Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mindspeed Debuts 6.5 Gbps Signal Conditioning Family

Mindspeed Technologies announced the first four devices in a new family of low-power cable and backplane equalizers, also commonly known as signal conditioners. Mindspeed's new four, eight and 12-channel signal conditioners operate at speeds up to 6.5 Gbps and support PCI Express, SAS, SATA, Infiniband, SONET and XAUI.

The M21030 and the M21451 are four channel signal conditioners that feature the first adaptive equalizers to perform at speeds up to 6.5 Gbps for a variety of storage, server and communications applications. Adaptive equalization is a critical technology in applications where the transmission channel may be modified, such as when cables or blades are changed out. Mindspeed's M21030 four-channel cable equalizer supports all newly rate-doubled versions of serial ATA (SATA), serial attached SCSI (SAS), PCI Express and Infiniband.

The M21030 consumes a low 550mW of power and can be used in a variety of applications, including reach extension over twin-axial cables and multi-gigabit interconnect over CAT5 cable. The device can be installed on the line card or may be included as part of an active cable solution for applications such as QSFP. The M21451 is a four channel backplane equalizer that is designed for applications where different boards may occupy a given slot in a chassis thereby altering properties of the communications channel.

The new eight-channel M21452 and 12-channel M21453 backplane signal conditioners provide a low-power (115mW per channel), solution for backplane transmission over distances up to 40 inches across low-cost backplane materials such as FR-4 at rates up to 6.5 Gbps.

Alcatel-Lucent's Smart DSL Targets Line Stability

Alcatel-Lucent announced "Smart DSL" technology for allowing network operators to guarantee DSL line stability at higher bit rates than traditional methods.

Smart DSL technology, which leverages Alcatel-Lucent's Artificial Noise and Virtual Noise (ANVN) innovations, can be integrated in the market-leading DSL Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) family and the Alcatel-Lucent 5530 Network Analyzer (NA). The Smart DSL technology uses artificial or virtual noise to mask noise and results in increased bandwidths for high-bit rate service delivery. Its ultimate goal is to ensure that the copper network can deliver the QoS and QoE promised to (and expected by) end-users.

"Concretely, this combination of ANVN, ISAM and Network Analyzer technologies achieves optimal line stability with minimal bandwidth loss, typically at as much as 30% higher bit rates than traditional solutions. This allows operators to considerably expand coverage of their copper networks for the deployment of Internet protocol television (IPTV) and other premium bandwidth services," said Luis Martinez Amago, President of Alcatel-Lucent's fixed access activities.

ICANN Adds IPv6 addresses to 13 Root Server Networks

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has added IPv6 addresses for six of the world's 13 root server networks (A, F, H, J, K, M) to the appropriate files and databases.

The move allows for the possibility of fuller IPv6 usage of the Domain Name System (DNS). Previously, those using IPv6 had needed to retain the older IPv4 addressing system in order to be able to use domain names.

"Today's addition of IPv6 addresses for the root servers enhances the end-to-end connectivity for IPv6 networks, and furthers the growth of the global interoperable Internet," added David Conrad, ICANN's Vice President of Research and IANA Strategy. "This is a major step forward for IPv6-only connectivity and the global migration to IPv6."

CloudShield Packs its DPI Into IBM BladeCenter

CloudShield Technologies is working with IBM to develop the first carrier-class Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) solution for the IBM BladeCenter family. The collaboration will provide CloudShield's DPI solution to IBM's growing telecommunications BladeCenter customer base. In addition, CloudShield has joined the ecosystem, a collaborative organization and developer community whose goals are to expand and provide leadership to the blade server market.http://www.cloudshield.com

Freescale to Acquire SigmaTel for $110 Million

Freescale Semiconductor agreed to acquire SigmaTel, a provider of analog intensive, mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) for the digital multimedia market, for approximately $110 million in cash. SigmaTel's target market segments include portable media players, printers and digital televisions.

For the fourth quarter of 2007, SigmaTel generated revenues of $33.2 million with a GAAP net loss of $4.0 million or $0.11 per share. http://www.freescale.com

EANTC Organizes Public Mobile Backhaul Interoperability Showcase

The European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC), in collaboration with both the IP/MPLS Forum and the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), will present a public multi-vendor Mobile Backhaul Interoperability showcase at three upcoming industry events: the MPLS and Ethernet World Congress in Paris, 5-8 February, 2008, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 11-14 February, 2008, and the CTIA Wireless Show in Las Vegas, 1-3 April, 2008.

Fifteen vendors have prepared mobile applications and end-to-end business customer services for the showcase across a multi-vendor network comprising more than 85 devices. Participants include Alcatel-Lucent, Ceragon Networks, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Harris Stratex Networks, Huawei Technologies, Ixia, Lightstorm Networks, MRV Communications, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, RAD Data Communications, Spirent Communications and Telco Systems, a BATM company.

