Sunday, November 7, 2004

SBC Hires Exec to Lead its Video Content Strategy

SBC Communications announced the appointment of Dan York to lead the company's video content strategy and acquisition for SBC's entertainment services. York previously was senior vice president of programming and development at iN DEMAND Networks, a video-on-demand and pay-per-view company. Prior to joining iN DEMAND, York spent 13 years at Home Box Office most recently as vice president and general manager of HBO Pay-Per-View/Time Warner Sports where he had responsibility for programming operations, distribution, marketing, sponsorship and content acquisition.

SBC is currently testing IPTV services that will leverage its recently announced Project Lightspeed.

Agilent and Alcatel Offer Integrated Signaling Network Monitoring

Agilent Technologies and Alcatel announced an integrated signaling network monitoring solution for SS7 network traffic that combines traditional independent network monitoring with integrated link monitoring capabilities. The combined solution enables direct connection from the Alcatel 5070 Signaling Server Global (SSG) to the Agilent acceSS7 network monitoring system, thereby providing visibility of all SS7 protocol stack layers while eliminating the need for additional equipment for external probes.

The Alcatel 5070 SSG is a compact system combining traditional STP functionality with advanced routing to support the expanding voice-over-packet and wireless markets. Agilent's acceSS7 platform has been significantly upgraded to offer high-density processing that can simultaneously monitor signaling running on multiple technologies such as IP, ATM and SONET/SDH on both electrical and optical mediums. http://www.alcatel.com

Marconi Leverages Bay Microsystems "Montego" Processor

Marconi is using Bay Microsystems' Montego processor, software and subsystem for its new Media and Protocol Gateway (MPG-1000). The initial release of the MPG-1000 platform, planned for early 2005, features 1Gbps and 10Gbps Ethernet services over OC-48c and OC-192c ATM. The platform also will support interfaces for Infiniband, Packet over SONET, Fiber Channel, and SMPTE 292M (HDTV).

Bay Microsystems provided a customized subsystembased on its Montego OC-192c/10G processor, which is capable of classification, policing, segmentation and reassembly, and traffic management at wire rate. Bay's unique deterministic, superscalar, pipelined architecture supports a range of existing and emerging applications and protocols, including Ethernet, IPv6, IPv4, MPLS, POS, Frame Relay, ATM, PPP, L2VPN, L3VPN, VLAN stacking, DiffServ and more.

Comcast to Deploy Microsoft TV Foundation

Comcast will begin deploying Microsoft TV Foundation Edition software in Washington state this month, marking the first major U.S. deployment of the software.

Comcast's deployment of Microsoft TV Foundation Edition software, which includes an interactive program guide (IPG), is capable of supporting DVRs and includes further enhancements for video-on-demand (VOD) usage. For example, the software enables integrated VOD titles in the IPG listings so viewers can access on-demand programming without navigating through VOD menus.

Microsoft TV Foundation Edition software will be available immediately on new advanced digital set-top boxes with dual-tuner DVR technology. The software will be automatically downloaded in phases to all other set-top boxes in Washington state over Comcast's digital network in the next few months. Comcast customers who sign up for the DVR service will receive a new digital cable set-top box. Customers who already lease a digital cable set-top box capable of delivering HDTV will pay an additional US$4.95 per month for the new DVR service, while all other customers will pay an additional $9.95 per month.

"This deployment represents a key milestone in our long-term relationship with Comcast," said Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV Division.
  • Comcast serves more than 1 million cable customers in Washington state.

Axiowave Announces Restructuring

Axiowave Networks, a start-up based in Marlborough, Mass., announced a corporate restructuring that includes reducing the number of company employees from 156 to 25, primarily across its sales, marketing and engineering operations. Axiowave offers a line core/metro routers.

