Sunday, October 4, 2020

Intel expands its telco infrastructure portfolio

 Intel announced an expanded lineup of hardware, software and solutions for network infrastructure, including: enhancements to its FlexRAN software reference architecture; Intel virtualized radio access network (vRAN) dedicated accelerator; network-optimized next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable and D processors (code-named “Ice Lake”); and upgraded Intel Select Solutions for Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI).


“When you consider the collective impact of the proliferation of fully virtualized cloud architectures combined with the commercialization of 5G, the rise of AI and the growth of the edge, it truly has a multiplier effect that makes each more impactful than it would be on its own. It’s an enormous opportunity for us and our customers to not only deliver new experiences but transform entire industries,” stated Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group.

Expanded portfolio offerings include:

  • FlexRAN: Intel’s software reference architecture grew to nearly 100 licensees and added enhancements including optimizations to its massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) mid-band pipeline for increased bandwidth and support for ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC.) Amdocs, a licensee, today announced FlexRAN integration with its SmartRAN analytics solution.
  • Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100: The low-power and low-cost acceleration solution for vRAN deployments is based on Intel eASIC technology and is sampling to customers. It offloads and accelerates the computing-intensive process of forward error correction. This frees up more processing power within Intel Xeon processors for channel capacity and edge-based services and applications. To bring the product to market, Intel works with leading service providers including Telefonica and various partners, including Altiostar, ASTRI, Baicells, Comba, H3C, HPE, Mavenir, Nokia, QCT, Radisys, Ruijie, Silicom, Supermicro, and ZT Systems.
  • Next Generation Intel Xeon processors for network infrastructure: With these processors, customers can use a common architecture across the network for various workloads and performance requirements. Network-optimized 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named “Ice Lake-SP”) are designed for infrastructure use cases that require higher performance per watt, including wireless core, wireless access and network edge workloads and security appliances. 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors will ship to customers at the end of the year.  Next-generation Intel Xeon D processors (code-named “Ice Lake-D”) are designed for form factor-constrained environments at the edge and will offer greater levels of integration like built-in networking IP. Intel expects to start shipping these processors to customers in mid-2021.
  • Enhanced Intel Select Solutions for network: To improve application efficiency and network performance for high-performance network workloads, Intel Select Solutions for NFVI Red Hat, NFVI Ubuntu and NFVI Forwarding Platform have been upgraded to support the new Intel® Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter (code-named “Columbiaville”), which delivers increased performance and Dynamic Device Personalization (DDP) to maximize platform performance. These upgraded solutions are coming soon.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-expands-5g-network-infrastructure-offerings-25b-market


U.S. DoD backs Intel for semiconductor packaging tech

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a contract to Intel to enable the U.S. government to access Intel’s state-of-the-art semiconductor packaging capabilities in Arizona and Oregon.

The project, which is supported by the DoD's State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) program,  is executed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, and administered by the National Security Technology Accelerator.

The second phase of SHIP will develop prototypes of multichip packages and accelerate advancement of interface standards, protocols and security for heterogeneous systems. SHIP prototypes will integrate special-purpose government chips with Intel’s advanced, commercially available silicon products, including field programmable gate arrays, application-specific integrated circuits and CPUs. This combination of technologies provides new paths for the U.S. government’s industry partners to develop and modernize the government’s mission-critical systems while taking advantage of Intel’s U.S. manufacturing capabilities.

Heterogeneous packaging allows the assembly of multiple, separately manufactured integrated circuit dies (chips) onto a single package to increase performance while reducing power, size and weight. SHIP provides the U.S. government access to Intel’s advanced heterogeneous packaging technologies, including embedded multi-die interconnect bridge (EMIB), 3D Foveros and Co-EMIB (combining both EMIB and Foveros).

“Intel and the U.S. government share a priority to advance domestic semiconductor manufacturing technology. The SHIP program will enable the Department of Defense to take advantage of Intel’s advanced semiconductor packaging capabilities, diversifying their supply chain and protecting their intellectual property while also supporting ongoing semiconductor R&D in the U.S. and preserving critical capabilities onshore,” stated Jim Brinker, president and general manager of Intel Federal LLC.

