Monday, May 4, 2020

NVIDIA acquires Cumulus, promising full-stack data center innovation

NVIDIA has acquired Cumulus Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cumulus, which was founded in 2010 by JR Rivers and Nolan Leake, developed a Linux-based operating system for network switches. The company signed licensing deals with Dell, HPE, Mellanox, and Lenovo. Cumulus is also known for its pioneering work with the open network install environment (ONIE) project.  Investors in the company included Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Peter Wagner and 4 of the 5 original VMware founders. Cumulus is based in Mountain View, California.

NVIDIA said the combination of its recently-acquired Mellanox division with Cumulus Networks will enable a new era for accelerated, software-defined data centers.

NVIDIA's target is to "innovate and optimize across the entire networking stack from chips and systems to software including analytics like Cumulus NetQ, delivering great performance and value to customers."

Mellanox has been collaborating with Cumulus since 2013. Mellanox Spectrum switches already ship with Cumulus Linux and SONiC, the open source offering forged in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and managed by the Open Compute Project.

NVIDIA acquires Mellanox - focus on Next Gen Data Centers

NVIDIA completed its $7 billion acquisition of Mellanox Technologies. The deal was originally announced on March 11, 2019.

NVIDIA says that by combining its computing expertise with Mellanox’s high-performance networking technology, data center customers will achieve higher performance, greater utilization of computing resources and lower operating costs.

“The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s datacenters,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant datacenter-scale compute engine.

“We share the same vision for accelerated computing as NVIDIA,” said Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Mellanox. “Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our longstanding partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures. This combination will foster the creation of powerful technology and fantastic opportunities for our people.”

NVIDIA also promised to continue investing in Israel, where Mellanox is based.

The companies expect to close the deal by the end of 2019.




IDC predicts 5.1% dip in IT spending, growth for infrastructure

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IDC lowered its forecast for global IT spending, saying it now expects a decline of 5.1% in constant currency terms this year to $2.25 trillion.

A new update to the IDC Worldwide Black Book Live Edition shows ICT spending, which includes telecom and business services, will decline by 3.4% this year to just over $4 trillion with telecom spending down 0.8%. However, IT infrastructure spending is still projected to grow overall by almost 4% to $237 billion with resilient spending by service providers in addition to ongoing enterprise demand for cloud services offsetting declines in business capital spending.


"Inevitably a major economic recession, in Q2 especially, will translate into some big short-term reductions in IT spending by those companies and industries that are directly impacted," said Stephen Minton, program vice president in IDC's Customer Insights & Analysis group. "Some firms will cut capital spending and others will either delay new projects or seek to cut costs in other ways. But there are also signs that some parts of the IT market may be more resilient to this economic crash in relative terms than previous recessions with technology now more integral to business operations and continuity than at any time in history."

Some additional highlights from IDC:

  • Overall spending on devices including PCs and phones will be down significantly this year and is the main drag on total IT spending with the economic fallout likely to disrupt upgrade cycles for smartphones, which were expected to be boosted by the launch of premium 5G devices. The PC market was already expected to decline this year after a commercial refresh cycle in 2019, leaving discretionary upgrades to new notebooks and tablets extremely vulnerable to any period of economic decline.
  • Infrastructure spending, on the other hand, is still expected to post moderate growth overall as businesses continue to fund existing cloud deployments while some may even look to accelerate their cloud projects during the remainder of the year as a means to control costs and defer capital spending on upgrades to on-premise datacenters and applications.
  • IT services spending will decline, mostly due to delays in big new projects, but a large portion of services revenue will be relatively protected from spending cuts where it relates to the management, support, and operations of technology, which is now fundamental to business performance and viability. At the same time, many companies are also reluctant to reverse course on digital transformation, which is central to business strategy.
  • Telecom spending will decline by almost 1%, which is relatively stable compared to other types of technology investments. Carriers will continue to invest in 5G network deployments in many countries, while the lockdown has increased demand for fixed broadband services in the short term. The economic fallout will put some macro pressure on consumer spending, including upgrades to 5G mobile contracts, in the second half of 2020, but the overall impact on telecom spending will be moderate compared to other ICT markets.

The latest IT spending forecast from the Worldwide Black Book will be covered during an IDC webinar to be held May 7, 2020 at 11:00 am U.S. Eastern time. Stephen Minton will review the current outlook for technology markets in the context of the COVID-19 impact, alongside an in-depth review of the industry impact led by Jessica Goepfert. Additional details and registration can be found at https://bit.ly/3cjMm4w

T-Mobile touts 5G Stand Alone milestones

T-Mobile US announced several world’s first milestones for standalone architecture (SA) 5G:


  • The first SA 5G data session between commercial modems from two suppliers on a production network with Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia and Qualcomm.
  • The first low-band SA 5G voice call using Evolved Packet System (EPS) fallback to VoLTE with Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek and Nokia. This enables high quality voice services utilizing VoLTE in the SA architecture while the industry is fully developing voice over new radio (VoNR) 5G technology.
  • The first low-band VoNR call on a production network with Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, and Nokia. VoNR allows for voice calls to run over 5G.
  • The first video over new radio (ViNR) call on a production network with Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies. ViNR allows for high quality video calls to run natively, instead of an Over the Top (OTT) data service. In other words – no app needed!
  • Several 5G firsts with a commercial smartphone on a production network, including the first low-band SA 5G data session, first call with EPS fallback, and first VoNR & ViNR calls. These were pulled off alongside Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, OnePlus and Qualcomm Technologies.

