Tuesday, June 13, 2006

NTT Develops IP Optical Traffic Engineering Server

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) announced the development of an IP optical traffic engineering (TE) server for an IP optical backbone network composed of IP routers and optical crossconnects (OXCs).

The IP optical TE server controls the IP optical backbone network using an original traffic control algorithm that applies to both IP routers and OXCs. NTT said its TE server responds flexibly to unexpected changes in traffic demand, and could be used to restore operations quickly in the event of system failures or natural disasters.

NTT will be giving presentations related to this technology at the iPOP2006 international conference to be held next week at the Meiji Kinenkan complex in Tokyo. http://www.ntt.co.jp

HP Unveils BladeSystem for Data Centers

HP unveiled its BladeSystem c-Class architecture that aims to deliver significant improvements in virtualization, power and cooling, and system management capabilities that can reduce both operational and capital expenditure costs by 46% in a typical data center implementation.

The modular HP BladeSystem c-Class allows businesses to start with HP ProLiant and Integrity servers, HP StorageWorks storage offerings as well as client blades and then flexibly add applications and third-party products to expand their data centers as needed.

The HP Virtual Connect Architecture enables server administrators to manage resources on the fly via virtualized Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections, saving hours or days of administrative "wait time."

The virtualization is coupled with a fast midplane and five terabits per second of aggregate throughput.

In addition, HP BladeSystem c-Class and StorageWorks Storage Area Networks (SANs) simplify IT consolidation by integrating the server-to-storage interface. The new HP BladeSystem 4 Gbps Fibre Channel SAN switches and the industry's first redundant, embedded 4 Gbps Fibre Channel HBA reduce the cost of SAN connectivity to HP BladeSystem by more than 40% while providing highly available, redundant connection to existing SANs. The switches also reduce the number of Fibre Channel cables required by up to 60%.

Other improvements include an ultra-efficient HP Active Cool Fan that cuts server airflow by 30% and energy consumption by 50% compared to traditional fans, and HP Insight Control Management software that achieves a 200:1 device-to-administrator ratio -- a tenfold improvement for many IT tasks .

HP also plans to build out an BladeSystem ecosystem of independent software and hardware vendors, systems integrators and value-added resellers. Some of the application and hardware partners involved in the launch of c-Class include: AMD, Blade Network Technologies, Brocade, Cisco Systems, Citrix, Emulex, Intel, Mellanox, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, PolyServe, QLogic, Red Hat, SAP, VMware and Voltaire.


India's Tata Group Selects Alcatel for Optical Expansion

India's Tata Group awarded a US$20 million project to Alcatel to expand its existing optical multi-service network to additional regions in the country. The deployment will enable Tata to further enhance the roll out of CDMA mobile services, as well as to support new broadband services and Ethernet applications throughout the states of Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Additionally, it will provide a highly efficient and reliable platform for the backhaul of traffic over Tata's existing mobile network.

The expanded optical transport network will meet 70% of the transmission requirements of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) - the leading private telecom operator in India, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) - India's leading international telecommunications service provider and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML), the leading telecom services provider in Maharashtra. TTSL, VSNL and TTML are all part of the Tata Group.

The award follows the contracts signed in 2004 for the deployment of the existing optical transport network.

Alcatel's optical networking solution include its data-aware Optical Multi-Service Node (OMSN) systems and 1696 MS DWDM equipment, both managed by the 1350 management suite. Alcatel will be also responsible for the complete project management, engineering, installation, service activation and commissioning.


VeriSign to Power Text Message Alerts for eBay

eBay will use VeriSign's Intelligent Messaging Network to deliver mobile alerts to its users within the U.S. The two types of alerts being offered are outbid notifications and end-of-auction alerts. The outbid alerts are interactive and allow users to re-bid directly from mobile handsets. Once a new bid is received and processed by eBay, a confirmation message gets sent to the user confirming they are the current highest bidder.

The VeriSign Intelligent Messaging Network will deliver the time- critical, application-specific messages across all major domestic wireless operators in the U.S.

  • VeriSign said it is currently delivering more than three billion SMS messages each month.

NYT: Hiding in Plain Site, Google Seeks More Power

Currently, Google is operating an estimated 450,000 servers spread over 25 locations worldwide, according to a feature article in The New York Times that tracks the company's ambitious effort to build its next generation data center. The centerpiece of the Google plan is a huge complex being built in The Dalles, Oregon -- providing access to cheap electricity generated by the Columbia river and fiber access to its global network.


Ember Raises $12 Million for ZigBee

Ember, a start-up based in Boston with R&D in Cambridge, England, closed an additional $12 million in funding for its ZigBee networking solutions.