“To ensure that the U.S. defense industry base can continue to deliver state-of-the-art electronics for national security, it is imperative that the Department of Defense (DoD) partners with leading U.S. semiconductor companies," Nicole Petta, principal director of microelectronics, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. "The DoD microelectronics roadmap recognizes the importance of strategic partnerships with industry. The roadmap also prioritizes and recognizes that as process scaling slows, heterogeneous assembly technology is a critical investment for both the DoD and our nation. SHIP directly contributes to advancing the objectives outlined in the DoD roadmap and the DoD looks forward to working with Intel, a world leader in this technology.”

http://www.intel.com




In 2018, Intel demonstrated a new 3D packaging technology, called "Foveros," which for the first time brings 3D stacking to logic-on-logic integration. Foveros will will allow products to be broken up into smaller “chiplets,” where I/O, SRAM and power delivery circuits can be fabricated in a base die and high-performance logic chiplets are stacked on top. The first Foveros product will combine a high-performance 10nm compute-stacked chiplet with a low-power 22FFL base die. 

France completes auction of 3.4 – 3.8 GHz band spectrum

France completed a multi-stage auction of 3.4 – 3.8 GHz band spectrum for 5G services.

At the close of the main auction, the winning bidders have committed to paying a total €2,786,000,000 for the 310 MHz of spectrum to be awarded.

Now that the amount of spectrum to be awarded to each of the winning bidders is known, a “positioning” auction will be held in October to determine how their frequencies will be positioned in the 3.4 – 3.8 GHz band. This auction will give the winning bidders an opportunity to express their preferences regarding their position on the band, and their position with respect to the other winning bidders. Once this final stage has been completed, Arcep will award the winning bidders licences to use 3.4 – 3.8 GHz band frequencies.

https://www.arcep.fr/actualites/les-communiques-de-presse/detail/n/5g-011020.html

Nokia signed 17 new 5G commercial deals in Q3

Nokia signed 17 new 5G commercial deals in Q3 giving the company 100 commercial 5G deals with individual customers and a total of 160 commercial 5G engagements, including paid trials.

Nokia said it is also gaining traction amongst enterprises. Enterprise customers now make up 12% of Nokia’s 5G deals, with recent private wireless deployments including Deutsche Bahn, Toyota Production Engineering and Sandvik. Nokia also boasts a 180-strong portfolio of private wireless customers, many of whom are expected to migrate to 5G.

  • 160 commercial 5G engagements refer to all engagements with customers, from signed contracts (deals) to paid trials
  • 100 commercial 5G deals refer to contracted customers, with 17 since Q2
  • 34 live 5G networks refer to both 5G public and private wireless networks which are now operational
  • 88% of commercial deals are with operators, 12% with enterprises



Amdocs integrates with Intel's FlexRAN software architecture

Amdocs has integrated its SmartRAN optimization solution with Intel’s FlexRAN software reference architecture, which serves as a blueprint to help speed development of virtualized RAN (vRAN) solutions. 

Amdocs' SmartRAN is a vRAN optimization solution that enables mobile operators to better fulfill service level objectives and deliver exceptional user experiences across their 5G vRAN by embedding intelligence in every layer of the RAN. Integrating Intel’s FlexRAN with machine learning libraries into the solution further enhances SmartRAN’s data analytics and management capabilities so that customers can better tune their network performance. SmartRAN processes massive sets of data with an innovative approach that leverages machine-learning and real-time analytics to enable service providers to flexibly and automatically configure network parameters and perform closed-loop optimization of services and network resources.

“Service providers are driving open, virtualized and distributed network architectures for 5G to better address the performance demands of new immersive services as well as meet customer needs with more pragmatic network investments and streamlined operations,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, Group President of Media, Network and Technology at Amdocs. 

