Showing posts with label OND. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OND. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Silicon wars heat up in 2018 – Qualcomm at CES

You might not expect the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to be a showcase opportunity for silicon players such as Intel, Qualcomm or NVIDIA. After all, Mobile World Congress 2018 opens in Barcelona in less than 50 days and it is here that we expect to see the latest cellular and Wi-Fi technologies. But the race is on to build new ecosystems for autonomous vehicles, smart cities, connected homes, etc.

In the automotive sector, Qualcomm holds a strategic position with its LTE modems which are currently used in millions of 2018 models from most of the major auto manufacturers. Through its Mobileye acquisition, Intel holds a strong position with next-gen sensors for autonomous vehicle functions. Meanwhile, NVIDIA established an early lead with SoC solutions for the digital dashboards and instrument panels of high-end autos, and this is leading to opportunities to become the silicon platform for the AI-powered cockpits of future autonomous vehicles. All of the silicon players are aiming for this goal.

Many are predicting that AI-powered autonomous vehicles will become “smartphones on wheels” or “rolling data centres.” Some forecasts put the amount of data generated by an autonomous vehicle at upwards of 4 TB per day, which is not hard to imagine if each vehicle is equipped with a dozen HD video cameras and multiple LIDARs, not to mention the data consumption needs of multiple passengers each playing with their own entertainment system.

Qualcomm is making  inroads with Ford and BYD

Qualcomm and Ford are collaborating on the development of advanced connectivity systems for vehicles using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to communicate directly with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription.

C-V2X field validations are expected to begin in 1H 2018 in San Diego, along with additional trials in Detroit.

Qualcomm's first C-V2X chipset is expected to be commercially available the second half of 2018.

Qualcomm and Ford are also working on automotive telematics platforms with integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modems.

Qualcomm also announced a major deal with BYD ( "Build Your Dreams"), the Shenzhen-based manufacturer known for its high volume production of electric automobiles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries, trucks, etc., as well as for having attracted a $230 million investment from Warren Buffet back in 2008. BYD’s stock price has been booming as of late, especially after the Chinese government announced plans to phase out fossil fuel cars in favour of EVs.

Over the next few design cycles the requirements for in-vehicle displays are expected to include the need for sufficient bandwidth to stream high-definition videos onto very high-resolution displays, while supporting audio and video streaming from multiple devices through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. We already see Teslas, Audis, BMWs and many other cars with large digital displays. BYDs electric cars will have to compete.

Under the deal announced this week at CES, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820A Automotive platform will be used for integrated infotainment and digital cluster systems in electric vehicles starting in 2019. The infotainment and digital cluster systems will be integrated into BYD’s single electronic control unit (ECU).

The Snapdragon 820A Automotive platform consists of customized Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) and Qualcomm Adreno GPUs. The platform also supports vehicle sensors, which will be key to computer vision and driver assistance systems. Qualcomm is pursuing this too with its Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine.

“As infotainment systems become more relevant in purchase decisions, it is important that automakers are armed with the industry’s most comprehensive and advanced solutions,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies.”

Qualcomm Mesh Network for Smart Homes

There is a lot of CES buzz around smart speaker systems for the home, headphones and earbuds with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa on-board. Many are interesting products with the potential to keep millions -- and someday billions—of consumers firmly attached to the digital empires of the hyperscale players. At the networking layer, all of these gizmos will rely on robust home networks. Today, most home set-ups include some sort of broadband modem connected to a single WiFi hotspot. That’s not enough, say the vendors! Why not build an in-home mesh with a WiFi repeater in every room?

Qualcomm Technologies is currently working on mesh networking with a number of start-ups, including Cognitive Systems Corp., Origin Wireless and Lunera.

  • Cognitive Systems offers its “Aura” WiFi Motion technology available for any product based on the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform.  Aura’s WiFi Motion software enables advanced motion detection using RF motion algorithms and machine learning.
  • Origin Wireless will be using the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform to further expand their motion-detection, vital sign detection, well-being monitoring and home security software to bring new use cases to their suite of smart home solutions.
  • Lunera, an IoT infrastructure company, will be utilizing the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform to upgrade the connectivity in their newly announced Lunera Ambient Compute software platform, which can connect billions of IoT devices to the cloud. 