T-Mobile said its new multi-vendor 5G production core enabled these achievements. During the tests, standalone and non-standalone (NSA) 5G devices were operating with active sessions at the same time in the same cell. The company plans to launch standalone 5G later this year.

“Powerful and reliable wireless networks are more important than ever, and these milestones mark a huge step forward for the entire wireless ecosystem,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “Standalone 5G, paired with the broad and deep network we’re building by combining the assets of T-Mobile and Sprint, will accelerate 5G adoption and services and transform wireless!”

“T-Mobile continues to bring 5G into focus, making huge strides globally to signify exactly how things can work with the right vision, people and technology in place,” said Jonathan Davidson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mass Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “Our work together on these series of firsts for standalone 5G to support both voice and video calls demonstrates our industry leadership and commitment to innovation. Our converged approach to 4G and 5G evolved packet core will help T-Mobile to enable mobile edge and low latency use cases with control and user plane separation (CUPS) while improving data center space, reduced power consumption and lower operational costs.”

“With 5G networks rolling out across the globe, we’re now stepping up to the next level: preparing the world for standalone 5G,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson. “Using Ericsson commercial products together with T-Mobile and our ecosystem partners, we have demonstrated the potential of standalone 5G on low bands. We have achieved the latest technology milestones in a concerted effort that advances 5G technology.”

Intel acquires Moovit for Urban Mobility App

Intel has acquired Moovit, an Israeli-based mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions company, for approximately $900 million ($840 million net of Intel Capital equity gain).

Moovit's urban mobility application offers multimodal trip planning by combining public transportation, bicycle and scooter services, ride-hailing, and car-sharing. The app has more than 800 million users and services in 3,100 cities across 102 countries. Moovit was founded in 2012 and has approximately 200 employees.

Moovit has also signed strategic partnership agreements with major ride-sharing operators and mobility ecosystem companies for analytics, routing, optimization and operations for MaaS. With this acquisition, Mobileye will be able to use Moovit’s large proprietary transportation dataset to optimize predictive technologies based on customer demand and traffic patterns, as well as tap into Moovit’s transit data repository of more than 7,500 key transit agencies and operators.

Intel says the addition of Moovit brings its Mobileye business closer to achieving its plan to become a complete mobility provider, including robotaxi services, which is forecast to be an estimated $160 billion opportunity by 2030.

“Intel’s purpose is to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth, and our Mobileye team delivers on that purpose every day,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “Mobileye’s ADAS technology is already improving the safety of millions of cars on the road, and Moovit accelerates their ability to truly revolutionize transportation – reducing congestion and saving lives – as a full-stack mobility provider.”

Mobileye enables advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and is currently deployed on nearly 60 million vehicles with more than 25 automaker partners.

“Moovit’s massive global user base, proprietary transportation data, global editors community, strong partnerships with key transit and mobility ecosystem partners, and highly skilled team is what makes them a great investment,” said Professor Amnon Shashua, CEO of Mobileye. “Moovit is a strong brand trusted by hundreds of millions of people globally. Together, with Mobileye’s extensive capabilities in mapping and self-driving technology, we will be able to accelerate our timeline to transform the future of mobility.”

“We are excited to join forces with Mobileye and lead the future revolution of new mobility services,” said Nir Erez, Moovit co-founder and CEO. “Mobility is a basic human right, and as cities become more crowded, urban mobility becomes more difficult. Combining the daily mobility habits and needs of millions of Moovit users with the state-of-the-art, safe, affordable and eco-friendly transportation enabled by self-driving vehicles, we will be able to make cities better places to live in. We share this vision and look forward to making it a reality as part of Mobileye.”


  • Intel acquired Mobileye in 2017. 

Bavaria's M-net picks ADTRAN for G.fast

M-net, the leading fiber optic provider in Bavaria, Germany, has selected the ADTRAN Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) portfolio, specifically for its Fiber-to-the-Building (FTTB) products, and Mosaic Cloud Platform to help accelerate the introduction of gigabit services to its residential and business customers.

M-net is leveraging ADTRAN’s second-generation G.fast technology to rapidly expand its fiber broadband network coverage by leveraging the existing wiring throughout the buildings within its footprint.

“M-net’s goal is to extend our fiber network into every connected apartment and office via FTTH over time. The new generation of Gfast is a solution that immediately enables us to provide our customers with gigabit services via the existing FTTB-infrastructure – a solution significantly more reliable, more robust against interference and much more efficient in the carbon footprint than alternative technologies in the market,” said Dr. Hermann Rodler, M-net Chief Technology Officer.