Netli Secures $8 Million for its Application Delivery Network

Netli, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, secured $8 million in new funding for its suite of Application Delivery Network (ADN) services Netli's patented technology and services include three offerings: NetLightning, NetliContinuity and NetliView. NetLightning, the company's flagship offering, leverages a proprietary transmission optimization profiles and Netli servers deployed in major datacenters to deliver a business-quality Internet with global sub-second response times, high availability and secure access to Web applications. NetliContinuity transparently enables failover, backup or regulatory compliance for organizations with two or more data centers without having to install software or hardware devices. Finally, NetliView is a comprehensive measurement and reporting service, which enables organizations to continuously monitor the health of their business-critical, Netli-optimized applications.

LexisNexis has selected Netli services to optimize Web application performance. In addition, On24 and Philips have selected Netli for accelerated performance of dynamic Web portals.

The new funding round was led by Reed Elsevier Ventures. Netli's existing investors, including Morgenthaler Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Alta Partners, Nokia Venture Partners and Leapfrog Ventures, also increased their investment in the company.

Global IP Sound Cites Inroads in Embedded Voice Processing

Global IP Sound (GIPS), a privately-held provider of embedded voice-processing solutions, announced that its Q3 revenues rose 40% over Q2 and 359% over Q3 2003, based on a variety of new licensing agreements. Global IP Sound said it closed 13 new licensing contracts in Q3, over half of which were for its VoiceEngine voice processing solution. The company also signed multiple agreements for its iLBC speech codec, which allows for robust voice communication over IP. In April 2005, iLBC will become a mandatory codec in the released CableLabs PacketCable 1.1 Audio/Video Codec Specification for multimedia terminal adapters (MTAs) and media gateways. The codec, which is designed for narrow band speech with a sampling rate of 8 kHz, supports two basic frame lengths, giving a bit-rate of 13.3 kbps with an encoding frame length of 30 ms and 15.2 kbps with an encoding frame length of 20 ms.

A partial list of new GIPS customers include Audiocodes, Infineon, Mindspeed, Tencent, Communications, LeadTek, Klaxa, Anta Systems, IVN, PurpleComm and Popular Telephony.

Cavium Debuts PCI-Express Security Accelerator Cards

Cavium Networks introduced a Security Accelerator Card family with PCI-Express connectivity in a standard PCI card form-factor, along with comprehensive software support. The NITROX XL NPX Family is a PCI-Express security accelerator board family for IPsec, SSL and WLAN security applications. The board uses Cavium Networks' NITROX security processors to deliver performance of 2.5 Gbps security processing and 28,000 RSA ops. It could be used for offloading the CPU of L4+ switches, load balancers, Web switches and VPN appliances. The NITROX processors supports a broad range of symmetric encryption including DES, 3DES, AES (all modes up to 256 bit), CCMP and ARC4, as well as asymmetric encryption including RSA and Diffie Hellman. The NITROX XL NPX Family, with 2 board product options ranging in performance from 1.5Gbps to 2.5Gbps, will be available in Q1 2005. Pricing for the product family ranges from $690 to $900 in 1KU quantities.

PCI Express is a next generation version of the widely deployed PCI, PCI-X buses that provides a standards-based, high bandwidth, low pin count, chip-to-chip interface for computing and communications platforms. PCI-Express provides a new architecture that utilizes multiple "lanes" or serial communication links in each direction with 2.5 Gbps bandwidth.

Agere Unveils Single-Chip 48-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Agere Systems announced the availability of a single-chip 48-port Gigabit Ethern

et (GbE) switching chip family and the lowest power GbE octal physical layer device (PHY).

The four new GbE switch-on-a-chip devices are part of Agere's ET4K family of switching silicon. The first device is a single-chip switch supporting 24 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet ports and four Gigabit SerDes ports. The second device is a single-chip switch supporting 24 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports, with four Gigabit SerDes ports and two 10 Gbps Ethernet ports. The third device is a single-chip switch device supporting 48 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports and four Gigabit SerDes ports. The fourth device is a single-chip switch device supporting 48 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports, four Gigabit SerDes ports and two 10 Gbps Ethernet ports.

