Monday, October 15, 2007

Octasic Announces "Vocallo" Multi-Core Media Gateway DSP

Octasic introduced its "Vocallo" next generation, multi-core gateway DSP platform for voice, video and data over IP applications. The device, which is aimed at current and future media gateways, enables a flexible business model for OEMs designing media gateways. This business model enables an OEM to design a cost-reduced gateway to handle today's VoIP needs with licensable performance to accommodate future applications. This allows OEMs to defer the costs of additional performance capacity until they deliver and charge for an application that requires it.

Vocallo is based on Opus, Octasic's unique DSP core architecture, which offers a high performance-to-power ratio and a traditional programming model. Vocallo's Echo Cancellation and Voice Quality Enhancement (VQE) features use Octasic's carrier-approved algorithms. To maintain pristine voice quality in the latest standards, Vocallo is built on a packet-based software architecture designed to support wideband voice traffic and process media connections with minimum latency.

Octasic Announces Clock-less DSP Core Architecture

Octasic announced its Opus DSP architecture promising greater processing power and lower power consumption.

Whereas other new DSP architectures deliver better power efficiency but break the traditional programming model, Octasic said its new asynchronous Opus architecture maintains a traditional programming model preserving customers' investment in applications and skill set. The ability to achieve 3 times more performance per watt than current designs enables developers to leverage a multi-core DSP architecture without re-writing code. The Opus kernel and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provide tools to help develop, test, and debug software.

"While the DSP core construction is clock-less, to the programmer it presents a traditional processing model. This is important to allow today's DSP programmers to take full advantage of its capabilities without having to be retrained to re-write and re-partition existing applications," said Doug Morrissey, Octasic CTO.

Octasic's new Vocallo multi-core media gateway DSP is the first Octasic product based on the Opus core.

Motorola Introduces High Performance AdvancedTCA Processing Blades

Motorola announced its latest high performance AdvancedTCA (ATCA) processing blade featuring two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors LV, up to 32GB main memory and flexible on-board mass storage options. The blade is aimed at high-performance telecom server applications such as in-memory database and file servers, as well as increasing density for existing control plane applications such as IMS, soft switching and signaling

On-board mass storage options include two hot swappable drive bays for SAS or extended temperature SATA hard drives. RAID 0/1 support is offered for increased disk performance or data mirroring if required. The Motorola ATCA-7150 is designed for NEBS and ETSI compliance and can be configured with a variety of software offerings, from firmware-only to fully integrated and verified software operating environments.

Motorola also announced a new 10Gbps ATCA processor blade that features the Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7400 running at 2.16 GHz, and supported by up to 16GB DDR2 memory, two AMC sites, and 10 Gbps Ethernet interfaces for high performance and high throughput. The two hot-swappable AdvancedMC sites provide the flexibility for additional processing accelerators, on-board mass storage options, clocking, security processing or I/O capabilities. An optional rear transition module (RTM) provides further network and storage interfaces and a further on-board hard disk.

Designed for NEBS and ETSI compliance, Motorola's ATCA-7301 targets a range of next-generation network deployments, including wireless broadband (3G LTE and WiMAX), IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and IPTV.

Cavium's OCTEON Plus Breaks the 1 Watt per Core Barrier

Cavium Networks introduced the newest addition to its OCTEON Multi-core MIPS64 Processor family: the OCTEON Plus CN58XX Low-Power (LP) 4-core to 16-core processors. The new design incorporates power management techniques and process optimizations, enabling the power of 16x MIPS64 cores while consuming less than 1 Watt per core.

The OCTEON Plus CN58XX LP Processor family consists of 6 different software-compatible parts combining 4 to 16x cnMIPS Plus cores at up to 600MHz, 2MB of L2 cache, advanced hardware acceleration for packet processing, QoS, TCP, compression decompression, security, and pattern matching along with integrated 10G and 1G networking interfaces in a tightly integrated SOC.

OCTEON Plus CN58XX LP processors are socket and feature compatible with Cavium's existing CN38XX and CN58XX family of processors. A variety of 4, 8, 12, and 16-core LP versions are available with under 16W maximum core power consumption, making it ideal for multi-gigabit to 10-gigabit low-power designs.

AT&T Offers 1 Gbps Optical Mesh Service

AT&T announced a 1 Gbps speed option for its AT&T Optical Mesh Service, which allows customers to reallocate bandwidth as needed by increasing or decreasing network capacity in near real time. Customers also can build and self-administer their own SONET networks using the AT&T "BusinessDirect" customer portal.

AT&T Optical Mesh Service is currently available in 275 locations nationwide.

Microsoft Releases its Next Gen Unified Communications

Bill Gates introduced Microsoft's next generation of unified communications software, predicting that impact of converged communications may be as significant as the adoption of graphical user interfaces.

"In the next decade, sweeping technology innovations driven by the power of software will transform communications," Gates said.

