Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Samsung unveils "ruler form factor" NVMe SSDs for OCP

Samsung announced a solid state drive with an E1.S form factor and full PCIe Gen 4 support.

The new drive, which leverages the production efficiencies of the company’s sixth-generation (1xx-layer), three-bit V-NAND, uses the new form factor to maximize the number of drives possible in a 1-RU chassis.

“Offering the most 1U server-optimized form-factor, the PM9A3 will improve space utilization, add PCIe Gen4 speeds, enable increased capacity and more,” said Mr. Jongyoul Lee, senior vice president of Samsung’s Memory Software Development Team at the Open Compute Project Virtual Global Summit. “We see it eventually becoming the most sought-after storage solution on the market for tier one and tier two cloud datacenter servers, and one of the more cost-effective,” he added.

The newly announced PM9A3 drive, to be available in three versions, is expected to feature a PCIe Gen 4 (x4) interface for more than twice the sequential read performance of PCIe Gen 3 (3200MB/s), and include dedicated hardware accelerators for nearly twice the random writes (180,000 IOPs) of the previous generation. Capacities will range from 960 GB to 7.68 TB.


Wiwynn unveils liquid-cooled Open Rack for OCP

Taiwan-based Wiwynn unveiled a standalone rack-level, liquid cooling solution for next-generation Open Compute Project (OCP) servers.

Wiwynn’s advanced liquid cooling solution supports up to 36kW per rack and enables high power component usage at L10 level. The system utilizes the rear door heat exchanger (RDHx) to cool the liquid which transferred the heat of high-power components (CPU, GPU or ASIC) from cold plates.

Wiwynn says its. design enables a standalone system that requires no extra facility coolant and infrastructure changes.

The rack-level cooling solution design will support the Open Compute Project (OCP) Open Rack Standard V3 (ORV3) spec and is backward compatible with OCP ORV2. Both existing and future OCP systems can benefit from this high efficiency cooling system. The blind mate quick disconnect (QD), easy assembling cold plate designs plus the independent rack level cooling control system enhance serviceability and management.

“We have witnessed the power consumption of data center IT systems surging year over year for the flourish of cloud and AI applications,” said Dr. Sunlai Chang, Senior Vice President and CTO of Wiwynn. “We are proud to introduce our innovative standalone rack level liquid cooling solution. It assists data centers to face the challenge of increasing power density while requiring no infrastructure changes as well as providing enhanced serviceability and management.”

“It’s great to work with our partner—Wiwynn to bring this novel liquid cooling solution into data centers with high cooling efficiency," said Steve Mills, Mechanical Engineer at Facebook. “By leveraging Wiwynn’s development experience in OCP, the design will help expand ORV3 to higher power density applications and accelerate the adoption of liquid cooling in the open community.”

Taiwan-based MediaTek announces 800G MACsec PHY

MediaTek announced its MT3729 800G (400G dual port) MACsec retimer PHY for data centers and cloud infrastructure.

The new device, which integrates MediaTek’s 56G PAM4 SerDes technology, is available as a standalone application-specific standard part (ASSP) or it can be integrated into a network controller chip.  The MT3729 800G PHY is ideal for line cards or switch fabrics in conjunction with network controller application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) to build multi-terabit network servers, switches and routers. It enables secure data links and highly accurate precision time protocol (PTP) timestamping.

“With our broad portfolio of networking solutions, MediaTek is meeting the growing bandwidth and security needs of modern network infrastructure, including hyper-scale, cloud, service provider and enterprise networks,” said Jerry Yu, MediaTek Corporate Vice President. “Our MT3729 PHY integrates advanced MACsec-based encryption for secure communications and highly accurate PTP timestamping for the latest 5G synchronization requirements, while also giving our customers different integration options for added flexibility.”