Agere's TruePHY octal PHY has a power consumption of less than 500 milliwatts per port. The company estimates the combination of its TruePHY technology coupled with the significant levels of integration on the single-chip 48-port switch provides manufacturers a 50% lower total chip count and 35% lower power consumption. Agere's solution uses seven chips -- one switch system on a chip (SoC) and six octal PHYs -- to build a complete 48-port GbE switch with two 10 Gbps Ethernet ports. Competing solutions require as many as 17 chips for the same solution.

Agere is currently shipping these chips to original design manufacturers (ODMs) Accton Technology Corporation and Delta Networks. These four ET4K switch SoCs and the ET1081 octal TruePHY device are coming to market as part of Agere's strategy to take share in the GbE networking silicon market with the August 2003 acquisition of Irish GbE PHY specialist Massana Ltd. and the January 2004 acquisition of Ethernet switch-on-chip team TeraBlaze Inc.

Foundry Introduces Ethernet-SONET WAN Transceiver

Foundry Networks introduced a modular 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) Wide Area Network Physical Layer (WAN PHY) optical transceiver positioned as an alternative to SONET / OC-192 infrastructure. With the WAN PHY optic, Ethernet frames are encapsulated in SONET frames at OC-192 rate (1310nm SMF for 10 km distances) making it a solution for connecting to DWDM devices and for carrying native 10 Gigabit Ethernet over existing OC-192c networks. The 10G-XNPK-LW transceiver has a U.S. list price of $14,995.

In October 2004, Foundry was one of several technology providers that cooperated with leading research organizations to create the world's longest native 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection, from the Japanese Data Reservoir project to the CERN research center in Geneva, Switzerland, spanning approximately 18,500 km and 17 time zones. The connection used 10 Gigabit Ethernet Foundry switches equipped with the new WAN PHY optics.

Firetide Launches 5 GHz Indoor/Outdoor Mesh Routers

Firetide, a start-up based in Los Gatos, California, introduced its HotPoint 1500 5 GHz wireless mesh router product line designed for indoor or outdoor deployments. Firetide now offers outdoor and indoor mesh nodes in both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz spectrums.

Firetide's HotPoint wireless mesh routers use advanced routing technologies and IEEE 802.11-compliant radios to "unwire" the Ethernet backhaul and create a self-configuring, self-healing mesh network. Firetide Instant Mesh Networks scale and self-configure instantly by simply plugging HotPoints into standard AC power outlets, resulting in a simple and reliable alternative to standard Ethernet cable.

The HotPoint 1500 5 GHz wireless mesh routers will be available through Firetide channel partners by the end of November 2004.

Chelsio's 10GigE Adapters Employed for New Transmission Record

Chelsio Communications' 10 Gigabit Ethernet server adapters and protocol acceleration technology were used in a record breaking data transmission from the University of Tokyo to the CERN research center in Geneva, Switzerland. Chelsio's T110 delivered sustained 7.57 Gbps throughput running standard 1500-byte Ethernet packets over a single TCP connection across the 18,500 km link using a uni-processor AMD Opteron system on each end of the connection. In the single stream stress test, 7.5 Gbps was sustained for nearly 7 hours, a critical capability for long-distance data backup applications.

BT to Acquire Infonet for $965m

BT agreed to acquire Infonet, a provider of international managed voice and data network services, for $965 million (excluding Infonet's net cash balance of $390 million, the aggregate value of the deal is $575 million). Infonet, which is based in El Segundo, California, has local operations in 70 countries and claims 1,800 multinational customers -- including Siemens, Nokia, Bayer AG International, IBM and Hilton International. IInfonet reported revenue in 2003/04 of $620 million and expects to be cash flow positive by the end of the current financial year. The acquisition price represents a premium of 23% to the average price per Infonet share over the past three months.

BT said it expects to see significant benefits from the combination of the product sets and customer bases of the two companies. BT intends to combine the two companies' transport networks rapidly and to rationalize their local assets where possible.

Simultaneous with the acquisition of Infonet, BT will enter into a strategic relationship with KDDI (a major distributor of Infonet services) to address network-centric outsourcing opportunities for BT customers in Japan, and also for KDDI customers outside Japan.
  • Infonet's "World Network" includes almost one million kilometres of directly managed circuits and trunks, including 720,000 kilometres of fiber-based circuits.