Monday, January 15, 2018

Renewed growth in servers and Ethernet switching

There are renewed signs of strength in several key industry segments, including servers and switches.
You might think that all of the action is concentrated in public clouds and that the only vendors benefitting from this shift are white box vendors from Asia. But that is not what the Q3 2017 data shows. Certainly, the public cloud is growing by leaps and bounds and ODMs from China and Taiwan are shipping in ever greater volume.
However, a few of the top name brand server vendors, especially Dell, IBM and Cisco (to a lesser extent) are finding renewed growth beyond the handful of hyperscale public cloud projects. This seems to indicate that large corporate data centers are entering a refresh cycle. Intel continues to dominate this sector. Demand for x86 servers increased 20.4% in 3Q17 with $15.4 billion in revenues. Non-x86 servers grew 15.1% year over year to $1.5 billion.
IDC finds that vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 19.9% year over year to $17.0 billion in 3Q17.
Top 5 Companies, Worldwide Server Vendor Revenue, Market Share, and Growth, Third Quarter of 2017 (Revenues are in Millions)
Company


3Q17 Revenue


3Q17 Market Share


3Q16 Revenue


3Q16 Market Share


3Q17/3Q16 Revenue Growth
1. HPE / New H3C Group


$3,317.4


19.5%


$3,355.4


23.7%


-1.1%
2. Dell Inc


$3,070.4


18.1%


$2,226.7


15.7%


37.9%
3. IBM


$1,093.7


6.4%


$864.4


6.1%


26.5%
3. Cisco


$992.5


5.8%


$928.0


6.6%


6.9%
5. Lenovo


$861.2


5.1%


$985.0


7.0%


-12.6%
ODM Direct


$4,118.7


24.3%


$2,834.5


20.0%


45.3%
Others


$3,528.7


20.8%


$2,965.5


20.9%


19.0%
Total


$16,982.6


100.0%


$14,159.5


100.0%


19.9%
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, November 2017

It is good to see this growth is shared by major geographies. IDC breaks down the growth rate as follows:
Server shipment revenue growth (yoy)
·         Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) +30.6%
·         China +23.9%
·         Japan +8.5%
·         U.S. +19.7%
·         EMEA + 19.5%
·         Canada +14.5%
·         Latin America +2.4%.
Servers require switches, so it is not surprising to see this market segment growing in step with the server shipments.

Dell’Oro Group recently reported that Ethernet Switch – Layer 2+3 market revenue reached an all-time record in 3Q17, posting the highest year-over-year growth in five years. The positive results were driven by both campus switching and data centre switching. Cisco did will with its new Catalyst 9K switches and Intent-based networking paradigm. Arista did exceptionally well as evidenced by its most current quarterly financial report and despite the ongoing legal battle with Cisco.

“We are starting to see signs for recovery in the Campus Switching market,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Softness in campus switching has been weighing on the Ethernet Switch market over the past two years. It has been outweighing strength in Data Center switching until now as Cisco and HPE captured most of the growth in North American and European campus switching markets during the quarter, while Chinese market remained dominated by Huawei and H3C,” stated Boujelbene.

IDC also reported a strong Q3 for the worldwide Ethernet switch market (Layer 2/3). The IDC figures show $6.75 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), an increase of 7.4% year over year.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Broadcom's 12.8 Tbps Tomahawk 3 in perspective

Broadcom describes its Tomahawk 3 as a quantum leap in switch power and cost efficiency for next-gen hyperscale data centres. There are four arguments for this: (1) Tomahawk3 offers scalable forwarding for container networking based on rich tunneling support and support for segment routing (2) Scale-Out, Configurable Load Balancing & Multipathing, which provide traffic load adaptive capabilities in the switch (3) Broadview Gen3 network instrumentation based on in-band telemetry with per-packet timestamping and mirroring (4) 40% reduced Watt/Gbps thanks to the chip’s 16nm geometry.

Broadcom’s BroadView software generates network analytics directly from the switching silicon, providing a way for network telemetry to collected.

Tomahawk3 also brings a high-performance integrated SerDes on chip, specifically, up to 256 x 50G-PAM4/25G-NRZ Dual-Mode SerDes. This enables 50G PAM-4 Based Ethernet Speeds, including 50GbE (1-lane), 100GbE (2-lane), 200GbE (4-lane), and 400GbE (8-lane). High-density port configurations for hyperscale spine switches based on the 12.8 Tbps Tomahawk3 could be:
  •         128 x 100GE
  •         64 x 200GE
  •         32 x 400GE

Broadcom is also offering an 8.0 Tbps version of the Tomahawk3 that could be used for 100G Top-of-rack switches with the following port combinations:
  •         80 x 100GE
  •         48 x 100GE + 8 x 400GE or 16 x 200GE
  •         96 x 50GE + 8 x 400GE or 16 x 200GE


The Broadcom universe

Finally, its worth considering the wide scope of partners and customers in the Broadcom switching ecosystem.



Till this point, pretty much all the major switch OEMs/ODMs are aboard. The big cloud vendors are building their own switches in-house but with Broadcom silicon. If there has been competitive pressure for this type of switch, mostly it would be from manufacturers opting to build switching ASICs in-house rather than rely on Broadcom solution. But there are a few start-ups attempting to enter the market.

Innovium will soon launch a 12.8 Tbps switch

In March 2017, Innovium, a start-up based in San Jose, California and backed by $90 million in venture funding, announced plans for a new line of TERALYNX scalable Ethernet silicon for data centers switches with aggregate capacity options at 12.8Tbps, 9.6Tbps, 6.4Tbps and 3.2Tbps performance points. Though the chips have yet to begin shipping to our knowledge at least, in an updated blog posting this week, Innovium revealed that initial its initial systems will be available in early part of 2018 and that the company expects its customer and partners to disclose further details at that time. Innovium says it has active engagements with leading customers across all categories: Cloud, OEMs & ODMs.

Innovium’s TERALYNX silicon promises support for 10/25/40/50/100/200/400GbE Ethernet standards. It will deliver 128 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 200GbE or 32 ports of 400GbE in a single device.

From the Innovium Ethernet switching silicon spec sheet:
  •         12.8Tbps, 9.6Tbps, 6.4Tbps and 3.2Tbps single chip performance options at packet sizes of 300B or smaller
  •         Single flow performance of 400Gbps at 64B minimum packet size, 4x vs alternatives
  •         70MB of on-chip buffer for superior network quality, fewer packet drops and substantially lower latency compared to off-chip buffering options
  •         Up to 128 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 200GbE or 32 ports of 400GbE, which enable flatter networks for lower Capex and fewer hops
  •         Support for cut-through with best-in-class low latency of less than 350ns
  •         Programmable, feature-rich INNOFLEX forwarding pipeline
  •         Comprehensive layer 2/3 forwarding and flexible tunneling including MPLS
  •         Large table resources with flexible allocation across L2, IPv4 and IPv6
  •         Line-rate, standards-based programmability to add new/custom features and protocols
  •         FLASHLIGHT telemetry and analytics to enable autonomous data center networks
  •         Extensive visibility and telemetry capabilities such as sFlow, FlexMirroring along with highly customizable extra-wide counters
  •         P4-INT in-band telemetry and extensions to dramatically simplify end to end analysis
  •         Advanced analytics enable optimal resource monitoring, utilization and congestion control allowing predictive capabilities and network automation

Innovium was co-founded by Rajiv Khemani, formerly COO of Cavium; Puneet Agarwal, former Senior Director and Distinguished Engineer at Broadcom; and Mohammad Issa, previously VP Engineering at Broadcom. Its investors include Greylock Partners, Walden International, Capricorn Investment Group, S-Cubed Capital, Redline, and Qualcomm Ventures.

Barefoot is shipping a 6.5 Tbps switching chip

Barefoot Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California and backed by over $130 million in venture funding including an investment from Google, is already shipping a 6.5 Tbps version of its “Tofino” user programmable switching silicon. The silicon is designed for user programmability via the open-source P4 programming language.

Barefoot has previously stated that its technology is being adopted by large enterprises and telecommunications providers to increase network performance and efficiency through leveraging programmable forwarding plane technology.

One publicly disclosed example is AT&T, which has tested Barefoot’s Tofino and In-band Network Telemetry (INT) to gain deep insight into the network down to packet-level. Barefoot stated that it has recently worked with AT&T and SnapRoute to deliver what it believes is the first real-time path and latency visualisation.

Earlier this month, Barefoot introduced “Deep Insight” software, which can run on commodity servers and in a network powered by switches based on the "Tofino" programmable switch chip to interpret, analyze and pinpoint packet telemetry. Using stateful baselining of a network's performance, the company says its software automatically filters out irrelevant data, detecting only anomalies at any time scale and with nanosecond resolution. The Deep Insight software can track the sequence of switches the packet visited along its path, the set of rules it matched upon at every switch along the way, the time it spent buffered in every switch, to the nanosecond, and the packets, flows and application that the packet shared each queue with.

Barefoot Networks was co-founded by Nick McKeown, a Stanford professor and co-founder of Nicira (acquired by VMware), Martin Izzard, Pat Bosshart, and Dan Lenoski VP Engineering. In February 2017, Barefoot named Craig Barratt as President and Chief Executive Officer.  Barratt joined Barefoot from Alphabet and Google, where he was Senior Vice President at Google and Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet’s Access business, which includes the Google Fiber broadband internet service. Prior to Google, he served as President of Qualcomm Atheros.

See also