Sunday, March 22, 2009

Force10 Networks Introduces ExaScale Switch/Router

Force10 Networks unveiled its ExaScale E-Series family of switch/routers aimed at virtualized data center and cloud computing environments.

The ExaScale E-Series represents Force10's third generation technology that incorporates several innovations to boost its high-level of non-blocking line-rate Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities. The platform boasts total throughput of more than two billion packets per second across a switching fabric capacity of up to 3.5 Tbps or 250 Gbps full duplex per slot. With support for 140 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ ports in a half-rack chassis, the ExaScale E-Series can support 100 Gbps of useable data capacity per slot.

The design also features the ability to ability to modify buffer allocations according to specific application requirements, enabling the platform to tune peak application performance, independent of network load.

Force10 Networks said the design of its switching fabric delivers continuous non-blocking, line-rate throughput that eliminates network bottlenecks, regardless of packet size or enabled features. Its Unix-like modular Force10 operating system offers an industry-standard command line interface that provides simplified management, automation and resource provisioning capabilities.

Possible deployment scenarios include:

  • Virtualized data center and cloud computing networks with multiple switching or routing domains in local or geographically disparate environments

  • High-performance computing networks with non-blocking and deterministic management and storage I/O requirements

  • High-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching and routing in high-performance Layer 2 and IP core or aggregation networks.

Other key capabilities include:

  • IPv4 unicast and multicast routing for advanced services networks

  • IPv6 ready for native and dual stack next-generation IP networks

  • MPLS ready with P router and VPN functionality

  • 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet ready

"As one of the world's largest centers for scientific research, CERN's advanced network delivers 100 Gigabits per second of aggregate bandwidth to collaborators around the globe and is the key link in our total chain of information capture and analysis," said David Foster, Deputy Head of the IT department at CERN. "The Force10 ExaScale E-Series has demonstrated the ultra throughput and buffer management that will ensure the application reliability and performance we require to support our more than 9,000 scientists around the world."

The half-rack Force10 ExaScale E1200i chassis bundle starts at $89,000 and is now commercially available.

ADVA Optical Networking Demonstrates Serial 100 Gbps Transmission

ADVA Optical Networking has developed a novel DPSK-3ASK (Differential Phase-Shift Keying, 3-level Amplitude-Shift Keying) modulation format for serial 100Gbps transmission over a single wavelength channel. Engineers at the company's labs in Meiningen, Germany, have successfully demonstrated for the first time this new modulation scheme, which utilizes available 40 Gbps components and facilitates operation on a standard ITU (International Telecommunication Union) channel grid.

ADVA noted that existing serial 100Gbps proposals such as DP-QPSK (Dual-Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying) have been optimized for (ultra-) long haul transmission. Their complexity, cost and power consumption make them less suitable for metro applications. Given the substantial challenge of achieving reasonable link distances at 100Gbps due to chromatic dispersion and polarization mode dispersion, most industry work on short distances to date has centered on multi-fiber and multi-lambda approaches. The IEEE, ITU-T and OIF have all been working on 100 Gbps standards, with the focus currently placed on the two extremes of transmission distance.

ADVA said its DPSK-3ASK solution is complementary to existing 10- and 40 Gbps designs and fits in existing installed network architectures, making it easier to upgrade and operate. Its direct detection alleviates the need for power-consuming, high-speed digital signal processing as typically required for long-haul schemes. It is compatible with DWDM systems like the ADVA FSP 3000, and when coupled with optical amplification facilitates metro/regional transmission distances up to 600km.

This work by ADVA Optical Networking was partially funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is part of the CELTIC 100GET-METRO project. Get more information on ADVA Optical Networking's participation in this project.

"Current industry standardization efforts have left a gap between 40km and 600km, which leaves a sizeable portion of the market unaddressed. Our solution targets exactly that sweet spot," stated Dr. Christoph Glingener, chief technology officer (CTO) for ADVA Optical Networking. "In addition, this solution utilizes off-the-shelf componentry, which enables it to be implemented sooner and with minimal industry investment, lessening the burden on optical component companies in a difficult market environment."

Chunghwa Telecom Deploys Harmonic's Content Management Solutions

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom has deployed a broad range of Harmonic's content management solutions in support of its Multimedia-on-Demand (MOD) IPTV service expansion. The upgrade has enabled Chunghwa Telecom to offer its IPTV customers a number of advanced interactive services, including multi-channel digital mosaics and time-shifted access to major events and programming, such as the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The enhanced IPTV offering has been very well received; Chunghwa Telecom serves over 4.3 million broadband subscribers throughout Taiwan.

