Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seagate Supplies Nearly Half a Million GB of Storage for NBC's Olympic Coverage

Seagate Barracuda ES Series hard drives are powering 20 Omneon MediaDeck servers which are being used by NBC to digitize and ingest HD coverage from the Olympic Games. The video files are actively transferred, while still being recorded, to a MediaGrid active storage system in Beijing then to a second MediaGrid storage system in New York.

Ipanema Raises $7 Million for App Traffic Management Systems

Ipanema Technologies, which specializes in application traffic management systems for wide area networks, raised $7 million in new financing to expand its global geographic coverage and grow its R&D staffing.

Ipanema's WAN optimization system is designed for large companies with complex networks. The software based solution provides visibility of application flows over the network. This intelligence enables dynamic optimization of WAN resources, including optimization of IP/MPLS services. The optimization is transparent to the application. Furthermore, Ipanema enables Application SLAs and tools to enforce the framework. Ipanema, which is based in France, has partnerships with BT, France Telecom/Orange Business Services, C&W, Tata Communications and Swisscom.

The company said that for the last three years it has enjoyed 60% annual growth. To continue momentum and speed up this growth rate, Ipanema Technologies has secured these additional funds from London-based Noble Venture.

Rohati Adds to its Advisory Board

Rohati Systems, a start-up offering high-performance Network-based Entitlement Control (NBEC) solutions, has appointed distinguished IT industry visionary and former CEO and Founder of Internet Security Systems (ISS) Thomas E. Noonan to its advisory board. Noonan joins the board as Rohati prepares to expand its presence in the Americas and Worldwide through the general availability of its NBEC Transaction Networking System (TNS).
  • Rohati has developed a high-performance platform enables enterprises to inspect and correlate individual transactions to network policies. The platform is powered by 16-core processors capable of providing Layer 7 intelligence on thousands of simultaneous connections/flows at wire-speed.

T-Home's Andreas Kindt to Step Down

Andreas Kindt, Member of the T-Home Board of Management for Information Technology, is leaving Deutsche Telekom after approximately 15 years' service with the Group. He plans to take on new professional duties outside of DT.

In addition to various duties at Detecon and the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Berkom, Andreas Kindt was in charge of the T-Nova Berkom Performance Center, becoming its Managing Director for software systems in August 2000. Andreas Kindt was a Member of the Board of Management of T-Online International, responsible for Technology from January 2002 to June 2006. He has been responsible for IT on the T-Home Board of Management since June 2006.

Nuance Bids to Acquire Zi, Potentially Combining Speech with Predictive Text Input

Nuance Communications has submitted a proposal to the board of Zi Corporation to acquire the company for U.S. $0.80 per share in cash. This represents more than a 150 percent premium over the closing price of Zi Corporation common stock on August 13, 2008.

Zi provides discovery and usability solutions for Mobile Search, Input and Advertising. Zi's suite of products include predictive text input solutions that are embedded on mobile phones, hand-held computers, gaming consoles, PDAs, VoIP phones, telematic systems, television set-top boxes and other consumer electronic devices. The company says its software is featured on more than 1000 handset models.

Nuance is a leading provider of speech recognition and voice control technologies.http://www.nuance.com

Vodafone UK to Open 50 more Retail Stores

Vodafone UK today plans to roll out a further 50 stores over the coming financial year, taking the total to 400. These new stores will create approximately 200 additional roles in retail. The new stores will start to appear on the high street and in shopping centres from September starting with Bristol Cabot Circus and White City London in September and Liverpool One in October. It is planned that the majority of the new retail locations will be found, and work completed to turn them into stores by spring 2009.

Following a trial with Cable&Wireless, Vodafone is also rolling out new broadband connections to stores to improve the speed of tills and back office systems which will quicken the time it takes to purchase or order a new phone, pay a bill or update account information.

SES' AMC-21 Satellite Successfully Enters Orbit

SES's new AMC-21 satellite was successfully launched aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from the French Guiana Spaceport.

