Tuesday, September 11, 2007

IBM Integrates Multiple RF/Analog Functions on CMOS Chip

IBM introduced a new semiconductor technology -- named CMOS 7RF SOI -- is designed to enable single-chip Radio Frequency (RF) solutions by integrating the multiple RF/analog functions of today's handsets -- such as multi-mode/multi-band RF switches, complex switch biasing networks, and power controllers -- into single-chip solutions for mobile devices.

Single-chip solutions address the need for fully integrated multimedia functionality on low-cost handsets, providing entry-level users in emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America with affordable, power-efficient and high-performance mobile devices.

The 180-nm CMOS 7RF SOI is tailored for RF switch applications that provide a low-cost alternative to solutions based on gallium arsenide (GaAs). The breakthrough technology in SOI can minimize insertion loss and maximize isolation to help avoid issues such as loss of signal or dropped calls, potentially enabling significant cost advantages to mobile handsets.

Initial hardware evaluations have been completed; general availability for design kits is planned for the first half of 2008.

IBM said that as the technology evolves, it could create additional integration opportunities that include filter, power amplifier, power management and receiver/transmitter functions -- the types of integration possibilities that are cost-prohibitive or technically unfeasible with semiconductor technology used in mobile devices today.


Redback Cites 70+ Carriers Deploying SmartEdge 100

Redback Networks announced that more than 70 carrier customers have deployed its SmartEdge 100 multi-service edge router. The platform, which was first introduced in March 2006, is Redback's smallest all-in-one router for data, voice and video services. Typical network applications include a mix of residential and business services for multi-dwelling units, broadband access for small- to medium-size markets, and wireless backhaul routing for mobile operators.



FCC Sets Rules for Digital TV Transition

The FCC adopted rules aimed at ensuring that owners of analog TV sets continue to be able to view their local broadcast television stations after the transition to digital television occurs on February 17, 2009.

Approximately 35 percent of all television homes in the U.S., or approximately 40 million households, are analog-only cable subscribers. This means about 98 million TV viewers are watching roughly 120 million analog TV sets.

By statute, cable operators must make local broadcasters' primary video and program-related material viewable by all of their subscribers.

The FCC's new ruling allows cable operators to comply with the viewability requirement by choosing to either: (1) carry the digital signal in analog format, or (2) carry the signal only in digital format, provided that all subscribers have the necessary equipment to view the broadcast content. The viewability requirements extend to February 2012 with the FCC committing to review them during the last year of this period in light of the state of technology and the marketplace.

In addition, a cable system with activated channel capacity of 552 megahertz or less may request a waiver of the viewability requirements. The Commission is also seeking comment in a Further Notice on ways to minimize any economic impact on small cable operators while still complying with the statutory requirements for carriage of local TV stations.


FCC Adopts Rules to Ensure Competition in Video Distribution Market

The FCC extended existing rules to ensure that competitive multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) continue to have access to essential programming. The Report & Order extends the ban of exclusive contracts between vertically integrated programmers and cable operators to October 5, 2012.

The FCC defines a vertically integrated programmer as one that is affiliated with a cable operator or other covered MVPD's. This ban had already been in place and was set to expire October 5, 2007.

The FCC noted that vertically integrated programmers still have the ability and the incentive to favor the operators with whom they are affiliated over other competitive providers. Ensuring that competitive MVPDs have access to cable affiliated programming remains necessary for viable competition in the video distribution market.


BT to acquire INS, a Belgian Integrator

BT agreed to acquire INS Group S.A., a Belgium-based network and systems integrator. The acquisition will strengthen BT's operations in the Benelux and enhance BT's position in the global LAN and IP telephone services market.

INS is headquartered in Brussels and employs over 225 professionals across Benelux, France, Germany, US, India and Australia.


