Tuesday, April 2, 2019

SK Telecom's 5G network is live with 34,000 base stations deployed

SK Telecom has activated a total of 34,000 5G base stations across Korea.

In a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, SK Telecom marked "the beginning of the age of Hyper-Innovation with 5G".

The company's 5G network initially targets the nation's most data traffic-concentrated areas, including main areas of 85 cities nationwide (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, etc.), university districts, KTX, sports stadiums, expressways, subway lines (Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Area) and beaches. SK Telecom is also expanding in-building coverage centered around 120 department stores, shopping malls and airports. In the second half of 2019, SK Telecom will expand 5G network coverage to subway systems nationwide, national parks and festival sites.

SK Telecom’s 5G network supports downlinks up to 2.7 Gbps.

New 5GX price plans go into effect on April 5, 2019. Four plans are offered.

  • Slim offers 8GB of data (1Mbps speed after data cap) at KRW 55,000 month 
  • 5GX Standard comes with 150GB of data (5Mbps after data cap) at KRW 75,000 per month.
  • 5GX Prime comes with 200GB of data at KRW 95,000 per month
  • 5GX Platinum comes with 300 GB of data at KRW 125,000 per month

SK Telecom said its 5G pricing structure offers the same amount of data at lower prices compared to its LTE service.

https://www.sktinsight.com/111031



Intel Xeon processors pack up to 56 cores, add capabilities

The 2nd-Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform will deliver an evolutionary leap in agility and scalability.

At Intel’s “Data-Centric Innovation Day” in San Francisco, the company outlined many new Xeon benchmarks and capabilities:

  • Support for Intel Optane DC persistent memory, delivering up-to 36TB of system-level memory capacity when combined with traditional DRAM.
  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 ramps up-to 4.4GHz, alongside memory subsystem enhancements with support for DDR4-2933 MT/s and 16 Gb DIMM densities.
  • Built-in Intel Deep Learning Boost delivers up to 14x2 inference throughput improvement, and combined with software optimized Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit
  • Intel Speed Select will enable new Xeon Scalable processors to be configured to performance settings of core counts and frequencies, effectively creating “Three CPUs in One.”
  • Enhanced Intel Infrastructure Management Technologies will enable increased utilization and workload optimization across data center resources.
  • New side-channel protections are directly incorporated into hardware.
  • Intel Security Libraries for Data Center (Intel SecL-DC) is designed to simplify the integration and deployment of hardware-rooted Intel security technologies at cloud scale. Intel SecL-DC brings optimized programming interfaces and management tools for many Intel security technologies together in one easy-to-use set of libraries and tools compatible with cloud environments like OpenStack, Docker and Kubernetes Extensions. 
  • For security-sensitive organizations, Intel engineers have worked with Lockheed Martin to deliver a new hardened virtualization platform. This Intel Select Solution for Hardened Security with Lockheed Martin is a full-stack solution, from hardware through hypervisor that features greater data confidentiality through VM memory encryption and cache isolation. It offers robust platform integrity with trusted boot all the way through to runtime, and improved availability through more deterministic Quality of Service and protections from Noisy Neighbors.
  • The new Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 processors feature up to 56 cores and 12 memory channels to deliver breakthrough levels of performance with the highest Intel architecture FLOPS per rack, along with the highest DDR4 native memory bandwidth support of any Intel Xeon processor platform.
  • The new Intel Xeon Platinum Processor (8200 Series) will offer up to 28 cores and 2, 4 and 8+ socket configurations.
  • The Intel Xeon Gold Processor (6200 Series) is Networking Specialized (NFVi optimized) with Intel Speed Select Technology – Base Frequency. It offers up to 1.76x NFV workload perf improvement and additional flexibility to enable up to 8 high-priority cores that support virtualized workload acceleration for maximum performance and power efficiency. It scales to up to 24 cores.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/fact-sheet-intel-unveils-new-technologies-accelerate-innovation-data-centric-world/#gs.3lgjeu



Intel's 10nm Agilex FPGA targets embedded, network and data centers

Intel introduced its new  Intel an"Agilex" field programmable gate array (FPGA) family targetted at embedded, network and data center markets.

The Intel Agilex family combines FPGA fabric built on Intel’s 10nm process with innovative heterogeneous 3D SiP technology. This provides the capability to integrate analog, memory, custom computing, custom I/O, and Intel eASIC device tiles into a single package with the FPGA fabric.

Intel delivers a custom logic continuum with reusable IPs through a migration path from FPGA to structured ASIC. One API provides a software-friendly heterogeneous programming environment, enabling software developers to easily access the benefits of FPGA for acceleration.

Intel said the new product is the first FPGA to support Compute Express Link, a cache and memory coherent interconnect to future Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

Agilex also supports 2nd-generation HyperFlex Architecture, which offers up to 40 percent higher performance, or up to 40 percent lower total power compared with Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs. The new Agilex family is also the only FPGA supporting hardened BFLOAT16 and up to 40 teraflops of digital signal processor (DSP) performance (FP16). It also supports Peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) Gen 5.

The Agilex transceiver supports up to 112 Gbps data rates. Advanced memory support includes DDR5, HBM, and Intel Optane DC persistent memory.