At a media event in San Francisco, Gates and fellow Microsoft executives launched unified communications and VoIP software that includes the following:

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Software that delivers VoIP, video, instant messaging, conferencing and presence within the applications people already know and use such as Microsoft Office system applications and upcoming versions of Microsoft Dynamics ERP products and the Microsoft CRM release due later this year.

  • Microsoft Communicator 2007 -- client software for phone, instant messaging and video communications that works across the PC, mobile phone and Web browser

  • Microsoft Office Live Meeting -- the next version of Microsoft's conferencing service that enables workers to conduct meetings, share documents, utilize video and record discussions from virtually any computer

  • Microsoft RoundTable -- a conferencing phone with a 360-degree camera that captures a panoramic view of meeting participants, tracks the speaker and can record meetings

  • Service pack update of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, providing an e-mail, voice mail, calendaring and unified messaging platform.

More than 50 partners joined Microsoft to announce new products and services built on Microsoft's unified communications platform.

Microsoft also unveiled Unified Communications Open Interoperability, a telephony system qualification program, to give customers the assurance that Microsoft unified communications software works with their telephony systems.

Verizon Business Expands Global Ethernet Capabilities

Verizon Business announced the expansion of Ethernet service worldwide. Verizon Business Ethernet access is now available in almost 40 countries worldwide -- nearly double the availability since the start of 2007.

Ethernet Access to Verizon Private IP has been extended to Canada and Latin America, and European availability has been enhanced. In Latin America, access is now available to Verizon Business customers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Columbia; and in Europe to customers in the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia.

GigE is now available in select countries in Europe and Asia Pacific, providing granular access to Verizon's IP and Private IP Services from 1 Mbps all the way to 1,000 Mbps using a single-access technology.

In addition, European availability of Verizon Ethernet Private Line (EPL) has also been expanded in Europe to the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia, with support for speeds of up to GigE as standard.

NetXen Adds to Executive Team

NetXen, a start-up making 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking chips for enterprise datacenters, announced that Walt Wallach has been appointed as vice president of software engineering and that Chuck Tybur has been appointed as vice president of worldwide sales.

Prior to joining NetXen, Wallach was vice president of Software and Strategy at Penguin Computing, leaders in Linux clustering and management software. Prior to Penguin, he led the clustered database effort for Industry Standard Servers at Hewlett-Packard.

Mr. Tybur joined NetXen from Intel Corporation, where he served in diverse sales and marketing roles throughout his 17-year career with that company.

Mintera Raises $19 Million for 40G

Mintera, a start-up based in Acton, Mass., raised a $19 Million in Series C funding for its high bit-rate optical transport systems for metro-core, regional, long-haul and ultra long-haul optical networks. The company will use the financing to complete the commercial launch of its new, 300-pin DWDM 40Gbps Adaptive-DPSK Module, to release new features on its MI 40000XS platform and to develop new solutions at higher bit-rates (100 Gbps) based on its proprietary technology.

This latest round of venture capital financing was co-led by investors Polaris Venture Partners and RRE Ventures. JDSU joined the round as an investor and strategic partner. Existing investors including Court Square Ventures, Star Ventures and Portview Communications Partners also participated in the round. This financing brings the total amount raised by Mintera to more than $73 Million.

JDSU Partners with Mintera for 40G DWDM Transponder

JDSU has formed a strategic partnership with Mintera to offer optical network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) products that combine Mintera's 40G transmission technology with JDSU's 40G-capable optical communications products and test and measurement solutions.

Joint development will include a 40G DWDM transponder module that will be standardized according to 300 pin Multi Source Agreement (MSA) guidelines. The transponder will be available in the first half of calendar year 2008. The transponder will convert signals from electrical to optical formats and back again as signals are added and dropped in 40G networks.

In addition to developing the 40G transponder with JDSU, Mintera will also incorporate its patent-pending Adaptive-Differential Phase Shift Keying (ADPSK) technology into the transponder. ADPSK enables optimal transmission of 40G signals over 50 GHz channels in ROADM-enabled optical networks, a configuration commonly used in long haul and metro networks.

JDSU said that through the Mintera collaboration it will be positioned to offer its customers the widest range of optical solutions that are designed for 40G networks. In addition to the new Mintera transponder that will be released in the first half of calendar year 2008, JDSU optical components include ROADMs (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers) that direct network traffic and optical amplifiers that boost optical signals as they travel throughout the network.

Level 3 Acquires BellSouth Assets Divested by AT&T

Level 3 Communications completed its acquisition of certain assets from AT&T that were divested as a result of the merger between AT&T and BellSouth. The acquired assets consist of indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) for dark fiber connections to 27 buildings as well as more than 450 metro fiber route miles in the nine markets where AT&T was required to divest assets.

