Sunday, April 7, 2013

Next Stop: 400 GbE

An interview with John D'Ambrosia, Chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, who discusses the significance of the IEEE 802.3 establishing a study group for 400 GbE. Some questions answered include:

01:23 -- How long until we see a 400 GbE standard?
02:17 -- What will the 400 GbE standard look like?
03:00 -- Will 400 GbE be driven by silicon photonics?
04:22 -- Is there a role for copper at 400G and above?

IBM's BLU Acceleration Speeds Up Big Data

IBM introduced new software aimed at accelerating the analysis of Big Data.  The company also announced a new IBM PureData System for Hadoop in the enterprise.

IBM's new BLU Acceleration software provides faster access to key information by extending the capabilities of traditional in-memory systems -- which allows data to be loaded into Random Access Memory instead of hard disks for faster performance.  IBM said that during its testing, the software was able to deliver some queries in a typical analytics workload at more than 1000 times faster.  New techniques include "data skipping," which allows the ability to skip over data that doesn't need to be analyzed, such as duplicate information; the ability to analyze data in parallel across different processors; and greater ability to analyze data transparently to the application, without the need to develop a separate layer of data modeling. BLU Acceleration also employs a technique called "actionable compression," where data no longer has to be decompressed to be analyzed.  

The PureData System for Hadoop will start shipping to customers in the second half 2013.

Audi and T-Mobile USA Offer Unlimited In-vehicle Data Plan

Audi of America and T-Mobile USA announced a new data plan for in-vehicle connectivity, enabling Audi owners to get real-time news, weather and fuel prices, access to Google Earth and Google Voice Local Search and enable passengers to enjoy broadband connectivity on up to 8 Wi-Fi devices.  Audi is offering a 6-month trial to buyers of new vehicles.  After that, customers can pay $450 for full data services over 30 months (equaling $15 per month) or $30 on a month-to-month basis.

“Audi and T-Mobile worked closely to develop the new pricing plan based on extensive research and feedback from both dealers and customers,” said Anupam Malhotra, Senior Manager, Connected Vehicle, Audi of America. “The T-Mobile-powered Audi connect service delivers unmatched connectivity to our customers at a rate that will turn their Audi into the ultimate mobile device. This plan will help move us toward the goal of one million connected Audi vehicles on the road worldwide by 2015.”

Sony Prices its 4K HD Sets

Sony Electronics announced U.S. pricing of its new 4K Ultra High Definition TV sets: the XBR-55X900A (55-inch) and XBR-65X900A (65-inch) 4K Ultra HD LED TVs will cost $4,999 and $6,999 respectively. An 84-inch models is also available for $24,999.  The sets were first unveiled at CES in January.

The UHD 4K provides a resolution that is four-times that of Full HD TV (3840 x 2160).  Sony said its implementation ensures that all content is viewed at the highest resolution possible with enhanced images reaching near 4K with using its own proprietary two-chip  4K X-Reality PRO picture engine.

Sony is also announcing its 4K Media Player (shown), the FMP-X1, and a video disc distribution service.

GreenBytes Secures $7 Million for Flash-based Desktop Virtualization

GreenBytes, a start-up based in Providence, Rhode Island, announced $7 million in additional Series C funding, for its desktop virtualization technology.

GreenBytes' IO-Offload desktop virtualization leverages a patented, zero latency inline deduplication technology.  GreenBytes said this enables it to deliver a superior virtual desktop experience with 97% less storage space required, and with the manageability, scalability and affordability required for cloud-scale VDI deployments. GreenBytes' IO-Offload desktop virtualization solutions include the IO Offload Engine, a hardware appliance, and the vIO, a virtual storage appliance.

The new funding came from Generation Investment Management LLP and Battery Ventures.

"GreenBytes has experienced explosive growth and intense interest from the rapidly expanding desktop virtualization market whilst garnering extraordinary praise as the first-mover in the flash-optimized virtual storage appliance market," said Steve O'Donnell, chairman and CEO, GreenBytes. "We have been gaining incredible momentum with customers, resellers and strategic OEM partners, and this additional funding enables us to step up sales and marketing programs as we expand our solution into additional global territories and experience deeper market penetration."

STMicroelectronics Builds Next Gen MEMs Pilot Line

STMicroelectronics is working with research partners to develop a pilot line for next-generation MEMS devices augmented with advanced technologies such as piezoelectric or magnetic materials and 3D packaging. The project was launched by the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) Joint Undertaking (JU), a public-private partnership in nanoelectronics.

ST said this project will also develop advanced packaging technologies and vertical interconnections using flip-chip, through-silicon vias and through-mold vias, enabling 3D-integrated devices for applications such as body area sensors and remote monitoring. A key target is to perfect a PZT deposition process compatible with mass production, and integrate it into complex MEMS processes to enable innovative actuators and sensors on System-On-Chip industrial products.

Fusion-io Unveils 1.6 TB ioFX for Workstation

Fusion-io announced a 1.6 TB flash-based workstation acceleration platform aimed at video editing, computer assisted design (CAD), 4K and stereoscopic production, as well as digital intermediate (DI) finishing applications.

Based on the Fusion ioMemory platform trusted to accelerate data centers around the world, the 1.6 TB Fusion ioFX significantly improves workstation application performance. The company already offered a 420 GB model for $1,995.  Pricing for the new, larger model has not been announced.

"Digital production is undergoing a resolution revolution as production moves to 4K and beyond, while production budgets and deadlines continue to tighten," said Vincent Brisebois, Fusion-io Director of Visual Computing.  "To overcome these opposing forces, the Fusion ioFX can help digital artists efficiently deliver creative work faster, even when faced with the most demanding production requirements. Fusion-io is proud to collaborate with industry leading software developers and hardware companies to deliver breakthrough acceleration for the tools used by professional artists worldwide."

NTT Acquires Prime Property in City of London

NTT has acquired a prime office property at 265 Strand, City of London, UK.

The building is near the London School of Economics.  NTT said the purchase price was £77 million.

Guavus Adds a VP of Insights

Guavus, a start-up specializing in big data analytics for carriers, announced the appointment of Rob Chimsky to the newly created role of vice president of insights.   Chimsky previously worked for inCode, Nextel, MCI and AT&T.

Guavus specializes in big data analytics solutions for tier-1 communications service providers.

IBM Opens Cloud Data Center in Ehningen,Germany

IBM opened a new SmartCloud for Social Business Data Center in Ehningen, Germany.

IBM said the new facility will help businesses follow the lead of customers such as Arnold Clark, Codorniu, Shanks, Centrax TCL and Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), who are already using IBM's cloud-based social business services.

The new data center joins other SmartCloud for Social Business facilities in North America and Asia Pacific.

IBM has previously said that its cloud revenue grew by 80 percent in 2012.  IBM supports the EU and Swiss Safe Harbor frameworks and model clause agreements to address EU data privacy requirements for the cloud.