Sunday, June 5, 2011

XtremIO Raises $14 Million for Solid State Storage

XtremIO, a start-up based in Tel Aviv, raised $14 million in venture funding for its storage solutions based on Solid State technology. The company specializes in Enterprise storage system solutions based on innovative architecture and storage algorithms, utilizing solid-state drives (SSDs). Product details have not yet disclosed.

The financing round was led by Battery Ventures, with participation from existing investors Giza Venture Capital and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

Hurricane Electric to Offer Premium IPv6 Tunnel Broker Service

Hurricane Electric, a leading IPv6-native Internet backbone and colocation provider, introduced its new premium IPv6 tunnel broker service to complement its free and highly popular consumer-grade tunnel broker service.

The new production-grade tunnel broker service is intended for intensive business and enterprise computing environments. Supporting throughput of up to 1 Gbps, the premium service is available via IPv4 and IPv6 and allows both protocols within the dual-stacked tunnel. Customers can provide their own network prefix, or Hurricane Electric can provide one. The service, which will cost $500 per month, requires the use of BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) as the routing protocol.

Hurricane Electric will continue to maintain its popular free tunnel broker service, which caters primarily to the consumer and small-business market.

ChinaComm Selects Tellabs for Wireless Packet Core

ChinaComm selected the Tellabs SmartCore 9100 platform for a packet core network for broadband wireless access services in Beijing and across nine other Chinese markets for a total of 10 markets in nine provinces. Specifically, the Tellabs SmartCore 9100 will support broadband wireless access networks from various radio access manufacturers, eliminating the need to use separate access service network (ASN) gateways. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We chose Tellabs SmartCore 9100 platform because of its interoperability with multiple broadband wireless access vendors and its ability to support future service expansion," said Mr. Zhu Shurong, Chief Technology Officer for ChinaComm. "This decision will help us simplify network operations and save operational expenses by eliminating the need to manage and maintain two separate ASN gateways."

Verizon Wireless Showcases LTE Telematics for Automotive Industry

Verizon Wireless is showcasing LTE Telematics this week at an automotive industry event in Detroit. Verizon Wireless said its LTE network enables advances in key components of Telematics, such as GPS systems, maintenance indicators, wireless Web access, hands-free connectivity and roadside assistance, along with other technologies and applications.

Some partners:

Airbiquity -- wireless applications for vehicles. Together with Airbiquity, Verizon Wireless will feature connected in-vehicle mobile applications, including weather, streaming audio, local POI search, as well as integration with V CAST Apps.

Plex -- seamless digital media lifestyle. The Plex Media Center allows consumers to access and consume digital media from a wide variety of sources on one open platform. The Plex platform also enables content providers to make their content easily available across a range of devices.

MyAssist -- personal automotive assistance. A live-agent personal assistance and Telematics service for Automotive OEMs, Telematics Service Providers and other customer-centric organizations. MyAssist is powered by the world's leading concierge, emergency travel and medical assistance infrastructure and specializes in assisting OEMs and application developers integrate a human touch into their vehicles or applications.

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc., (TCS) -- mobile cloud computing services providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and Telematics.

AppliedMicro Embeds Trusted Module Security into PacketPro

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AppliedMicro) introduced its latest PacketPro Gen2 embedded processor featuring an embedded "SLIMpro" Trusted Management Module (TMM) that enables network equipment manufacturers to hard wired, tamper-proof encryption and authentication capabilities into their devices.

The Trusted Management Module resides in a secure on-chip cryptographic boundary region designed to replace multi-chip solutions which are vulnerable to attack. AppliedMicro said its SLIMpro TMM not only hides cryptographic keys, passwords and digital certifications, but also makes its possible to include a Secure Boot capability in networking gear. The embedded TMM decrypts and authenticates software used during reboots, or to decrypt and authenticate secure firmware updates or new software images. This effectively prevented "cloned" equipment appearing in the network, or unauthorized software patches and reboots of networking equipment under attack by hackers.

