Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Charles Cerino of Comcast Named New President of MoCA

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), which promotes the distribution of digital video and entertainment through
existing coaxial cable in the home, named Charles Cerino as its new president.

Cerino is currently vice president of new media development at Comcast
Corporation, where he evaluates new technologies and how best
to incorporate their value into the network. He joined Comcast in 1978 as a system engineer helping to build a cable infrastructure in the Philadelphia suburbs.


Veraz Enhances Media Gateway for Wireless Networks

Veraz Networks released an updated version of its I--Gate 4000 PRO media gateway that enables operators to optimize available bandwidth in wireless networks utilizing the major wireless industry codecs.

The I-Gate 4000 PRO is 80% more dense than its predecessor and enables 16,800 concurrent VoIP calls per chassis, or over 100,000 concurrent calls in four square feet of floor space, helping to optimize large switch site operations in fast growing wireless core networks.

The I-Gate 4000 PRO, which is Veraz's flagship media gateway product, leverages the company's in-house DSP technology to enable voice quality at compression rates of up to 12 to 1. The gateway is designed for non-blocking and failsafe switching. Additionally, the I-Gate 4000 PRO includes support for compressed TDM WAN interfaces enabling direct connection to carrier transport networks including SONET or SDH networks without the need for routers at each gateway site. The I-Gate 4000 PRO also adds support for enhanced security features such as an integrated firewall and IPsec VPN, and support for ITU Q.50, a critical protocol for legacy switch replacement.

  • Earlier this month, Veraz Networks announced the latest release of its ControlSwitch Interconnect, designed to help service providers migrate Intelligent Network (IN) service platforms as well as PSTN transport and peering signaling to IP. Additionally, advanced Quality of Service (QoS) routing improves revenue assurance through the enforcement of network-wide agreements.

Verizon Business Expands Global Audio-Conferencing Access

Verizon Business has added more country and local city access points to its audio-conferencing services, including new locations in Latin America and Eastern Europe. These are in addition to city access points recently rolled out in France and the U.K.

In addition, Verizon Business has also announced direct IP Access to its Instant Meeting audio conferencing services for Verizon Private IP customers.

Telefónica Germany Selects Ericsson's DWDM

Telefónica has selected Ericsson for a new nationwide optical backbone in Germany. The rollout of the network has already started. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Agilent to Acquire Adaptif Photonics

Agilent Technologies agreed to acquire Adaptif Photonics GmbH, which specializes in advanced polarization analysis and control for the test of optical components and systems, for an undisclosed sum. Adaptif is a privately-held company based in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded in 2002.

Agilent said Adaptif's technology and intellectual property will enhance its instrument portfolio for fiber-optic test. Specifically, Adaptif's technology will help customers obtain insight into their optical components and high-speed optical network designs.

Adaptif has a close association with the optical center of expertise at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg and has developed extensive intellectual property in optical-measurement product development.


Spirent Launches New Testing Architecture

Spirent Communications introduced its Inspire Architecture, a new testing architecture, in concert with the launch of its Spirent TestCenter 2.0 testing platform.

Spirent said it aims to help network equipment manufacturers and service providers to significantly improve their testing productivity through the automation of test scripts and test cases, thereby accelerating time-to-market and reducing operating and capital expenses.

More than 60 customers are beta testing Spirent TestCenter 2.0. Spirent TestCenter 1.0 is used by more than 220 customers in labs and development environments throughout the world.

Spirent's Inspire Architecture leverages capabilities of existing test systems to deliver a converged test platform built for scalability, accuracy, density, automation and speed. Key components include:

  • Extreme Automation - customers can automate test scripts and test cases for a 40 percent increase in the speed of execution of tests.

  • HyperFilters - new technology that saves time in defining and troubleshooting tests by allowing users to quickly identify, organize, view and analyze received frames by header fields (MAC address, IP address, VLAN tag, MPLS tag, or any other field).

  • RealTime Control -- test engineers can modify traffic headers, traffic rates and size on the fly, revealing results such as real time packet loss to deliver more effective testing. Customers also can capture and debug live traffic while tests are running.

  • Scalability - more concurrent users can share a system to run more tests; multi-threading allows more ports, streams and protocol sessions to run simultaneously on the system.

