Thursday, September 13, 2007

SyntheSys Offers BERTScope with Jitter Analysis Covering 80 MHz

SyntheSys Research introduced a new BERTScope Digital Communications Receiver with Jitter Analysis (DCRj) for telecom applications and developers of XFP and SFP+ transceivers.

The DCRj, which is capable of showing the full 80 MHz spectrum, is a standalone jitter measurement solution with built-in compliant clock recovery that also provides OC-192/STM-64 and 10GbE reference receiver capability to the BERTScope series of analyzers and third-party instruments used for transmitter compliance.

The DCRj has an amplified receiver for testing single-mode or multimode transmitters. The DCRj also provides an electrical input to enable jitter spectral analysis on electrical signals.

SyntheSys said that while the majority of the optical or electrical signal is passed through to provide an electrical output for other test instrumentation, a small portion is used to drive a standards-compliant, flexible clock recovery. As well as providing the correct loop bandwidths for transmitter measurements, such as the 4 MHz loop bandwidth called for by SONET, the DCRj also provides the engine for one of the most sensitive jitter generation measurements available. The benefit is that test devices may be checked for compliance to standards, and the same measurements can be used for performance enhancement and troubleshooting efforts through the >80 MHz jitter spectrum measurement.

Equinix Completes Acquisition of IXEurope, Raises Guidance

Equinix completed its previously-announced acquisition of IXEurope Plc, which operates 14 data centers across Europe. IXEurope's 14 data centers comprise more than 380,000 square feet of net sellable space throughout Europe, including centers in London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Dusseldorf and Geneva. The company serves more than 450 enterprise and Internet customers, including Merrill Lynch, Avis Europe, Deutsche Boerse, Citigroup, Rackspace and SurfControl.

Equinix will integrate IXEurope's network-neutral data center business and operations under the Equinix brand. The current IXEurope management team, including Guy Willner, IXEurope CEO, and Christophe de Buchet, IXEurope COO, will join Equinix and continue to operate the European business from the IXEurope London headquarters, which will now serve as Equinix's European regional headquarters.

Under the terms of the acquisition, IXEurope shareholders will receive 140 British pence in cash for each IXEurope share, payable on September 28, 2007, valuing the share capital of IXEurope, on a fully diluted basis, at approximately GBP 270.1 million or approximately $550 million plus the assumption of debt (based on exchange rates on September 13, 2007).

Separately, Equinix raised its financial guidance. For the third quarter of 2007, revenues are now expected to be in the range of $101.0 to $102.0 million, including approximately $4.0 million from Europe. Cash gross margins are expected to be approximately 61%. EBITDA for the third quarter is expected to be between $38.0 and $39.0 million, including approximately $500,000 from Europe. Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $105.0 to $110.0 million, including approximately $5.0 million of capital expenditures in Europe.

For the full year of 2007, total revenues are expected to be in the range of $413.0 to $415.0 million, including approximately $37.0 million anticipated from Europe. Total year cash gross margins are expected to be approximately 62%, including approximately $6.9 million of net cash costs attributed to its expansion IBXs. EBITDA for the year is expected to be between $149.0 and $151.0 million, including approximately $5.0 million anticipated from Europe. Capital expenditures for 2007 are expected to be $405.0 to $415.0 million, including approximately $40.0 million of ongoing capital expenditures and approximately $25.0 million of capital expenditures related to Europe. Expansion capital expenditures are for the build outs of the Frankfurt, London, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. expansions opened this year, as well as the announced expansions in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. metro areas. As previously announced, Equinix acquired two properties in 2007 for approximately $115.0 million.

ITU Focuses on Connect "Africa" Initiative

This week the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is hosting a series of events at U.N. headquarters in New York aimed at building support for the "Connect Africa Initiative", whose mission is to bridge major gaps in ICT infrastructure in Africa with the aim of supporting affordable connectivity, applications and services.

Connect Africa aims to promote the private sector investment required for sustainable network infrastructure development. It is designed to build on current public and private ICT projects by targeting major gaps, mobilizing resources and enhancing coordination in support of national and regional activities.

This week's meetings are being chaired by Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Development and Walter Fust, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

NeoPhotonics Unveils "Ultra" Tunable Laser covering 200 Wavelengths

NeoPhotonics unveiled a new tunable laser that can be tuned to any of 200 wavelengths and is suitable for metro, long-haul and ultra long-haul DWDM networks with data rates from 2.5G to 40 Gbps.

NeoPhotonics' new ultra widely tunable NTL2000 laser features an 80 nm tuning range, enabling it to transmit virtually the same output waveform at every frequency in the C-band, L-band, extended L-band (XL-band), or both C+L bands (tuning over 80 nm with channel spacing based on the ITU-T specified 50 GHz grid).