“The push for gigabit services is being fueled by competition and championed by regulatory agencies around the world. Together this drives the need to bring fiber deeper into the network and closer to the end user. In scenarios where Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment architectures are not pragmatic, broadband access innovation is required,” said Dr. Eduard Scheiterer, Managing Director, ADTRAN GmbH. “With its broad Gigabit Gfast portfolio, ADTRAN is well-positioned to capitalize on this market opportunity as operators worldwide look to expand the range and reach of gigabit services to any customer over any network infrastructure.”

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/broadband-access/g-fast

ADVA supplies ConnectGuard encryption to dacoso

dacoso, an IT service provider based in Germany, has deployed ADVA's ConnectGuard Cloud encryption to ensure end-to-end security for its virtual private network (VPN). The low-latency solution is now safeguarding connectivity between dacoso’s data centers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as its virtual cloud services

“By deploying ADVA’s ConnectGuard Cloud technology, we’re harnessing virtualized encryption that’s flexible, scalable and doesn’t come with a heavy bandwidth penalty. The solution ensures rigorous data protection for both our branches and our cloud locations. And, because it works without large additional data ballast, it also improves network utilization and reduces cost-per-encrypted-bit,” said Karsten Geise, head of business and product development, dacoso. “Now our cloud network meets all regulatory requirements, such as GDPR, while being simpler and more efficient. Removing the need for hardware appliances also frees up valuable rack space and means we can easily shop around for new innovation in the future rather than being constrained by single-vendor lock-in.”

ConnectGuard Cloud, which is based on ADVA’s Ensemble Connector virtualization platform, delivers encryption at Layer 2, 3 and 4, along with improved latency and throughput performance compared to IPSec. With its zero-touch provisioning and automated key management, ADVA’s unique cloud-native technology also significantly simplifies operations for dacoso’s team. Complexity is further reduced by automated key distribution and management, centrally orchestrated by the ADVA Ensemble Controller management solution.

“dacoso now has all the advantages of highly efficient and extremely rigorous encryption, delivered entirely through software. That means ultra-low latency protection at Layers 2, 3 and 4, as well as unrivaled advantages in terms of scale and ease of use,” commented Hartmut Müller-Leitloff, SVP, sales, EMEA, ADVA.

Keysight's 5G NR test cases gain 3GPP approval

Keysight Technologies has gained approval from 3GPP for 5G new radio (NR) protocol test cases that support carrier aggregation (CA) technology, using its Protocol Conformance Toolset. The company says it is the first to gain such approval.

Keysight’s test cases were submitted on March 21, 2020 and verified by the 3GPP’s RAN 5 working group, which works to establish conformance testing specifications for the radio interface of a user equipment (UE). Chipset and device makers rely on 3GPP-verified 5G NR protocol CA test cases to verify designs that use CA to increase bandwidth and support higher data rates. These test cases focus on 5G NR deployments using CA in non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) mode in frequency range 1 (FR1) and FR2.

Keysight then submitted these test cases for verification at the most recent Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) #62 meeting, led by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) on April 23, 2020. There it was confirmed that Keysight’s Protocol Conformance Toolset maintains support for the widest range of GCF-validated protocol conformance test cases. Comprehensive test case support enables device makers to leverage Keysight’s common solution platform to verify designs that use different modes to address global requirements.

“Keysight consistently supports the development of 5G technologies, such as carrier aggregation, enabling a connected mobile ecosystem to market devices that support advanced 5G applications,” said Muthu Kumaran, Senior director of Keysight's wireless test group. “Many mobile device makers use Keysight’s 5G solutions to access a comprehensive range of validated test cases for GCF certification across multiple technologies, including 5G NR, LTE and C-V2X, on a common solution platform.”

Ceragon report weak Q1 results, cites COVID-19 disruption

Ceragon Networks reported Q1 revenue of $55.9 million compared with $69.2 million for Q1 2019 and $71.3 million for Q4 2019. Gross margin for the quarter was 25.1% compared to 35.6% a year earlier and 31.7% in the preceding quarter. Net income was $(6.9) million, $(0.09) per diluted share compared with $0.8 million, $0.01 per diluted share for Q1 2019 and $(4.1) million, or $(0.05) per diluted share for Q4 2019.

Commenting on the results, Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon, said, "Our results were in line with the business update we provided on April 6th, reflecting the normal seasonality of the first quarter compounded by the disruption created by the COVID-19 environment. At the same time, the sweeping changes that the pandemic has made in the way we all work, shop, learn and stay entertained have created a global surge in demand for broadband capacity that has increased demand for our products. Although no one knows how to predict the timing of the recovery, the fact that broadband connectivity is now recognized as an essential utility brings urgency to the need to increase the capacity of existing networks and to extend network coverage to more of the population. During the first quarter, this trend accelerated bookings for our wireless hauling solutions, and we believe it will accelerate the transition to 5G, further emphasizing the need for our differentiated technologies."

Mr. Palti continued, "In the meantime, we are fully focused on serving our customers in today's dynamic environment. We are proud of our success in meeting our commitments in the face of supply chain disruptions, and working to overcome challenges as they arise. We are pleased that India's Airtel has recently placed a large order, indicating the return of India as a major focus market after last year's slowdown. In Europe, we had the strongest first-quarter bookings in six years, and in Latin America we continued executing on expansion projects across the continent."

See also