Content preparation technologies deployed by Chunghwa Telecom include Harmonic's CLEARcut solution for offline storage encoding and LIVEcut scheduler, StreamLiner video servers, and StreamLiner Cluster Controller for live content ingest and recording. Harmonic's ProStream 8000 digital video mosaic solution generates the multi-channel mosaics.

Opnext Introduces Optical Transceiver for 100 Gbps Ethernet

Opnext announced the industry's first 100 Gbps Ethernet (100GbE) optical transceiver for 10km transmission over standard single-mode fiber (SMF). The transceiver is compliant with IEEE P802.3ba 100GBASE-LR4 standard and with the CFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA). This MSA is the first industry standard to support next generation high speed interfaces including 100GbE transmission.

Opnext's 100GbE optical transceiver utilizes an in-house 1310nm wavelength range 25 Gbps EA-DFB laser (electro-absorption modulator with integrated distributed feedback laser) TOSA and in-house PIN-PD ROSA. Both the TOSA and ROSA were developed in collaboration with the Central Research Laboratories of Hitachi, Ltd.

Opnext said the low power consumption of this transceiver was achieved by using a high temperature operation EA-DFB laser based on Opnext and Hitachi's advanced technologies of using semiconductor material with a temperature-tolerant band-gap structure. In addition, the cost-effective structure and compact size of the transceiver was achieved with non-coaxial 25 Gbps connections between the TOSA, ROSA and GearBox IC.

"The availability of the 100GbE 10km client-side optical transceiver is key for wide spread 100GbE applications," said Kei Oki, president of Opnext Japan. "This successful demonstration exemplifies our relationship with Hitachi CRL and demonstrates Opnext's ability to drive technology within the industry."

The optical transceiver is hot pluggable and is the same length but double the width of the 10 Gbps Ethernet industrial standard XENPAK. It has SC duplex receptacle optical connecter and a 148-pin electrical connecter with CAUI 10x10 Gbps signals. The transceiver requires a single +3.3V power supply. Samples will be available in mid 2009 and will be in generally available in mass production in mid 2010.

Mintera Ships 1000th 40 Gbps DWDM Adaptive-DPSKTM Module

Mintera Corporation shipped its 1000th 40 Gbps DWDM DPSK MSA transceiver module. The device uses patent-pending Adaptive-DPSK technology to enable 40 Gbps transport on 50GHz channel-spaced systems and transmission over agile ROADM networks without compromising critical ULH reach. The unit conforms to the industry standard footprint and incorporates an electrical Mux/Demux for compatibility with any 40 Gbps framer.

"By packaging our solution into an industry standard format we have won 11 customers to-date, a rate of almost one per month since we introduced the product," said Mintera president and CEO, Terry Unter. "Achieving volume shipments in such a short timeframe demonstrates the robustness of our product along with the high level of customer satisfaction and market-need for the MI 4000XM. We have also completed full GR-468 qualification."

Agilent Demos Optical Modulation Analyzer for 40/100 Gbps

Agilent Technologies is unveiling the industry's first optical modulation analyzer for 40 to 100G device test, a PXIT 10G DCA with PON Filter rates, and a unique smart post processing and photonic application suite for characterization and analysis of optical components and signals.

Agilent said its optical modulation analyzer addresses the test and measurement gap for analysis of amplitude- and phase-modulated optical signals for 40/100G single wavelength transmission market. The solution provides flexibility in analyzing all broadly used modulation schemes in a turn-key solution.

The Agilent N2100B 10G Ethernet & PON Digital Communications Analyzer is the latest addition to Agilent's PXIT family of products, which focuses on decreasing the cost of test for optical transceiver manufacturers. The new unique feature on the DCA -- smart post processing -- enables optical transceiver test engineers to reduce the cost of test in manufacturing by increasing throughout by a factor greater than 10. With the combination of these features, Agilent's PXIT portfolio now has a complete BERT and DCA (sampling scope), able to test all optical transceivers from 155 Mb/s to 10.518 Gb/s in manufacturing.

Belgium's BASE Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Mobile Outsourcing

Alcatel-Lucent has won a new outsourcing contract with the Belgian mobile operator BASE, which is part of the KPN group. Through this agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will have end-to-end responsibility for all network operations and network rollout for BASE's network.