“Communications service providers are embracing the use of virtualization across the entire network, including the RAN, for increased agility and cost efficiencies as they support a range of new use cases and services,” said Cristina Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Wireless Access Network Division. “Using FlexRAN to build a cloud native, virtualized RAN based on Intel Xeon processors, in combination with Amdocs SmartRAN, service providers can more quickly deploy new analytics capabilities that optimize the end user’s quality of experience.”

Amdocs is also developing its SmartRAN solution to support testing use cases that are established by the O-RAN Alliance, starting with the massive multi-antenna use case. 

https://www.amdocs.com/sites/default/files/amdocs-intel-wp.pdf


Nokia automates 4G/5G slicing

Nokia is introducing network management, controller and orchestration capabilities to enable the automation of 4G and 5G network slicing across all network domains, including RAN, transport and core. 

Nokia’s new automation capabilities, which comply with the 3GPP and IETF slicing specifications, are an extension of its 4G/5G end-to-end network slicing solution announced in February and the slice orchestrator announced in June2. First deliveries are planned by the end of 2020.

Nokia’s new slicing management solution consists of radio, transport and core domain controllers and assurance tools. Controllers support real-time slice operations and automation for the creation, modification and deletion of a large number of slices in their respective, multivendor domain. Operators can create different customer policies and group profiles for slices with different network performance, quality, routing and security capabilities. This enables them to provide new slicing services for small, medium or large enterprises, private wireless, Internet of Things, fixed wireless access, content and applications.

Sasa Nijemcevic, Head of Network Automation for Nokia’s IP/Optical Networks business, said: “Nokia is the first vendor to provide slicing in LTE and 5G networks in a multivendor network environment. By adding extreme automation capabilities, we are offering operators a single, modular solution that helps them deliver a new wealth of services at unprecedented speeds.”

Nokia’s network domain controllers and assurance tools simplify operations by abstracting the complexity of network functions for the services layer:


  • The end-to-end service orchestration sends declarative instructions to the domain controllers through open APIs.
  • Each domain controller then determines how the network slices will be implemented and operated within its domain to support the end-to-end SLAs.
  • Each domain embeds assurance capabilities to automatically collect, monitor, analyze and report Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) data per slice and apply closed-loop optimization to ensure continuous SLA adherence.

The new capabilities consist of software packages for Nokia’s existing NetAct and SON/Self-Organizing Networks (radio) and Network Services Platform/NSP (transport and core) operations and assurance products. These capabilities work in conjunction with Nokia’s Digital Operations Center service orchestration software to complete the round-trip process to design, deploy, optimize and assure slice-based services.





Nokia said the solution provides sliced mobile broadband

Enea acquires Aptilo for Wi-Fi policy control

 Enea  has acquired Aptilo, a privately-held provider of policy and access control solutions for carrier Wi-Fi and IoT, for SEK 92 million which corresponds to an enterprise value of SEK 150 million (US$16.83 million) on a cash and debt free basis.

Aptilo’s flagship product is the Aptilo Service Management Platform (SMP), a carrier-class system for management of data services, with advanced functions for policy and access control. Aptilo SMP is used in large-scale deployments of carrier Wi-Fi, while Aptilo SMP IoT is a solution for connectivity and security management over both cellular and Wi-Fi technologies.

Aptilo’s solutions have been deployed by more than 100 operators in 75 countries and are sold both directly to operators and indirectly through technology and channel partners. More than half of Aptilo’s total revenue is recurring, and the products are sold either as software licenses, as managed services, or in a cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) model to a growing number of customers.

“I’m pleased to announce this acquisition, which complements Enea in an excellent way,” says Jan H├Ąglund, President and CEO of Enea. “Aptilo is a leader in Wi-Fi and IoT connectivity management. The acquisition strengthens our data management portfolio, expands our reach with existing and new customers, and creates interesting business opportunities in the fields of 5G, Internet of Things, and SaaS.”

Key figures and facts about Aptilo

  • Privately held company with Norvestor V L.P. as the majority shareholder
  • Founded in 2001
  • Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sales offices in Dallas, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Net Sales SEK 90.0 million (84.4) in 2019 (2018), based on local Swedish GAAP (K3).