Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marvell Launches ARMADA Application Processors for Mobiles

Marvell introduced its ARMADA family of processors designed specifically for next generation ARM instruction set smartphones, smartbooks, consumer and embedded devices, and displays.

The company said its ARMADA family of application processors sets a new standard by offering CPU cores with PC-class performance, support for Adobe Flash technology and Blu-ray functionality. To date, the new Marvell ARMADA application processors have already won more than 50 design wins.

The ARMADA family includes several versions:

  • The ARMADA 100 series delivers high performance at low price points for mainstream Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), connected consumer products, e-readers, and new personal information appliances.

  • The ARMADA 500 series combines computing horsepower, compelling multimedia, and seamless connectivity for high-end smartbooks and tablets.

  • The ARMADA 600 series is dedicated to high-end smartphones, delivering high performance applications and multimedia in small form factors and low power requirements.

  • The ARMADA 1000 series is focused on enabling the next generation of connected full-HD consumer devices, delivering immersive viewing experiences and offering a variety of networked applications at mainstream price points.

OS support includes Microsoft Windows Embedded CE, Windows Mobile, Google Android, Linux, Maemo, Ubuntu, and China Mobile's OMS. http://www.marvell.com

ADVA Enhances its FSP Service Manager

ADVA Optical Networking introduced a new FSP Service Manager that provides network operators with service-level provisioning and control across the entire network. The tool provides a high-level view of available paths through the network, which means that operators no longer need to configure individual network elements. And, by applying service templates for provisioning, the selection of many parameters and configurations becomes redundant. Plus, the FSP Service Manager ensures service setup according to the network operator's standards, meaning execution of the service management function may be accomplished by entry-level staff. In addition, the FSP Service Manager can perform diagnostics, monitor service performance and check availability for individual FSP network elements.

Equinix to Acquire Switch and Data for $689 Million

Equinix has agreed to acquire Switch & Data Facilities Company (Nasdaq:SDXC) approximately $689 million in cash and stock. Both companies provide colocation, data center and Internet exchange services.

With the merger, Equinix will integrate Switch and Data's data center business and operations, including the company's 34 data centers in 22 markets in the U.S. and Canada. The acquisition will add more than one million gross square feet of data center capacity, bringing Equinix's total global footprint to 79 data centers in 34 markets and more than six million square feet across the North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets. It will allow Equinix to immediately expand into new strategic markets, including Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Seattle and Toronto, as well as provide a platform for future expansion of Switch and Data assets. New geographic markets for Equinix include Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Seattle and Toronto.

The companies cited two broad market trends as the rationale for their merger. The rapid growth of demand for online information is requiring companies to store and distribute larger volumes of latency sensitive assets and applications at the network edge, near local population centers. At the same time, the market compels companies to develop global aggregation and distribution strategies for their digital assets and applications.

Separately, Equinix reported Q3 2009 revenues of $227.6 million, a 7% increase over the previous quarter, and a 24% increase over the same quarter last year. Recurring revenues, consisting primarily of colocation, interconnection and managed services, were $218.3 million for the third quarter, a 6% increase over the previous quarter, and a 26% increase over the same quarter last year.

Canada Sets Rules for Internet Traffic Management

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) set new traffic management rules for Internet Service Providers. Under the framework, ISPs should give preference to Internet traffic management practices based on economic measures whenever possible. This could mean charging more for bandwidth usuage over a certain threshold or offer discounts for big downloads during off-peak hours. The practices must be transparent and clearly identified on monthly bills. Technical means to manage traffic, such as traffic shaping, should only be employed as a last resort. Traffic shaping is defined to include slowing down or prioritizing certain types of Web traffic, as well as limiting the bandwidth of heavy users.

According to the Telecommunications Act, a telecommunications company must obtain the Commission's prior approval to "control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications" carried over its network. The Commission does not consider such disruptive actions to be proper Internet traffic management practices, and they will always require prior approval.

The Commission is requiring ISPs to inform consumers of their practices, which will help them to make more informed decisions about the Internet services they purchase and use. Specifically, ISPs will be required to inform retail customers at least 30 days, and wholesale customers at least 60 days, before an Internet traffic management practice takes effect. At that time, ISPs will need to describe how the practice will affect their customers' service.

"The centrepiece of our approach is a framework of analysis that will be employed to determine whether economic and technical practices are acceptable," stated Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC.