Ember is seeking to promote 802.15.4/ZigBee technology to create an "Internet of things" by enabling billions of devices to support low-cost, low-power sensor and control applications, such as home and building automation, industrial controls, inventory management, automatic meter reading (AMR) and environmental monitoring. The market for 802.15.4/ZigBee devices is expected to reach $1 billion between 2008 and 2010, according to two research firms, In-Stat and Northern Sky Research.

Polaris Venture Partners, GrandBanks Capital, RRE Ventures, Vulcan Capital (the investment group of Microsoft's Paul G. Allen), DFJ ePlanet Ventures, DFJ New England, WestLB Mellon Asset Management (formerly West AM) and strategic partners such as ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures participated in the round.

Ember has raised $65 million to date.

  • Earlier this month, Ember announced the availability of its EM260 ZigBee co-processor with a new flexible, open source interface, called EZSP, that makes it easy to integrate ZigBee networking capabilities with any vendor's microcontroller, including those from STMicroelectronics, Atmel, Texas Instruments, Renesas, Freescale, NEC, Intel, Infineon, Microchip, Philips, Samsung, Toshiba and others. The EM260 integrates an IEEE 802.15.4 radio, network processor and onboard memory to run a full ZigBee network protocol stack.

  • In April 2006, Ember named Robert LeFort as its new CEO, taking over from Bob Metcalfe, who has served as interim CEO since June 2005 and continues as chairman. Metcalfe is a general partner at Polaris Venture Partners, a lead investor in Ember. LeFort joins Ember from Infineon, where he served as president of North American operations.

Korea's Dreamline Selects ECI Telecom to Upgrade Optical Network

Dreamline, a leading cellular and broadband service provider in South Korea, has selected ECI's optical solutions for the upgrade and expansion of its nationwide network to support next generation services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Dreamline's network expected to reach approximately 10,000 km throughout the country. The two companies have been working together successfully since 1998 and as a result, Dreamline already has thousands of ECI's platforms installed in their network.

ECI's XDM-50 optical platform carries voice and data services over Ethernet, SDH/SONET and CWDM. http://www.ecitele.com

Narus and Pen-Link Partner on VOIP CALEA

Narus and Pen-Link announced a strategic agreement to jointly market a lawful intercept solution that is fully compliant with the CALEA T1.678 VoIP standard in the United States, as well as the European ETSI TS 102 232/233/234 standards for Internet access and e-mail.

The solution combines the NarusInsight Intercept Suite (NIS) software with Pen-Link's LINCOLN 2 intercept collection and reporting tool. Additionally, completed interoperability testing of the solution will ensure seamless integration and easy implementation for carriers -- paramount as they strive to meet their respective government's regulatory requirements.

NarusInsight is a carrier-class IP traffic processing system that provides real-time network visibility essential to secure, manage and deliver Services over IP (SoIP). NarusInsight provides the ability to deep packet inspection from layer 3 to layer 7 and complete correlation across every link and element on the network.

Pen-Link, a U.S. company that operates primarily from its corporate headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska, provides Law Enforcement and Intelligence agencies with software and systems for the collection, storage, and analysis of call detail data and call content associated with all forms of telecommunication intercepts.


Qpixel Raises $25 Million for Video Compression Chip

Qpixel Technology International, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, raised $25 million in second round funding for its low-power digital video and audio encoder/decoder solutions.

Qpixel's low latency, high quality H.264-based video and audio encoder/decoder technology is being developed for the digital consumer electronics and digital video communication industries. The company said its patent-pending video compression algorithms enable a highly optimized implementation of H.264 technology for subjective video quality enhancement and computational complexity reduction. Target applications include digital camcorders, digital still cameras, set top boxes, video phones, IPTV and DVRs.

The new funding was led by venture capitalist Bandel Carano, the financing comes from a combination of sources including Oak Investment Partners, Technology Associates Management Company (TAMC), Acorn Campus and iD SoftCapital Group. In conjunction with this investment, Brian Hinman will join Qpixel's board of directors representing Oak Investment Partners.


Metalink Demos 802.11n HDTV Streaming with LG STB

Metalink's WLANPlus chipset has been integrated into an LG set top box. The STB provides wireless delivery of multiple high-definition video streams in the home.

"LG believes that 802.11n based technology will be widely used in the near future to provide multiple High-Definition video streams throughout the home," said Dr. Taekil Cho, vice president at LG DTV.


AT&T Announces $100 million "AccessAll" Program

AT&T will launch a three-year, $100 million program to provide in-home Internet and technology access to benefit low-income families and underserved communities across the country.