NeoPhotonics said its NTL2000 laser can address all commonly used wavelengths in DWDM systems and essentially do the work of any of 200 single wavelength lasers. As a result, it reduces the complexity and cost of systems design and lowers the cost of sparing and inventory management for both network equipment manufacturers and their network operator customers. An ultra-wide tuning range plus adjustable optical power makes the NeoPhotonics ITLA (integratable tuner laser assembly) product a "universal DWDM laser" for most optical transport applications.

The NeoPhotonics design uses a continuous wave (CW) external cavity laser delivering high spectral purity with low RIN, low SMSR and narrow line width. The output power is adjustable with standard outputs of 10mW and 20mW. It has fast wavelength tuning to meet the standards for SONET/SDH and DWDM protection switching, dynamically reconfigurable networks and remote provisioning and testing.

Opnext Releases XENPAK 10G LRM Modules

Opnext announced the release of a second form-factor in its 10G LRM optical pluggable module family.

Opnext said the modules offer very low power consumption, superior transmission characteristics and high temperature performance for enterprise and campus networks which want to upgrade to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Xilinx Opens Regional Headquarters Building In Singapore

Xilinx opened a new, expanded regional headquarters in Singapore. Located in the Changi Business Park, the new 20,000 square meter Xilinx Asia Pacific (XAP) headquarters can house up to 500 employees, providing four times the capacity of its previous on-site manufacturing facility and three times the in-house process development resources.

Gemfire Raises $37 Million for Integrated Photonics

Gemfire, a start-up based in Fremont, California with manufacturing in Scotland, raised $37 million in funding for its integrated photonics sub-systems and planar lightwave circuits for telecom and defense related applications.

The Gemfire "PhotonIC" planar technology platform enables wafer-scale processing to produce optical components, such as VMUXs, Athermal and standard AWGs, TODCs, and VOAs. Gemfire has been shipping its Telcordia qualified products to dozens of top tier optical system companies all over the world since 2003.

The company noted that the funding round was expanded to more than double the face value of the offering to accommodate the interest level of several new investors. In addition to the participation of previous investors, the new investor group, led by Loudwater Partners, included Centaurus Capital, Uberior Equity Ltd., and Palo Alto Investors. ThinkEquity Partners, acted as the exclusive placement agent for the offering.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Aricent to Acquire DataLinx for its Network Consultancy Practice

Aricent, which is a full-service, full-spectrum communications software company, agreed to acquire DataLinx, a network consultancy, system integrator and software developer based in Tarrytown, New York. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DataLinx, founded in 1992, adds a highly experienced team of 400 consultants and developers to the Aricent organization. The company assists service providers in the planning, development, implementation and support of efficient and scalable OSS capabilities.

Combined, Aricent and DataLinx will deliver full lifecycle solutions to wireless, wireline, cable and satellite service providers. In addition, the two companies will offer a combined line of service provider products that includes applications for network capacity planning, subscriber management, billing mediation, service activation, customer relationship management and workforce management.

Aricent said the acquisition reflects its strategy to establish locations close to clients and relentlessly pursue the leading communications industry talent in the world.

Azul Systems Raises $40 Million for Network Attached Processing

Azul Systems, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $40 million in funding for its network-attached processing appliance and architecture, which delivers compute and memory resources as a shared network service to transaction-intensive applications across an enterprise.

Azul Systems developed a "network-attached processing compute solution" designed to provide grid-like power computing for Java and J2EE platform-based enterprise applications. The Azul appliance transparently redirects application workload to a "compute pool" of resources across a corporate network. The technology does not require any change to applications, or the existing infrastructure configuration. Compute pool appliances are simply connected to the network and Azul software is installed on the application hosts. Azul's technology works with J2EE platform products, including BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere application servers.

The new funding came from Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, ComVentures, Credit Suisse, JVax Investment Group, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Worldview Technology Partners. All existing investors in the company participated in the financing.

Azul Systems said it intends to utilize the capital to continue its execution on an aggressive product roadmap of network attached processing products and associated solutions for the Java community, and dramatically expand its field operations and global presence.

http://www.azulsystems.comAzul Systems is led by Stephen W. DeWitt, who previously was the Vice President and General Manager of Content Delivery and Edge Computing for Sun Microsystems, where he joined following the acquisition of Cobalt Networks. Prior to joining Cobalt, DeWitt served at Cisco Systems as Vice President and General Manager of the Enterprise Network Management Business Unit and Vice President of Enterprise Marketing.

PMC-Sierra Debuts New Multi-Service Processors for Network and Storage Applications

PMC-Sierra announced two highly integrated "Multi-Service Processors" (MSPs) targeted at applications such as networked appliances, storage systems and security solutions.