The MT3729 packs four different operation modes:

  • Retimer Mode: Built-in signal enforcement technology extends the SerDes connection distance and transmission to the edge for more precise timestamping. 
  • Forward/Reverse Gearbox Mode: Support for bitrate translation between 56G and 28G links enables next generation switches to seamlessly connect with existing infrastructure.
  • MUX/DeMUX Mode: Hitless MUX and broadcast switching meets networking redundancy requirements. 
  • MACsec Mode: IEEE 802.1AE MACsec support enables secure communications with AES-128 and AES-256 encryption from 1G to 400G per port.

The MT3729 PHY supports up to 16 bi-directional links at 56G PAM4, up to 28G NRZ SerDes and 1G SGMII. To meet the stringent 5G infrastructure timing requirements, the MT3729 supports IEEE 1588v2 and SyncE up to Class-C for greater accuracy and more flexibility with timestamping formats.

ONF Launches Continuous Certification Program

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) introduced a Continuous Certification Program, enabling supply chain vendors to embed their products for ongoing test and compliance certification with ONF’s open source software projects. 

The aim is to reimagine certification testing in the age of Continuous Integration (CI)/Continuous Deployment (CD) and cloud software development.

The ONF said its projects already incorporate a continuous testing framework that keeps pace with enhancements to the platform in order to facilitate CI/CD - thus enabling rapid agile software development. ONF’s new Continuous Certification (CC) Program leverages the ever evolving testing framework for each project, and inserts participant products into the CI/CD/CC pipeline such that the systems are continuously retested and certified on an hourly or daily basis.  When a formal release of the project is declared, all systems currently validated as conformant in the CI/CD/CC pipeline will be officially certified as part of the release package bill-of-materials.

Product certification in ONF’s CI/CD/CC process is not a one-time activity. Vendors provide hardware or software products for indefinite installation into the development pipeline, and their products are continually tested throughout the development process. Rather than simply publishing static and outdated results, the real time status is made available via a public dashboard highlighting each product’s current compatibility with the most recent in-development version of ONF open source software.  This is, in essence, cloud era certification.

The testing and certification process requires considerable resources. ONF is unique in that it is the only open source networking organization with a full-time engineering team, thus making implementation of this new program possible. With this program, ONF will be publishing certified hardware and software BOMs (bill-of-materials) to smooth adoption of ONF platforms and broaden the ecosystem of hardware and software components compatible with ONF software distributions.


The ONF also announced a collaboration with the Open Compute Project (OCP) to promote the use of OCP-recognized open hardware in ONF solutions. Together, this collaboration will make clear for end users how best to assemble world-class solutions leveraging both open hardware and open software components, thus driving wider adoption of comprehensive open networking solutions

“The increasing speed at which operator-driven open source and SDN network deployments has been moving over the past few years mandates a certification program that is designed to run several times faster than conventional certification processes,” said Timon Sloane, Vice President of Marketing & Ecosystem for the ONF. “The ONF is in a singular position to offer this testing, and our Continuous Certification Program is further enhanced when testing is performed by engineers who have hands-on familiarity with the ONF’s Reference Design platforms. Our Continuous Certification program is also consistent with the industry migration to cloud native testing and automation, and increases the velocity of innovation and value provided to our members.“

https://www.opennetworking.org/


ADVA supports Quantum-Secure VPN (QuaSiModO) project

ADVA is playing a key role in a unique research initiative extending post-quantum security to VPN networks.

The company has supplied its ADVA FSP 150 with ConnectGuard Ethernet encryption for the Quantum-Secure VPN Modules and Operation Modes (QuaSiModO) project, which is being conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied and Integrated Security, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and genua GmbH. Funding is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The QuaSiModO project is testing new quantum-resistant algorithms in the packet domain. The goal is to develop viable security solutions that can protect Layer 2 and 3 data against all forms of cyberattack, including those from quantum computers.