AT&T Foundation, which is the company's philanthropic arm, will provide technology packages, including Internet access, to 50,000 low-income families through a unique collaboration with One Economy Corporation, Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other low-income housing providers.

In addition, AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre will pledge that, provided the company's merger with BellSouth closes this year, AT&T will increase its spending with minority-, women- and disabled veteran-owned businesses by $250 million in the coming year.

Other partners who have joined the program to contribute in the outreach effort include Dell, Siemens, Intel, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps*VISTA).

The program is expected to launch in the coming weeks in several communities across the country.


Monday, June 12, 2006

"3G For All" Programme Targets Cheaper Handsets

The GSM Association (GSMA) launched a "3G for all" initiative to establish a core set of common requirements for 3G handsets in order to create the economies of scale that will allow mobile phone suppliers to rapidly bring down end-user costs. Mobile phone suppliers are being encouraged to compete to design a 3G handset that meets the operators' common requirements. The GSMA will then endorse the winning handset, which will be widely deployed by operators participating in the initiative. Further details will be announced in October.

The "3G for all" initiative builds on the GSMA's Emerging Market Handset (EMH) programme, which has hit its goal to reduce the wholesale price of entry-level GSM handsets to less than $30 -- sparking the creation of a new segment of ultra-low cost phones. Motorola, the winning vendor in the EMH programme, expects to ship more than 20 million EMH handsets from launch in 2005 through to end of 2006. The EMH programme has helped bring the wholesale cost of GSM handsets in India down by more than 25% since last year, fuelling the growing use of mobile communications in rural areas.

Despite the fall in handset prices, the GSMA estimates that about a billion people worldwide won't be able to afford their own handset for the foreseeable future. Through its Development Fund, the GSMA is looking at how to extend the many benefits of mobile communications to these people. The Development Fund is financing a series of pilot projects in Africa and Asia that enable local entrepreneurs to set up payphone businesses or Internet cafes where people can access the Internet, email or other data services.

  • In September 2005, The GSM Association (GSMA) selected Motorola to serve for a second phase as the sole supplier of handsets for the Emerging Market Handset (EMH) program. Motorola will deliver low-cost mobile handsets based on its C11x mass market handset platform that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of mass market consumers, including unparalleled battery life for increased talk and standby times, large displays and durable design.

OEN Announces IPTV Carriage Deal with Fox

Optical Entertainment Network (OEN), which is deploying an FTTH network in Houston, signed an IPTV carriage agreement directly with Fox Cable Networks to provide all of their content. Through this affiliate agreement, OEN's FISION will offer its subscribers FX, Fox Movie Channel, National Geographic Channel, Fox Reality, FUEL TV, Fox Soccer Channel, SPEED, Fox Sports en EspaƱol, Fox College Sports and regional sports network FSN Southwest.

OEN said it plans to deliver 400 television channels, including over 50 channels of HDTV.


Nextlink and Covad Target Broadband Wireless Access

Nextlink Wireless, a subsidiary of XO Holdings and the largest holder of LMDS spectrum in the U.S., and Covad Communications have entered into a strategic partnership that will enable Covad to deploy wireless Ethernet services nationally using Nextlink's licensed 28-31 GHz Local Multipoint Distribution System (LMDS) wireless spectrum.

Covad will be able to provide access speeds up to 25 Mbps per subscriber location, with low latency for real-time applications, such as VoIP.

Initially, Covad will offer enhanced broadband wireless service within its existing network in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The agreement also allows for an expansion to eleven additional major markets across the country, including Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, Seattle, and Washington, DC.


CoreLabs Uncovers VoIP Security Vulnerabilities

CoreLabs, the research center of Core Security Technologies, published two advisories regarding vulnerabilities that could severely impact enterprise phone systems. By exploiting either of these buffer overflow vulnerabilities, an attacker could remotely execute code and take control of an organization's entire voice communications system. These vulnerabilities could also serve as entry points for attackers to compromise other critical network systems. Specifically, the vulnerabilities affect:

  • Asterisk PBX, the open source software for phone systems. The Asterisk-specific IAX2 protocol includes support for transmission of video between the IAX2 clients that implement this feature. A vulnerability found in the Asterisk's handling of IAX2 video frames could lead to the remote compromise of the system running the software PBX through execution of arbitrary code of the attacker's choosing with the privileges of the Asterisk daemon. The vulnerability affects Asterisk PBX software versions up to and including v1.2.8.

