Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Facebook's Terragraph Accelerates WiGig for City Access

Facebook took the wraps off of two terrestrial connectivity technologies for fast wireless access.

Terragraph is a 60 GHz, multi-node wireless system for dense urban areas and that uses radios based on the WiGig standard. Facebook said Terragraph will deliver gigabits of data capacity. IPv6-only Terragraph nodes will be placed at 200m intervals. Terragraph will incorporate commercial off-the-shelf components and aim for high-volume, low-cost production. Facebook noted that up to 7 GHz of bandwidth is available in the unlicensed 60 GHz band in many countries.  U.S. regulators are considering expanding this to a total of 14 GHz.

Facebook Terragraph will also leverage an SDN-like cloud compute controller and a new modular routing protocol that Facebook optimized for fast route convergence and failure detection. The architecture also tweaks the MAC layer to solve shortcomings of TCP/IP over a wireless link. The company says the TDMA-TDD MAC layers delivers up to 6x improvement in network efficiency while being more predictable than the existing Wi-Fi/WiGig standard.

Terragraph is already in operation at the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California, where it delivers 1.05 Gbps bidirectional (2.1 Gbps total throughput per distribution node) in P2P mode, up to 250 meters away. A wider trial is planned for San Jose, California.

Facebook also released details on Project ARIES, a transmission technology that is a) spectrally efficient and allows for higher throughput in even the smallest bandwidths, and b) energy efficient, allowing for extended coverage range.

The proof-of-concept system features a base station with 96 antennas and can support 24 streams simultaneously over the same radio spectrum. Researchers have demonstrated 71 bps/Hz of spectral efficiency. The target is aiming for an unprecedented 100+ bps/Hz of spectral efficiency. Facebook said ARIES is an embodiment of Massive MIMO — by using “spatial multiplexing,” the antenna array at the base station can serve a multiplicity of autonomous user terminals on the same time-frequency resource. This opens up possibilities such as resource sharing as an alternative not only to the need for spectrum licensing.

Facebook already has an ARIES testbed delivering 10x spectral and energy efficiency gains in point to multi-point deployments.

https://code.facebook.com/posts/1072680049445290/

MEF Sets Ethernet Interconnect Point Agreement for Carriers

The MEF published the Ethernet Interconnect Point (EIP) ENNI Implementation Agreement – MEF 54, which streamlines the interconnection of operator networks to support end-to-end Carrier Ethernet (CE) services.

The IA provides practical guidance so operators can evolve their networks to meet full CE 2.0 E-Access interconnection capabilities. The IA gives operators the steps involved to create these new interconnections either all at once or in a series of steps. The  IA represents the completion of Phase 1 of the MEF EIP project, which includes the most basic interconnection possible: an Ethernet Private Line created using two E-Access EPL services from different operators with an ENNI interconnect between them.  Phase 2 – which currently is in progress – will add test cases with greater complexity and new use cases focused on EVPL and E-Transit (EPL and EVPL). Additional considerations include color awareness, Class of Service, end-to-end service OAM, and LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration).

“The purpose of the EIP project is to produce a series of implementation agreements/ guidelines to create a more efficient marketplace of interconnected operators offering standardized CE 2.0 services that interoperate effectively over two or more networks,” said Nan Chen, President of the MEF. “EIP progress is key to future industry growth and innovation because widely deployed and interconnected CE 2.0 networking fabrics will form the foundation upon which to build agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services. “More than a dozen MEF member companies participated in Phase 1 of the EIP project that included Rapid Prototype testing at the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab,” said Chen. “We want to thank these companies for contributing to move the industry forward: AT&T, Verizon, Windstream, CenturyLink, Frontier, TelePacific, Accedian, Alcatel-Lucent (Nokia), Canoga Perkins, Ciena, Cisco, Juniper, RAD, and Veryx Technologies.”

https://www.mef.net/

NTT: Petahertz Frequency Observed in Gallium Nitride

Researchers at NTT and Tokyo University of Science  observed electronic oscillation (dipole oscillation) with attosecond (as: 10-18 of a second) periodicity using gallium nitride (GaN) wide-bandgap semiconductor. The experiment marks the first time the petahertz frequency barrier has been exceeded with a semiconductor. NTT said this shows the potential of future petahertz signal processing technology based on ordinary wide-bandgap semiconductor devices.