Russia's VimpelCom to Build Joint Venture GSM Network in Vietnam

VimpelCom, which operates mobile networks in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, executed a Principal Agreement to establish a mobile telecommunications joint venture in Vietnam under the name of GTel Mobile. VimpelCom expects to invest up to $1 billion over the next several years in the development of a GSM mobile network and provide technical and operational expertise to the joint venture.

The other participants in the joint venture will be a company owned by the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam and Millennium Global Solutions Group, Inc., a U.S. company. In accordance with Vietnamese investment laws, VimpelCom will own a minority voting stake in the joint venture.

  • As of March 31, 2007, VimpelCom's total number of subscribers in Russia and the CIS was 56.8 million (45.8 million of them are active, including 38.6 million in Russia, 3.5 million in Kazakhstan and 2.0 million in Ukraine).

Broadcom Debuts Smaller Wi-Fi Chip

Broadcom announced a new low cost single-chip wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that has a 40 percent smaller footprint and consumes half the power of previous Broadcom solutions while offering the industry's lowest "rest of bill-of-material" (RBOM) costs and delivering the same superior performance of previous solutions.

The new BroadcomBCM4312 chip integrates an 802.11 MAC, baseband processor, and a dual-band radio (2.4 and 5 GHz) onto a single silicon die. The chip is optimized for single-band or dual-band use, making it an ideal solution for adding Wi-Fi to a variety of devices, including notebook PCs, broadband gateways and gaming platforms.

Broadcom also introduced a reference design that combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on a standard mini-card. Combining wireless technologies onto a single module reduces the number of card slots required for wireless subsystems in smaller notebook platforms.


Avail Media Acquires ViewNow for VOD Services

Avail Media, which provides IPTV and advanced media services to broadband operators, has acquired ViewNow, a supplier of Video On Demand programming (VOD). The acquisition includes ViewNow's customer base and agreements with major studios, including Buena Vista/Disney, Dream Works, Lions Gate Films, NBC/Universal, New Line Cinema, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. The deal also includes ViewNow's ViewTrak tracking system and will allow Avail Media to drive VOD and combined linear/VOD services deeper into the entertainment marketplace.

Avail said the deal enables it to be a single source provider for live and on-demand programming.

Avail Media is currently serving more than 40 customers.


http://www.viewnow.tvEarlier this year, Avail Media secured $17 million in Series-B venture financing in a round co-led by Washington, DC area venture firms Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Columbia Capital. Avail Media is led by CEO Ramu Potarazu who prior to joining the company, was CEO of Broadstream Communications and COO of Intelsat.

Mformation Enhances Mobile Device Management for Enterprises

Mformation Technologies introduced an enhanced version of its mobile device management environment that gives enterprise IT managers direct control of employee mobile handsets under an operator contract

Mformation's Enterprise Manager provides a number of benefits to operators and enterprises, including the ability to remotely configure, diagnose, update, secure and manage mobile devices and applications directly. At the core of Mformation's MDM solution is a carrier-grade over-the-air (OTA) server that incorporates support for multiple device management protocols, an automation engine, a reporting engine, customizable alerts and alarms and a sophisticated scheduling engine.

Mformation said its solution works with over 1,200 types of devices and across any operator network, including 2G and 3G GSM/UMTS, 2G and 3G CDMA, and WiFi networks.

Enterprises can choose or change their mobile handsets, handset platforms, and mobile applications and services. Operators can configure the Enterprise Manager with customer-controlled capabilities such as:

  • Rights and views that enable access to specific device management functions for each enterprise customer

  • The unrestricted ability for the enterprise to further define group-level service packages, style sheets and device configuration templates

  • Diagnose device and data service problems on employee's devices in real time, over the air

  • Set up, distribute and update mobile applications and services to the device over the air

  • Configure employees' data devices remotely

  • Maintain an inventory of all deployed devices, their status and their related configuration information

  • Enforce corporate security and access policies

  • Create and enforce corporate and IT policies, from password policies to setting approved and unapproved corporate applications

  • Tailor policies to fit organization roles (e.g., administration) and responsibilities

Mformation's latest Enterprise Manager [5.1] also incorporates a number of significant new security capabilities for controlling mobile devices and the critical data on them. These include features to enforce security policies such as password management, locking/wiping lost or stolen devices and backing up and restoring local device content. Policy management enables IT to shut down individual device features and services such as a camera or Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.