  • Infonet Services Corporation (NYSE:IN) was established in 1970 and completed its initial public offering in December 1999.

PMC-Sierra Announces Multi-Service Processor for VoIP Gateways

PMC-Sierra introduced a multi-service processor (MSP) family designed for residential and SOHO VoIP gateways. The Multi-Service Processor (MSP) family features a 32-Bit MIPS architecture microprocessor core and up to 2 Dual-MAC DSP cores. The products integrate both the routing function and the VoIP CODEC (Encoder/Decoder) into a single device. The product line ranges from an integrated device designed for a residential Analog Telephone Adapter supporting 1-2 voice channels to a more powerful chip for a small business integrated access device (IAD) supporting 1-16 voice channels with VPN security and IP PBX capabilities.

PMC-Sierra will also be providing voice-processing software, which the company said would provides best-in-class end-to-end latency, packet-loss tolerance, and robust echo-cancellation. The software suite also provides support for advanced call features such as 4-way conferencing, fax relay, and intelligent signal classification.

TI Announces Volume Production of 90nm DSPs Running at 1 GHz

Texas Instruments (TI) announced volume production of its 1 GHz digital signal processors (DSPs) and the first DSPs manufactured on a 90 nanometer (nm) process technology.

Already shipping to more than 70 customers, the 90 nm versions of three DSPs offer faster performance and lower cost. By also migrating the 720 MHz versions of these three devices to TI's advanced, 90nm CMOS process, the company has achieved a 50% price reduction for customers versus the 130nm 720 MHz devices.

The new 1GHz DSPs are manufactured on 200mm, copper wafers; however TI recently qualified 90nm process in its advanced 300mm manufacturing facility to provide additional manufacturing capacity and cost advantages.

NexTone and NextGen Collaborate in Japan

NextGen Inc., a VoIP systems integrator in Japan, will market and distribute NexTone's session management products, including its Multiprotocol Session Controller (MSC) and Multiprotocol Signaling Switch (MSW). The companies will target the solution for Japanese carriers, service providers, and enterprise customers. http://www.nextone.com

Harmonic to Resell Path 1's Video Over IP Gateway

Harmonic will resell Path 1 Network Technologies' Path 1 Cx1000 Video over IP Gateway solution to cable, satellite, terrestrial, telecom and wireless operator customers around the globe. Harmonic will resell Path 1 products through both direct and indirect sales channels to complement its industry-leading lines of broadcast encoders, statistical multiplexers, high density edge modulation devices, stream processing equipment, professional decoders and network management system.

The Path 1 Cx1000 IP Video over IP Gateway is designed to meet the stringent requirements of broadcasters and content owners for transporting real-time broadcast-quality digital video over IP networks. The Cx1000 is capable of handling both compressed ASI and uncompressed 270 Mbps SDI/SDTI video. A Gigabit Ethernet or Fast Ethernet network interface provides high-speed video transmission, and the Cx1000 supports both Standard Definition and High Definition video streams.

Tut Systems Reaches 100 Customer Milestone for Digital TV

Tut Systems reached the 100 customer milestone for its digital TV solutions for broadband networks. Tut Systems' first customer deployed a digital TV over a DSL network in 2000.

Among recent telecom operators planning to deliver TV services that are fed from a Tut Systems headend platform are Arvig Communication Systems (ACS), Park Region Telephone, Otter Tail Telcom, and Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) of Minnesota. ACS, based in Perham, MN, is using Tut Systems' digital headend solution to offer digital TV to consumers over its DSL network; ACS is also delivering video feeds from the Tut Systems digital headend over a fiber-optic transport network to the Park Region, Otter Tail, and CTC networks.

Tut Systems' digital TV customers include a cross-section of small, medium and large-sized telecommunications companies across North America, Europe and Asia, including PCCW of Hong Kong, the world's largest and most successful Telco TV system, with more than 300,000 digital TV subscribers.