Thursday, November 9, 2017

Qualcomm unveils its 10nm Centriq 2400 server processor

Qualcomm introduced its Centriq 2400 10nm server processor designed to bring greater efficiencies to data centers.

The new processor, which was developed by the Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies (QDT) team over a five-year period, is based on the Qualcomm Falkor CPU, QDT’s own Armv8-based custom CPU core design.

Qualcomm says its Centriq 2400 delivers better performance per watt than competing Intel x86 server processors. According to tests cited by the company, an Intel Xeon Platinum 8176, which has similar performance as the new Centriq 2400 processor, burns over 2.5x as much electricity.

Qualcomm also optimized its design to run cloud software. Key characteristics include:
  • High aggregate throughput performance with high per-thread performance under load
  • A large number of hardware threads that multi-threaded software can fully utilize
  • Quality of service (QoS) features to ensure resources are allocated fairly (i.e., avoiding the ‘noisy neighbor’ issue)
  • High energy efficiency to maximize compute density and reduce operating costs
  • Low acquisition costs
  • Better performance-per-dollar versus Intel’s highest-performance Skylake processor: the 48-core Qualcomm Centriq 2460 processor has a list price of $1,995.
Key applications/workloads for Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processors are expected to include web front end, NoSQL databases, big data analytics, content delivery networks, video and image processing applications, image recognition, health-and life-sciences applications, and software defined NVMe storage farms.

T-Mobile shows off LTE-Advanced powered by Qualcomm

Qualcomm Technologies and T-Mobile held a press event in San Jose, California to demonstrate Gigabit Class LTE on T-Mobile’s network and flagship smartphones powered by Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems.

T-Mobile also confirmed that its LTE Advanced network - powered by carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM – will be expanded from to 920 markets nationwide. It is currently live in 430 of those markets. T-Mobile also unveiled plans to launch License Assisted Access (LAA), another advanced LTE technology which taps into unlicensed spectrum, on small cells this year to further densify the network for even more capacity and speed.

“This is what I’m talking about when I say T-Mobile has America’s best unlimited network and the only one purpose built for unlimited”, said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Not only do we have a nationwide LTE footprint that’s every bit as broad as the Duopoly’s, and the fastest according to multiple third parties -- it also keeps getting faster. Gigabit Class LTE technology is part of the secret sauce behind our success – and why others are struggling under the weight of unlimited – and we’re only continuing to advance with LAA on the horizon.”

“Global momentum for Gigabit Class LTE is continuing to pick up around the world, and we’re delighted thatT-Mobile is planning to deliver gigabit connectivity to millions of consumers in the United States,” said Mike Finley, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm North America and Australia, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


Ciena expands Packet Networking Portfolio

Ciena is expanding its packet networking portfolio with capabilities that put compute power and high-capacity connectivity closer to end users.

Specifically, Ciena is introducing three new edge products and adding more capacity to its 8700 platform. The new features include:

  • Edge Access: the new 3926m is a full-featured, carrier-grade platform for 10GbE service delivery that includes an expansion slot for modules supporting third party Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). It could be used for Ethernet business service demarcation supporting added functions, such as third-party vRouter or vEncryptor services. Also offered is a TDM circuit emulation module to support network modernization efforts. 
  • Edge Access: a new 3928 Service Delivery Switch comprises a cost-effective 10GbE NTE that maintains the carrier-class feature set needed for efficient and reliable service delivery. Dual powered AC and DC variants with extended temperature options are available to address a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. 
  • Edge Aggregation: New 5170 Service Aggregation Switch that enables cost-effective delivery of carrier class 100GbE services direct to the customer premise along with dense 10GbE service aggregation in a compact, 1RU form factor. The 5170 is designed with an x86 server which powers Ciena’s Service Aware Operating System (SAOS) software and its open VNF hosting capabilities. 
  • Edge Aggregation: Adding more than double the capacity to the existing 8700 Packetwave platform in a space- and power-efficient chassis that gives service providers the scale required to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy more packet-based services. This capability is ideal for services of up to 100Gbps in support of enterprise business services, mobile backhaul and data center interconnect. 

Ciena said its SAOS delivers secure, zero-touch provisioning as well as consistent system and service attributes across all Ethernet and MPLS access and aggregation applications. Blue Planet adds multi-vendor service and virtual function orchestration that leverages the power of open, programmable networks.

“It's no secret that supporting the unpredictable bandwidth demands of today’s web-scale world is a priority and challenge for any company that operates a network. By bringing bandwidth closer to the point of end-user demand, our new packet networking capabilities make overcoming that challenge less daunting,” stated Scott McFeely, Senior Vice President, Networking Platforms, Ciena.

Aerohive brings Smarter RF Optimization for Wi-Fi

Aerohive Networks is introducing advanced spectrum analysis capabilities for diagnosing and mitigating network performance issues resulting from RF interference.

Aerohive's advanced spectrum analysis can be used to determine the extent and source of RF interference. Spectrum Intelligence as a troubleshooting feature is complemented by the Aerohive Channel Selection Protocol (ACSP), as a channel-optimization capability.

Aerohive plans to integrate the Spectrum Intelligence feature with other troubleshooting tools and by adding machine learning functionality with the goal of providing integrated diagnostics and optimization capabilities.

