Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sigma Designs Aligns Around Media Processing and Home Connectivity

Sigma Designs announced a major reorganization of the company around two strategic business groups -- the Media Processor Business Group and the Home Connectivity Business Group -- as well as a Worldwide Sales Group.

The reorganization follows a number of strategic acquisitions, including the VXP video processing business, the Z-Wave home control/smart energy business, and most recently, the CopperGate entertainment networking business.

Currently, Sigma has over 500 employees working in 10 countries and is a key technology provider for most of the industry's largest set-top box manufacturers, consumer electronics companies, and more than 40 service
providers around the world.

As a result of this reorganization, Sigma is establishing the following major new groups.

Media Processor Business Group: Headed by David Lynch as Vice President and General Manager (formerly Vice President of Sales & Marketing), this group will have the mission of developing and marketing a wide range of system-on-chip solutions for the set-top box, consumer electronics, and home control markets. The Media Processor Business Group moves forward as the leading provider of IPTV set-top box solutions, DMA solutions, and Z-Wave home control/smart energy solutions along with an emerging position in the IP cable set-top box market and other key initiatives.

Home Connectivity Business Group: Headed by Gabi Hilevitz as Vice President and General Manager (formerly CEO of CopperGate), this group will have the mission of developing and marketing industry-leading home entertainment connectivity solutions for residential gateways, set-top boxes, optical network terminals (ONTs), bridges, consumer electronic equipment, and MDU broadband access devices. Sigma's Home Connectivity Business Group represents the leading provider of IPTV home connectivity solutions over coax and phone lines, a leading player in Ethernet-over-Coax (EoC) solutions for MDUs and an emerging player in the HomePlug AV and segments.

Worldwide Sales Group: Headed by Sal Cobar as Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Business Development (formerly Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Silicon Image). This new unified sales group will have the mission to take all products to the market through direct sales, distribution partners, and business development teams. By integrating sales and business development into one centralized organization, this group
will improve cross selling, strengthen Sigma's relationships with key accounts globally and begin promoting integrated solutions.

Additionally, the company has established a new Corporate Development Department, headed by David Baum (formerly VP Worldwide Marketing for CopperGate and its co-founder). This department will handle all Corporate Marketing functions and will help drive the overall evolution of the company and establish a coherent strategy that unifies all business groups. The new structure maintains the existing organizations for Finance, Operations, and Strategic Marketing while streamlining processes across the various business units.

Teranetics Announces 40nm Quad 10GBASE-T PHY

Teranetics, a start-up based in San Jose, California, introduced its third generation of 10GBASE-T PHYs implemented in 40nm technology. The small form factor and low power dissipation of the 40nm chips enable 10 GigE copper connections in high-density data center switches. They also pave for 10 GigE LAN-on-motherboard servers.

The Teranetics TN8044 is a quad-port 10GBASE-T PHY device designed for high-density, highly power efficient 10 GigE switches. The TN8022 (dual-port) and TN8020 (single-port) offer the power-efficiency required to enable 10GBASE-T adapter card designs.

Teranetics' new TN8000 family dissipates less than 4 watts per port at a full 100 meters, and as little as 2 watts per port in short reach mode. In addition, this third-generation, 40nm family continues Teranetics' support for triple rate Ethernet (100M/1G/10G). It will also offer support for the emerging Energy Efficient
Ethernet standard (EEE, or IEEE 802.3az). Teranetics CTO and Chairman Sanjay Kasturia is the Editor in chief for the IEEE 802.3az committee developing the EEE standard.

Teranetics noted that its technology further reduces the external component count required to build systems with 10GBASE-T ports. The TN8000 family allows multiple PHYs to share reference clocks and power regulators, and also integrates an EMI filter that previously was built with external components on the PC board. Moreover, MDI
test capabilities reduce manufacturing costs by increasing equipment manufacturers' final yield and decreasing test time.

Telenor to Deploy Telcordia Next Generation OSS

Telenor has selected Telcordia's Next Generation Operations Support Systems (NGOSS) to support the replacement and operation of its entire mobile broadband services infrastructure, spanning 2G, 3G/UMTS and 4G/LTE technologies in Norway. The program is Telenor's largest-ever upgrade of its mobile network.

In November 2009, Telenor announced a six-year program to replace its entire mobile services infrastructure in Norway with equipment provided by Huawei and Starent Networks.

Savvis Offers Latency Monitoring Tools for Financial Customers

Savvis will begin providing enhanced latency and connectivity monitoring capabilities for its financial services clients across the globe. Specifically, Savvis will be able to proactively monitor, troubleshoot and maintain the high-performance and low-latency of exchange and liquidity venue connectivity within its data centers and its integrated global network. As part of this effort, Savvis will be taking advantage of Corvil's latency management for electronic trading and market data.

CorvilClear will share latency information across Savvis' financial network and can provide data to all customers via the SavvisStation portal. CorvilClear will also monitor the latency and quality of hundreds of market data feeds delivered from venues to customers in Savvis data centers, as well as customer sites.

Savvis offers secure, high-availability, direct connectivity to hundreds of exchange feeds and other execution venues around the world, such as BATS Global Markets, NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange.

HP Launches its Networking Portfolio

Following its recent acquisition of 3Com, HP unveiled its edge-to-core networking portfolio that combines key elements of the HP ProCurve and 3Com line, along with TippingPoint security products. The portfolio is a cornerstone of the HP Converged Infrastructure strategy, which eliminates silos of servers, storage and networking to create virtual pools of resources designed to optimally run business services.

HP Networking said its product line-up allows customers to eliminate redundant equipment by integrating wired and wireless environments with security from the edge to core. The company will also feature a "single pane of glass" management to configure, deploy and monitor the network. This enables common policy management, reduces human error and creates a consistent user experience across access mediums.

The new portfolio consists of four product families that address specific client requirements from the branch to data center. These solutions are supported by HP Services and sold through HP and 40,000 specialized channel partners.

The company also cited its more than 5,000 network infrastructure and voice professionals worldwide as a key differentiator, enabling it to provide a full life cycle of Networking Services.

HP's newest internal data center will run completely on HP networking products.

HP Networking will be led by Marius Haas, senior vice president and general manager, and is part of the Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking business unit led by David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager.

New InfiniBand RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) Spec for the Data Center

The InfiniBand Trade Association has released a new specification called RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), pronounced "Rocky", for bringing the power of the Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) I/O architecture to Ethernet-based business solutions. Products based on RoCE will reach the market during the coming year.

RDMA and low latency clustering has dominated the high performance computing space. Low latency and RDMA capabilities in data center fabrics enable end-users to achieve significantly higher and deterministic transaction rates while increasing the efficiency of clustered servers and storage systems and reducing energy consumption.

The new RoCO spec defines a "one fat pipe" approach to server I/O and gives the user great flexibility in deploying applications. RoCE is implemented in and downloadable today in the OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) 1.5.1. Many Linux distributions, which include OFED, support a wide and rich range of middleware and application solutions such as IPC, sockets, messaging, virtualization, SAN, NAS, file systems and databases. RoCE can therefore deliver all three dimensions of unified networking on Ethernet -- IPC, NAS and SAN.

PMC-Sierra Enables Wireless Backhaul with GigE over OTN

PMC-Sierra introduced a reference design for its HyPHY chipset that supports standards-based transport of Ethernet-based services over OTN. ITU-T G.709 Amendment 3 specifies direct mapping of Gigabit Ethernet (GE) to the OTN layer by defining a new container for the smallest Optical Data Unit (ODU), ODU0 (1.238 Gbit/s), ensuring complete timing transparency and bandwidth efficiency of Ethernet-based client signals.

In conjunction with HyPHY's innovative support for timing synchronization over packet services, the reference design enables cost-optimized Layer 1 OTN networks with full support for Ethernet network timing distribution, a critical requirement for wireless backhaul applications.

PMC-Sierra's HyPHY chipset integrates support for mapping and multiplexing of GEs into sub-ODU1 (2.488Gbit/s) containers. The new PM5423-KIT ODU0 reference design leverages HyPHY's flexible packet interfaces and unique OTN Payload Tributary Mapping (OPTM) technology to add support for the newly defined OTN mapping modes, including:

  • Transparent GE mapping and de-mapping into/from ODU0 via GMP; and

  • ITU-T ODU0 multiplexing and de-multiplexing into/from higher order ODUks.

PMC-Sierra's HyPHY 20G delivers high capacity framing, mapping and multiplexing of Carrier Ethernet, SAN, OTN, transparent bit services such as video, and SONET/SDH to allow Carriers to reduce the number of network elements, while incrementally adding bandwidth or changing service mix per node without forklift upgrades. The platform provides client-agnostic, rate-agile Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) and 10 Gigabit pluggable (XFP or SFP+) interfaces and a set of flexible system interfaces for networking to a variety of switch fabric architectures. HyPHY 10G provides a lower density option for optical platforms.

Force10 Networks Readies 40 GbE for Data Centers

Force10 Networks plans to incorporate 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE) into its switch/router solutions for dynamic data centers. Initially, Force10 plans to incorporate 40 GbE into a 10 GbE top-of-rack access switch for converging Fibre Channel and Ethernet fabrics. The company's E-Series core switch/router is already 40/100 GbE-ready, and its C-Series of resilient chassis-based switches are 40 GbE-ready.

Force10 anticipates that economic considerations will drive the deployment of 40 GbE in the data center. The company predicts that while future market factors will eventually reduce the cost of 100 GbE technology, the price point of 40 GbE will more cost effectively keep pace with the requirements for more bandwidth at the server edge, as well for higher capacity interconnects in the data center core.

Ratification of the 40 GbE standard by the IEEE is currently pending.

Fusion-io Raises $45 Million for Next Gen Flash Memory

Fusion-io, a start-up based in Salt Lake City, Utah, raised approximately $45 million in a Series C funding for its new flash-based solid-state memory.

Fusion-io's solid-state storage technology aims to close the gap between processing power and storage needs at a lower cost than traditional disc-based storage. The company's ioDrive integrates with servers at the system bus and kernel level, creating a new Flash memory tier. It easily outperforms SSDs and currently scales to 320 GB.

The funding was led by new investor, Meritech Capital Partners. Also participating in the round were new investors, Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Triangle Peak Partners, as well as returning investors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others.
  • Steve Wozniak serves as Fusion-io's Chief Scientist.

Arista -- The Big Idea in Data Center Switching

Arista Packs 384 L2/L3 10GbE ports in Data Center Switch

Arista Networks, a start-up based in Menlo Park, California, introduced its new flagship switching platform boasting 10 terabits per second of switching capacity and up to 384 wirespeed L2/L3 10GbE ports in one-quarter of a rack. The Arista 7500, which is designed for cloud computing, virtualization, and high-performance data centers, is five times faster and one-tenth the power draw per wirespeed port of other modular data center switches, according to the company.

The Arista 7500 features a modular design and leverages off-the-shelf Ethernet switching silicon. It uses the company's Extensible Operating System -- EOS -- that features a unique multi-process, state sharing architecture, with open access to Linux tools and extensible network services. EOS provides a single binary image across all Arista networking platforms and delivers mission-critical data center features such as Stateful Fault Repair and In-Service Software Upgrades.

Performance specification on the Arista 7500 include a L2/L3 throughput of 5.7 billion packets per second -- enough to deliver 40 and 100Gbps Ethernet interfaces in the future. A distributed, non-blocking fabric and mid-plane architecture enables low-latency traffic to be carried without loss and manages congestion under the most demanding workloads. The company calculates that its switch uses 1/10th the power per wirespeed 10GbE port, enabling it to use 90% less power that current technology. It also features front-to-rear airflow for new data center heat efficiency requirements.

The Arista 7500 scales linearly with each fabric module and is designed for the efficient forwarding of unicast and multicast traffic. Packet buffering has been boosted to 18 GB, which is more that double its nearest competitor. These capabilities enable data center consolidation, improve the performance of virtualized servers, deliver the performance needed for cloud computing, and lower the power draw of any network, thus reducing operating costs and improving the efficiency of the overall IT infrastructure.

The Arista 7500 Series starts at $140,000 with a price per 10GbE port of approximately $1200, depending on configuration. The platform is already in service in several mission-critical networks.
  • In May 2009, Arista Networks introduced its high density 10GBASE-T switches in a 1U form factor. The Arista 7100T layer 2/3 switches include 24 and 48-port models. Each model offers auto-negotiating 1/10GBASE-T ports with standard RJ-45 connectors and SFP+ uplink ports. The Arista 7100T switches support 10GBASE-T over Category 6a cabling up to 100m, but also support Category 5e and Category 6 cabling with distances up to 55m. This allows for investment protection with existing cabling plants.

  • Arista Networks is headed by Jayshree Ullal (President and CEO), who was previously Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems, responsible for the company's Datacenter, Switching and Services Group. The company was founded by Andreas Bechtolsheim, a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who was also a Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems and a Senior Vice President and Chief Architect for the Systems Group at Sun. From 1996 to 2003, Andy was Vice President and General Manager of the Gigabit Systems Business Unit at Cisco Systems.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

AppliedMicro Introduces Processor for Consumer Media Servers

AppliedMicro introduced a single-core system-on-a-chip (SoC) device for multi-function storage applications and media servers for the connected digital home. The processor enables new levels of performance for NAS systems and media servers at reduced cost and reduced power consumption.

The APM 821xx processor offers up to 1GHz CPU speeds capable of delivering up to 2,000 DMIPS (Dhrystone Millions of Instructions per Second) of compute performance to enable storage platforms that can deliver more than 16 simultaneous streams of high definition video for home networking applications.

A high-degree of integration on the device, including a TCP/IP offload engine for networking applications and on-chip RAID 5 acceleration, reduces system part counts and board space. It so features a 128-bit high-bandwidth bus architecture with integrated PCI-Express, SATA, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 OTG interfaces.

GigOptix Seeks $5 Million in Fed Funding for 100G Transceivers

GigOptix is seeking $5 million in government funding for the development its On-Chip Integrated Photonic Polymer Transceiver. This funding request has been requested by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Appropriations bill. This appropriation bill must still receive Defense Appropriations Subcommittee approval.

GigOptix said the funding would help to develop a new family of fully integrated 100G drivers and modulators for use by the U.S. Air Force in its communications systems. The polymer products are expected to lead to faster, smaller and more energy efficient communications systems.

AT&T Mobility Reaches Union Deal in the Southeast

AT&T Mobility announced a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America on a collective bargaining agreement for about 11,200 wireless employees covered by the Mobility Southeast labor contract.

The employees are in CWA District 3, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

During the coming days and weeks, the CWA will submit the agreement to its members for a ratification vote. http://www.att.comhttp://

Aricent Signaling Software Platform to Power Interphase High-Density SS7 Cards

Aricent has released its Network-Proven Telecom Signaling Platform on several high-density Signal System 7 (SS7) plug-in modules from Interphase. The collaboration to provide pre-integrated solutions creates an off-the-shelf signaling solution for Network and Telecommunications Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

Interphase's portfolio includes appliances, blades and modules in various form-factors for interworking, connectivity and packet processing, in addition to engineering design and contract manufacturing services. The SS7 product line -- based on signaling-optimized iSPAN hardware platforms and the Interphase iWARE Software Development Suite (SDS) -- is now powered by Aricent's software including high-level protocol stacks, application software and rapid application development tools. Interphase SS7 iSPAN modules support the standard telecom server form-factors, including PCI/PCI-X, PCI Express (PCIe), low-profile PCIe cards for rack-mount systems, and AdvancedMC (AMC) modules for AdvancedTCA (ATCA) and MicroTCA (µTCA) systems. These high-density solutions are available with 4 or 8 T1/E1/J1 ports and support up to 248 Low Speed Links or 8 High Speed Links.

Aricent's Signaling Software Platform offers an application programming interface (API) that can be quickly integrated with customer applications. It offers simultaneous support for SS7 and SIGTRAN over Windows, Linux and Solaris platforms. Aricent's Signaling platform incorporates SS7 and SIGTRAN protocol stacks, which have been deployed by nearly 150 customers globally. The solution has enabled a broad array of Telecom nodes such as SMS Router/Gateways, Signaling Gateways, Home Location Registers (HLR), Equipment Identity Registers (EIR) and a full complement of Value Added Service (VAS) applications -- such as Messaging, Missed Call Alert applications, Roaming solutions, Unstructured Supplementary Services, Location Based Services and Ring Back Tone (RBT) services.

Towerstream Acquires Sparkplug's Chicago and Nashville Businesses

Towerstream has acquired Sparkplug Communications' Chicago, Illinois and Nashville, Tennessee business assets. The acquisition expands Towerstream's presence in Chicago, introduces Nashville as the company's 11th market nationally, and will add approximately $1.3 million to the annual revenue base. The Company purchased all customer contracts, network infrastructure, and related assets in a transaction valued at $1.6 million in cash and common stock.

"Our ability to quickly close this transaction will enable us to begin recognizing revenues generated from the acquired customer base," stated Jeff Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have designed a plan to quickly integrate Sparkplug's ten Points of Presence (PoPs) in Chicago into our existing network. We plan to leverage our expanded market coverage to increase our scale and accelerate growth of our high margin recurring business."

General Telecom Expands its Least Cost Routing Engine

General Telecom announced new and expanded least cost routing (LCR) capabilities for its RouteNGN route engine, helping service providers to its customers to roll out VOIP offerings quickly and profitably. Combining a modular approach with open source optimize their VoIP offerings.

RouteNGN can operate in the cloud, as a secure Software-as-a-Service (Saas) solution; onsite; or as a hybrid solution.

