem that your ISP gave you."

        That's a lovely sentiment but when I had medicom cable service I had no access to the cable modem unless I paid $5 a month and then they wanted another $5 to turn on wi fi. A fee to change the wi fi password if I forgot it. A fee to change the name of the wi fi network if wanted to change the network name. If I used their cable modem I would of been using a device on my network that I had no control of. So I bought my own cable modem .Thank god Google decided to offer fiber in my town and then over night ATT rolled out fiber to the prem. I went from 100mb/s to 1000 for the same price and a network device I have control over now.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: lawyer: I just made a bazillion bucks

        Here's a tip, just use the cable modem that your ISP gave you. There are no secret tricks to getting proper bandwidth, aside from moving to somewhere other than the US....

        You mean like in UK where with VM you do NOT have a choice? You can only use their supplied cable modem which if you're unlucky could be Arris based on Puma 6.

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