Level 3 has acquired divested fiber assets in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; and South Florida. Under the terms of the agreement, Level 3 retains intermediate splice rights, which will enable it to add new buildings to the acquired assets.

Rogers Rollout HSPA in Canada

Rogers announced the next phase of its 3G wireless network and Vision services in 22 Canadian markets. The rollout uses High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology.

2Wire Acquires Kenati Technologies

2Wirehas acquired Kenati Technologies, a provider of home networking software products and services, for an undisclosed sum.

2Wire said the deal provides it with valuable intellectual property and the addition of a proven team of skilled software developers, located in both Silicon Valley and in Pune, India.

Apple Confirms iPhone Deal in France with Orange

Orange, the leading wireless carrier in France, will be the exclusive French carrier partner for Apple's iPhone. Sales begin on November 29 through Orange's online and direct retail stores.

Plantronics Offers Wideband Audio for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Plantronics introduced a new "SupraPlus" Wideband USB professional headset is optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007. Wideband utilizes more than twice the audio bandwidth of conventional telephony to greatly enhance intelligibility.

Plantronics said its SupraPlus Wideband USB headset enables professionals using PC-based unified communications (UC) applications for VoIP to get the feeling of true "face-to-face" conversations, resulting in improved business communication and collaboration during audio and video conference calls, and person-to-person calls when initiated through Office Communicator 2007.

Plantronics SupraPlus Wideband USB also features integration with Office Communicator 2007's call control features. Users can manage calls through the headset without having to engage their PC softphone.

Other product features include:

  • Enhanced noise-canceling microphone for background noise reduction,

  • Bendable click-stop microphone boom for optimal voice pick-up,

  • In-line user controls and plug-and-play compatibility for added convenience, and

  • Comfortable monaural design for all-day wear.

Polycom Offers Unified Communication Devices for MS Communications Server

Polycom introduced a range of unified communications devices for users of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. Polycom now offers broad support for Office Communications Server 2007 through three additional high definition, wideband VoIP endpoints: the CX200, CX400, and CX700 models.

The CX200 Desktop Phone is a USB peripheral for Office Communicator 2007 that features a full duplex speakerphone, handset and large presence status indicator.

The CX400 Cordless Phone is a wireless handset with a desktop base station that connects via USB. It features a presence display, 10-meter (30-foot) wireless reception range, and 10-hour talk time.

Polycom's CX700 IP Phone is an executive standalone IP telephone that delivers presence and directory capabilities with a color touch screen, USB and Ethernet ports, and a biometric fingerprint reader for enhanced security.

The already released CX100 Speakerphone is a compact peripheral that connects via USB to a laptop or desktop PC to enable crystal-clear, hands-free communications.

Ericsson Cuts Financial Guidance, Shares Tumble

Citing weak mobile network upgrade sales, Ericsson trimmed its financial guidance for Q3, saying the it now expects sales of SEK 43.5 billion, an operating income of SEK 5.6 billion and a cash flow of SEK -1.6 billion. Sales for Q2 2007 were SEK 47.6 billion. The figures were below expectations. The decline in sales occurred most in Asia Pacific markets.

Ericsson shares on NASDAQ closed at $31.33, down 23% for the day.

"The unexpected development in the quarter is mainly due to a shortfall in sales in mobile network upgrades and expansions which resulted in an unfavorable business mix that also negatively affected Group margins," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. "All other businesses performed as expected. The effect of market dynamics is always a matter of judgment. This quarter we have underestimated the effects."

Ericsson said its networks business continues to develop most rapidly in regions where new network rollouts and break-in contracts are predominant. The company noted that margin pressures from these business activities have been offset by higher margin sales such as network expansions and upgrades. Such expansions and upgrades have a short sales cycle and builds during the quarter. This quarter, sales of these higher margin offerings did not materialize as much as in previous quarters. High margin software sales are also lower than normal.

Some additional highlights:

  • Gross margin for the quarter was 35.6%, down from 43.0% in Q2.

  • Sales in Professional Services grew by 26% year-over-year. Managed services grew by 50% year-over-year.

  • Growth in Multimedia was 31% year-over-year. Operating income in the quarter was slightly above breakeven level. The businesses Ericsson Mobile Platforms, Service Delivery Platforms, Tandberg Television and Charging are all showing strong growth with healthy margins. IPTV, IMS and Messaging are new business development areas with significant R&D investments but with limited sales.

Brazilian Authorities Accuse Cisco of Tax Evasion

Brazilian police and tax authorities raided Cisco Systems' offices in Brasilia and arrested several company executives, including the president of Cisco do Brasil, Pedro R�pero, and the ex-president, Carlos Roberto Carnevali. According to local media reports, the authorities are accusing the company of import tax evasion over the past five years and accumulating up to an estimated R$1.5 billion (US$826 million) in back taxes and fines.

Cisco has not yet commented on the case.