The contract covers the end-to-end network rollout and network operations of the BASE mobile network in Belgium, comprising approximately 3,000 sites. It also involves the transfer of around 29 BASE employees to Alcatel-Lucent. BASE will continue to own its network and continue to carry out key roles such as network design and customer service. With this contract, Alcatel-Lucent becomes BASE's main transformation partner as they deliver a range of services to their growing customer base, currently around 3.4 million subscribers.

"This contract will produce synergies that enable us to further concentrate on marketing our services throughout Europe," said Heinrich Lakatha CTO from BASE. "We selected Alcatel-Lucent based on their history of being a trusted partner over the years and given their global experience in network outsourcing," he continued.'

ARRIS Upstream Channel Bonding Enables Japan Cablenet to Deploy 160 Mbps

Japan Cablenet Limited, the nation's second largest cable operator, will begin wide-scale deployment of a 160 Mbps Super High Speed Data service, called "Speed Star 160", across its cable system footprint, beginning at its JCN Koala Katsushika site this month.

ARRIS said the "Speed Star 160" rollout is especially significant in that it incorporates what is believed to be the industry's first deployed service using Upstream Channel Bonding technology.

Japan Cablenet selected the ARRIS Cable Modem Termination System solution in 2009. This consists of he ARRIS DOCSIS 3.0-qualified C4 CMTS and DOCSIS 3.0-certified WBM760C wideband modems, capable of delivering data speeds up to 160 Mbps, along with carrier-grade voice service. The technology is based on the DOCSIS 3.0 standard that supports both Upstream and Downstream channel bonding capabilities.

Integra5 Partners with Sybase 365 on Multi-Device Mobile Messaging

Integra5 and Sybase 365 announced a partnership to allow mobile operators to extend their reach with the delivery of social, SMS-centric applications to multiple devices -- based on Integra5's new MediaFriends application suite.

Deployed in the mobile operator's network, Integra5's platform is able to route SMS messages between the Sybase 365 mobile messaging platform and users' mobile phones, TVs, PCs and DECT phones. In addition to mobile operators, the partnership also benefits video providers and programmers, enabling the deployment of new TV-based services that incorporate SMS -- such as Integra5's MediaFriends TV Chat -- with no wireless network requirements.

Alcatel-Lucent Wins China Unicom W-CDMA Contract in 14 Provinces

China Unicom has selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy 3G W-CDMA networks in 14 Chinese provinces.

Under the terms of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its 3G/W-CDMA solutions, including about 11000 Node B (Base stations), Home Location Register (HLR) data base system as well network maintenance and optimization in 14 provinces -- Hebei, Fujian Guangxi, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Heilongjiang, Guangdong, Hunan, Shandong and Xinjiang. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This major contract was secured through Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell (ASB). Initial network deployments in the cities of Tianjin, Baoding, Wenzhou, Taizhou, Guiyang and Guilin are expected to be completed in May 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent said the contract enables it to substantially expanded its position with China Unicom, adding 4 new 3G markets in addition to its existing 2G GSM base.

NSN Enhances hiT 7300 Optical Platform

Nokia Siemens Networks released version 4.25 of its hiT 7300 optical platform featuring 40 Gbps capabilities in a compact (seven modules per sub-rack) chassis. The hiT 7300 is a DWDM platform capable of serving both metro and core needs. The enhancements increase flexibility to support more revenue generating services such as high definition video on demand and IPTV allowing operators to expand their services.

In release 4.25, this flexibility is accomplished by a single blade Add-Drop Multiplexers (ADM). This ADM card supports standard point-to-connections, along with all topologies needed for broadcasts and multicasts and all common aggregation applications, such as mobile backhaul.

The new 4.25 release delivers further technical enhancements by maximizing the utilization of existing fiber in the networks. Specifically, the hiT 7300 offers an optional (Polarization-Mode-Dispersion-Compensator (PMDC)) which helps older, lower-quality or stressed fibers achieve up to three times their current reach. The platform has a reach of up to 1600 kilometers.

"The upgrades we've made to the hiT 7300 are a response to what we hear from customers every day - and we've already seen strong pre-release demand for the latest product," said Uwe Fischer, Nokia Siemens Networks' DWDM business line. "By further developing the hiT7300 we're helping operators where it matters most, reducing cost for spares, operation and maintenance, training, network management, space and power consumption, while increasing flexibility in the network."