“As part of the QuaSiModO project, we’re continuing to drive innovation in future-proof cryptography. This initiative extends comprehensive post-quantum security to VPNs and enables businesses and government institutions to protect their data from tomorrow’s attacks,” said Jörg-Peter Elbers, SVP, advanced technology, ADVA. “Together with our partners, we’re ensuring that network security technology doesn’t fall behind in the computing power race. Our role in the project combines our experience with transport layer post-quantum security and our proven expertise when it comes to encrypting Carrier Ethernet connectivity. We’re helping to create a solution able to protect packet services today and ready to be upgraded later to comply with emerging specifications from standards bodies such as the USA’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.”

“When quantum computers emerge, they’ll be able to quickly crack complex problems that would take today’s most powerful supercomputers many years to solve. That’s why enterprises, governments and communication service providers are looking to leverage security technology built on quantum-safe algorithms,” commented Alexander von Gernler, head of research, genua GmbH. “For a decade, we’ve been focused on the threat posed by large quantum computers, and much of our work in recent years has been about developing practical quantum-resistant signatures and key establishment protocols. Now, we’re leading the QuaSiModO consortium, working with ADVA and the other partners to bring post-quantum security to network Layers 2 and 3, and deliver the robust future-proof protection that classical encryption technologies simply can’t.”

https://www.adva.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/20200512-adva-brings-post-quantum-security-to-packet-networks

https://www.genua.de/en/news/insights/2019/new-quasimodo-research-project-launched.html


Europe's OPENQKD uses ADVA for quantum key distribution

The OPENQKD project, whose mission is to create and trial a secure communication network across Europe based on quantum key distribution (QKD), will leverage ADVA's FSP 3000 and FSP 150 platforms.

ADVA will provide optical and Ethernet encryptors as well as open line systems for multiple testbed locations.

OPENQKD, which is funded by the European Commission, seeks to accelerate the commercial adoption of QKD technology and to promote interoperability through an ecosystem of 38 partners, including academic institutions, network operators, and manufacturers of network and QKD equipment.

“By bringing our technology and expertise to the OPENQKD project, we’re helping to address vital security issues in critical communications. Whether in telecoms or government networks, quantum hacking puts the long-term security of sensitive data at risk,” said Helmut Grießer, director, advanced technology, ADVA. “Our ConnectGuard™ encryption technology has earned a strong reputation for protecting service provider and enterprise networks while ensuring highest capacity, lowest latency and maximum scale. In OPENQKD, we’ll demonstrate in practical use cases how our ConnectGuard™ technology can be augmented with QKD to make encrypted communication resistant against quantum computer attacks.”

https://www.adva.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/20200128-adva-to-play-key-role-in-openqkd-project

Quantum Network Link goes live in UK

The world’s first commercial-grade quantum test network link is now operational between the BT Labs in Suffolk and the Cambridge node of the UK’s new Quantum Network, which is being built by the Quantum Communications Hub, a collaboration between research and industry, supported by the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme. The new connection stretches from BT’s Adastral Park research campus near Ipswich in the East of England, to Cambridge. The wider UKQN network then extends onward over the National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Service to Bristol in the South-West.

The link uses over 125km of standard BT optical fibre between Cambridge and Adastral Park, with BT Exchanges acting as ‘trusted nodes’ along the route. The link will carry both quantum and non-quantum traffic; the QKD technique shares data encryption keys via an ultra-secure quantum channel over the same fibre that carries the encrypted data itself.

ADVA confirmed that its FSP 3000 is playing a key role in the new UKQNtel transport network secured by quantum key distribution (QKD). As part of an initiative led by QComm Hub, and with partners BT, ID Quantique and the universities of Cambridge and York, ADVA has constructed a QKD link capable of carrying classical and quantum channels on the same standard, installed fiber.

Intel bets $132 million on 11 start-ups

Intel Capital announced investments totaling $132 million in 11 startups, and the company says it is on track to invest between $300 million and $500 million in technology companies in 2020, spanning technology domains in artificial intelligence, intelligent edge and network transformation.

