Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity, Combining 60 GHz WiGig with 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity, a start-up specializing in 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard, also known as WiGig technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Qualcomm is launching a family of tri-band platforms that combine Qualcomm Atheros' Wi-Fi and WiGig solutions to significantly increase performance and enable cutting-edge wireless applications. The initial tri-band platform is a reference design based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, which is the world’s first mobile platform designed to support WiGig to enable applications such as 4k video streaming, peer-to-peer content sharing, networking, wireless docking, and backing up entire media libraries in seconds.

Qualcomm said WiGig technology brings multi-gigabit speeds for next gen mobile applications and allows for greater cellular network offload. 802.11ad also extends the Qualcomm VIVE portfolio, and builds on the company’s recent initiatives to revolutionize Wi-Fi networks with11ac 2.0 solutions with MU-MIMO.  Tri-band Wi-Fi solutions from Qualcomm Atheros integrate the multi-gigabit performance of 802.11ad operating in the 60 GHz spectrum band along with 802.11ac that operates in the 5 GHz band and 802.11b/g/n in the 2.4 GHz band. In combination, 11ad and 11ac create the most powerful and efficient wireless solution in the market; coupling the whole home coverage of 11ac with the in-area multi-gigabit connectivity of 11ad will provide users with a superior connected experience.

“Qualcomm is continually innovating and investing in leadership technologies to drive value for our customers while creating new growth opportunities for our mobile, computing and networking platforms. WiGig will play an important role in Qualcomm’s strategy to address consumers’ increasingly sophisticated smartphone, tablet and computing requirements to support applications—such as immediate streaming of 4K video and high throughput peer-to-peer communication to enable the next generation of social interactions between users sharing content,” said Amir Faintuch, president, Qualcomm Atheros.

Qualcomm Atheros has been an investor in Wilocity since 2008 and worked closely with Wilocity to develop and distribute tri-band solutions for the computing market since 2011.

  • The WiGig MAC and PHY Specification, version 1.1 supports data rates up to 7 Gbps -- more than ten times faster than the highest 802.11n rate.  The spec supplements and extends the 802.11 Media Access Control (MAC) layer and is backward compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard.

  • Wilocity is headed by Tal Tamir (co-founder and CEO), who prior to co-founding Wilocity in 2007, served as Director of Wireless Strategic Planning at Intel, leading the wireless initiatives for Intel's Centrino mobile technology platform. Tal joined Intel from Conexant, where as General Manager he directed development for voiceband and broadband modem technologies.

Nokia Networks to Acquire SAC Wireless for its Integration Expertise

Nokia Networks agreed to acquire SAC Wireless, a privately-held network integration provider based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SAC Wireless, which has about 450 employees, supports the rollout of major telecom networks across the United States, including LTE upgrades and indoor/outdoor Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). The company's core business consists of fully integrated network solutions specializing in site development, architectural and engineering design, construction services, equipment installation, commissioning and integration, operations and maintenance and advisory consulting services.

“This acquisition builds on our existing strengths and continued investment in our customers’ success. Once the transaction has been completed, it will help us increase market share in the network implementation space,” said Ricky Corker, executive vice president of North America for Nokia Networks. “With SAC Wireless’ capabilities complementing our own in-house expertise, we are well positioned to bring enhanced quality and increased end-to-end delivery efficiency to our customers. No other infrastructure provider is offering this level of proven services.”

“As we continue to build an even stronger foundation for our U.S. services business, we see great opportunities to help our customers address the tough challenges of network deployment. These range from indoor/outdoor small cells, distributed antenna systems, 4G LTE upgrades, and solving backhaul connectivity and bandwidth issues,” said Jorg Erlemeier, vice president of North America Market Services for Nokia Networks. “SAC Wireless is to augment our existing network implementation service capabilities and increase the size and effectiveness of our delivery organization.”

DARPA Develops Silicon Transmitter Operating in Millimeter-wave Range

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced an all-silicon, microchip-sized transmitter that operates at 94 GHz -- the first silicon-only SoC that has achieved such a high frequency, which falls in the millimeter-wave range.

Researchers with DARPA’s Efficient Linearized All-Silicon Transmitter ICs (ELASTx) program have now shown that silicon chips be used for high data rate, millimeter-wave wireless communications systems.  Conventionally, such systems have used gallium arsenide (GaAs) or gallium nitride (GaN) chips.

DARPA said its all-silicon SoC transmitter uses a digitally assisted power amplifier that dynamically adapts amplifier performance characteristics to changing signal requirements, and it can support a range of modulation formats.  Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems supported the research program.

“This accomplishment opens the door for co-designing digital CMOS [complementary metal oxide semiconductors] and millimeter-wave capabilities as an integrated system on an all-silicon chip, which should also make possible new design architectures for future military RF systems,” said Dev Palmer, DARPA program manager.

Nexenta Hires Hillary Clinton for Keynote Speech

Nexenta, a start-up offering Software-Defined Storage solutions, has signed Hillary Rodham Clinton to deliver a keynote address at its upcoming OpenSDx Summit on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in San Francisco.  The invitation-only event coincides with the last day of VMworld 2014, which also occurs in San Francisco.

Fiber Theft Knocks Out Telefónica Movistar Colombia

Telefónica Movistar Colombia suffered a widespread outage of its mobile network in the capital city of Bogotá and other parts of country.  The company cited an act of theft that damaged its fiber infrastructure.

Virgin Mobile users were also impacted. Telefónica's fixed line, broadband and TV services were not impacted.

Support Grows for Apache Spark in Big Data Streaming

Cloudera, Databricks, IBM, Intel, and MapR announced their collaboration to collectively broaden the range of tools and technologies in the Hadoop ecosystem that leverage Apache Spark as an underlying processing engine.

Apache Spark is an open-source data analytics cluster computing framework that promises to run programs up to 100x faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, or 10x faster on disk.

The companies said their new collaboration expands upon the Spark momentum to include several key Hadoop projects - starting with the Apache Hive SQL engine (Hive). Using Spark as the underlying execution engine, this effort will improve the performance of batch SQL jobs in Hive, while seamlessly maintaining compatibility with the core Hive code base.  The companies are also investigating ways to adapt Apache Pig to leverage Spark, as well as other popular tools, such as Sqoop and Search.