Monday, October 31, 2005

Force10 Debuts 16-port 10GigE Card Priced at $3,600/Port

Force10 Networks has increased the 10 Gigabit Ethernet density of the TeraScale E-Series to an industry-leading 224 ports per system. The density is achieved with the introduction of a 16-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet card, which delivers a per port list price of $3,600. The high density 16-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet card for the TeraScale E1200 and E600 will be generally available December 15, 2005, with a U.S. list price of $57,500. The high density 8-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet card for the TeraScale E300 will be listed at $37,500.

Increasingly, higher capacity servers are generating traffic that is greater than one Gigabit per second, creating a bottleneck between the server and switch. The new Force10 16-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet card enables data center managers to directly connect to high performance servers to guarantee line-rate throughput between the servers and the TeraScale E-Series.

Force10 said the dramatic decline in 10 Gigabit Ethernet port prices has, in large part, driven the increasing adoption of the technology. The company predicts that as the price of a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet port falls below the cost of 10 single Gigabit Ethernet ports, adoption will continue to accelerate.
  • Force10 Networks introduced the industry's first 90-port Gigabit Ethernet line card, increasing the density of its 14-slot TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers to more than 1,260 Gigabit Ethernet ports per chassis.

Fabric7 Debuts High Performance Servers for Fabric Computing

Fabric7 Systems, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, debuted its family of high-performance servers designed for fabric computing. Fabric7 has worked with AMD to develop a new approach to enterprise computing. Its servers leverage the AMD Opteron processor and extend its Direct Connect Architecture with networked I/O and application service resources into a dynamic fabric.

The architecture provides a highly scalable and hardware partitionable symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) complex that can be configured on demand into a flexible network of large or small servers each running Linux or Windows. A large number of QoS-capable Ethernet and Fibre Channel interfaces can be provisioned and bound dynamically to each server.

The company is introducing a high-end Q160 server that features 128 Gbps of non-blocking, switched I/O that provides up to 40 Gbps bandwidth to the processor and memory complex. The switched I/O can be extended across the fabric to provide 30 Gbps between chassis or across sites.

Fabric7 said that by unifying switching with processing in the system architecture it can dramatically improve server-to-server communication performance by removing the overhead and latency inherent in bus-based transactions and traversal of external interfaces. Fabric7 servers can be direct-connected to create a low-latency fabric that extends seamlessly across datacenters.

Fabric7 Systems has raised $32 million in private funding. Fabric7's key investors include New Enterprise Associates, Goldman Sachs, Selby Venture Partners, Vanguard Ventures, Foundation Capital, Sanmina-SCI, and Yasuda Enterprise Development Co., Ltd.
  • Fabric7 is headed by Dr. Sharad Mehrotra, who previously was also the principal Founder, Chairman and CEO of Procket Networks, which developed a high-performance router and raised a total of $272 million in venture funding before being acquired by Cisco Systems.

  • Fabric7's engineering team also includes Nakul Saraiya (Chief Software Architect), who previously was principal engineer at Akamai Technologies; Thomas D. Lovett, who previously was chief architect at Sequent Computer System and later led the development of IBM's 64-bit xSeries servers; and Kuldeep Sandhu, who previously was Executive Vice President of Storage Products at Xiotech Corporation.

BT Acquires Total Network Solution for Outsourced LAN Services

BT has acquired Total Network Solutions Limited (TNS), a provider of outsourced, networked IT services to UK corporate, public sector and service provider customers. Financial terms were not disclosed. Based in Oswestry in Shropshire, the company employs 92 people and had revenues for the year ending 31 December 2004 of £13.9 million. The company had gross assets as at 31 December 2004 of £9.1 million.

NDS Reports Increase Subscribers and Middleware Deployments

NDS Group, which supplies open end-to-end digital technology and services to digital pay-television platform operators and content providers, reported an improvement in profitability resulting from growth in middleware and PVR technologies.

Quarterly revenue was $144.5 million, up 2% year-over-year. Operating income was $35.7 million, up 41% year-over-year, and operating margin was 24.7%.

Some metrics for Q3 compared to a year earlier:

  • Smart card deliveries numbered 5.5 million down from 8.9 million

  • Authorized cards additions were 1.8 million, down from 3.8 million

  • NDS now has delivered 58.5 million authorized cards

  • Middleware deployments for set-top boxes were 6.3 million, up from 0.4 million a year earlier

  • Cumulative set-top boxes now number 26.7 million

  • PVR deployments for set-top boxes were 0.3 million and the number of cumulative set-top boxes is now 1.7 million.