The Commission said it intends to review, at a future date, the regulatory measures that apply to wireless service providers and their use of Internet traffic management practices. In recent years, mobile wireless services have been the fastest growing component of the telecommunications industry.

Ixia to acquire Agilent's N2X product line for $44 Million

Ixia agreed to acquire Agilent's N2X Data Networks Product Line for $44 million in cash. The deal is expected to close at the end of this month.

The Agilent N2X is a multiservices test solution for validating the performance and scalability characteristics of next-generation network equipment. The platform offers a range of testing scenarios across broadband access, carrier edge and IP/MPLS core. Several N2X 2-slot and 4-slot chassis models are available along with various test cards for SONET/SDH transport, carrier routing, broadband access and enterprise networks and devices.

Ixia said it is committed to enhancing, developing and supporting the N2X product line through 2015. To seamlessly support N2X customers, Ixia also announced its Fusion initiative, which allows N2X owners to take immediate advantage of Ixia's extreme scalability, higher speed Ethernet support, and layer 4-7 application testing.

"This strategic and decisive move accelerates our growth, captures additional market share and positions Ixia to offer even greater value to our global customers and partners," said Atul Bhatnagar, President and CEO of Ixia. "With our leadership position in high speed Ethernet (10/40/100 Gbps) IP testing, we will leverage the N2X products and customer base to further penetrate markets, particularly in EMEA and Asia."

"This is an exciting day for Agilent N2X customers, partners and employees across the globe," said David Churchill, Vice President and General Manager of Agilent's Network and Digital Solutions Business Unit, Electronic Measurements Group, "N2X customers are accustomed to a strong tradition of easy-to-use test applications with extensive protocol support. Joining forces with Ixia will drive innovation and value across every aspect of the network testing marketplace."

Ixia also announced today that its net revenues for the third quarter of 2009 will be approximately $46.4 million, compared to earlier guidance of $42 to $47 million. This revenue estimate includes a full quarter of results for Catapult Communications Corporation, which Ixia acquired in June of this year, but does not include any revenues related to its planned acquisition of Agilent's N2X business.

Cisco Visual Networking: 11.4 GB / Month Average for Broadband Users

Globally, the average broadband connection (primarily residential subscribers and some business users) generates approximately 11.4 gigabytes of Internet traffic per month, according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Usage statistics released this week. The top 1 percent of global subscribers generated more than 20 percent of all traffic, while the top 10 percent of global subscribers generated more than 60 percent of all traffic.

Cisco gathers the statistics from participating service providers representing the mobile, wireline, and cable segments throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and various emerging markets.

Some highlights:

  • In an average day over the reported quarter, Internet "prime time" spans from approximately 9 p.m to 1 a.m. around the world. This contrasts with broadcast TV prime time, which is generally from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. across most global markets.

  • 25 percent (or 93.3 megabytes per day per connection) of global Internet traffic is generated during the Internet "prime time" period.

  • A peak Internet hour has 20 percent more traffic than a nonpeak Internet hour. The peak Internet hour averages 18 megabytes of traffic per connection (per hour), while nonpeak Internet hours average 15 megabytes of traffic per connection (per hour).

  • The peak Internet visual networking hour has almost 25 percent more traffic than average hourly Internet traffic.


  • Global IP traffic will increase by a factor of five from 2008 to 2013, approaching 56 exabytes per month in 2013, compared to approximately 9 exabytes per month in 2008.

  • By 2013, annual global IP traffic will reach two-thirds of a zettabyte (673 exabytes). A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes.

  • By 2013, the various forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet Video, and P2P) will exceed 90 percent of global consumer traffic.

  • By 2013, global online video will be 60 percent of consumer Internet traffic (up from 32 percent in 2009).

  • Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 through 2013.
  • http://www.cisco.com

    Verizon Business Unveils Cloud-Based Application-Monitoring Tools

    Verizon Business is preparing to launch a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-basedApplication Assurance service to help business customers keep their network-based business processes running smoothly and reliably. The service provides an enterprisewide view of how applications such as e-commerce Web sites, voice-over-IP and CRM (customer relationship management) software are performing and how that performance is affecting end-users. As a result, customers can quantify the effect of performance problems.

    The new service -- powered by Fluke Networks' Visual Performance Manager -- is the latest addition to the Verizon Private IP Application Aware suite of tools, which are designed to help businesses and government agencies more quickly identify and troubleshoot threats that could hamper application performance. The enhanced visibility into voice and data application performance provided by Application Assurance complements existing Verizon Application Aware tools. These include Asset Assurance for network device fault management; Dynamic Bandwidth for bandwidth monitoring, allocation and reporting; WAN Analysis for overall network reporting; and Provider Edge Statistics for quality of service and packet-delivery analysis.

    Verizon Pushing Ahead With Integrated Transcoding in IP Core

    Verizon has begun integrating multimedia transcoding capabilities into the core of its NGN infrastructure, targeting commercial service in the second half of 2010. The project is aimed at facilitating the convergence of wireless and landline services.

    "Working with our next-generation network infrastructure suppliers, Verizon has designed a transcoding architecture for our packet-based core network that supports Verizon's direction toward open networks by facilitating the introduction of media encoding technology while ensuring interoperability," said Tim Dwight, senior technologist at Verizon, during a panel discussion at Supercomm2009.

    "For example, in the case of VoIP, our design resolves the 'tower of Babel' problem by allowing the sender and the receiver to negotiate a common encoding format, which, if successful, eliminates the need for media format conversion, or transcoding, and provides a network-based media conversion capability for use in cases where the end devices support no common codec," he said.

    Verizon said its goal is to perform all transcoding in the packet domain, avoiding reliance on the circuit-switched core. And where transcoding is necessary, it is performed directly between the media encoding formats required by each device, eliminating the double transcoding problem that often occurs with disparate access technologies across a circuit switched core.

    Historically, wireline and wireless voice networks have utilized different and incompatible media encoding formats, Dwight said. Mobile networks utilizing GSM Radio Access Network technologies such as UMTS and LTE use one encoding format; CDMA-based mobile networks use another; and multimedia services offered via wireline broadband networks typically use a third. An efficient, extensible all-IP solution is necessary for an operator such as Verizon that seeks to support next generation networking (NGN) services spanning all of these technologies.

    SUPERCOMM Keynote: Verizon's Seidenberg Challenges FCC on Net Neutrality

    One day before the FCC plans to release its order on network neutrality, Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg warned government regulators against "pitting network providers and applications developers against each other in a zero-sum game, when the real promise of broadband is an expanding pie for everybody." In an opening keynote address at Supercomm in Chicago, Seidenberg said continued investment in network infrastructure are clearly required to fulfill the potential of broadband but such investments require the correct government policies.

    Seidenberg worries that the proponents of Net Neutrality have a world-view that favors application providers, such as Google, at the expense of network operators. This position, he said, fundamentally misreads how innovation happens in the industry and under values the role that sound network management plays in supporting the Internet today.

    If Verizon is not allowed to differentiate between packets, it will not be able to stop security breaches or prioritize traffic for emergency responders. "The truth is that we have never provided dumb pipes," said Seidenberg, and in the future customer will rely more on smart infrastructure. He warned that if burdensome regulation is imposed on all parts of the Internet industry, it "will inject an extraordinary amount of bureaucratic oversight into the economy's main growth engine." And if it applies only to network operators, then the government will be "favoring one competitor over another."

    Rather than impose rigid rules, Seidenberg would like the FCC to focus on creating the conditions for growth. He suggested increasing spectrum availability, streamlining the process for cell tower siting, and overhauling universal service subsidies and the payment system for exchanging telecommunications traffic.

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Tollgrade to Offer Accanto's Service Assurance Solutions

    Tollgrade Communications announced an OEM agreement with the Finland-based Accanto Systems, a leading supplier of advanced Customer Service Assurance and troubleshooting solutions to communications service providers.

    Tollgrade will now offer Accanto's line of 'intelligent customer service assurance' products as well as its own next generation service assurance portfolio and its recently introduced Stratum test and diagnostics solution.

    Accanto's suite of products, including advanced multi-protocol analyzers and network monitoring systems which support mobile and VOIP applications, will be marketed and supported under the Tollgrade brand name and will be available where Tollgrade has a significant presence and embedded base in centralized testing systems around the world.

    Hitachi Introduces 100Gbps Optical Transport Platform

    Hitachi Communication Technologies America introduced its next generation, 100 Gbps optical transport platform. Hitachi said its AMN6400 platform is based on true Packet/Optical architecture, and includes optical layer ROADM/WSS and hybrid packet/OTN switching. The platform supports metro applications such as services aggregation and translation, and long-haul functions such as OTN switching, advanced ULH optics, and MPLS-TP features -- all from a single platform. Initial versions of the AMN6400 platform will be available for evaluation in late 2009, with commercial availability in the second quarter, 2010.

    BridgeWave's Gains EU Certification for its 80 GHz

    BridgeWave Communications' FlexPort 80 GHz TDM+IP multi-gigabit wireless platform has received Notified Body Expert Opinion (NBEO) validating its performance conforms with the European R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC. This Directive covers essential requirements for Safety, RF Exposure, EMC and Radio Spectrum necessary for placing the product on the European market.

    BridgeWave's FlexPort millimeter wave product is the second product within its family to receive the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) certification. Last year, the company demonstrated compliance of its Gigabit Ethernet 80 GHz systems with the ETSI Draft Recommendation EN 302 217-3 V1.3.1 on its first day of publication.

    RAD Introduces Carrier Ethernet Demarc Device

    RAD Data Communications introduced a Carrier Ethernet demarcation device that delivers SLA-based Layer 2 and Layer 3 business services to the customer premises over native Ethernet access. It provides delineation between the user network and the transport network for those services, as well as for mobile backhaul.

    RAD's ETX-204A transports up to one gigabit of user throughput with differentiated quality of service and end-to-end monitoring to ensure SDH/SONET-like performance and 99.999 percent reliability. The device smoothly handles multi-priority traffic while ensuring latency, jitter, and packet delivery performance on a per-flow basis.

    RAD also features a "SyncToP" timing over packet (ToP) that delivers clock recovery and distribution using IEEE 1588v2 (1588-2005) Precision Timing Protocol, Synchronous Ethernet (Sync-E) and a built-in input/output clock interface. It also provides unique flexibility in supporting the simultaneous use of different clock transfer methodologies, such as employing 1588v2 to receive the clock from the network and distributing it to the cell-site with Sync-E.

    MRV Debuts LambdaDriver IP Switching Module

    MRV Communications announced the first shipment of its LambdaDriver OPN 800/1600, a packet switching blade that forms the core of MRV's packet optical transport (P-OTS) network system. The new blade features eight Gigabit Ethernet, either small form-factor pluggable (SFP) or copper ports for access network connections and two 10-Gigabit Ethernet XFP-based ports for connection to the backbone network.

    MRV highlights a number of enhanced operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) and end-to-end optical packet service management capabilities, including unique integration of MPLS packets and GMPLS optical transport control plane with carrier Ethernet OAM, including: IEEE 802.3ah, 802.1ag and ITU-T Y.1731. The module sub 50ms recovery time.

    PMC-Sierra and Entropic Demo 1G and 10G EPON

    PMC-Sierra and Entropic Communications are collaborating to develop a solution for delivering >100 Mbps broadband connectivity to each customer in MSO fiber deployments. The partnership combines PMC-Sierra's high-speed standard-compliant EPON and 10G EPON solutions and Entropic's Access solution.

    The seamless fiber to coax solution uses PMC-Sierra's PAS8011 10G EPON OLT, which serves up to 32 ONUs and terminates to Entropic's Access network controller, which supports up to 63 homes with >100 Mbps of aggregate throughput over the existing coaxial network.

    Exar Introduces SONET/SDH 40G Framer

    Exar Corporation introduced high-density SONET/SDH framers that deliver 40G of bandwidth in a single device. The new Tethys II devices can be coupled with Optical Transport Network (OTN) devices to enable next-generation line cards for optical networking. The Tethys II devices are single-chip solutions that integrate functions previously requiring several components, including aggregation of up to 16 channels of traffic, serializing/deserializing, pointer processing, clock and data recovery, as well as transport overhead (TOH) and path overhead (POH) processing. The PEB2756 supports four OC-192/STM-64 channels. The PEB2757 supports four OC-192/STM-64, sixteen OC-48/STM-1, sixteen OC-12/STM-4, or sixteen OC-3/STM-1 channels, which can be mixed in any combination. Both devices support aggregate throughput up to 40 Gbps while meeting the most stringent SONET/SDH jitter requirements.

    GSMA Sees Big Opportunity for Off-Grid Charging for Mobiles - 500M Potential Users

    The GSMA estimates there are 485 million mobile users without access to the electricity grid, a factor which severely limits usage opportunities. In a newly published report entitled Charging Choices, the GSMA forecasts a US$2.3 billion opportunity for mobile operators through the provision of off-grid charging solutions such as solar phones or external solar chargers in emerging markets.

    "We are extremely excited that operators are able to provide people in off-grid areas with solutions to power mobile phones, as this will not only improve quality of life and access to information but can also act as a unique and significant opportunity to fuel economic growth," said David Taverner, GPM Programme Manager, GSMA.

    The research has found that there is significant interest in off grid solutions - 60% of mobile operators interviewed already have or are exploring off-grid charging initiatives - but there is currently only limited understanding about the full scope of options and the associated social and business benefits. Pioneers Digicel and Safaricom, however, have demonstrated how the consumer, the environment and the mobile operator can reap the benefits of off-grid charging solutions.

    Plaster Networks Unveils its Powerline In-Home Networking

    Plaster Networks, a start-up based in Menlo Park, California, introduced its Powerline solution for delivering music, videos, and other multimedia content using existing electrical wiring within the home.

    Plaster Networks combines intelligent powerline adapters based on the HomePlug AV standard with a web-based service for remotely managing and configuring the home network. The Plaster Networks solution also includes powerline isolators that can filter unwanted noise, improving network reliability and performance.

    Combined with Plaster Networks Service, the company's PLN3 powerline adapters allow users to see the throughput capacity of their powerline network instantly through a standard browser. And in many cases the Service can help identify where to install Plaster Networks isolators to optimize performance.

    ECI Builds Managed Services Portfolio with Optimization Tools

    ECI Telecom is expanding its portfolio of professional services with a suite of new tools for network planning, maintenance and operation. The new software tools include:

    1. Network Design Platform (NDP) -- ECI's new, vendor-agnostic planning and design tool supports multiple technologies, such as fiber, WDM, TDM, Ethernet and MPLS.

    2. LightPlan -- Developed for WDM network planning, simulation and documentation, ECI's LightPlan enables efficient and streamlined network planning workflows and uniform views of all network layers, technologies and platforms in use.

    3. Site Planner -- ECI's Site Planner provides configuration and documentation for all the network elements in ECI's product portfolio.

    With these new tools, ECI is introducing the following new professional services:

    • Network Design -- the Network Design service helps operators introduce new services and improve time-to-market while avoiding high-cost disruptive migrations. This service helps network operators assess and design an optimum network architecture that addresses operational as well as strategic growth requirements.

    • Network Audit -- ECI's Network Audit service enables service providers to continuously analyze and track changes in existing network elements, without compromising future plans for design and installation of new elements. The Network Audit service delivers a view of the provider's network infrastructure and equipment to facilitate the decision-making process and greatly improve resource planning, utilization and allocation.

    • Traffic Analysis and Optimization -- ECI's Traffic Analysis and Optimization service brings ease of operation to the day-to-day monitoring of critical metrics relating to network stability, capacity and utilization. It provides in-depth traffic analysis and enables the necessary fine-tuning for optimal network performance and investment protection.

    In addition, ECI announced that it has been appointed by Vodafone Essar in India to perform in-depth network analysis and consultancy services. With the Network Design Platform (NDP), ECI identified key areas for optimization and laid out a plan for a smooth, efficient migration to NGN.

    Infineon's Lantiq Spinoff to Acquire Aware's Assets

    Lantiq, a new fabless semiconductor company being spun out from Infineon Technologies, has agreed to acquire the home networking and DSL-related assets of Aware for $6.75 million. Aware, which is based in Bedford, Mass., has a long history in DSL silicon and OFDM/DMT technology. Over the years the company has developed strong competence in home networking solutions including ITU-T G.hn. As part of the deal, Lantiq will gain access and ownership of Aware's DSL and home networking IP including certain patents. In the future, Aware and Lantiq will continue to maintain close cooperation in the area of embedded wireline diagnostics.
    In addition, Lantiq will establish a technical competence center in Massachusetts, where a team of experienced engineers will drive innovation in the emerging home networking market.

    "This acquisition is another milestone for Lantiq as we expand our portfolio and proactively drive the emerging home networking market", said Christian Wolff, designated CEO of Lantiq. "We envision connected homes using wireline home networking where service and utility providers can add value with multimedia and smart energy control."

    Going forward, Aware will focus on DSL test and diagnostics opportunities, strategic monetization of its patent portfolio and its biometrics and imaging business.

    The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2009 and is subject to the closing of the acquisition of Infineon's Wireline Division Communications by Golden Gate Capital/Lantiq.