Previously, the maximum operational frequency was in the terahertz (1012 Hz) range, which was limited by the response time of band energy modulation with RF electric fields. To observe the ultrafast electron motion with petahertz frequency, extremely high temporal resolution was required.

http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2016/1604e/160411b.html

CWA: Verizon Strike is On

Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from Maine to Virginia, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), went on strike as of Wednesday morning at 6am. The parties have been unable to resolve differences since the last contract expired on August 1st, 2015.

The union cited the following unresolved issues:


  • Offshoring Jobs – Verizon has already contracted out work to more than 5,000 employees in the Philippines, Mexico, the Dominican Republican and other overseas locations. These offshore workers handle customer service calls originating in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states. 
  • Outsourcing Work to Low-Wage Contractors – the union is concerned about the amount of outside line work, particularly vital work installing and maintaining telephone poles, that is being assigned to non-union workers.
  • Contract for Wireless Workers – namedly, a fair first contract for Verizon Wireless retail workers who formed a union in 2014, and for the 100 wireless technicians who maintain the network in downstate New York.
  • Call-Center Closings – hundreds of Verizon workers are at risk of losing their jobs or being forced to commute as much as three hours more each day because of the company's plan to close and consolidate call centers. 
  • Out of State Assignments – long assignments of up to two months at a time

http://standuptoverizon.com/

Verizon Comments on Strike

In a press statement, Verizon said it remains committed to its negotiation objectives and seeks to bring negotiation to a closure after ten months at the bargaining table.

The company said 36,000 employees covered under these contracts currently have a wage and benefit package that averages more than $130,000 a year.  Over 99 percent of these employees support the wireline business which in 2015, contributed about 29 percent of Verizon's revenue but less than 7 percent of the company's operating income.

Verizon also said its wireline proposal offers a 6.5 percent wage increase over the term of the contract.

"We have trained thousands of non-union Verizon employees to carry out virtually every job function handled by our represented workforce – from making repairs on poles to responding to inquiries in our call centers.  We know the unions' strike order will be a hardship and pose challenges for our employees, but as a 24x7 customer service company, our contingency plans are in place and our company will continue to serve those who rely on us," stated Bob Mudge, president of Verizon's wireline network operations.

http://www.verizon.com

Windstream Connects Data Centers with Infinera

Windstream has deployed the Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide pre-provisioned high speed connections between data centers in Chicago. The initial deployment connects two data center locations within the Lakeside Technology Center at 350 East Cermak.

Infinera said its Cloud Xpress enables Windstream to leverage its unique photonic integrated circuit technology to support up to one terabit per second (Tbps) of input and output capacity in just two rack units. The Cloud Xpress delivers a full 500 Gbps super-channel of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) line-side bandwidth over 150 kilometers (km) without additional multiplexers or amplifiers, and up to 600 km with an amplified line system. Cloud Xpress also enables efficient scaling with simple provisioning and open interfaces to plug into existing cloud provisioning systems using open software defined networking (SDN) application programming interfaces (APIs). Instant Bandwidth allows the activation of WDM bandwidth in 100 Gbps increments with a few clicks of a mouse enabling rapid scale to meet continued customer demand.

“We selected the Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide data center interconnect services to our customers because it is an extremely simple and highly scalable plug-and-play solution,” said Art Nichols, Vice President of Engineering Architecture & Planning at Windstream. “Windstream is working actively with Infinera and several other key technology partners to employ SDN for creation and management of optical services across its metro and long-haul transport network in 2016.”

http://www.infinera.com

Everspin Samples Highest Density MRAM Non-Volatile Memory

Everspin Technologies has begun sampling a 256Mb ST-MRAM Storage Class Memory (SCM) - the highest density commercial MRAM currently on the market. The expects to sample a 1Gb product based on its proprietary perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (pMTJ) spin torque technology (ST-MRAM) later this year.

Everspin cited the following advantages for it ST-MRAM:

  • Supports 100,000 times faster write speeds than NAND flash
  • Operates on the DDR3/DDR4 DRAM memory interface
  • Requires no wear leveling
  • Provides the highest endurance of currently available non-volatile memories
  • Delivers low power operation
  • Enables instant on/off functionality

“We continue to bring the fastest non-volatile products to our customers, expanding our offering with a high density 1Gb DDR4 pMTJ ST-MRAM. This will provide new and innovative approaches to the way non-volatile memory solutions can be architected,” said Everspin CEO Phill LoPresti.

http://www.everspin.com

See also