For Carrier Ethernet equipment and service planning, Spirent TestCenter's Inspire Architecture analyzer allows real-time measurement and reporting of packet delay, delay variation, loss, and re-sequencing and more than a dozen other critical metrics for up to 65,535 EVCs per port, thus allowing validation of hard QoS performance in the lab. It can be used to validate Ethernet service scale in the lab, including end-to-end QoS and SLS adherence, or bridged Ethernet or VPLS functionality and scalability. It can also be used to provide a real-time packet delay variation (also known as "jitter") measurement as recommended by the Metro Ethernet Forum.

Additional applications for the Spirent Test Center include Broadband Access, IPTV and Video, Metro/Core Routing, QoS, and Switch Testing.


EZchip Announces 100-Gigabit Network Processor With Integrated TM

EZchip Technologies disclosed information on its upcoming NP-4 network processor, which is now in design in a 65 nanometer silicon process and scheduled to sample in 2008. The main highlights of the single-chip NP-4 will include:

  • 100-Gigabit throughput for building 20-Gigabit, 40-Gigabit and 100-Gigabit line cards for Carrier Ethernet Switches and Routers (CESR).

  • Integrated traffic management providing granular bandwidth control to enable the delivery of triple-play services in Ethernet networks.

  • Integrated 100-Gigabit, eight 10-Gigabit and 24 1-Gigabit Ethernet serial ports.

  • Integrated Fabric Interface Chip (FIC) for direct connection to Ethernet switches that are used as switch fabrics while providing system-wide Quality of Service (QoS).

  • Utilizes external memory chips based on low cost and power DRAM technology.

  • Operations, Administration and Management (OAM) processing offload.

  • Software compatible with EZchip's present NP-2 and NP-3 network processors.

EZchip said its NP-4 will enable direct connection from the line card to Ethernet-based switching fabric through a unique integration of the functionality typically provided by a separate fabric interface chip. It provides control over traffic arbitration and scheduling from all the line cards in the system across the switch fabric, to provide end-to-end system-wide QoS. This allows system vendors to utilize low-cost Ethernet switches as their fabric solution and eliminate the fabric interface chip from their line cards. The result is significant reduction in line card and overall system cost. http://www.ezchip.com

Motorola Lands First Design Win for MicroTCA Platform

Motorola announced the industry's first design win based on the MicroTCA specification for communications computing applications.

MicroTCA is a specification managed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG), also the driving force behind AdvancedTCA and Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AdvancedMC) specifications. It uses the hot-swap and switch fabric capabilities within the AdvancedMC specification to define a modular scaleable computing platform that is cost-effective and can also address applications that require up to 5NINES service availability.

Hypercom Corp., which specializes in high security electronic transaction solutions, will integrate Motorola's Centellis 1000 series communications server into transaction network products that will be used to transport point-of-sale (POS) transactions globally.

Motorola said the use of the Centellis 1000 series for the high security transport of electronic payments marks a new application for the MicroTCA standard.


SiGe Semiconductor Raises $20 Million in Funding

SiGe Semiconductor, which develops RF front-end solutions for next-generation wireless systems, raised US $20 million in an expansion round of financing. Samsung Ventures, the US-based venture capital investment arm for Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), joins as a strategic investor participating in this round. Additional investors include 3i Venture Capital, Prism VentureWorks, TD Capital Ventures, VenGrowth Private Equity Partners, RWI Ventures and GrowthWorks.

SiGe Semiconductor is targeting an expansion in of product lines supporting the Wi-Fi, WiMAX and GPS markets. Its portfolio includes Wi-Fi power amplifiers and front-end modules, GPS receivers and WiMAX transceivers. The company said its revenues increased more than 50 percent in 2006 to $49.4 million from $31.8 million in 2005. The company has shipped more than 160 million integrated circuits to customers and partners including Arris Interactive, Askey, Broadcom, Centrality, CSR, DeLorme, Furuno, Garmin, Gemtek, Mitsumi, Nintendo, Samsung, Tecom, Tyco, and USI.