The purpose of the showcase is to demonstrate viable solutions from work ongoing in the IP/MPLS Forum and the Metro Ethernet Forum that allow operators to migrate from ATM and TDM backhaul solutions for mobile networks to ones using Ethernet and IP/MPLS. The IP/MPLS Forum and Metro Ethernet Forum are working together with their mobile backhaul initiatives. Specifically, the demonstrations will showcase how traffic from a Radio Access Network (RAN) can be carried over Metro Ethernet and an IP/MPLS Core to give operators backhaul architectures that are flexible, scalable and economical.

Juniper Joins Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance

Juniper Networks has joined the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance, a global initiative made up of leading mobile operators to accelerate the delivery of the next generation of high-performance mobile broadband networks.

The NGMN Alliance was created to provide a vision for technology evolution beyond 3G for the competitive delivery of broadband wireless services. The purpose is to establish clear performance targets, fundamental recommendations and deployment scenarios for a future wide area mobile broadband network, as well as to ensure that the cost-effectiveness of this network is competitive with alternative technologies.

Huawei Completes Upgrade of China Mobile LD Network

Huawei Technologies has completed an upgrade to China Mobile's Long-distance network that that significantly improves voice quality and transmission resource efficiency. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In 2004, Huawei began working with China Mobile to deploy mobile softswitches for use as long-distance transit exchanges. That network is now carries 80% of all domestic long-distance traffic. With the extension of China Mobile's All-IP strategy to the local exchanges, it became possible to implement end-to-end voice over IP between the local softswitches and the transit softswitches. This change allowed the network to adopt AMR, a kind of audio coder & decoder technology, to improve the network capacity, lower operational costs, and provide a foundation for future network evolution.

Huawei provided professional network consultancy, network layout and engineering support during the network planning and the entire set of tasks for this project were successfully completed in one night. Services were smoothly transferred and network indexes continued to be normal. This change will allow China Mobile to flexibly control network bandwidth, and make the best use of network resources to meet future service needs.http://www.huawei.com

Alcatel-Lucent Introduces IP Management Appliance

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its VitalQIP Appliance Manager (AM), providing the functionality of its VitalQIP DNS/DHCP and IPAM solution in a new form factor designed for enterprise workgroup applications and for managed services providers (MSPs).

Alcatel-Lucent said the rapid spread of VoIP solutions, the need for improved network security and the prospect of transitioning to IPv6 are driving the demand for advanced IP management capabilities enterprise wide, including at the workgroup.

The new VitalQIP AM enables enterprises to efficiently configure, automate, integrate and administer the Alcatel-Lucent DNS and DHCP appliance across local or global networks. The pre-packaged appliance provides a distributed solution for improving network management efficiency by automating critical IP address services deployment, simplifying remote software upgrades and centralizing additional service management.

The VitalQIP Appliance Management software is a Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) that allows status monitoring of the appliance to more effectively manage remote services within the network. The software features a central database of appliances and maintains version history by appliance. A preloaded, hardened Red Hat Linux operating system and token-based authentication help ensure security in customer networks.

The software enables automatic version upgrades, secure communication between the management station and the remote appliance, remote starting and stopping of services, DNS "high availability" via "pairs" and complete centralized monitoring all done through a Web-based management GUI.

Cisco Launches Talent-Development Strategy for India

Cisco will launch a series of educational programs aimed at expanding India's capacity to train, employ and retain highly qualified networking and systems engineers. By establishing partnerships and opening testing facilities, Cisco aims to expand India's networking workforce capacity to 360,000 engineers in the next five years, a six-fold increase over present employment levels.

In concert with these new partnerships, Cisco is also announcing a major push toward increasing access to its examination facilities through its primary test-delivery partner, Pearson VUE. The company is committed to adding 150 testing facilities that meet these new requirements across India by the end of the year. To further close the digital divide, Pearson VUE will also deploy several mobile testing centers to increase access to technology in rural and underserved areas. Pearson VUE recently announced that it is requiring its test centers to adopt increased security measures in order to safeguard the value of IT certifications.

Qualcomm Names General Manager for MediaFLO Technologies

Qualcomm appointed Neville Meijers as the new senior vice president and general manager for MediaFLO Technologies, where he will lead all functional groups -- including Business Development, Engineering, Marketing, Partner Relations, Product Management and Program Management.

Meijers joins Qualcomm from Discovery Communications where he recently served as executive vice president of Discovery Communications' Antenna Audio, a world leader in audio and multimedia. He has held senior executive positions in the areas of corporate strategy and business development for Discovery Communications worldwide and was managing director for Discovery Networks Asia based out of Singapore.