The new "Keelback" APM86791 PacketPro Gen2 embedded processor features a single-core, 1.0-GHz PowerPC 465 processor with floating point unit, 32KB L1 I-cache, 32KB D-cache and 256 KB L2 cache with hardware I/O coherency and DDR3 memory controller with optional ECC. The Trusted Management Module is part of a set of advanced features enabled by SLIMpro in AppliedMicro's PacketPro Gen 2 family. Other features available through SLIMpro include intelligent power management, asymmetric multiprocessing, queue and traffic management, and offload acceleration features. The APM86791 has four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports (RGMII & SGMII), two PCI-Express Gen1/2 ports, two USB 2.0 hosts with integrated PHY/Serdes and one SATA 2.0 port.

"With network connectivity becoming even more pervasive, mainstream, embedded systems are faced with security threats ranging from intellectual property theft and network intrusions to system hacking," said Majid Bemanian, senior director of marketing for AppliedMicro. "AppliedMicro offers a customizable approach with its Trusted Management Module as a tamper-proof hardware platform that is impervious to software and hardware attacks, providing developers with the most advanced security for embedded systems."

Samples of AppliedMicro APM86791 are expected in the third quarter.

Infineta Tackles Hyper-scale Data Center to Data Center Traffic

Infineta Systems, a start-up based in San Jose, California, has begun shipping its Data Mobility Switch (DMS) designed for optimizing and accelerating "Hyper-Scale" WAN links, such as data center to data center high-bandwidth connections.

Unlike existing WAN optimization platforms, Infineta has developed a customized "Velocity Dedupe Engine" in programmable logic (FPGAs), providing high throughput while incurring extremely low latencies and maintaining very high data reduction efficiency. The company measures a 5-10x bandwidth capacity gains, IP traffic acceleration, and critical application prioritization and assurance over multi-gigabit WAN links. This would mean a 1 Gbps link would perform like a 5 Gbps link, thanks to the data de-dupe and the other acceleration techniques. The DMS can be configured to guarantee minimum data rates for individual classes of service, enabling customers to carve out "protected circuits" for their bandwidth intensive, latency sensitive applications over their existing WAN links. Similarly, an OC12 (622Mbps) circuit can be turned into a 3 Gbps link, and an OC48 (2.54Gbps) circuit into a 10Gbps link.

Whereas branch WAN optimization tackles the ‘north/south' traffic between data centers and remote offices, Infineta said its platform scales for the "east/west" between clouds in geographically divergent locations. The DMS switch accepts inputs up to 10 Gbps. The box is initially configured for lower speed inputs (2 Gbps), but the full performance can be unlocked via license upgrades.

"Both emerging and established companies are evolving their network infrastructures as part of the transition over to a cloud era so that they can tap into the significant cost and performance benefits afforded by resource pooling, network convergence, and the simplification of IT services," states Raj Kanaya, co-founder/CEO, Infineta Systems. "The premium in the next decade of IT will be the simplified and accelerated movement of massive amounts of data that underpins scale-out big data processing (compute), cross-site virtualization (server), and large volume data replication (storage). Infineta's DMS makes this critical traffic move faster for significantly less cost."

Separately, Infineta announced $15 million in a Series B funding round. The new funding came from Silicon Valley-based Rembrandt Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors, Alloy Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. This brings Infineta's total to-date funding to $30 million.

  • Infineta was co-founded by Raj Kanaya (CEO) and Dr. K.V.S. Ramarao (CTO). Kanaya previously was VP of product strategy and alliances for the Application Networking Group at Citrix Systems. He joined Citrix though its acquisition of NetScaler where he served as VP of product management. Dr. Ramarao previously served as Chief Platform Architect for the Application Oriented Networking BU at Cisco Systems. Before that, he was founder and CTO of both Conformative Systems (acquired by Intel) and Sariga Networks.

PMC-Sierra Introduces Quad-Port EPON OLT Chip

PMC-Sierra introduced a quad-port EPON OLT System-on-Chip (SoC) family featuring integrated traffic management and packet processing, advanced power save modes that allow remote power down of customer premises equipment, in-band optical fiber testing and support for mobile backhaul.

The PAS5400 devices integrate four 1 Gbps EPON MACs and are scalable to enable high-density OLT equipment. The new EPON OLT family includes three SoCs that comply with IEEE 802.3ah and China carrier specifications for EPON networks: PAS5404 with 'lite' traffic management, PAS5414 with fully featured traffic management, and PAS5424 with fully featured traffic management and a cascading option that eliminates the need for an aggregation switch on the OLT line card.