Intel Capital’s New Investments:

  • Anodot (Redwood City, Calif.) uses machine learning to drive the future of analytics — autonomous business monitoring. Fortune 500 companies across telco, finance and digital sectors rely on Anodot’s real-time, contextual alerts to catch the incidents that impact revenue and costs. Examples include drops in success rate, customer incidents, app performance and other business metrics. By helping business users find and fix incidents quickly, Anodot helps customers cut incident management by as much as 80%.
  • Astera Labs (Santa Clara, Calif.) is a fabless semiconductor company that develops purpose-built connectivity solutions for data-centric systems to remove performance bottlenecks in compute-intensive workloads such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company’s product portfolio includes system-aware semiconductor integrated circuits, boards and services to enable robust connectivity for PCI Express® (PCIe®) and Compute Express Link™ (CXL) solutions.
  • Axonne (Sunnyvale, Calif.) develops next-generation high-speed Ethernet network connectivity solutions for automobiles. Axonne’s solutions integrate systems in the connected car, such as autonomous driving sensors and displays with compute clusters. The company’s proprietary mixed signal circuits, algorithms and digital signal processing help with demanding applications, such as autonomous driving and infotainment, that require a high degree of functional safety, reliability, security and electric vehicle-friendly power efficiency. These solutions also help to ease the transition of in-vehicle legacy electrical/electronic architectures to scalable and adaptable service-based zones and beyond.
  • Hypersonix (San Jose, Calif.) is an AI-powered autonomous analytics platform designed for consumer industries such as retail, restaurants, hospitality and ecommerce. Decision-makers need real-time actionable insights from disparate data sources, such as regional business performance or web traffic. Hypersonix’s platform empowers customers to make faster and smarter decisions that drive profitability, productivity and customer engagement through simple voice and text search, data visualization and interpretation.
  • KFBIO (Zhejiang, China) is a biotech company that builds digital pathology systems. Its pathology scanner improves on traditional microscopes with digital capabilities and connectivity. KFBIO’s medical image processing uses big data, cloud computing and AI to quickly and reliably scan and digitize images, making them easier to share for remote consultation with experts, and improve speed and accuracy of AI-aided pathologist diagnoses.
  • Lilt (San Francisco) aims to make the world’s information accessible to all with AI-powered language translation software and services. Traditional translation services can be time-consuming and costly – impeding companies from translating all the information that could be useful. Lilt’s software provides accurate, localized and cost-effective translation. Combining adaptive neural machine translation technology, a translation management system and professional translators, Lilt enables organizations to use language translation to scale their localization programs, accelerate go-to-market strategies and improve the global customer experience.
  • MemVerge (Milpitas, Calif.) is a software company founded on the vision that every application should run in memory. MemVerge's Memory Machine™ software is the foundation for a new era of Big Memory computing, providing petabyte-size pools of shared persistent memory and powerful data services so that data-centric applications such as AI, machine learning, financial market data analytics and high-performance computing are easier to develop and deploy. MemVerge's Big Memory software lowers the cost of memory, allows it to scale out and makes it highly available with memory data services such as ZeroIO™ snapshot, memory replication, and lightning-fast recovery.
  • ProPlus Electronics (Shandong, China) is an electronic design automation (“EDA”) company, specializing in advanced device modeling and fast circuit simulation solutions. ProPlus helps to close the divide between design and manufacturing with software that makes chip design faster and fabrication yields higher, allowing the semiconductor industry to create more powerful and diverse products.
  • Retrace (San Francisco) believes that smarter, more innovative use of dental data is essential for reducing the oral disease burden. Retrace applies artificial intelligence and other advanced technology in its predictive analytics platform that uses real-time data to improve dental decision-making. Retrace empowers health plans, providers, and patients to create a more cost-effective, evidence-based oral healthcare experience.
  • Spectrum Materials (Fujian, China) is a high-purity specialty gas and material supplier for semiconductor fabs. It has one of the largest germane production bases in Quanzhou, Fujian. Led by veteran industry experts, Spectrum Materials is dedicated to providing critical specialty gas and material solutions for advanced process node applications of multiple leading fabs around the world.
  • Xsight Labs (Kiryat Gat, Israel) develops innovative technology for accelerating next generation, cloud-based, data-intensive workloads such as machine learning, data analytics and disaggregated storage. In this data-centric era with exponential bandwidth growth, Xsight provides new chipset designs that enhance scalability, performance and efficiency.