NEC and Intel to Develop Power Management IC for Mobile Internet Devices

NEC Electronics has teamed with Intel Corporation to develop a power management IC (PMIC) solution optimized for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The highly integrated PMIC solution will combine power management, logic, audio and communications functions. The target application is the new generation of Intel-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).

Initial samples of NEC Electronics' power management ICs are expected to be available in Q3 of 2008.

Verizon Business Launches Virtualization Service based on VMware

Verizon Business announced a virtualization service aimed at providing its enterprise customers with added flexibility, improved efficiencies and controlled IT costs. Virtualization allows business to consolidate multiple IT resources, such as operating systems and software applications, on a single server. The new Verizon Business managed virtualization service promises the same reliability as the traditional one-application-to-a-server model.

Verizon Business virtualization service, backed by service level agreements (SLAs) of up to 99.9 percent for availability and uptime, is immediately available in the United States through the company's managed hosting facilities. All hosts and virtual machines come with security, backup, monitoring, reporting and administrative support. This includes 24 x 7 help desk support, as well as anytime access to the Web-based customer portal.

Verizon said the launch of this new service follows three years of supporting VMware ESX Server in a staging and development environment. Verizon Business is now deploying a shared VMware Virtual Center management infrastructure to configure and operate this virtualized environment.

NTT America Announces Appointment of CTO

NTT America announced the appointment of Mr. Kazuhiro Gomi as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) effective immediately. Gomi was involved in various R&D projects at NTT and held senior positions at NTT Labs' central research organization in Japan prior to his assignment to lead the U.S. operations of NTT Communications' Global IP Network (GIN) business unit.

Gomi is based in NTT America's New York headquarters and continues to head GIN business unit at NTT America in addition to this appointment.

Ceragon Demonstrates PBB-TE over Microwave

Ceragon Networks will demonstrate PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridges -- Traffic Engineering) protection over an Adaptive Modulation packet microwave as part of the mobile backhaul interoperability event at the MPLS and Ethernet World Congress 2008, organized by EANTC and supported by the IP/MPLS Forum and the MEF in Paris, France, February 6-7, 2008.

PBB-TE makes packet networks predictable, allowing operators to efficiently manage their packet network resources and maximize their performance, while ensuring the superb QoS needed for delay sensitive, real-time services such as video and voice. The technology is seen as an upgrade path for mobile backhaul networks that today rely on TDM microwave technology.

Ceragon has already previously demonstrated MPLS over microwave.

The Ceragon demonstration uses its FibeAir IP-MAX2 platform with its unique Adaptive Modulation capabilities, offering multiple service profiles over a single radio link. The platform enables trunk based classification and fast-reroute functionality at a service level.

PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridge -- Traffic Engineering), also referred to as PBT (Provider Backbone Transport) is an ongoing project in IEEE standard which provides enhancements to Ethernet and supports traffic engineering within Provider Backbone Bridge Networks (P802.1ah). PBB-TE brings control to data paths within a large carrier network, enabling QoS and the ability to set aside specific paths for specific traffic types.http://www.ceragon.com

Data Connection and MetaSwitch Report Record 2007 Revenue of $102 Million

Data Connection (DCL) announced revenue of $101.8 million, with net earnings of $21.1 million, for its 2006/7 fiscal year. This represents a 54% increase on the previous year and marks the company's 26th year in business.

DCL said this growth was fueled by its switching and applications solutions business, including its MetaSwitch Class 4/5 softswitch and MetaSphere service delivery platform (SDP) and application suite. Together, these two solutions represented three quarters of DCL's total revenues. Average deployment size grew with new installations by tier one and national carriers including Cable & Wireless, Embarq, Windstream and CenturyTel, and major regional carriers such as Bresnan Communications and One Communications. Internationally, the company experienced growing traction for its MetaSwitch and MetaSphere products in the Caribbean / Latin America region, as well as its first deployments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Data Connection's Network Protocols Division also grew strongly during the year, entering into significant new licensing relationships with equipment manufacturers in North America, Europe, Israel and the Far East. Product developments in this area included major investments in Session Border Controller, SIP, Diameter, MPLS and IP Routing technologies, and the company demonstrated compliance with IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) industry standards at multiple interoperability events hosted by the IMS Forum. The company also continued to successfully market enterprise connectivity solutions to major corporations worldwide.

OPNET Posts Quarterly Revenue of $24.5 Million

OPNET Technologies reported revenues of $26 million for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2007,, compared to $24.5 million for the same quarter in the prior fiscal year. Earnings per share for the quarter were negative $0.06, compared to positive $0.14 for the same quarter in the prior fiscal year.

