Tuesday, October 10, 2017

KPN Circular Manifesto seeks environmentally sustainable network

Royal KPN, the Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company, published a "Circular Manifesto" calling on networking equipment suppliers to make infrastructure and customer premise equipment more durable and longer lasting using fewer virgin raw materials and built in such a way that by 2025 close to 100% of the parts and resources can be reused or recycled.

KPN aims to transition to "a circular economy" based on these principles by 2050.

The announcement was made at the Layer 123 SDN World Congress occurring this week in The Hague, Netherlands.

Seven supplies have signed the KPN Circular Manifesto: ARRIS, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei and ZTE; and recycling and refurbishing specialists Drake & Farrell and Teleplan.  These companies will work with KPN to produce by 2025 hardware that is circular by design and implement processes that are more energy efficient for both KPN and its customers.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges in our society and it’s time for action, not words.  As the Netherland’s largest ICT-provider, we recognize that we have a leading role to play to enable the necessary transition towards a sustainable and increasingly circular economy. That’s why we’re implementing our own circular economy target with a demanding timeline,” said Eelco Blok, CEO of KPN. “We’re very pleased that such important partners have accepted this challenge and share our determination. After all, it’s only by working together that we can realize the innovation necessary to become circular. Their support is key and the knowledge we develop together can also benefit other stakeholders who seek to reduce their own environmental impact.”

Intel builds 17-qubit superconducting quantum chip

Intel announced a major advance in quantum computing: the delivery of a 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing to QuTech, Intel’s quantum research partner in the Netherlands.

Intel developed the chip using a mnew architecture allowing improved reliability, thermal performance and reduced radio frequency (RF) interference between qubits.
The design leverages a scalable interconnect scheme that allows for 10 to 100 times more signals into and out of the chip as compared to wirebonded chips.

Intel said the successful fabrication of a quantum computing chip underscores the importance of material science and semiconductor manufacturing in realizing the promise of quantum computing.

“Our quantum research has progressed to the point where our partner QuTech is simulating quantum algorithm workloads, and Intel is fabricating new qubit test chips on a regular basis in our leading-edge manufacturing facilities,” said Dr. Michael Mayberry, corporate vice president and managing director of Intel Labs. “Intel’s expertise in fabrication, control electronics and architecture sets us apart and will serve us well as we venture into new computing paradigms, from neuromorphic to quantum computing.”

Swisscom installs Ericsson NFVi in core network

Swisscom has installed Ericsson's Network Functions Virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) solution in its core network.

The Swisscom cloud-based enterprise service, which went live in September, is based on Ericsson's full-stack telco cloud infrastructure. Ericsson’s NFVi offering comprises Ericsson Cloud Manager, Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment, Ericsson Cloud SDN, Ericsson Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000, and system integration and support services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Swisscom said it is working closely with Ericsson to onboard additional services in the near future.

Swisscom launches Enterprise Cloud in Swiss jurisdiction

Swisscom announced the launch of two new cloud solutions:Enterprise Service Cloud from Switzerland and the Enterprise Cloud for SAP Solutions, which has been specially designed for efficient SAP operations.

Swisscom is also extending its portfolio with global offerings from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The Enterprise Service Cloud is an integrated cloud that covers everything from infrastructure via platform services to Managed Services and outsourcing. All data storage and functionality resides within Swiss jurisdiction. The cloud runs in tier IV-certified Swisscom data centres. From 2018 there will also be industry-specific services, for the banking or health sector for instance, with tighter compliance guidelines.

Enterprise Cloud for SAP Solutions is a SAP-certified, flexible and reliable service. As the largest SAP provider in Switzerland, Swisscom said it can offer the expertise of its 300 SAP consultants and its 80 full outsourcing customers to provide flexible infrastructure and dedicated SAP operations for Switzerland.

Nokia Technologies exits VR, refocuses on digital health

Nokia Technologies, the business unit which includes the company's extensive patent portfolio and which pursues a number of ventures, announced a strategic shift.  The division will focus on digital health, while repositioning its investments in virtual reality (VR). Nokia Technologies will also focus on growing brand and technology licensing while leaving its successful patent licensing business untouched.

Nokia Technologies cited "slower-than-expected development of the VR market. The company will halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers. Job losses are expected to be around 310 of the roughly 1090 employees in Nokia Technologies. Cuts will occur mainly in Finland, the US and the UK.

The company said this strategic realignment will leverage its digital health portfolio acquired through the purchase of Withings in 2016.