https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-capital-invests-132-million-11-disruptive-technology-startups/#gs.6fgcf1

Infinera posts Q1 revenue of $330 million, up 12% YoY

Infinera reported Q1 2020 GAAP revenue of $330.3 million, compared to $384.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and $292.7 million in the first quarter of 2019.

GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 23.3% compared to 29.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 22.7% in the first quarter of 2019. GAAP operating margin for the quarter was (23.3)% compared to (15.8)% in the fourth quarter of 2019 and (38.2)% in the first quarter of 2019.

GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(99.3) million, or $(0.55) per share, compared to $(66.6) million, or $(0.37) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2019, and $(121.6) million, or $(0.69) per share, in the first quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(49.4) million, or $(0.27) per share, compared to a net income of $6.4 million, or $0.03 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2019, and net loss of $(41.2) million, or $(0.23) per share, in the first quarter of 2019.

“While facing impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to service our customers and deliver year-over-year growth in revenue and orders during the quarter,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. “While the macro-economic environment creates visibility challenges for the second half of the year, we are on track for ICE6 delivery this year and remain very optimistic about the opportunity we see for Infinera in the medium and long term, driven by our truly differentiated performance in the fast-growing high-capacity optical market.”

Infinera's outlook for the quarter ending June 27, 2020 includes:

  • GAAP revenue is expected to be $319 million +/- $10 million. Non-GAAP revenue is expected to be $320 million +/- $10 million.
  • GAAP gross margin is expected to be 29% +/- 200 bps. Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be 33% +/- 200 bps.

https://investors.infinera.com/home/default.aspx

Vodacom launches Africa’s first live 5G network

Earlier this month, Vodacom launched Africa’s first live 5G network in its home market of South Africa. Service is initially available in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town – with further rollouts planned to other parts of the country. This network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on twenty live 5G sites, 18 of which are in Gauteng and 2 in Cape Town.

Vodacom was recently assigned temporary spectrum by ICASA for the duration of the national state of disaster, including 1 x 50 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, which has been used to fast-track our 5G launch. It also makes Vodacom the first operator to activate temporary spectrum in South Africa. Vodacom and Liquid Telecom also concluded managed network services and national roaming agreements for a national 5G network in December 2019.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, says: “Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the COVID-19 national state of disaster. During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world class network technology to South Africa, and all of its associated benefits, as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected. This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by ICASA which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”

Telia Norway launches commercial 5G with Ericsson

Telia activated its 5G commercial network in Norway.

The 5G network is initially available in Lillestrøm and parts of Groruddalen in the greater Oslo region.  During the course of 2020 the 5G coverage will be expanded in Oslo, while the 5G network will also extended to Trodheim and Bergen.

Ericsson is the sole radio access network (RAN) supplier to Telia in Norway.  Telia Norway aims to cover half of the Norwegian population with 5G within 2021, and nationwide 5G coverage in 2023.

Stein-Erik Vellan, CEO, Telia Norway, says: “This is an important day in Telia's and our customers' history. In a time when we really see the importance of our digital infrastructure for keeping the wheels spinning, we are incredibly proud to be able to open our 5G network to customers with Lillestrøm as the first place out. Through the partnership with Ericsson we will enable new opportunities and we hope the Norwegian people will enjoy the new and pioneering mobile technology.”

See also