“The race to solve data-centric problems requires agile and flexible solutions that can move, store and process data efficiently. Intel Agilex FPGAs deliver customized connectivity and acceleration while delivering much needed improvements in performance and power1,2 for diverse workloads," stated Dan McNamara, Intel senior vice president, Programmable Solutions Group.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-driving-data-centric-world-new-10nm-intel-agilex-fpga-family/#gs.3lgdg8

West deploys Fujitsu's 1FINITY and Virtuora for DCI

West Corporation, a global provider of communication and network infrastructure services headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, has deployed Fujitsu Network Communications' 1FINITY and Virtuora platforms in a live 200G data center interconnect (DCI) network.

West chose to deploy enhanced optical transport on top of their existing network to interconnect data centers in four key metro areas: Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix. In 2018, West provisioned high-performance 1FINITY T310 Transport blades in a 200 Gbps alien wavelength configuration, introducing greater capacity, speed, efficiency and resiliency to their existing optical network platform. West also deployed the Virtuora Network Control Solution to simplify operations for their entire network, facilitating scalability and agility to meet real-time capacity demands with an open, programmable platform.

“The disaggregated, blade-based 1FINITY transport solution is an ideal upgrade for West’s DCI network, delivering the speed and performance their clients have come to expect,” said Annie Bogue, head of sales and marketing, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “By pairing the 1FINITY T310 blades with our open-source, adaptable Virtuora management system, West can easily scale capacity when and where it’s needed, vastly improving the overall efficiency of their network.”

O-RAN Open Source Community gets underway

The O-RAN Alliance and the Linux Foundation have established the O-RAN Software Community (O-RAN SC) to provide open software aligned with the O-RAN Alliance’s open architecture.

As a new open source community under the Linux Foundation, the O-RAN SC is sponsored by the O-RAN Alliance, and together they will develop open source software enabling modular, open, intelligent, efficient, and agile disaggregated radio access networks. The initial set of software projects may include: near-real-time RAN intelligent controller (nRT RIC), non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (NRT RIC), cloudification and virtualization platforms, open central unit (O-CU), open distributed unit (O-DU), and a test and integration effort to provide a working reference implementation. Working with other adjacent open source networking communities, the O-RAN SC will enable collaborative development across the full operator network stack.

“This collaboration between the O-RAN Alliance and the Linux Foundation is a tremendous accomplishment that represents the culmination of years of thoughtful innovation around the next generation of networks,” said Andre Fuetsch, Chairman of the O-RAN Alliance, and President of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer at AT&T. “The launch of the O-RAN SC marks the next phase of that innovation, where the benefits of disaggregated and software-centric platforms will move out to the edge of the network. This new open source community will be critical if 5G is to reach its full potential.”

“We are really excited to see the establishment of the O-RAN Open Source Community,” said Chih-Lin I, chief scientist of China Mobile, co-chair of the O-RAN Technical Steering Committee and member of the Executive Committee of the O-RAN Alliance. “The O-RAN Alliance is aiming at building an ‘Open’ and ‘Smart’ Radio Access Network for future wireless systems. From day one, the Alliance has embraced open source as one of the most powerful means to achieve its vision. The O-RAN Open Source Community is the fruit of a yearlong extensive deliberation between the O-RAN Alliance and the Linux Foundation. We believe that the power of open source will further the momentum and accelerate the development, test, commercialization and deployment of O-RAN solutions.”

“We are excited to collaborate with O-RAN Alliance in bringing communities together to create software for this important access area of Telecommunications,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge & IOT, the Linux Foundation. “This step towards execution marks another major milestone in networking partnerships across standards and open source organizations.”

http://www.o-ran-sc.org

George Davis leaves Qualcomm to join Intel as CFO

Intel announced the appointment of George S. Davis as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO).

Davis, 61, joins Intel from Qualcomm Inc., where he served as executive vice president and CFO since March 2013. At Qualcomm, Davis served on the company’s executive committee and was responsible for leading the global finance organization, IT and investor relations. Prior to Qualcomm, Davis served six years as CFO for Applied Materials, with responsibility for finance, IT, strategy and corporate development, as well as government relations.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Intel team,” Davis said. “With demand for the analysis, transmission and storage of data growing faster than ever, no company in the world is better positioned to capitalize on that opportunity than Intel. It’s an exciting time for Intel, and I’m looking forward to playing a role in the company’s transformation.”

EXFO posts Q2 sales of US$73.9 million, up 14%

EXFO reported IFRS sales of US$73.9 million for its second quarter, ended February 28, 2019, up 14.2% from US$64.7 million in the second quarter of 2018. Second-quarter sales for 2019 included a US$7.5 million revenue contribution from Astellia, which was reduced by US$0.6 million to account for acquisition-related fair value adjustment of deferred revenue. In comparison, Astellia had generated US$1.8 million in revenue for one month in the second quarter 2018.

IFRS net earnings in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 totaled US$5.2 million, or US$0.09 per share, compared to a net loss attributable to the parent interest1 of US$4.7 million, or US$0.08 per share, in the second quarter of 2018. IFRS net earnings in the second quarter of 2019 included net expenses totaling US$3.9 million: US$1.9 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.5 million in stock-based compensation costs, US$0.5 million in after-tax restructuring charges, US$0.6 million for acquisition-related fair value adjustment of deferred revenue, and a foreign exchange loss of US$0.4 million.

"EXFO delivered outstanding second quarter results with strong revenue and bookings growth, profitability and cash flow generation—all encouraging signs for our T&M and SASS product families and the leverage in our operating model," said EXFO's CEO Philippe Morin.

See also