  • IAXclient, an open source library that implements the IAX2 VoIP protocol used by several VoIP software phones. Two vulnerabilities have been discovered in the library that may grant attackers remote execution of arbitrary code on systems using software packages that rely on the library to implement the IAX protocol support. Although these vulnerabilities were discovered and tested using in the IDE FISK software phone, other software packages that use the IAXclient library are also vulnerable.

The maintainers of the vulnerable software have updated their packages with fixed versions.


Spirent Adds to its Avalanche Load Testing Line

Spirent Communications announced a number of enhancements to its "Avalanche" Load Testing Appliances line. These include:

  • the Avalanche 2700, a rack-mountable test appliance capable of generating nearly 100,000 HTTP requests per second, 1.7 million concurrent connections and up to 3.8Gbps of traffic to simulate extremely high volumes of network and user traffic.

  • the Avalanche 7.5 load testing software, which adds enhancements to generate realistic network and user behavior for IPSec and IPv6.

  • the Avalanche Starter Kit, an appliance aimed at providing workgroups with an economical way to load test. It provides the ability to simulate up to 50 concurrent users or 500 concurrent TCP connections.

Raza Acquires AMD's "Alchemy" MIPS-based Processors

Raza Microelectronics (RMI), a start-up specializing in high-performance silicon for networking platforms, will acquire AMD's MIPS-based "Alchemy" processor product line. At the same time, AMD will become an investor in RMI. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Alchemy product family from AMD consists of a portfolio of processors that are designed to address customer needs for high-performance, low-power embedded solutions. The technologies offered in the Alchemy processor line cover a wide range of applications targeted at multimedia, access and computing devices as well as growth opportunities in the communications and consumer markets.

The companies said the deal was part of a broad strategic agreement to cooperate in a number of different areas, including the recently announced "Torrenza" platform.

AMD's "Torrenza" is an open, x86 platform that leverages the Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport capabilities of the AMD64 architecture to enable other processor and hardware providers to innovate within a common ecosystem. AMD hopes "Torrenza" will enable a global innovation community to develop and deploy application-specific co-processors to work alongside AMD processors in multi-socket systems. The first phase of "Torrenza" enabled partner silicon chipsets. The next phase will entail licensing of coherent HyperTransport to members of a global ecosystem.

  • In April 2006, Raza Microelectronics, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, closed a $20 million round of financing to support is work in high-performance silicon for packet processing applications. The company's XLR and Orion processor families are complex, highly-integrated designs incorporating hundreds of millions of transistors and built on leading-edge TSMC silicon process technologies.

  • li>RMI's XLR Thread Processor, which incorporates 333 million transistors on 90nm CMOS technology, is a general purpose processor designed for network appliances, such as advanced firewalls, IDS, VPN boxes, intelligent switches and other edge applications. Significantly, the chip incorporates 8 MIPS64 CPU cores at up to 1.5GHz, each with 4 threads. This enables a single device to run 32 simultaneous instances of Linux. To support its high-performance threaded architecture, the XLR processor incorporates large Level-2 caches, full speed high throughput interconnects, networking accelerators, security acceleration and an interchip messaging complex. RMI said it is able to run 32-way Linux on the device.

  • RMI's Orion Intelligent Access Processor, which utilizes 180 million transistors on 130nm CMOS technology, is positioned as a "line-card on a chip." The integrated Orion chip is designed to serve as a Packet Processor Engine, a Traffic Management Engine, and a SONET/SDH Processor Engine. By combining Ethernet/MPLS/VPLS packet processing with next-gen SONET/SDH capabilities, the device could be used in range of network aggregation platforms, including customer-located equipment (CLEs or pizza boxes), micro-MSPPs, and Ethernet/MPLS line cards in IP DSLAMs. The design leverages Ethernet as a universal client interface while providing simultaneous support for legacy T1/E1 or T3/E3 delivered services.

  • Raza Microelectronics was founded by Atiq Raza, who is also the founder, chairman and CEO of Foundries Holdings, Inc. (formerly Raza Foundries). Previously, Mr. Raza was President and COO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). At AMD, Raza oversaw the development of AMD's processor roadmap and brought the AMD-K6 and Athlon family of processor products to the market. Before that, he headed NexGen, which was acquired by AMD in January 1996.

  • In August 2003, Raza Microelectronics acquired SandCraft, which designed high-performance MIPS64 microprocessors for the communications, network storage and office automation markets.

Japanese University Selects Force10

The University of Electro-Communications (UEC), Japan's national science and technology school, is upgrading its campus network to 10 Gigabit Ethernet with Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers. The Force10 TeraScale E300 anchors and interconnects networks in both the east and west sides of the campus with the Science Information Network (SINET) from the National Institute of Informatics.


See also