Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exar to Acquire HiFN to Address Deduplication and Secure Backhaul Apps

Exar will acquire Hifn, a supplier of high-performance network, storage and security processors, in a stock swap deal valued at approximately $59 million.

Hifn (NASDAQ: HIFN), which is based in Los Gatos, California, supplies a line of Applied Services Processors (ASPs) to network OEMs. Exar (Nasdaq: EXAR), which is based in Milpitas, California, said the acquisition brings valuable intellectual property related to Ethernet, embedded processors, network security, compression, deduplication, RAID, packet processing architecture and SoC design methodology.

"We believe we can achieve our strategic and financial objectives more quickly with the Hifn acquisition," said Pete Rodriguez, Exar's president and chief executive officer. "The two companies have developed complementary technologies and share a common vision to deliver connectivity and storage solutions that are not only fast, but also efficient and secure. We are delighted to welcome the Hifn team to Exar," stated Mr. Rodriguez. "Our combined focus will enable us to realize expanded revenue and market share, aggressively pursue emerging markets, as well as increase overall gross margin."

"As a developer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor technology, Exar has focused on creating solutions for high speed connectivity and managing data between computers, over networks and across broadband telecom systems," said Paul Pickering, Exar senior vice president of marketing. "For more than a decade, Hifn has been a pioneer in creating advanced technologies that secure and compress data flowing over networks and residing on storage systems. Hifn's semiconductor and software solutions work hand in hand with various high speed connections to ensure optimized performance. We expect to advance our strategic relationship with shared top tier customers including Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies, HP and Alcatel-Lucent."

BT and Corvil Offer Low Latency to Global Capital Markets

BT has joined forces with Corvil, a specialist in electronic trading latency management systems, to provide financial institutions with a network latency management solution.

As a part of the agreement, BT will leverage CorvilNet, a leading latency management system developed by Corvil that monitors, analyzes and optimizes electronic trading infrastructures against ultra-low latency objectives encompassing market data feeds and order execution traffic. In addition to CorvilNet, BT will provide a dedicated team of business consultants and IT specialists from its 10,000 strong Global Professional Services division that will analyze the reports, identify the hotspots and make recommendations to optimize a customer's infrastructure.

In addition to expanding its efforts in network latency management, BT also remains committed to its existing low latency connectivity portfolio, which includes Radianz Ultra Access and Radianz Proximity Solution. Radianz Ultra Access enables sub-millisecond connectivity between brokers and execution and market data venues in New York and Chicago and soon London. Radianz Proximity Solution locates trading engines near execution venues to reduce market data and trading latency.
  • In July 2008, Corvil, a start-up based in Dublin, Ireland, secured $12 million in a new round of funding for its work in latency management systems aimed at the financial community. Corvil will use the new financing to expand its capabilities to meet the demands of global investment banks, hedge funds, ECNs, exchanges, and network service providers seeking the lowest possible latency for high performance trading. In the new funding round, Vesbridge Partners joined existing investors ACT Ventures and APAX Partners.

  • In October 2007 Corvil announced that the London Stock Exchange had deployed the CorvilNet solution to help achieve low-latency in LSE's access network and record performance levels for its new trading system, called TradElect. In November, 2007 Corvil announced that Deutsche Borse Systems deployed CorvilNet to ensure the success of Deutsche Borse Group's Eurex market data service to significantly enhance support of algorithmic trading. In June, 2008 Corvil announced that Credit Suisse has selected CorvilNet for a global network deployment. Corvil teamed with BT to deliver a solution for latency management and optimization of the Credit Suisse network.

China's Communication Standards Association Adds 2.5G EPON

China's Communications Standards Association (CCSA) has added 2.5G EPON as a standard specification for fiber-based broadband access networks. CCSA's adoption of 2.5G EPON enables service providers to offer more bandwidth per subscriber for MTU (Multiple Tenant Units), including residential and business subscribers.

Teknovus, which supplies GEPON chips) hailed the news, noting that China is poised to surpass Japan with the largest number of fiber subscribers by year-end. China ended 2008 with more than 8 million FTTx subscribers and is expected to reach more than 20 million fiber subscribers by year-end 2009. EPON is the dominant fiber architecture accounting for more than 95% of the existing and planned deployments.

Teknovus said its 2.5G EPON chips, known as Turbo-EPON, are fully compliant with CCSA's specifications.

Dell'Oro: VDSL Port Shipments Are Silver Lining for the Declining DSL Market

DSL port shipments on infrastructure equipment fell more than 10 percent in 2008, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group. Within total ports, ADSL port shipments fell almost 20 percent while VDSL port shipments grew 40 percent. The report also predicts this trend will continue in 2009 with a larger rate of decline in shipments for ADSL and a higher growth rate for those of VDSL.

The report shows Alcatel-Lucent, the leader in the VDSL segment in 2008, benefited from being the primary supplier of VDSL equipment for AT&T's U-verse TV service, currently, one of the largest TV over broadband projects of its kind. In the second position was ZyXEL with most of its VDSL shipping to Taiwan and Japan.

"The market for ADSL infrastructure equipment has matured largely due to subscriber additions peaking in 2006," said Tam Dell'Oro, President of Dell'Oro Group. "Despite the weak economy that has resulted in cautious spending by service providers, we still expect higher growth for the VDSL segment in 2009, albeit lower than previous expectations. Some service providers including AT&T are upgrading networks with high bandwidth VDSL to enable new revenue streams such as TV over broadband," Dell'Oro added.

FiberLight Deploys Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 in Texas

FiberLight, which provides metro optical transport services including Ethernet, Wavelengths, IP, SONET and Dark Fiber within major U.S. cities, has begun a statewide deployment of Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platforms (Packet ONPs) across Texas. The network will bring premium managed communications services -- including Ethernet, SONET and wavelength connectivity options -- to enterprise, government, content providers, and other service provider customers throughout its 1,500+ route miles.

The FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP provides the modular integration of Ethernet, ROADM, and SONET transport technologies into a single addressable optical networking class element. The platform's pluggable ROADM option and patent-pending universal switch fabric allow both circuit-based and packet-based traffic to be transported in its native format to create a universal optical infrastructure. Integrated Connection-oriented Ethernet transport technology delivers private-line quality packet aggregation and connectivity services with the proven operational robustness of optical networking, including transport-class software and database management, management interface functionality, and precision fault sectionalization.

Management of FiberLight's high-availability, mission-critical network will be provided by Fujitsu in their two fully-redundant network operations centers (NOCs) located in Sunnyvale, Calif. and Richardson, Texas. FiberLight also purchased Advance Hardware Replacement, which will guarantee that spare cards for the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform system can be onsite anywhere in Texas within hours. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lockheed Martin Joins Juniper's Open IP Program

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has joined the Juniper Networks' Open IP Solution Development Program (OSDP). As a member of the OSDP, Juniper Networks provides Lockheed Martin with access to the Partner Solution Development Platform (PSDP), which enables customers and partners to develop specialized applications on its JUNOS software.

Spirent and IneoQuest Join Forces on Video Quality Test Suite

Spirent Communications and IneoQuest Technologies announced an exclusive global partnership to offer an end-to-end video quality test suite for network equipment manufactures (NEMs). The partnership combines Spirent's network testing suite with IneoQuest's bulk, live video test and analysis solutions, thereby covering the Triple Play ecosystem, including encoders, multiplexers, routers, switches and set-top boxes.

The companies said their technology will specifically help NEMs to effectively address IP network scalability and reliability issues related to video delivery.

"Our customers depend on Spirent to help ensure that the multi-play networks and multi-technology platforms of tomorrow deliver the QoE which service providers demand today," said William Burns, CEO of Spirent Communications plc. "This technology partnership with IneoQuest builds on the Spirent tradition of product innovation and service excellence as it enables us to offer equipment manufacturers the only end-to-end solution that brings realistic video quality testing into the lab."

Spirent Partners with Endace for High Speed Ethernet Probes

Endace, which specializes in high speed packet capture networking technology, announced a technology partnership with Spirent Communications to develop the next generation of high speed service assurance probes for service providers. The companies said that while the need for Ethernet services has grown quickly, the management of these multi-vendor IP networks has become more complex. Hence the need for next generation Ethernet Assurance probes.

Covad Deploys Nationwide 10 Gbps MPLS Backbone

Covad Communications has completed a nationwide MPLS deployment and network capacity upgrades that will enable its partners to deliver advanced video, voice and data services. The upgrades include metro optical rings with up to OC-192 (10 Gbps) capacity and will allow Covad and its wholesale partners to meet the demanding needs of small businesses and distributed enterprises.

"Businesses are increasingly using broadband to deploy IP-based services to reduce costs and to increase productivity," said William Ferriauolo, senior vice president and general manager of Covad Wholesale. "Covad's new MPLS infrastructure will allow our partners to deliver revenue-generating, value-added services on a national broadband network that is competitive with what the very largest carriers can offer."

AT&T to Invest $1 Billion in Global Network in 2009

AT&T will invest approximately $1 billion in 2009 to continue building out its global network. AT&T said its investment is focused on the network infrastructure, services and support for companies requiring "anytime, anywhere" access to the systems, suppliers, customers and employees needed to successfully run their businesses.

Specifically, AT&T said it is capitalizing on the ongoing shift in network traffic from voice to data and video-- and more importantly to IP-based data and video-- as customers migrate from legacy data networks to MPLS-based Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and managed applications.

"With today's announcement, AT&T is making good on its commitment to provide companies with the network-driven capabilities and applications they need to successfully compete in a difficult economic environment," said Ron Spears, President and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions.

Key points of the 2009 investment plan:

Network-Based Services and Applications:

  • Enhancements and additions to AT&T's virtual private network portfolio, wide area network (WAN), telepresence, unified communications, hosting, applications performance, and digital media solutions, all of which helped to drive double-digit IP data growth as reported in AT&T's recent fourth quarter earnings.

  • AT&T Telepresence service availability in China in collaboration with local service providers, to extend AT&T's ability to connect different companies using the service.

  • Managed IP telephony & LAN services in China, India, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Mexico.

  • In the hosting and utility computing space, AT&T is increasing data center hosting capacity in Atlanta, Annapolis,
    the New York/New Jersey metro area, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the United Kingdom; scaling the AT&T Synaptic Hosting platform in Singapore, Amsterdam and three sites within the United States; increasing the level of automation for delivering AT&T Synaptic Hosting services; expanding application services in the super IDCs by enabling more
    on-net managed applications, such as Oracle and SAP; and supporting more virtualized customer applications by expanding
    managed hosting services onto the client premises.

  • Extending the AT&T Intelligent Content Distribution Service reach into Mexico, and enhancing service in high growth areas such as Brazil, India and China. Plans also call for expansion of capacity in existing service countries and jurisdictions in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. This expansion will cover services such as Flash, Windows Media Format, Move Networks and Silverlight that support large file downloads and video formats. AT&T is also expanding its SSL security capabilities.

Mobility Services and Applications:

  • Accelerated deployment of mobile conferencing solutions, portal capabilities and business mobility applications for companies of all sizes in vertical industries like finance, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, education and government. AT&T is continuing its investment in platforms to support mobility application deployment including: location based services; the AT&T Mobile Enterprise Applications platform; the Enterprise On Demand (EOD) service delivery platform which lets customers self manage large wireless data deployments of specialized vertical devices; and the External Access Gateway, which is a platform that lets third parties use the AT&T network for network transactions such as network location based services queries.

  • Global management of multiple mobile operator contracts to support the wireless needs of multinational companies (i.e. order processing, invoicing).

  • Device protection and control and other security capabilities to ensure that companies can safely access applications and work tasks anytime, from any enabled device.

  • Fixed-mobile convergence capabilities, building on AT&T's Mobile
    Extension service announced earlier this year.

IBM Network Integration:

AT&T is working on continued integration of IBM's global network operations which were acquired through the 2007 expanded agreement between the companies. Through its agreement with IBM, AT&T last year added on-the-ground support and networking expertise in 48 countries worldwide, and closed more than a dozen new contracts.

Continued Global Network Rollout in 2009

  • Deploying new subsea fiber optic cable capacity to Alaska, Australia, Asia Pac, India, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and on trans-Atlantic routes to Europe. Today, AT&T has ownership interests in 83 subsea cable systems, covering 488,000 route miles. In total AT&T's network has over 888,000 route miles of fiber.

  • VPN services will be extended in an additional 18 countries, giving VPN access in a total of 149 countries worldwide.

  • VPN Ethernet access will be available in 38 countries increase from 34 today.

  • VPN DSL access will be available in 44 countries increased from 38 today.

  • VPLS access will be available in 31 countries increased from 15 today. AT&T's OPT-E-WAN Ethernet Virtual Private LAN is the only certified, fully unified global carrier Ethernet service based on a seamless MPLS/VPLS infrastructure available with coverage in the US and worldwide.

  • IPv6 deployment - to meet the global requirements of governments and companies, AT&T is deploying a multi-year plan to deliver a full complement of IPv6 networking services that will also preserve customers' existing IPv4 investment
  • .

  • Continued rollout of new network capabilities, including AT&T Wavelength Private Line and enhanced AT&T Ultravailable Network Services;

  • AT&T plans to continue to grow global backbone capacity by introducing new and faster 10 Gbps edge equipment; increasing backbone bandwidth; and adding more Cisco CRS1 routers on key routes.

  • Expanding network- and premises-based firewall capabilities, as
    well as the AT&T Internet Protect suite of capabilities including My Internet Protect, Private Intranet Protect, and DDoS Defense to the Asia-Pacific region.

Nielsen: TV, Internet and Mobile Usage in U.S. Keeps Increasing

the average American watches more than 151 hours of TV per month, an all-time high, according to Nielsen's latest "A2M2 Three Screen Report". Meanwhile, Americans who watch video over the Internet consume another 3 hours of online video per month and those who use mobile video watch nearly 4 hours per month on mobile phones and other devices.

Some highlights of the report:

  • Digital video recorded (DVR) and other time shifted television is watched at double the pace as video online at 7 hours, 11 minutes per month. Yet in a potential indicator of how audiences could time shift in the future, young adults (age 18-24) watch video on the Internet and on a DVR at the same rate -- about 5 hours per month.

  • Except for the teenage years, viewing of traditional television increases with age; the use of video on the Internet peaks among young adults while viewing mobile video is highest in the teen years.

  • Men continue to watch video on mobile phones more than women, and women continue to watch video on the Internet and television more than men.

  • The work day continues to be the prime time for Internet video. Weekdays outpace weekends for online video viewing with 65% of online video viewers streaming content between 9am - 5pm Monday through Friday, versus 51% of online video viewers logging on between 6am - 8pm on weekends.

  • 31 percent of Internet activity occurs when consumers are also watching television.

  • Nielsen 4Q08 data shows that mobile video has grown, up to 11 million Americans, an increase of 9% versus the previous quarter. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased mobile content and the rise of the mobile web as a viewing option. In addition, the average monthly time spent viewing mobile video among reported mobile video users increased 2%, from 3:37 to 3:42 between 3Q 2008 and 4Q 2008.