OKI Develops 160 Gbps Next Gen PON

OKI Electric Industry has developed a 160Gbps ultra high-speed optical next generation access (NGA) asymmetric PON system using hybrid Optical Time Division Multiplexing (OTDM) and Optical Code Division Multiplexing (OCDM).

Existing passive optical access systems are operated at 1.25Gbps in Japan and 2.5 Gbps in the US, Europe and elsewhere. OKI noted that in such optical access systems, the communication capacity per user when 16 users are connected, is limited to 78 to 156Mbps.

The ultra high-speed NGA Asymmetric PON system developed by OKI achieves 128-times larger capacity than that of GE-PON systems and 64-times larger capacity than GPON systems. This means that with 16 users, telecom carriers can offer a 10 Gbps capacity for each user.

The Optical Line Terminal (OLT) used in the system processes 10Gbps signals using a 16-chip encoder and then optically multiplexes them into a 25ps TDM slot. OKI quadrupled the signal with wavelength to output a multiplex signal of 10Gbps x 16 ch. OKI then transmits this 160 Gbps signal over a 20km distance (the longest in an optical access system). The signal is then divided with a 1 x 16 splitter. An ONU then extracts and decodes the 10Gbps signal.

The research that led to OKI's achievement was conducted as part of the "Research and development for ultra high-speed optical NGA Asymmetric PON system," under the auspices of NICT's "Basic Technology Promotion System for Private Sectors Program.

Skype Calling Now Open to Enterprise SIP-based PBX systems

Skype released a beta version of its software that opens its service to SIP-based enterprise PBX systems.

Skype For SIP for Business allows SIP PBX owners to benefit from Skype's low cost calls to fixed phones and mobiles around the world, and to receive calls from Skype users directly into their PBX system.

Key features include:

  • Receive and manage inbound calls from Skype users worldwide on SIP-enabled PBX systems; connecting the company Web site to the PBX system via click-to-call

  • Place calls with Skype to landlines and mobile phones worldwide from any connected SIP-enabled PBX; reducing costs with Skype's low-cost global rates

  • Purchase Skype's online numbers, to receive calls to the corporate PBX from landlines or mobile phones

  • Manage Skype calls using their existing hardware and system applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail; no additional downloads or training are required.

The Skype For SIP beta program for business users is now open. Applicants will need to be businesses, have an installed SIP based IP-PBX system, as well as a level of technical competency to configure their own SIP-enabled PBX. The initial beta is available to a limited number of participants. During the beta period all calls will be charged at standard Skype rates. Further pricing details will be announced when the product is fully launched later this year.

"The introduction of Skype for SIP is a significant move for Skype and for any communication intensive business around the world," said Stefan Oberg, VP and General Manager of Skype for Business. "It effectively combines the obvious cost savings and reach of Skype with its large user base, with the call handling functionality, statistics and integration capabilities of traditional office PBX systems, providing great economical savings and increased productivity for the modern business."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ZTE Secures US$15 Billion Credit Line from China Development Bank

China Development Bank will provide ZTE a US$15 billion credit line, including ZTE's overseas project financing and ZTE's credit limits, under a 5-year agreement announced by the companies. The two companies are currently in discussion to develop specific terms and procedures on financing project and how to effectively execute the business cooperation.

ZTE noted that in view of the current global financial crisis, majority of mainstream financing agencies based in Europe and the U.S. are trying to find ways how to address issues such as inadequate liquidity and credit crunch. In contrast, China Development Bank claims a healthy balance sheet as well as strong financing and credit worthiness.

China Development Bank is the fifth largest commercial bank in China. In 2008, its total asset was valued at 2,890 billion RMB with non-performing loan ratio within 1%. The bank also holds exceptional advantage in the area of export credit.

ZTE generated 2008 revenue of approximately RMB 44,293 million (US$6,388 million), representing an increase of 27.37% over 2007. In the 3G tender bids offered by China's three largest telecom operators, ZTE obtained about 30% of the total local markets to deploy about 660,000 3G carrier frequency, positioning itself as the clear leader in China's 3G industry.

STMicroelectronics Launches Single-Chip Set-Top Box ICs

STMicroelectronics introduced two new single-chip STB ICs for cable and satellite set top boxes that share a common architecture and are software compatible, enabling efficient development and fast time-to-market for products such as basic zappers, interactive and DVR-capable STBs, and hybrid STBs.