The AMC-21 satellite provides coverage of the Continental United States (CONUS), Southern Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. AMC-21 will provide broadcast television and mobile broadband services. The satellite is fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders, each 36 MHz in bandwidth, and will have an operational life of 15 years. Weighing about 2,500 kilograms at launch and having 6 kW of electrical power, it will initiate Ku-band service at 125 degrees West.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NDS to Go Private with Support from News Corp., Permira

NDS announced plans to become a privately-held company. News Corporation and the Permira Newcos will acquire all issued and outstanding NDS Series A ordinary shares, including those represented by American Depositary Shares traded on NASDAQ, for the previously announced per share consideration of $63 in cash.

The consummation of the transaction would result in NDS ceasing to be a public company, and the Permira Newcos and News Corporation owning approximately 51% and 49% of NDS, respectively. Approximately 67% of the NDS Series B ordinary shares held by News Corporation would be cancelled in exchange for $63 per share in a mix of cash of approximately $1.52 billion and a $242 million vendor note. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year or early 2009.

"With the convergence of broadband and broadcast technology, new frontiers lie ahead for NDS. NDS needs to have the strategic agility and flexibility to enter into any type of value enhancing transactions. The current ownership structure was imposing certain limitations. Therefore News Corporation has decided to reduce its ownership position in NDS so that NDS can capitalize on these new opportunities with a more independent structure and the expertise of Permira," commented Abe Peled, Chairman and CEO of NDS.

JAJAH's IP Telephony to Use Intel's Remote Wake

JAJAH's Internet telephony application will utilize Intel's newly-announced Remote Wake technology.

This energy efficient capability turns the home PC into an 'always available' communications hub for the first time, with Intel Remote Wake technology enabling the home PC to "wake up" from energy efficient sleep mode to accept phone calls.

With JAJAH's telephony support, the computer has direct access to JAJAH's IP-telephony network, enabling the PC to both make and receive high quality, low cost phone calls. Select Intel Motherboards with support for Intel Remote Wake technology will be available next month.

Ipanema Names Former Cisco Exec as President of Worldwide Operations

Ipanema Technologies, which specializes in application traffic management systems for wide area networks, has appointed Reza Mahdavi as President of Worldwide Operations. Mahdavi joins Ipanema after 14 years at Cisco, initially as head of global and strategic partners, then president of emerging and developing countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and, most recently, as vice president of corporate affairs in San Jose, California.

Ipanema's WAN optimization system is designed for large companies with complex networks. The software based solution provides visibility of application flows over the network. This intelligence enables dynamic optimization of WAN resources, including optimization of IP/MPLS services. The optimization is transparent to the application. Furthermore, Ipanema enables Application SLAs and tools to enforce the framework.

Ipanema, which is based in France, has partnerships with BT, France Telecom/Orange Business Services, C&W, Tata Communications and Swisscom.

Ofcom: UK Consumers Paying Less but Getting More

In 2007, people in the UK spent an average of 7 hours and 9 minutes a day using an array of communications services (TV, Internet, mobiles, landlines or radio) -- up by 6 minutes from 2002. However, people paying are less for these services, according to Ofcom's latest annual report into the UK's £51 billion communications industry.

Mobile and Internet use has increased by the greatest amount. Between 2002 and 2007, time spent talking and texting on mobiles doubled, up from 5 minutes to 10 minutes each day. Meanwhile, time spent on PCs and lap-tops has grown fourfold between 2002 and 2007 - from 6 minutes to 24 minutes per person every day.

Despite this growth in use and take up, spending is down. Overall average household spend on communications services was £93.63 a month in 2007, a fall of £1.53 (1.6 per cent) on the average spend in 2006 and a fall of £4.31 (4.4 per cent) since 2004.

Xelerated Raises $23 Million for Carrier Ethernet Silicon

Xelerated, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California and Stockholm, Sweden, raised $23 million in series C funding for its high-end Carrier Ethernet ASSP-based chipsets, closed a $13 million funding round.

Xelerated recently announced its HX300 family of network processors and the industry's first programmable Ethernet switches to the fiber access market. This new family of products feature integrated traffic management and fully-programmable Ethernet switches, bringing superior levels of integration and flexibility to the Carrier Ethernet market.