Reliance's Global Cloud Xchange plans terabit subsea system

Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), which is a subsidiary of Reliance Communications (RCOM), is launching a “Cloud and Fiber Initiative” featuring a new submarine cable system connecting the most populated areas in the world.

The new "EAGLE express" cable system will avoid the outage-prone Malacca Strait, instead choosing another route that will be the fastest on the market, according to the company. EAGLE will go east from Mumbai via Thailand to Hong Kong, running approximately 7,750 km with landing points in Singapore and other branching units delivering high-speed capacity to and from its India hub.  EAGLE going west will route from Mumbai via the Middle East to Italy with almost 8,900 km of diverse routing and landing points within the Mediterranean and low latency subsea routing from Europe to India and beyond.

The new cable network will be four/six fiber pair systems with an initial design capacity of 12-24Tbps per fiber pair, using next-generation Coherent Submarine Fiber. It will also feature flexible landing station technology and will allow companies to rent and own subsea capacity from speeds of 10 Gbps to several 100s of Gbps between India and key technology centers across Asia, Middle East, and Europe. The anticipated ready-for-service date is late 2020.

Key partnerships are being finalized and vendor selection discussions are underway.


South Atlantic Cable System is now 75% complete

Construction on the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), which is a 40 Tbit/s, 6,165 km cable connecting Angola to Brazil, is now 75% complete. It is expected to enter service in mid 2018.

SACS offers four fibre pairs, with each fibre pair capable of transmitting 100 wavelengths with a bandwidth of 100 Gbit/s, which will connect from Angola to Brazil. SACS is scheduled to be ready for service in mid-2018.

NEC, which is the turn-key contractor for the project, has hired Orange Marine, to commence the deep water laying of the cable.

DOCOMO and Sumitomo Electric test real-time traffic monitoring with 5G

Sumitomo Electric Industries and NTT DOCOMO are looking to 5G to power the real-time collection and delivery of traffic information using high-definition sensors.

Tests, which are being conducted at a course within the Yokohama Works of Sumitomo Electric, use sensors installed along the course and in vehicles.
Traffic information is analyzed in real time and then fed back to drivers and pedestrians.

The vehicles are also equipped with DOCOMO 5G terminals that communicate with DOCOMO 5G base stations at the course.

Sumitomo Electric and DOCOMO will continue to develop their advanced driving-assistance system based on 5G mobile communications.

NGENIX deploys Mellanox Open Ethernet Switch

NGENIX, a subsidiary of Rostelecom, a leading Russian telecom provider, has deployed a 100Gb/s Ethernet Spectrum switch based on the Linux Switchdev driver to support their next generation content distribution network service.

Mellanox said this is the first major deployment of an open Ethernet switch based on the Switchdev driver that has been accepted and is available as open source as part of the Linux kernel. The combination of Mellanox’s high performance and field-proven Spectrum switch systems running an open, standard Linux distribution provides NGENIX with unified Linux interfaces across data center entities, servers and switches alike, with no compromise on performance.

“We were looking for a truly open solution to power our next generation 100GbE network,” said Dmitry Krikov, CTO at NGENIX. “The choice was clear. Not only was the Mellanox Spectrum-based switch the only truly open, Linux kernel-based solution, but also allows us to use a single infrastructure to manage, authorize and monitor our entire network. In addition, it’s proving to be very cost-effective in terms of price-performance.”

Mellanox intros Spectrum-2 200/400 GBE data centre switch

Mellanox Technologies announced the Spectrum-2, a scalable 200 and 400 Gbit/s Open Ethernet switch solution designed to enable increased data centre scalability and lower operational costs through improved power efficiency.

Spectrum-2 also provides enhanced programmability and optimised routing capabilities for building efficient Ethernet-based compute and storage infrastructures.

Mellanox's Spectrum-2 provides leading Ethernet connectivity for up to 16 ports of 400 Gigabit Ethernet, 32 ports of 200 Gigabit Ethernet, 64 ports of 100 Gigabit Ethernet and 128 ports of 50 and 25 Gigabit Ethernet, and offers enhancements including increased flexibility and port density for a range of switch platforms optimised for cloud, hyperscale, enterprise data centre, big data, artificial intelligence, financial and storage applications.

Spectrum-2 is designed to enable IT managers to optimise their network for specific customer requirements. The solution implements a complete set of the network protocols within the switch ASIC efficiently, providing users with the functionality required out-of-box. Additionally, Spectrum-2 includes a flexible parser and packet modifier which can be programmed to process new protocols as they emerge in the future.

Mellanox stated that Spectrum-2 is the first 400/200 Gigabit Ethernet switch to provide adaptive routing and load balancing while guaranteeing zero packet loss and unconditional port performance for predictable network operation. The solution also supports double the data capacity while providing latency of 300 nanoseconds, claimed to be 1.4 times less than alternative offerings. It is designed to provide the foundation for Ethernet storage fabrics for connecting the next generation of Flash based storage platforms.

Mellanox noted that Spectrum-2 extends the capabilities of its first generation Spectrum switch, which is now deployed in thousands of data centres. Spectrum enables IT managers to efficiently implement 10 Gbit/s and higher infrastructures and to economically migrate to 25, 50 and 100 Gbit/s speeds.

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