The new MSP8110 and MSP8120 System-On-Chip (SoC) solutions, powered by the MIPS32 34K core, offer large 64KB caches with integrated I/O interfaces and consume less than 1.5Watts. Both devices support the following standard interfaces:

  • Two 10/100 Mb/s Ethernet MAC interfaces supporting industry standard MII/RMII interfaces to standard Ethernet transceivers;

  • A USB 2.0 controller and PHY supporting both host and device mode operation;

  • A 32-bit PCI controller providing PCI 2.3 compliant operation at 33/66 MHz;

  • A 166 MHz DDR I/II SDRAM controller;

  • A local bus interface providing connectivity to boot ROM and Flash; and

  • Up to twenty GPIO pins that can optionally be configured as UART, SPI, TDM, or TWI ports.

In addition, the MSP8120 features an integrated IPSec hardware acceleration engine that boosts Internet protocol security, and provides secure socket layer performance for security appliances, firewalls, networking, and storage applications.

Telstra Boosts Broadband to 30 Mbps in Sydney and Melbourne

Telstra announced BigPond Cable Extreme consumer broadband service at rates up to 30 Mbps in Sydney and Melbourne. The service is being rolled out in areas with more than 1.8 million homes and businesses across both cities. Telstra said consumer broadband service will be boosted to a maximum of 17 Mbps in other areas of its footprint.

AllPeers Enables BitTorrent Downloads Inside Firefox

AllPeers Ltd, a software start-up based in Oxford, England with offices in the Czech Republic, has added new capabilities to its free plug-in to support standard BitTorrent downloads directly inside the Firefox web browser. With this new release, AllPeers becomes a Social BitTorrent client, making it far simpler to share and recommend torrents to friends.

AllPeers said its goal is to make downloading of torrent files as easy as normal web downloads. The new plug-in enables the user to just click on a link and the download starts, right inside the Firefox browser. The social features let users share torrent files using the encrypted AllPeers network, directly with their existing AllPeers contacts or by sending files to any email address.

AllPeers estimates that BitTorrent already accounts for over 40 percent of all Internet traffic, boasting over 35 million users.

Avanex Expands 10G Tunable Transponder Portfolio

Avanex has expanded its 10G extended reach tunable transponder product portfolio with a new "PowerReach" 10 Gbps Optical Duobinary (ODB) transponder. The unit combines Avanex's Lithium Niobate modulators with its tunable transponder design to create a high performance extended reach tunable transponder with reach capability up to 160 km without added amplification.

The PowerReach ODB advanced modulation technology provides higher dispersion tolerance and narrower laser line width -- two key features that allow optical signals to travel longer distance with low transmission bit error. The PowerReach ODB can typically achieve a bit error rate below 10-3 with OSNR as low as 12 dB through ±3200 ps/nm, while maintaining power consumption below 12 W (7W at 35oC). The PowerReach ODB is also compliant with large form factor 300pin MSA standards.

Nikon Offers T-Mobile Hotspot Access for Digital Camera

Nikon has partnered with T-Mobile USA to provide buyers of its new COOLPIX S51c digital camera with a complimentary six month subscription to T-Mobile's HotSpot Wi-Fi service for digital cameras. This enables the user to send images and videos to friends and family from the nearly 8,500 T-Mobile HotSpot locations across the U.S.

The Nikon COOLPIX S51c is an 8.1 megapixel camera featuring Wi-Fi connectivity. MSRP is $329.95.

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies IMS Gear for CableLab's PacketCable Lab

Alcatel-Lucent has supplied its next-generation IP multimedia applications and core network technology for use in the CableLabs PacketCable 2.0 Applications Lab. The lab, launched in April 2007, provides a PacketCable application showcase and development test bed for the cable industry and is a venue where network equipment providers and application developers can test and demonstrate cutting-edge applications for voice, multimedia, wireless, and converged services across PacketCable 2.0 core networks from multiple suppliers. The lab will additionally be used as an interoperability test bed to help CableLabs and manufacturers prepare for PacketCable 2.0 certification.

Alcatel-Lucent has provided a 3GPP-compliant IMS network consisting of the Alcatel- Lucent Session Manager that provides IMS session management and control and includes the functions which manage voice, data, and video communication sessions for end users. Alcatel-Lucent also supplied the Alcatel-Lucent Feature Server 5000 that offers both residential and enterprise voice applications and the Alcatel-Lucent Unified Subscriber Data Server that contains subscriber data used by IMS applications.

Additional gear includes the Alcatel- Lucent Communication Manager web portal, which can be used in conjunction with SIP-based clients, and an Alcatel-Lucent element management system for provisioning and management of the solution.