The new funding round was led by the Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund (the Sixth AP Fund) and was supported by all of Xelerated's existing investors: Accel Partners, Alta Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners and Atlas Ventures. The new funding will be used to further develop Xelerated's unique network processor and Ethernet switching family as well as extend sales and support internationally.
  • In June, Xelerated announced its next-generation HX300 family of high performance network processors with integrated traffic management and fully-programmable Ethernet switches. The new silicon, which is designed for fiber access platforms, offers a combination of switching and processing functionality, enabling service-aware applications that readily adapt to changes in network conditions and optimize performance. It could be used in fixed-port, stackable and chassis- based networking systems that can be configured in mesh, ring, star, dual star and stackable topologies. The HX300 integrates 100-Gigabit, 40-Gigabit, 10-Gigabit and 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. The HX300 is binary software-compatible with custom and Metro Ethernet Applications (MEA) that have already been developed for Xelerated's X10 and X11 NPU families.

  • The HX300 leverages Xelerated's Dataflow packet processing architecture, which scales to 100 Gbps full duplex. The advanced standards-based egress traffic management and the tight integration of the Xelerated Dataflow Architecture enables the HX300 family to support a QoS-aware distributed traffic management model for either chassis-based switching systems or meshed configurations. Triple play services are enabled by a flexible queue allocation and programmable hierarchy that enforces per-flow, per-subscriber, per-class Service Level Agreements and bandwidth guarantees.

Pando to Leverage Intel's "Remote Wake" for P2P Content Delivery

Pando Networks, which specializes in commercial P2P content delivery services, will leverage Intel's newly announced Remote Wake technology for its P2Pcontent delivery service. Intel's Remote Wake technology makes the personal computer an always available extension to content distribution networks.

Pando Networks said the combination of secure content delivery services and Intel Remote Wake will offer content providers and consumers more choice in how they can access, purchase, and download digital media content to the home PC, even when consumers are not at home. Beyond added convenience, Intel Remote Wake technology will benefit consumers by reducing the energy consumption associated with keeping the home PC always on. Select Intel Motherboards with support for Intel Remote Wake technology will be available next month.

"Intel and Pando have a common vision to enable technology building blocks that deliver more energy efficiency options for consumers and content providers. Intel is fortunate to be collaborating with Pando Networks on their latest content delivery service release, which supports Intel Remote Wake technology. Together, our technologies enable added convenience and energy efficiency for consumers who prefer 'automatically' downloaded media from content providers," stated Joe Van De Water, Director of Consumer Product Marketing for Intel.http://www.PandoNetworks.com
  • P2P content delivery can boost delivery speeds by up to 235% across US cable networks and up to 898% across international broadband networks, according to Pando Networks, which offers a managed P2P content delivery service. The data was gathered in a recent P4P field test by Pando from more than 3,000 ISPs worldwide. As part of the test that began February 21st, Pando Networks delivered video content to more than 1 million people across global broadband networks including AT&T, Bell Canada, Bezeq International, BT, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Orange, Sasktel, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Time Warner, Tiscali, and Verizon.

  • In March 2008, Verizon announced that it will begin using a peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfer system from Pando Networks to aid with the distribution of large media files to its broadband users. When deployed, the new system will move material authorized by the content owners -- such as movies, TV programs, software or large data bases -- faster for consumers and more efficiently for network operators, including Verizon. Significantly, Verizon said it no longer regarded P2P as a "dark-alley distribution system for unauthorized file sharing.

Nortel Acquires Pingtel for Unified Communications

Nortel has acquired Pingtel, a developer of software-based unified communications solutions, for an undisclosed sum. The assets were acquired from Bluesocket Inc, an enterprise mobility solutions provider. Pingtel employees will be integrated into Nortel's Billerica, Massachusetts facilities.

The deal brings Pingtel's existing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationship with Nortel in-house. Pingtel will also add new software capabilities to Nortel's enterprise unified communications portfolio, as well as additional research and development capabilities.

Over a year ago, Nortel joined the open source community established by SIPfoundry as an active contributor to the sipXecs open source project (led by Pingtel Corp), providing more than 300 new applications and features to date. Nortel said the acquisition of Pingtel will further accelerate the development of a global open source ecosystem and reinforce Nortel's direction and leadership in the development of interoperable and open unified communications solutions.

"This acquisition is another building block in Nortel's vision to be a software-centric company and the leading provider of unified communications solutions," said David Downing, general manager, Enterprise and SMB Communications Systems, Nortel.