Motorola Debuts Dual Core AdvancedMC Module at <$2K

Motorola introduced an AdvancedMezzanine Card (AMC) designed to serve as a low-power, plug-in board for MicroTCA and AdvancedTCA systems for telecom applications. Other target markets include network-centric warfare, digital security surveillance, medical imaging and industrial automation.

The PrAMC-7210 is a full-size AMC based on based on the Intel Core 2 Duo processor core and Intel 3100 server-class chipset. It offers up to 4GB double data rate (DDR2) SDRAM with error checking and correcting (ECC) running at 400 MHz and on board flash disk. One x8 lane PCI Express link supports auto-negotiation to lower lane-widths and port bifurcation. Combined with two Gigabit Ethernet links, these standard interfaces enable developers to interface to a wide variety of high performance modules as required by their applications. Two SATA links enable high-speed serial communication with hard disks drives for flexible storage configurations.

This latest addition to Motorola's embedded communications computing portfolio has already been verified in Motorola's Centellis 1000 series MicroTCA communications server. A mid-size version, the PrAMC-7211, is also available. Mid-size modules are more suited to use in ATCA environments.


Motorola to Cut Additional 4,000 Positions

Motorola announced that its previously announced workforce reduction of 3,500 will be completed on schedule by June 30 and the company is on target to achieve the $400 million in annualized cost savings that it forecast in January. In addition, Motorola aims to achieve another $600 million in annualized cost savings in 2008 through a combination of an additional workforce reduction of approximately 4,000, prioritization of investments, continuing discretionary-spending controls, general and administrative expenses and site rationalization.


Time Warner Telecom Builds 63-Site IP VPN for NCI Building Systems

Time Warner Telecom is providing a 63-site IP VPN and voice services solution for Houston-based NCI Building Systems Inc., the largest integrated provider of pre-engineered metal building systems, components and metal coating applications in the U.S. The $3 million contract covers the design, fabrication and installation operations at the 63 sites across the country. A 100 Mbps connection between NCI's Houston and Dallas data centers facilitates application synchronization ensuring business continuity.


Sony Unveils Whole House HD Video System via Cat5

Sony Electronics introduced a single-box solution system for distributing high definition video throughout a home via a single Cat5e wire per zone. The CAV- CVS12ES is designed to distribute up to 12 source components. It incorporates eight HD component video inputs (up to 1080p) and four composite video inputs with up-conversion for flexible device connectivity.

High definition video content is delivered to up to 12 zones through CAT5e wiring, which is fed into a component adapter connected to the display. The system also features IR and RS-232. It will be available in September with a list price of $2,700. The CAV-CVB1 Cat5e to component box will also be available in September at a list price of $129.


TiVo Subscriptions at 4.3 Million

For its first fiscal quarter ended 30-April-2007, TiVo reported net income of $835 thousand and net income per share of $0.01, compared to a net loss of ($10.7) million, or ($0.13) per share, for the first quarter of last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.7 million, compared to an Adjusted EBITDA loss of ($6.9) million in the year-ago period. Service revenues were $54.2 million, compared to the year ago quarter when service revenues were $47.0 million. Service and technology revenues were $58.1 million, compared with $55.0 million for the same period last year.

  • Overall, TiVo-Owned subscriptions increased slightly to 1.7 million from 1.5 million in the year ago-period.

  • TiVo-Owned subscription gross additions for the first quarter were 57,000, compared to 91,000 gross additions for the year-ago period.

  • Cumulative total subscriptions as of January 31, 2007 were 4.3 million.

  • The monthly churn rate was 1.1% compared to 0.9% in the year-ago period and down from 1.2% in the prior quarter.

  • There was a net decline in DIRECTV TiVo subscriptions during the period as DIRECTV is no longer deploying new TiVo boxes.

  • Amazon Unbox on TiVo now has about 10,000 titles available to TiVo subscribers.

  • TiVo is reducing hardware subsidies and moving toward an advertising-centric approach.

  • A lower-priced, mass appeal High Definition TiVO unit is expected to be available later this year.

Apple TV to Add YouTube

Beginning in mid-June, Apple TV will wirelessly stream videos directly from YouTube and play them on a user's widescreen TV. The company also announced plans to offer a 160GB hard drive with its Apple TV box -- four times the current storage capacity and sufficient for up to 200 hours of video, 36,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each.