Marc A. Cohen, OPNET's Chairman and CEO, stated, "We are very pleased with our fiscal Q3 sales results. We achieved record quarterly revenue of $26 million while increasing our deferred revenue sequentially by $4.5 million. Both our total revenue and deferred revenue growth were driven by record bookings from our corporate enterprise sales teams, which increased by more than 25% from fiscal Q3 2007, and increased by more than 50% sequentially. Our North American enterprise business was particularly strong, with records in four of six regions. We are also very pleased with the rapid integration into our business of our new appliance-based ACE Live solutions, which was accelerated by our acquisition of certain assets of Network Physics in October of 2007."

MIT and Texas Instruments Develop Low Voltage Chipset

Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments (TI) are developing a new chip design for portable electronics that can be up to ten times more energy-efficient than present technology. The design will be presented at this week's International Solid- State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

TI said that while most current chips operate at around 1 volt, the new design works at just 0.3 volts. Operating this lower voltage requires reworking memory and logic circuits. One key, is placing a new a DC-to-DC converter -- which reduces the voltage to the lower level -- right onto the same chip, which is more efficient than having the converter as a separate component. The redesigned memory and logic, along with the DC-to-DC converter, are all integrated to realize a complete system-on-a-chip solution.

The researchers expect commercial applications could become available in five years.


Co-Founder of Zhone Technologies Killed in Plane Crash

Jeanette Symons, a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and experienced pilot, died on Friday, 01-February-2008, when the Cessna Citation C525 that she was piloting crashed in storm in Maine. Also killed in the plane crash was Symons' ten-year old son. She leaves behind a seven-year old daughter, her parents and two brothers. News reports cite a mixture of sleet, freezing rain, and snow at the time of the accident.

Ms. Symons was currently leading Industrious Kid, a start-up whose mission is to develop world class social networking destinations and solutions just for kids and tweens.

In the networking community, Symons is known for her work as co-founder of Zhone Technologies, where she served as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Engineering. Prior to Zhone, Symons was Chief Technical Officer and Executive Vice President of Ascend Communications, Inc., which Symons co-founded, from January 1989 until June 1999 when the company was purchased by Lucent Technologies for $24 billion. In addition, Symons was a software engineer at Hayes Microcomputer, a modem manufacturer, where she developed and managed its ISDN program.

Intel's Flash NAND Promises 5X Performance Boost, Targets USB 3.0

Intel and Micron Technology unveiled a jointly-developed high speed NAND flash memory technology that is five times faster than conventional NAND, reaching speeds up to 200 megabytes per second (MB/s) for reading data and 100 MB/s for writing data. The performance is achieved by leveraging the new ONFI 2.0 specification and a four-plane architecture with higher clock speeds. In comparison, conventional single level cell NAND is limited to 40 MB/s for reading data and less than 20 MB/s for writing data.

The companies cited a number of advantages of their high speed NAND:

  • When used in a hybrid hard drive, high speed NAND can allow the system to read and write data anywhere between two or four times the speed when compared to conventional hard drives.

  • With the popularity of digital video cameras and video on demand services, high speed NAND can enable a high-definition movie to be transferred five times faster than conventional NAND.

  • With the pending USB 3.0 interface, high speed NAND is expected to effectively deliver on the increased data transfer rates of the new specification, where conventional NAND would act as the bottleneck in system performance. USB 3.0 is aiming for 10 times the bandwidth of current USB 2.0 solutions, or approximately achieving 4.8 Gbps (gigabits per second).

  • As NAND continues to move into the PC platform, the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) can take advantage of high speed NAND in solutions such as Intel Turbo Memory, allowing for even better system performance. NVMHCI is designed to provide a standard software programming interface allowing operating system drivers to access NAND flash memory storage in applications such as hard drive caching and solid-state drives.

NFL Network Leverages Signiant's Digital Media Distribution Solution

The NFL Network has deployed Signiant's digital media distribution technology to transfer game footage for broadcast on weekly highlight shows including the NFL Replay. The NFL broadcasts up to sixteen games per week, with each game averaging more than three hours in length. That adds up to nearly 50 hours of footage that needs to be reviewed, bookmarked, filed, retrieved and edited into NFL Replay, a 90-minute highlights program. Using Signiant, NFL Films footage from each game can be uploaded to a secure, shared, digital storage folder, where they can then be reviewed and edited by NFL Network employees. These clips are then securely sent across a high-speed WAN.

For NFL Replay, game highlights are transferred from NFL Films to NFL Network in California where, with a four-hour turnaround deadline, editors can then search metadata tags attached to each clip, make selections, and assemble edited sequences. The edited content is then placed in a shared access folder, where it is automatically transferred back to New Jersey for play-to-air at 7:00 pm. In many cases, the show is still being assembled at 4:30 pm.http://www.signiant.com