Intel Releases xHCI Draft Spec for USB 3.0 Architecture

Intel released the Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) draft specification revision 0.9 in support of the USB 3.0 architecture, also known as SuperSpeed USB. The xHCI draft specification provides a standardized method for USB 3.0 host controllers to communicate with the USB 3.0 software stack.

xHCI describes the registers and data structures used to interface between system software and the hardware, and are developed to be compatible with the USB 3.0 specification being developed by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group.

Intel is making the draft spec available under RAND-Z (royalty free) licensing terms to all USB 3.0 Promoter Group and contributor companies that sign an xHCI contributor agreement.

The future of computing and consumer devices is increasingly visual and bandwidth intensive," said Phil Eisler, AMD corporate vice president and general manager of the Chipset Business Unit. "Lifestyles filled with HD media and digital audio demand quick and universal data transfer. USB 3.0 is an answer to the future bandwidth need of the PC platform. AMD believes strongly in open industry standards, and therefore is supporting a common xHCI specification."
  • SuperSpeed USB will be backward-compatible with earlier USB implementations. The personal USB interconnect is targeting to deliver over 10 times the speed of today's connection, or roughly 4.8 Gbps. It will also be optimized for lower power and improved protocol efficiency.

OIF Pursues DP-QPSK for 100 Gbps Long Haul DWDM

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has identified Dual-Polarization - Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP-QPSK) as a modulation technique for integrated photonic components. With a number of possible modulation techniques available to use at 100G. The OIF said identifying a specific modulation technique gives the industry a starting point to design hardware and reduce development risk.

"We have selected an implementation approach supported by a critical mass of photonic component vendors and users," said David Stauffer of IBM, and the PLL Working Group chair. "100G is an important development for the industry and network element vendors have already begun work. The goal of the project is to accelerate the adoption of 100G in long distance DWDM transmission."

The OIF is pursuing a 100G Long Distance DWDM Transmission Project that will specify an Implementation Agreement (IA) for Integrated Receive and Transmit photonic component(s) for Dual-Polarization - Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP-QPSK). The IAs will define partitioning of photonics sub-components, the electrical and the optical interface. The objective of these IAs is to create a foundation for Multi-Source Agreements for transmit and receive photonic components.

In other news from its Q3 meeting in Montreal, the OIF has developed and published a guideline document for Signaling Protocol Interworking of ASON/GMPLS Network Domains. The Guideline Document is available onilne.http://www.oiforum.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yahoo! Releases Fire Eagle for Location-based Services

Yahoo! released its Fire Eagle open platform for location-based mobile services.

Fire Eagle is a network service that gives users a place to store and manage information about their location, and offers developers protocols for updating or accessing that information.

Yahoo! said its goal with Fire Eagle is to help developers create Internet experiences that are geo-aware.

For users, Fire Eagle acts as a simple interface for managing location information and deciding how -- and with whom -- to share it. Users can authorize Web, mobile or desktop applications to update their location automatically, or they can do it themselves manually on the Fire Eagle Web or mobile sites. Then they can decide how much of that information to share with their favorite services. At any time they can hide themselves, change their sharing preferences or delete any of their stored information.

For developers, Fire Eagle takes away much of the costly and complicated heavy-lifting of developing geo-aware applications. Developers can focus on how they can use location in their services without having to build the infrastructure to work out where their users are. Fire Eagle -- combined with Yahoo!'s full suite of geo technologies -- now makes it practical for any service to become location-aware easily and inexpensively.

Fire Eagle entered a private beta period in March of this year. So far, Fire Eagle has been integrated into over fifty live applications, including:

  • Brightkite -- a location based social network that allows users to track their friends' locations and meet new people in their area.

  • Dash -- a two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system for traffic monitoring.

  • Dipit -- at way to make and share interactive stories for the people and topics users care about.

  • Dopplr -- a service that allows travelers to share their plans with the people they trust.

  • ekit -- a communications provider to international travelers, offering a range of services including mobile phones, satellite phones, SIM cards, global calling cards, and recently the ekit travel journal.

  • Lightpole -- a mobile application service provider that distributes location-specific information to mobile devices in real-time and engages mobile users in interactive communities.

  • Movable Type -- a fully integrated, scalable, proven social publishing platform for building highly interactive websites, blogs and social networks.

  • Navizon -- a software-only wireless positioning system that triangulates signals broadcasted from Wi-Fi access points and cellular towers to help users find their location.