Among the features of the General Telecom RouteNGN high-capacity, least cost routing tool:

  • Open development. Carriers can freely create custom tools that integrate with the RouteNGN via its application programming interface (API) to connect with existing BSS/OSS systems to leverage investment in existing hardware and avoid the financial and time constraints of proprietary software. The RouteNGN API is published on GitHub, a prominent hosted repository service for software projects such as Ruby on Rails and the Linux kernel.

  • Migrate TDM to VoIP across existing network devices, at lower OPEX. Using trunk group tagging, clients can route and blend both VoIP and TDM network traffic, reducing manual processes that require separate business rules for TDM and VoIP networks. By routing at the network edge, RouteNGN can increase port utilization by 20 to 60 percent. General Telecom's RouteNGN integrates with major equipment vendors, including Acme Packet, BroadSoft , Cisco Systems, Dialogic, Huawei, Genband, Metaswitch and Sonus.

  • Next generation networking (NGN) capacity. To meet network demands of premium NGN applications, such as reverse 911 or click-to-call which can generate 500 calls per second (cps) or more, RouteNGN easily scales to 1000 cps or more.

"Over the past year we've worked closely with our customer and partner base to extract pure signal feedback on the network management equipment and services that will enable them to move quickly from concept to cash flow," said Steve Smith, executive vice president of sales and marketing for General Telecom. "With these extended capabilities that are available now, RouteNGN is the fiber that ties a network together."

Motorola Shows TD-LTE USB Dongle

Motorola demonstrated the world's first TD-LTE USB dongle at the "TD-LTE Showcase Network Opening Ceremony," which was held the Shanghai Expo site last week.

Delegates at the ceremony experienced applications that run over a TD-LTE network via USB dongles, including high-definition video wall (simultaneous 24 video streams), remote monitoring and high-speed Internet browsing applications.

"We are very excited to support China Mobile in bringing the world's first TD-LTE USB dongle demonstration enabled by our TD-LTE system," said Dr. Mohammad Akhtar, corporate vice president and general manager, Motorola Networks business in Asia Pacific. "A healthy devices ecosystem has always been critical to the development, commercialization and success of wireless network technologies. We are working closely with partners to drive this ecosystem as demonstrated by the advancement announced today. TD-LTE is now a commercial reality and we are very pleased to see that industry players are joining forces to accelerate TD-LTE globalization."

Motorola said it expects interest in TD-LTE will continue to grow because of the low cost of TDD spectrum that is particularly attractive to emerging and developing markets; operators' continuing need for more capacity and spectrum; and the ability to hand-off between TD-LTE and LTE FDD networks.

In effect, this ability to roam between LTE FDD and TD-LTE means operators can use TD-LTE networks to augment their FDD LTE network for more capacity or other applications such as video broadcasting, while operators choosing to use TD-LTE as their "main" network can still offer their subscribers the ability to roam to other operators' FDD LTE networks in different countries.

Motorola is committed to both FDD-LTE and TD-LTE, as well as WiMAX.

NSN Tests 100G Short-haul from EU's HECTO Project

Nokia Siemens Networks has begun field testing a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) transceiver developed by the EU-funded HECTO (high-speed electro-optical components for integrated transmitter and receiver in optical communications) project.

The HECTO project focused on developing a method to cut the number of transceivers for 100G network links of less than 40 kilometers by 75%. With HECTO, operators can provide short-haul 100GbE using only one transceiver on a single wavelength, rather than four transceivers at four separate wavelengths. This alone can reduce the complexity of 100GbE transmission providing a cost-effective way to upgrade optical networks.

"100GbE is the next big step in the networking world, bringing the additional capacity that will be needed for new bandwidth-hungry applications and the widespread adoption of smart devices," says Rainer H. Derksen, senior research scientist at Nokia Siemens Networks. "The HECTO approach is ideal for short-haul transmission because it does not require the complex transceivers needed for longer distance network links. At the same time, it meets the increased capacity demands in the metro and access portions of the network. This landmark project fits well with our vision of using innovation to help operators upgrade to 100GbE without major network investments."

In the HECTO project, NSN partnered with component vendors, academic institutions and non-profit research institutes from Denmark, Germany, Greece and Sweden.

NSN Establishes TD-LTE Open Lab in Hangzhou

Nokia Siemens Networks has inaugurated a TD-LTE Open Lab at its Hangzhou R&D facility. The facility will provide an end-to-end testing environment for verifying the compatibility of terminals and devices with the company's TD-LTE network products and solutions. The lab will also provide consultancy and testing services to device manufacturers. Nokia Siemens Networks' TD-LTE R&D center in Hangzhou is fully integrated into the company's global network of LTE Centers of Competence.