PMC-Sierra's EPON devices also features in-band Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR), which enables carriers to test the outdoor fiber-optics line while in service. If errors are found, the tool can locate the problem within a few meters. Today, carriers must take down the line and use specialized test equipment to find these problems. In-band OTDR keeps uptime and offers major savings in carrier OPEX and CAPEX.

The PON devices also implement a sophisticated algorithm for ONU remote power-down at idle periods and recovery of full operation without losing data. The company calculates that the use of PAS5400, together with PMC's PAS6500 EPON ONU SoC, can reduce ONU power consumption by up to 80 percent while maintaining connectivity and Quality of Service (QoS).

"Carriers are looking for ways to deliver new services and higher bandwidth to a growing base of subscribers, while improving network reliability and reducing operational cost," said Raphael Sankar, vice president and co-general manager of PMC's FTTH division. "PMC is the only provider that can deliver this level of innovation across a complete portfolio of solutions for EPON, GPON and 10G PON with maximum software reuse, and this solidifies our leadership in the optical fiber access market segment."
  • In March, PMC-Sierra expanded its FTTH portfolio with a new line of 10G-EPON OLT devices in 40nm featuring traffic management, packet processing, on-chip redundancy and advanced optical diagnostic capabilities built-in. PMC-Sierra also introduced three new EPON devices for low-cost, low-power ONUs.

    PMC-Sierra's 10G-EPON OLT family, which complies with IEEE 802.3av specifications and China carrier specifications for both asymmetric and symmetric 10G-EPON modes, feature an in-band Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) and Upstream Signal Analyzer for in-service diagnostics. On-chip fiber Automatic Protection Switching (APS) enables a rapid switch-over in cases of failure in the optical distribution network (ODN). Four versions with asymmetric, symmetric and traffic management options.

NEC and Juniper Deployed in Kiwi Research Network

The Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN) is being extended to more points of presence across New Zealand (a total of 23). KAREN provides reliable, high speed, high capacity connectivity across New Zealand through 23 points of presence. As an Elite Juniper partner, NEC will provide fourteen Juniper Networks(R) MX80 3D Universal Edge Routers to support the growth of the network, which links KAREN members to over 200 million advanced network users worldwide.

Apple's iCloud to Drive Bandwidth Usage

Apple's newly unveiled iCloud, along with wireless updates for untethered iOS devices, promise significant convenience for users and potentially huge amounts of new traffic for service providers.

iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage for music, photos, apps, calendars, documents, etc. The automated service effortlessly collects content from the user, stores it and then pushes a copy to all devices associated with the account. With over 25 million iPads and more than 100 million iPhones and iTouch devices already in customer hands, the amount of data traversing the network will be huge. In addition, music, books and apps purchased through iTunes does not count toward the 5GB limit.

iCloud Backup automatically and securely backs up iOS devices to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi when you charge your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. This includes home screens, text and MMS messages, and ringtones.

iTunes in iCloud automatically pushes all songs, whether purchased or ripped, to all iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, Macs, and/or PCs associated with the account.

Apple's new Photo Stream, which also does not count toward the 5 GB limit, will use iCloud to automatically share any new photos with all other devices on the account. Apple will let users keep a rolling stream of their 1,000 latest photos constantly updated for free via Photo Stream. Photo Stream is built into the photo apps on all iOS devices, iPhoto on Macs, and saved to the Pictures folder on a PC.

Apple's iWork apps will be automatically backed-up and distributed in iCloud.

Apple is providing APIs for other mobile and Lion OS apps to automatically use iCloud as a background service.

Wireless updating for iOS 5 -- iPhones and iPads no longer need to be associated with a Mac or PC to register or to get OS updates. The updates can be delivered over Wi-Fi or via 3G, potentially moving gigabytes of OS updates for hundreds of millions of devices onto mobile networks.

OS X Lion will be delivered exclusively via the Mac App Store. At 4 GB in size, traffic is expected to spike when Lion is released sometime in July.