Alcatel-Lucent Trims Financial Guidance

Citing delayed sales to some wireless operators in North America, Alcatel-Lucent trimmed its full year 2007 revenue outlook, saying revenue growth is now likely to be flat to slightly up at a constant Euro/USD exchange rate. The company had previously estimated that its revenue would grow in the mid single digits at a constant rate.

The company's revenue for the fourth quarter 2007 is still expected to ramp-up strongly over the third quarter 2007. Additionally, the change in revenue mix is expected to negatively impact the profitability of the company, especially in the current quarter. For the third quarter 2007, the operating income (loss) is expected to be around breakeven.

As for the weakness in Q3 sales, Alcatel-Lucent said it is now seeing a change in capital spending with major North American wireless carriers in 2007, compared to what it had anticipated. As a result, the company is not seeing the projected volume changes that would have mitigated the ongoing pricing pressures it is experiencing. In other regions and businesses, in particular wireline, enterprise and Asia-Pacific revenue performance continues to be strong.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it is planning to achieve its synergy related pre-tax savings of EUR 600 million this year. As the company has previously said for this year, it will not retain its gross margin savings due to competitive market conditions but expects it will retain most of its operating expense savings on a comparable basis.

Alcatel-Lucent continues to expect a strong sequential revenue growth in the fourth quarter, driven by IP transformation, broadband deployment and associated services.

Mexico City's CABLEVISION Launches TiVO Service

CABLEVISION, Mexico's largest digital cable operator, began offering TiVo DVRs and the TiVo Service to its digital cable subscribers throughout Mexico City. TiVo service is being offered to CABLEVISION subscribers as a package with a monthly charge covering both service and box rental.

Virgin America Selects AirCell for In-Flight Broadband

Virgin America, which launched service in August, is partnering with AirCell to offer air-to-ground broadband Internet service beginning next year. Passengers will be able to access the Internet in-flight either through their WiFi-enabled personal devices or through the airline's "Red" In-flight Entertainment system at every seat.

Passengers will be able to check and send web-email from their seatbacks through Red's TALK -- the airline's onboard chat system -- using popular instant messaging services such as MSN, Google talk, Yahoo!, Skype, and AIM.

"We believe that broadband connectivity on our planes will help enhance the in-flight experience for our guests," said Charles Ogilvie, Virgin America's Director of Inflight Entertainment & Partnerships.
  • In August 2007, American Airlines announced plans to conduct passenger testing of AirCell's Wi-Fi broadband Internet service on coast-to-coast flights over the U.S. beginning in 2008. Passenger testing will be conducted on American Airlines fleet of Boeing 767-200 aircraft that primarily fly transcontinental routes.

SEC Charges Four More Ex-Nortel Execs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged four more former officers of Nortel Networks with engaging in accounting fraud by manipulating reserves to manage Nortel's earnings.

The defendants, Douglas A. Hamilton, Craig A. Johnson, James B. Kinney and Kenneth R.W. Taylor, were the former vice presidents of finance for Nortel's Optical, Wireline, Wireless and Enterprise business units, respectively.

The SEC's original complaint, among other things, charged three former corporate officers of Nortel -- CEO Frank Dunn, CFO Douglas Beatty and Controller Michael Gollogly -- with directing the earnings management fraud.

Among other allegations, the amended complaint alleges that Hamilton, Johnson, Kinney and Taylor engaged in the following misconduct:

The amended complaint charges Hamilton, Johnson, Kinney and Taylor with violating and/or aiding and abetting violations of the antifraud, reporting, books and records and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws. The Commission seeks a permanent injunction, a civil monetary penalty, an officer and director bar, and disgorgement with prejudgment interest against each of these defendants.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

IBM Integrates Multiple RF/Analog Functions on CMOS Chip

IBM introduced a new semiconductor technology -- named CMOS 7RF SOI -- is designed to enable single-chip Radio Frequency (RF) solutions by integrating the multiple RF/analog functions of today's handsets -- such as multi-mode/multi-band RF switches, complex switch biasing networks, and power controllers -- into single-chip solutions for mobile devices.

Single-chip solutions address the need for fully integrated multimedia functionality on low-cost handsets, providing entry-level users in emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America with affordable, power-efficient and high-performance mobile devices.

The 180-nm CMOS 7RF SOI is tailored for RF switch applications that provide a low-cost alternative to solutions based on gallium arsenide (GaAs). The breakthrough technology in SOI can minimize insertion loss and maximize isolation to help avoid issues such as loss of signal or dropped calls, potentially enabling significant cost advantages to mobile handsets.

Initial hardware evaluations have been completed; general availability for design kits is planned for the first half of 2008.

IBM said that as the technology evolves, it could create additional integration opportunities that include filter, power amplifier, power management and receiver/transmitter functions -- the types of integration possibilities that are cost-prohibitive or technically unfeasible with semiconductor technology used in mobile devices today.