Alcatel-Lucent powers SingTel's mio TV Service

Alcatel-Lucent provided key network integration services for SingTel's recently launched pay TV service, mio TV, which debuted on 20-July-2007.

mio TV is based on a combination of Alcatel-Lucent's services integration solution and the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide a complete services integration solution that brings together the network infrastructure, software platforms and integration skill sets.



Alcatel-Lucent Claims 41% Market Share of Installed DSL

With a total of more than 142 million DSL lines shipped worldwide, Alcatel-Lucent now claims a cumulative market share of 41%, significantly more than triple that of its nearest competitor.

Citing figures from Dell'Oro, the company said it captured a 38% market share in the second quarter of 2007 in IP DSLAM shipments. The second quarter of 2007 represented a record quarter for Alcatel-Lucent's DSL shipments with 9.6 million lines shipped. While shipments were largely driven by Asia Pacific and Europe, regions such as Latin America and North America also showed growth compared to last quarter.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that more than 165 customers are deploying its ISAM product portfolio, including 80% of the top 20 DSL operators in the world.


Microsoft and Sun Expand Strategic Alliance, Including IPTV

Microsoft and Sun Microsystems agreed to enable deployment of Windows Server on Sun x64 systems. Specifically, Sun will offer Windows Server on its x64 hardware and will provide additional utilities and value-added software offerings to server systems carrying Windows Server. Windows Server 2003 will be available on Sun x64 systems within 90 days.

The companies also agreed to work together to ensure that Solaris runs well as a guest on Microsoft virtualization technologies and that Windows Server runs well as a guest on Sun's virtualization technologies.

In addition, Sun and Microsoft will continue to collaborate to advance the worldwide deployment of the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform on Sun servers and storage systems.

The companies said the new agreement builds on the initial cooperation pact initiated in April 2004. Since then, Microsoft and Sun have collaborated on interoperability for Web services, identity management, thin clients, systems management and Windows Server engineering.


  • In July 2007, AT&T selected use Sun Microsystems' servers and modular arrays for its U-verse IPTV service. Specifically, AT&T decided to deploy Sun Fire X4600 servers and Sun StorageTek storage arrays, which will provide access to the U-verse TV Video-on-Demand library.
    The servers and arrays will be rolled out in new deployments of IP-video super hub offices and IP-video hub offices in the AT&T U-verse network. The AT&T solution from Sun will also include Sun Fire X4500 servers, which combine the performance of a four-way Sun x64 server and the highest storage density available.

    AT&T U-verse digital TV offering has chosen Sun for one of world's largest deployments of the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, which includes server and client software.

D-Link Unveils Stackable IPv6 Switch with 10G Uplink

D-Link announced two new additions to its xStack 3600 switch family -- the 24-port DGS-3627 and the 48-port DGS-3650. Both are stackable feature-rich Layer 3 Gigabit switches that offer support for IPv6 routing, and 10-Gigabit copper or fiber connections.

The D-Link xStack DGS-3627 is a 24-port gigabit managed switch with 3 optional 10-Gigabit ports. The D-Link DGS-3650 is a 48-port gigabit managed switch with 2 optional 10Gb ports. The 3600 series supports optional physical stacking up to 12 units or optional 10-Gigabit fiber or 10-Gigabit copper uplinking to additional networked devices.

In addition, the D-Link xStack DGS-3627 and 3650 offer a variety of authentication methods. They support MAC based Access Control (MAC) as well as Web-based Access Control (WAC), which prompts for username and password before allowing network access.

The xStack 3627 and 3650 also incorporate support for Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) protocol.

Commercial availability is expected in October.