Clearwire, Comcast, and Sprint Expand 4G in PA

Clearwire, Comcast and Sprint announced a significant expansion of the Clearwire 4G network in the greater Pittsburgh metro area. The regional CLEAR, XFINITY®Internet 2go and Sprint 4G service area has added coverage for an additional 10,591 people. This expansion represents new coverage since Clearwire's initial launch on September 30, 2010.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

GSA: Mobile HD Voice Now Launched on 20 Carrier Networks

Mobile HD Voice services are now launched on 20 carrier networks worldwide, according to the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association). Europe is taking the lead role with mobile HD Voice.

Mobile HD Voice uses Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband technology (W-AMR) standardized by 3GPP, and enables high-quality voice calls in mobile networks and an improved user experience. It provides significantly higher voice quality for calls between mobile phones supporting the feature, and can be implemented in GSM and WCDMA (UMTS) networks.

There are now 33 mobile phone models supporting HD Voice, mostly from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung.

GSA's Mobile HD Voice: Global Update report, published June 3, 2011, confirms that 40% of countries in the European Union have commercially launched mobile HD Voice services, or are engaged in trials and tests ahead of planned commercial introduction. Furthermore, operator investments in mobile HD Voice extend far beyond Europe.

The first commercial mobile HD Voice service was introduced in September 2009. HD Voice services are now launched on 20 mobile networks in 18 countries and territories – Armenia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, La RĂ©union, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.

Trials and network deployments of HD Voice ahead of planned commercial introduction are also progressing in Australia, Austria, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, UAE and the USA.

A total of 33 HD Voice-capable phones are available from leading manufacturers including Alcatel, HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Many of the latest products are shipping with the HD Voice capability activated as default.

Verizon Cites Green Efforts in California

Verizon cited a number of conservation initiatives it has undertaken in California, including:

  • the removal and recycling of more than 5 million feet of unused cable, including 2 million feet of old lead cable in 2010.

  • the recycling of 2,895 mobile phones and accessories in California, via Verizon Wireless' HopeLine® program, which resulted in keeping electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.

  • a contract to convert 300 gasoline-powered Ford E-250 cargo vans to CNG (compressed natural gas), a move that will reduce vehicle carbon emissions by 480 tons per year. Used by the company in Southern California, the CNG engines emit 23 percent less carbon dioxide than comparable gasoline-powered vans.

"We're an essential part of the technology ecosystem, and as demand for our high-IQ networks continues to increase we will grow our business responsibly," said Tim McCallion, Verizon West region president. "Verizon continues to find ways to partner with our employees, customers and vendors to find opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of our business."

AT&T Acquires Convergys' Stake in Cincinnati Cell Partnerships for $320M

AT&T has agreed to acquire Convergys Corporation's holdings in certain "cellular partnerships" located in the Cincinnati metropolitan area for approximately $320 million in cash.

As a result of its spin-off from Cincinnati Bell Inc. in 1998, Convergys received a 34% limited partnership interest in Cincinnati SMSA and a 45% limited partnership interest in Cincinnati SMSA Tower Holdings. Together, these two properties are referred to as the "cellular partnerships."

AT&T is the general partner, managing all the cellular partnerships' business on a day-to-day basis. Convergys does not take part in this management.

Convergys expects the sale to generate net after-tax proceeds of approximately $250 million. The deal is not expected to incur regulatory review and so will be completed in July 2011.

Hong Kong Broadband Offers 1 Gbps Triple Play for US$20/Month

Hong Kong Broadband Network launched an "Incredible Triple-Play" service consisting of 1 Gbps broadband, voice, and pay-TV for US$20/month (HK$158) with 24-month contract.

Hong Kong Broadband Network, which currently has over 1,110,000 subscriptions for broadband, local telephony and IPTV, said it is able to cut price this low because it is benefitting from rapidly increasing economies of scale as the market in Hong Kong embraces its 1 Gbps service. With costs falling, the company said it is simply passing on the savings to its customers and make money for its shareholders.

Hong Kong Broadband Network calculates its cost per home past is approximately US$200, amongst the lowest in the world. The company claims its Return on Equity has risen from 3.2% in FY2007 to 19% in 1H FY2011. The company also said that it is very encouraged the incumbent's recent high profile launch of its Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) 200Mbps plus WiFi service in Public Housing estates for HK$165.