  • New Zealand's SKY Television is upgrading its digital broadcasting system using the latest versions of NDS's end-to-end solutions and has selected NDS PVR solution.

  • SkyLife (Korea Digital Satellite Broadcasting), with 1.8 million subscribers, has selected NDS's XTV technology for an integrated personal video recorder service anticipated to launch in mid-2006.

  • NDS and Philips have announced the production launch of new digital MHP terrestrial receivers.

  • Nickelodeon and NDS are continuing their 6 year relationship by signing a new contract for the ongoing development and delivery of interactive games.

  • Tandberg, Pace Micro Technology and MGt have joined forces with NDS to launch an end-to-end digital pay-TV solution, NDS VideoGuard Express, which is specifically designed for smaller and mid size cable and pay-TV operators.

  • DTH Television Grup, a leading digital satellite pay-TV broadcaster in Romania, currently broadcasting to over 690,000 digital subscribers, has signed a contract with NDS to deploy VideoGuard conditional access on DTH Television Grup's digital pay-TV platform.

Qwest Adds 150,000 DSL Subscribers in Q3

Qwest Communications added 150,000 DSL subscribers in Q3 2005, bringing total lines in service to 1.3 million -- a 12.6% increase sequentially and a 40% increase over the year-ago quarter. The company's mass markets data and Internet revenues increased 8% sequentially and 38% year-over-year. Currently, DSL is available to 75% of Qwest households and 96% of qualified households are able to purchase broadband speeds of 1.5 Mbps or greater.

Financially, Qwest reported third quarter revenue of $3.5 billion, compared to $3.47 billion in the second quarter and $3.45 billion in the third quarter a year ago. This represents the sixth consecutive quarter of stable revenues, as well as continued year-over-year growth in mass markets and business revenues. Some other highlights:

  • Consumer bundle penetration expanded to 50%

  • Long-Distance penetration is at 36%

  • Operating expenses totaled $3.3 billion, a decline of 9 percent or $326 million compared to the third quarter of 2004.

  • Q3 CAPEX totaled $445 million, compared to $418 million in the third quarter of 2004

  • Qwest's wireless subscriber base grew by more than 4,000 in the quarter, bringing total wireless subscribers to 748,000. Revenues remained flat because of promotions and incentives.
    APRU increased 9 percent to $51 from $47 a year ago.

  • Total access lines were down 154,000 in the third quarter, an improvement from a loss of 231,000 lines in the second quarter (excluding the 21,000 UUNet disconnects) and 159,000 lines in the third quarter of last year.

  • Small-business access lines increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. Business retail access lines declined 14,000 in the third quarter, an improvement from year-ago declines and less than half of the loss last quarter.

  • Resold access lines declined 52,000 sequentially. Qwest continued its leadership role in working with wholesale customers by signing commercially negotiated agreements. Approximately 96 percent of the company's UNE-P revenue now comes from customers on commercial Qwest Platform Plus (QPP) contracts.

  • Qwest's DIRECTV customer net additions continued to grow in the third quarter; subscribers currently total more than 95,000. Qwest and DIRECTV's previously announced strategic relationship allows Qwest to offer DIRECTV digital satellite television services to residential customers across the western United States.

Qwest Settles Securities Class Action Suit

Qwest Communications agreed to pay $400 million in cash to settle a securities class action suit. The settlement class will consist of those who purchased Qwest securities between May 24, 1999, and July 28, 2002.

Avaya and SAP Integrate IP in Customer Relationship Management

Avaya has formed a strategic alliance with SAP America to market IP-enabled business applications. The companies will jointly market mySAP Customer Relationship Management with Avaya contact center capabilities. The solution will integrate the multi-channel communications routing and management capabilities of Avaya Interaction Center software with mySAP CRM software. Customer service agents using SAP's market leading CRM solution will have the capability to interact with customers through voice, email, and Web communication through their mySAP CRM console, enabled by Avaya contact center software. The joint solution is expected to be available in North America during Q2 2006.

AT&T to Provide Managed Hosting Services to Microsoft Game Studios

AT&T was awarded a $9.5 million, three-year managed hosting contract from Microsoft Game Studios (MGS) to support various online experiences and the infrastructure for massively multiplayer online role-playing games. The online games include the latest for both Windows and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Riverstone Announces Management Changes

Riverstone Networks announced that Roger A. Barnes, its Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed its Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Michael Overby, who has been the company's Vice President of Finance, has been appointed interim Chief Financial Officer.

Huawei Offers 40Gbps per Wavelength DWDM

Huawei announced 40 Gbps per wavelength capability for its OptiX BWS 1600G and OptiX BWS 1600A DWDM transmission platforms. The Huawei solutions allows both 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps systems to co-exist on the same platform. The company said its 40 Gbps system are suited for long-haul transport networks of global carriers.

Ditech Launches Voice Quality Evaluation Program

Ditech Communications has launched a Voice Quality Evaluation Program that enables carriers to identify and remedy network impairments that affect the sound quality of mobile calls to ensure their subscribers are receiving optimal voice quality.

Ditech's Voice Quality Evaluation Program continually monitors selected areas of a live mobile network to measure acoustic and hybrid echo. Ditech's voice quality experts then work with customer engineering teams to compile a detailed assessment that pinpoints problem areas and make recommendations for network improvement.

DiTech said its program will help carriers to identify how existing voice processing equipment should be reconfigured or upgraded with better hybrid or acoustic echo cancellation capabilities. In addition, the results provide carriers with information that enables them to assess calls coming from their voice transport partners, providing a means to review the quality of the voice calls from other providers.

Microsoft Outlines Windows Live and Office Live Web Services

Microsoft previewed two new Internet-based software initiatives --"Windows Live" and "Microsoft Office Live " -- that will use technologies such as RSS and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) to deliver personalized services online.

Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief technical officer, demonstrated these offerings, along with Xbox Live, saying online services represent a powerful way of enabling customers to more quickly access and benefit from software innovation.

"These new offerings demonstrate how software is evolving through the power of services in ways that enable more dynamic and relevant experiences for people," Bill Gates said. "Our goal is to make Windows, Office and Xbox further come alive for our customers at work, home and play."

Windows Live

Windows Live is a set of personal Internet services and software designed to bring together in one place all of the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with more safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web.

Windows Live beta services:

  • serves as the personalized starting point or portal for Windows Live services.

  • Windows Live Mail is a new, global Web e-mail service. Existing MSN Hotmail users will be able to seamlessly upgrade to the new service. Windows Live Messenger is the next-generation MSN Messenger and will provide instant messaging, file and photo sharing, PC-based calling, and more. Calls to landline and mobile phones will be handled through Microsoft partners. It will also support live, full-screen (640x480) video, with fully synchronized audio. Windows Live Messenger will enter the beta stage later this year.

  • Windows Live Safety Center is a Web site where users can scan for
    and remove viruses from their PC on demand.

  • Windows OneCare Live is a previously announced PC health subscription that helps protect and maintain PCs via an integrated service that includes anti-virus, firewall, PC maintenance, and data
    backup and restore capability.

  • Windows Live Favorites is a service that enables individuals to
    access their Microsoft Internet Explorer and MSN Explorer favorites
    from any PC that's online.

Windows Live will be offered alongside and will primarily be delivered free to users and supported by advertising, but subscription and transaction-based services also will be available. Users will be able to run Windows with or without the Windows Live services.

Microsoft Office Live

Office Live, which is built using Windows SharePoint Services technology, will provide a set of Internet-based collaboration services aimed at the approximately 28 million small businesses worldwide that have fewer than 10 employees. These services can be used independently but also integrate with Microsoft Office programs.

There are multiple Office Live offerings. Office Live Basics helps a small business establish an online Internet presence including a domain name, a Web site with 30 MB of storage and five Web e-mail accounts at no charge through an advertising-supported model.

Office Live also provides a set of subscription-based services with more than 20 business applications to help automate daily business tasks such as project management, sales and collateral management, customer management, expense reports, time and billing management, and secure internal and external collaboration.

Microsoft is making its new live services available to developers to customize, extend and remix. These new services build upon and extend Microsoft's existing developer platform, tools and ecosystem. Windows Live and Office Live will work with Windows through publicly available application programming interfaces (APIs), available for use by the developer and partner community.
  • MSN currently claims 215 million active MSN Hotmail accounts; more than 185 million MSN Messenger contacts worldwide; and over 25 million MSN Spaces created by individuals to share their photos, and blogs.

NTT DoCoMo FOMA Handsets Powered by TI's OMAP

NTT DoCoMo's FOMA 902i series 3G handsets will use Texas Instruments' OMAP2420 application processor. Expected to launch later this year, these handsets will represent the first OMAP 2-based mobile devices on the market.

NTT DoCoMo's new FOMA series will use TI's OMAP 2 "All-in-One" entertainment architecture to deliver the latest in 3G mobile entertainment applications, such as 3D gaming, 3+-megapixel cameras, digital camcorders and TV output.

TI's OMAP2420 stand-alone application processor is the first device in the marketplace to leverage the ARM11 micro-architecture and is TI's second- generation of OMAP processors to use 90 nm technology. The OMAP2420 chip includes an ARM1136JS-F core, a TI programmable audio DSP, a TI imaging and video accelerator (IVA), an Imagination Technologies 2D/3D graphics accelerator offering up to 2 million polygons per second, integrated camera interface, "M-Shield" hardware-based security solution and more. The OMAP2420 processor is production ready now and phones are expected to ship before the end of the year.

NTT DoCoMo has more than 15 million 3G subscribers in Japan. TI's OMAP family of application processors has been used by NTT DoCoMo's handset partners for three consecutive years for NTT DoCoMo's FOMA 3G series of mobile phones. To date, TI's OMAP application processors are used in the vast majority of NTT DoCoMo's 3G FOMA handsets today, with this latest 3G collaboration building upon the long-standing relationship between TI and NTT DoCoMo. These are the first OMAP 2-based handsets available on the market and additional OMAP 2- based FOMA phones are expected to follow.

Dr. William O. Baker, 1915 - 2005, Led Bell Labs through Golden Age

Lucent Technologies' announced that Dr. William O. Baker, Bell Labs president from 1973 to 1979, died yesterday in Chatham, New Jersey. He was 90.

After receiving his doctorate in chemistry from Princeton University in the summer of 1938 Dr. Baker joined Bell Labs the following May as a member of technical staff. He became Head of the Polymer Research and Development Department at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1948. From 1951 to 1955, he was Assistant Director of Chemical and Metallurgical Research. Dr. Baker became Vice President of Research in 1955, after a short period as Director of Physical Sciences Research. He was elected President of Bell Labs in 1973 and served until 1979.

In his early research Dr. Baker focused on the development and application of polymer chemistry, resulting in crucial advancement in the development of synthetic rubber, a ubiquitous substance found throughout the world today in everything from shoes to tires. During his career, Dr. Baker was granted eleven patents for this work.

Dr. Baker was honored with the Presidential Medal of Science, the Presidential National Security Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marconi International Fellowship Foundation, 27 honorary doctorates, and numerous professional awards from such organizations as the American Chemical Society, the Franklin Institute's Fahrney Medal, the American Institute of Chemists, the National Science Foundation, and the Materials Research Society. Dr. Baker was the first person to hold membership in all three of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

RadioShack to Market Comcast Services, $20 HSD Intro Offer

Comcast will begin marketing its services through more than 1,800 RadioShack retail locations. Until December 31, customers who sign up for Comcast High-Speed Internet through RadioShack will receive the flagship 6Mbps Internet service for $19.99 for the first six months. They will also receive a free self-install kit, with a mail-in rebate and a free cable modem. Customers

Friendster and Grouper Target P2P Personal Media File Sharing

Friendster, a leading online community site, and Grouper Networks, a new venture launched by the founders of Spinner (now AOL Radio), announced a partnership that will allow Friendster users to share unlimited personal media files with each other using Grouper's personal sharing network.

Grouper, which leverages a distributed computing platform, enables people to share personally-created media like video and photos to the audience of their choice -- friends, family or the general public.

Friendster, the leading social networking site, provides users a built-in audience for their media -- millions of photos and thousands of videos are updated, viewed and forwarded on Friendster every day.

"Peer-to-Peer is one of those disruptive technologies, like social networking, that just changes the game. Yesterday, the game was about sharing 10 or 20 photos. Today, it's about what you can create -- there are no limits," said Taek Kwon, CEO, Friendster.