  • Radar -- personalized local news with you at the center of the map. Radar shows you everything going on nearby, wherever you are, from the stories on your street, to the events in your neighborhood, to headlines in your city.

  • Pownce -- a way to keep in touch with and share messages, files, links and events with your friends.

  • Loki -- adds your location into social networks so you can share it with your friends. Loki, powered by Skyhook Wireless, automatically informs your friend of your whereabouts, using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Fire Eagle, RSS Feeds and more.

  • SPOT -- a satellite messenger that sends users' GPS location and custom messages to family and friends or emergency responders over a satellite communications network from virtually anywhere around the globe - even the most remote places - independent of cell phone coverage.

  • ZKOU -- enables mobile device users to create content -- messages, photos, videos -- on the ZKOUT network from any location, and share it instantly with the people near you.

WiMAX Forum Predicts Rapid Uptake in India

The WiMAX Forum projects that more than 27.5 million Indians will be WiMAX users by 2012. Additional data from this recent WiMAX Forum study estimates that approximately 70 percent of the forecasted WiMAX subscribers by 2012 will utilize mobile and portable WiMAX devices to access broadband Internet services.

The WiMAX Forum plans to add an Indian certification lab to its existing network by the end of 2008 to stay ahead of the demand for products in this region. The WiMAX Forum's current network consists of six labs in China, Korea, Spain, U.S. and two in Taiwan. The industry body will also add a lab in Japan by the end of 2008 and a Brazilian lab in 2009.

The WiMAX Forum noted that is now consists of more than 530 member companies. Of these, more than 35 WiMAX Forum member companies are producing WiMAX base stations, 30 companies are providing PC Cards, USB modems, MIDs, and other personal devices, 25 companies provide chipsets and reference designs, and seven of the top eight global device manufacturers are developing WiMAX products.

Freescale Announces Cost Reduced Version of its GPON Chipset

Freescale Semiconductor introduced a cost-reduced version of its third generation PON device, which has been shipping in large volumes worldwide.

The new MSC7104 integrates data path engine and Power Architecture technologies to provide high data forwarding throughput rates for the delivery of video and data broadband content to homes and small businesses. The device supports the G.984 GPON Encapsulation Mode (GEM) protocol and is compliant with ITU-T standards.

The MSC7104 combines the high-speed networking capabilities of the PowerQUICC II Pro platform featuring a Freescale e300 Power Architecture technology core and delivers over 8.5 Gbps peak I/O throughput. The GPON media access controller (MAC) and Freescale's hardwired packet engine are designed to achieve Gigabit wire rate packet forwarding. The integrated OMI/CDR supports 2.4 Gbps downstream/1.2 Gbps full GPON rates. Dual 10/100/1000 Ethernet MACs support GMII, RGMII and MII modes and IEEE(R) 802.1p QoS. In addition, the MSC7104 includes a 280 MHz/32-bit DDR2 memory controller.

Freescale is sampling the MSC7104 to alpha customers in Q3, 2008. It is offered in a 456-pin PBGA package. Pricing starts at a suggested resale price of $12 for 10K quantities.

MRV Develops All Optical 100 Gbps Cross Connect for Test Lab Automation

MRV COMMUNICATIONS has developed a new Optical Cross Connect 320 (OCC 320) physical layer switch based on a three-dimensional Microelectromechanical Systems (3D-MEMS) switching matrix. The 320-port, single-mode fiber-based OCC offers high-bandwidth network equipment manufacturers, carriers and enterprises an optimized, all-optical test lab solution able to support next-generation data rates to 100 Gbps.

MRV said its "wire-once" technology of a physical layer switch turns the practice of manually configuring test topologies into a software process, eliminating the step of cabling devices for each test. Dynamic tests can be performed with the addition of test scripts or other software automation products that also provide reservation and inventory capabilities. The 3D-MEMS switching matrix that allows transparent switching of single-mode fiber connections in less than 20 ms with a typical insertion loss of 2.0 dB. This technology makes the OCC 320 ideal for maintaining optical attributes when testing high data rate LAN-, WAN-, or WDM-based equipment.

The OCC supports 640 fiber terminations via 320x320 switching matrix and can be expanded in steps of eight bi-directional ports. This high reliability device boasts a nearly 12-year mean time between failure on any of its optical data paths through use of a redundant configuration processors with independent control and data buses.