The OZO, which was conceived at Nokia's R&D facilities in Tampere, Finland and introduced in 2015, captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight (8) synchronized global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight (8) integrated microphones. Software built for OZO enables real-time 3D viewing.

Ericsson nominates an outsider as next Chairman

Ronnie Leten has been nominated as new Chairman of the Board of Ericsson, replacing Leif Johansson, who has served in the role since 2011 and who recently announced his intention to step down,

Leten is a well-know Belgian business executive who has served as president and CEO of Atlas Copco since 2009. 

Leten is currently a board member in SKF, the Chairman of the Board of Electrolux and proposed Chairman of the Board of Epiroc, the part of Atlas Copco planned to be dividend out in 2018.

Ericsson's Nomination Committee has also propose Kurt Jofs as new member of the Board. Jofs was responsible for Ericsson’s Networks business 2003-2008 and is currently the Chairman of the Board in Tieto.

Both nominations need to be approved by the company's board of directors. Ericsson’s Nomination Committee consists of Johan Forssell, Investor AB (Chairman of the Nomination Committee); Bengt Kjell, AB Industrivärden and Handelsbankens Pensionsstiftelse; Christer Gardell, Cevian Funds; Anders Oscarsson, AMF Försäkring och Fonder; Johan Held, Afa Försäkring; and Leif Johansson, Chairman of the Board.

Edgecore contributes 10G PON OLT design to Open Compute

Edgecore Networks, which is the wholly-owned switching subsidiary of Accton, is contributing its hardware design for a disaggregated 10G PON OLT to the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation.

Edgecore's whitebox OLT could be used to deploy 10G PON services from Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) infrastructures, which utilize whitebox hardware and open source SDN and NFV software to lower equipment costs, increase service delivery agility, and leverage open technology innovation. The design offers 16 XFP ports supporting 10G XGS-PON or NG-PON2 plus four 100 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP28 uplinks. Furthermore, it conforms to the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1RU OLT specification contributed to the OCP Telco Project, and is based on Broadcom StrataDNX switch and PON MAC SOC merchant silicon. The Edgecore disaggregated OLT supports the Virtual OLT Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) interface to centralized PON management software in CORD infrastructures.

By contributing the design to OCP, Edgecore is making it easier for service providers to choose whitebox hardware to accelerate 10G PON deployments.
 are developing software to integrate and manage the OLT in CORD deployments”

“Edgecore is working closely with service providers and partners worldwide who are testing our whitebox OLT hardware as they plan 10G PON services, and with partners who are developing software to integrate and manage the OLT in CORD deployments,” said Jeff Catlin, VP Technology, Edgecore Networks. “Our contribution to OCP of the hardware design package for the 10G OLT will enable service providers to deploy completely open hardware and software CORD infrastructures including our OCP-ACCEPTED leaf/spine switches, Ethernet edge switches and now the whitebox OLT for residential and business service delivery.”

Intel joins Open Neural Network Exchange

Intel has joined the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), which was first announced last month by Microsoft and Facebook to give users more choice in AI frameworks.

Currently, the ONNX format is supported by Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Caffe2 and PyTorch. Microsoft’s FPGA-based Project Brainwave will also support ONNX.

Intel said it is participating in the project to provide greater flexibility to the developer community by giving access to the most suitable tools for each unique AI project and the ability to easily switch between frameworks and tools.

Tata Teleservices looks to shut mobile operations in India

It appears that Tata Teleservices is preparing to exit the mobile market in India.

According to TRAI, the national regulatory authority, Tata had 42,094,961 mobile subscribers as of the end of July, down by 1.6 million in only a month.

On Monday, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran told The Economic Times, said the business was in "really bad shape".  It carries a debt of Rs 31,000 crore debt in addition to spectrum liability. It looks increasingly likely that the company will sell off its network assets and cease operations. No timelines were given.

Toshiba intros 50 Mbps photocouplers

Toshiba America Electronic Components introduced two high-speed photocouplers for applications such as programmable logic controllers, I/O interface boards, photovoltaic inverters, and factory automation inverters:

  • TLP2767 -- a 50Mbps photocoupler that provides both a creepage and clearance distance of 8mm and isolation thickness of 0.4mm, supporting reinforced isolation. It features isolation voltage of 5000Vrms (min) and is housed in a SO6L package. 
  • TLP2367 -- provides creepage and clearance distance of 5mm (min) and isolation voltage of 3750Vrms. It is available in a 5-pin SO6 package.