Ms. June Lam, Associate Director of Marketing, HKBN said, "We are ecstatic to be pioneering the mass take-up of Fibre-To-The-Home. Today, our 1Gbps coverage already surpasses over 1 million households and we are working hard to approach 2 million households coverage by end 2011. As with all new technologies, take-up accelerates once a certain inflection point of acceptance is reached, and we believe that Hong Kong is now at that inflection point"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CommScope Acquires LiquidxStream for Dense QAM Systems

CommScope has acquired LiquidxStream Systems, a start-up developing dense universal edge QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) systems. The company is based in Montreal, Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CommScope plans to integrate the LiquidxStream QAM technology into its broadband solution offering that includes business service solutions, cable/conduit solutions, FTTx (BrightPath Optical Solutions) and subscriber solutions.

"This acquisition is part of CommScope's strategy to continue to expand our broadband product offerings to deliver complete solutions for our multi-system operator (MSO) customers," said Ric Johnsen, senior vice president, Broadband, CommScope. "Dense universal edge QAM is critical to supporting more of the advanced and next-generation services and applications that are growing in importance, such as video on demand, switched digital video, modular cable modem termination systems, DOCSIS 3.0 and cable IPTV. This solution can help operators reduce capital and operating expenses by significantly lowering requirements for power, cabling, rack space and cooling."

Verizon Declares Quarterly Dividend, Same as Last Quarter

Verizon Communications declared a quarterly dividend of 48.75 cents per outstanding share, unchanged from the previous quarter. The company made $5.4 billion in dividend payments in 2010.

TI Positions Multi-Core OMAP 4 Processor for Mobile

Texas Instruments introduced its latest OMAP4470 applications processor aimed at ultra thin laptops, tablets and other mobile computing devices.

The multicore OMAP4470 processor boasts clock speeds up to 1.8 GHz, an 80 percent increase in Web browsing performance over current solutions and increased memory bandwidth. It promises a 2.5x boost in graphics functionality provided by a POWERVR SGX544 core from Imagination Technologies in operating systems such as Android, Linux and the next version of Microsoft Windows.

"Superior mobile computing relies on a user experience that dwarfs all others. Fast and crisp Web browsing, HD and liquid UIs, support for the latest applications—these are the elements consumers judge and buy their devices on. The OMAP4470 processor delivers the maximum experience possible with an unmatched, power-efficient architecture," said Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president, OMAP platform business unit, TI.

Infinera Appoints Mike Capuano as VP of Corporate Marketing

Infinera has appointed Michael Capuano as Vice President of Corporate Marketing. He most recently served at Cisco as Director of Marketing, Service Provider Routing and Switching, and previously held marketing leadership positions at Juniper Networks.

Ofcom Proposes Filters to Stop Interference Between 800 MHz LTE and Digital TV

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator for the UK, proposed several remedies to address potential interference between LTE and digital TV broadcasts. In March, Ofcom set out plans to auction 800 MHz spectrum for 4G mobile services next year. The 800 MHz spectrum is adjacent to the frequencies used for digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting.

Ways to address this potential interference include the following.

In some cases viewers will have to fit a filter to their TV aerial. These filters block the signals that interfere with TV reception and should solve most of the interference cases. Ofcom plans to offer consumer information to help.

Ofcom proposes that the majority of the costs should be borne by the future 800 MHz licensees.

In a very small number of cases – less than 0.1% of DTT viewers – filters may not solve the problem. Ofcom is considering a number of options to address the problem which may require some viewers to change platforms. Ofcom is carrying out more research into this issue and expects to publish a further consultation in the autumn.

The consultation, which closes on 11 August.

Verizon Gets LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The 4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network in the coming weeks. Pre-orders will be taken from June 8.

Verizon Wireless will offer two 4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 models both priced with two year customer agreements: $529.99 for the 16GB model and $629.99 for the 32GB model.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers full support for Google Mobile Services, including Gmail, YouTube, etc. It features a 10.1-inch enhanced display with a 1280x800 resolution HD screen, 1 GHz dual core application processor, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera.