Sunday, January 22, 2012

Silver Spring Unveils its Gen4 Smart Grid Networking Platform

Silver Spring Networks unveiled its fourth-generation, IPv6-based networking technology for building Smart Grid utility networks.

Silver Spring, whose utility customers already have connection over 10 million homes and businesses using its systems, said its Gen4 technology is focused on improving the flexibility needed to meet utilities’ demanding requirements across disparate service territories, deployment approaches and application needs. The company is aiming to provide a flexible and upgradable network over the 20-year planning horizon expected by municipal utilities.

The Gen4 technology promises “Any Transport, Any Territory, Any Endpoint, Any Application�?. It leverages an integrated cellular option, the industry’s first Micromesh™ technology and triple the performance of previous Smart Grid connectivity. Some highlights:

The Modular Architecture -- a single Communications Module to support a variety of international cellular transports, such as GPRS, CDMA, EVDO, HSPA and LTE, in conjunction with a standards-based, high-speed RF mesh transport. Utilities may choose to deploy modules with cellular, mesh, or both transports.

The Micromesh Architecture -- a Silver Spring cellular Communications Module normally operates as an ordinary point to point cellular connection, supporting meter reading, remote connect/disconnect, and many other applications directly across public carrier networks to the endpoint. However, with the Micromesh technology enabled, the Communications Module additionally connects to nearby grid devices via RF mesh and acts as their take-out point for the WAN. With this innovative combination, utilities can adapt the number of cellular connections they need based on topology, coverage, density, bandwidth requirements, pace of deployment, and many other complex project drivers.

Endpoints -- Gen4 will support the full range of emerging endpoints for the smart grid, including next-gen line sensors, renewables, and load-control switches.

Increased speeds -- Gen4 Communications Modules continue to support communications options for in-home networking as well.
Gen4’s increased data rates, with support up to 300 kbps, enable the Silver Spring platform to support increasingly demanding smart grid applications.

TeraXion Appoints Chaoui as Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Ghazi Chaoui has joined TeraXion as Chief Strategy Advisor, to lead its future partnership and acquisition activities.

Dr. Chaoui has previously served at companies such as Oclaro, Infinera, Broadwing, Corvis, FiNet, Lucent and AT&T/Bell Laboratories.

TeraXion supplies chromatic dispersion management solutions, including static and tunable dispersion compensators for terrestrial and submarine networks.

Panasonic Backs 60 GHz for Gigabit Speed Home Networks

Panasonic published a "Smart ICT" proposal to commercial a 60 Ghz technology based on WiGig and other network standards for ultra-high-speed wireless communications inside the home.

The millimeter wave solution leverages innovations such as "Direct Conversion" radio architecture, "Digital Assist" circuit technique, "Gigabit Packet Processing", and "Low power consumption I/O". Panasonic plans to integrate all of these wireless functions onto a single chip through millimeter wave CMOS technology. The goal is to embed the capabilities into the full range of consumer electronics and home appliances.

Panasonic notes that the 60 GHz band is already designated as license-free in many countries, including Japan, U.S., Canada, South Korea, as well as E.U. countries.

Potential Satellite Interference from Solar Storm

Ions from one of the strongest coronal mass ejections (CME), or solar storms, since 2005 are expected to hit the Earth's atmosphere beginning at about 9am EST (1400 GMT) on Tuesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).. The SWPC forecast is for Moderate (G2) level geomagnetic storming with G3 levels possible (the scale tops out at 5). This is expected to make the aurora borealis visible at lower latitudes, and possibly cause interference for satellite communications.

MRV Announces Leadership Changes

MRV Communications announced a set of management changes, including the appointment of Kenneth Traub as Chairman of the Board and Robert as Vice Chairman. The company has also reached separation & transition agreements with Chris King, MRV’s interim CEO and CFO, and Blima Tuller, MRV’s VP, Finance.

Actelis Signs KGP Logistics for Distribution

KGP Logistics has signed a new exclusive distribution agreement with Actelis Networks for its new Broadband Accelerator (BBA) product line.

The Actelis BBA helps deliver broadband to residences that are too far from a central office or remote DSLAM. The environmentally unit is line powered by the existing POTS infrastructure and can be used on any ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+ line. The unit can boost broadband rates by as much as 100% on typical loops and more than 400% on long loops. This is sufficient for delivering broadband at 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.

Actelis also noted that its Broadband Accelerator (BBA) received the 2011 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award.

"The Actelis BBA product line represents a major paradigm shift in the way telecom carriers address the digital divide," said Vivek Ragavan, president and CEO of Actelis Networks. "No longer is the digital divide a challenge, but an economic opportunity. With the Actelis BBA, carriers now have a pragmatic solution that will drive increased revenues because they can finally deliver on the promise of ubiquitous broadband across their entire customer serving area."

Cisco Global Threat Report 4Q11

Enterprise users experienced an average of 339 Web malware encounters per month in 4Q11, a 205% increase compared to a year earlier, according to the newly released Cisco 4Q11 Global Threat Report". The number of Denial of Service attacks increased slightly during the quarter, while global spam continued its gradual decline.