The STi5197 (cable) includes a QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) demodulator and the STi5189 (satellite) includes a QPSK (quadrature phase-shift keying) demodulator, and both products have a common architecture for MPEG-2 audio/video-decoding and application-processing functions. The common architecture saves product development time, lowers bill-of-material costs, and simplifies pc-board design to deliver highly price-competitive products into global markets. Each device supports relevant cable or satellite broadcast standards. The STi5197 supports DVB-C including ITU-T J83 Annexes A/B/C, and TSMF (Transport Stream Multiplex Frame). The STi5189 supports DVB-S for satellite. All industry-standard middleware and browsers are also supported.

Both ICs support all major conditional-access security schemes, with integrated DVB, DES (Data Encryption Standard), Multi2 and ICAM (Integrated Conditional Access Module) descramblers as well as a built-in smart-card interface, which will help to broaden markets for pay-TV services.

AOptix Secures $12.9 Million in Venture Funding

AOptix Technologies, a start-up based in Campbell, California, secured $12.9 million in new venture funding for its advanced iris recognition systems and ultra-high bandwidth wireless optical communication solutions. AOptix is currently in production and launch of the company's first commercial product release for the iris biometrics market, the InSight 2 Meter Iris Recognition System.

The financing round was led by Northgate Capital of Danville, CA. Participation in the round also included leading venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Clearstone Venture Partners, DAG Ventures, W Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers.

AOptix said recent defense contract wins have also accelerated the company's free space optical (FSO) communications division. Ultra-high bandwidth optical wireless connections at long distances are achieved through their patented adaptive optics correction technology.

Opnext Demos 16G Fibre Channel Longwave

Opnext is demonstrating its new 16G Fibre Channel Long Wave (FC LW) SFP+ Transceiver prototype at this week's OFC/NFOEC conference in San Diego.

Based on Opnext's 1310nm DFB laser technology, the Opnext 16G FC LW SFP+ optical transceiver offers transmission distances of up to 10km. The next generation 16G FC product specifications are currently in discussion at the T11 industry standards committee. Market release of the 16G FC product line will be in 2010.

The company recently released its 8G FC short wave and long wave product line into mass production. Storage OEMs are currently in the process of rolling out their 8G FC products.

Broadcom Expands Set-Top Box Family with HD Decoders

Broadcom expanded its portfolio of set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions with new products that offer a streamlined feature set targeting single, multi-format high definition (HD) decode, including support for China's audio/video standard (AVS).

Broadcom said service providers are demanding a broader range of STB solutions to address whole-home connected entertainment environments that include a high-end media gateway in the living room along with mid-to-lower-range thin client devices in "second" rooms such as bedrooms or dens. Meanwhile, consumers want shared/networked digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities that allow multiple users to store, time shift or access content from media servers or residential gateways for playback on STBs anywhere in the home.

The new devices build on the company's BCM7405 premium IPTV chip. Broadcom is introducing two new HD solutions, the BCM7205 and BCM7206, and a new SD solution, the BCM7466. All chips feature multi-format video support with an MPEG-4/VC-1/MPEG-2/AVS-compliant HD video decoder. The BCM7205/BCM7206 solutions are designed for the needs of the mid-range single HD decode STB, providing significant bill-of-materials (BOM) cost optimizations for this segment of the market. Similarly, the BCM7466 is designed for the entry-level SD output segment of the STB market.

CIP Technologies Develops 100 Gbps 2R Regenerator

CIP Technologies has released a new 100 Gbps version of its all-optical 2R (reamplification and reshaping) regenerator for optical networking applications. Based on CIP Technologies' HyBoard hybrid platform, the new device is fabricated from an integrated combination of an array of the company's' high-speed nonlinear semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA-XN), and planar silica Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZIs).

This component combination extends the outstanding signal regeneration properties of the company's hybrid 2R device from data rates of 40 Gbps to 100 Gbps, and retains multi-channel capability.

Alcatel-Lucent and Politecnico di Milano Research 100G

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a two-year agreement with Politecnico di Milano to conduct research in the fields of 100 Gbps technology, multi-service network design and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology for metro-access network applications. The agreement builds on an existing partnership in research, with a particular focus on next-generation optical networks.

Alcatel-Lucent said its objective is to further accelerate its product innovation by leveraging the high level skills of Politecnico's researchers and to reduce its time-to-market to be even more competitive in the marketplace.