The Cisco report measures web malware risk by sector and finds that the pharmaceutical and chemical industries experience the highest risk, while the banking and financial services sector is experiencing relatively fewer encounters.

One interesting finding: an average of 20,141 unique Web malware hosts were encountered per month in 2011,
compared to a monthly average of 14,217 in 2010.

Semtech to Acquire Gennum

Semtech, which supplies analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, agreed to acquire Gennum Corp., a supplier of high speed analog and mixed signal solutions the optical market, for approximately CDN$500 million (approximately US$494 million).

Gennum offers optical, analog and mixed-signal solutions supporting high-definition (HD) video, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, Ethernet, SONET and PCI Express. The company had 2010 revenue of US$128 million. It was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Gennum has approximately 450 employees, including more than 240 engineers, and has offices in Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Semtech said the acquisition will extend its portfolio of infrastructure products to the metro, access and enterprise computing markets.

"We believe Gennum's unique signal integrity solutions and highly differentiated 1 Gbps to 25 Gbps optical products combined with Semtech's leading 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps SerDes portfolio will deliver one of the industry's most complete and robust portfolios to the communications infrastructure, data communications and enterprise computing segments. Additionally, Gennum's strong position in video broadcast and the emerging HD video surveillance market broadens and further diversifies Semtech's portfolio of high-performance analog semiconductors targeted at fast growing markets," stated Mohan Maheswaran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Semtech.

Intel to Acquire QLogic's Infiniband Fabric

Intel agreed to acquire QLogic's InfiniBand business including related product lines and technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This acquisition is designed to enhance Intel’s networking portfolio and provide scalable high- performance computing (HPC) fabric technology as well as support the company’s vision of innovating on fabric architectures to achieve ExaFLOP/s performance by 2018. An ExaFLOP/s is a quintillion computer operations per second, a hundred times more than today's fastest supercomputers.

QLogic's InfiniBand product set includes its 12000 InfiniBand Switch Series for High Performance Computing (HPC) environments. The 12000 series switches are based on the QLogic TrueScale ASIC platform, which enables 40Gb (QDR) performance and scalability from 18 to 864 ports. QLogic also offers its 9000 Series of 20Gbps DDR Directors and Edge Switches for cluster computing interconnects. This line includes 20Gb (SDR) InfiniBand Switch offerings from 24 to 288 ports, with optional support for Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

“At the International Supercomputing Conference 2011, Intel unveiled a bold vision to redefine HPC performance and break the Exascale barrier by 2018,�? said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Center and Connected System Group. “The technology and expertise from QLogic provide important assets to provide the scalable system fabric needed to execute on this vision. Adding QLogic’s InfiniBand product line to our networking portfolio will bring increased options and exceptional value to our datacenter customers.�?

Juniper Enhances its Media Flow CDN with BitGravity

Juniper Networks acquire rights to the service management layer of BitGravity's CDN technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BitGravity, which is a subsidiary of Tata Communications, operates a Tier 1 CDN with strategic peering relationships and dedicated routing between its data centers and across its global MPLS backbone.

Juniper said BitGravity's technology complements its own Media Flow Solution, enabling service providers, online media companies and content delivery networks (CDNs) to deliver online content more cost-effectively while simultaneously improving the end-user experience and driving new revenue.

BitGravity has already been integrating Juniper's Media Flow Solution into its service management technology.
  • In January 2011, Tata Communications acquired BitGravity, a start-up based in Burlingame, California that operates a content delivery network (CDN). BitGravity was founded in 2006 with the goal of delivering on-demand and live HD streaming. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Oclaro Samples 20G VCSEL

Oclaro is sampling a 20G VCSEL (Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser) designed for the growing 16G Fiberchannel transceiver market.

Oclaro noted that it has shipped well over 100 million VCSELs to date, including more than 500 thousand 10G VCSELs in the last year alone, making it the world's largest supplier of VCSELs.

LSI to Leverage ARM's Cortex-A15 for Networking Apps

LSI has expanded its long-term strategic relationship with ARM and has committed to use ARM's next generation, energy-efficient multicore processors for networking applications. The agreement provides LSI with access to the broad family of ARM processors, including the ARM Cortex-A15 processor with virtualization support and future ARM processors. LSI also gains access to ARM on-chip interconnect technology, including CoreLink cache coherent interconnect system IP, for use in multicore applications.

Synopsys Acquires ExpertIO for Protocol Verification

Synopsys has acquired ExpertIO,a provider of verification IP (VIP) for industry standard protocols. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Synopsys said it is focused on delivering a broad portfolio of leading standards-based VIP to help engineers address the growing verification challenges associated with creating today's 'smart' electronics. VIP provides functional models of on- and off-chip protocols that verification engineers use to test all of the interfaces on an SoC before manufacturing. It enables the engineer to verify how an interface conforms to published standards and also allows the engineer to verify the interactions among various interfaces on an SoC.