Thursday, June 9, 2011

BaySpec Introduces Palm-Sized 1064nm Handheld Raman Analyzer

BaySpec introduced a palm-sized, dispersive handheld Raman analyzer based on 1064 nm excitation. The 1064-Mini uses BaySpec's proprietary high throughput Volume Phase Grating (VPG)TM technology, ruggedized packaging, battery operation a

Qualcomm Acquires Rapid Bridge -- an IC Design House

Qualcomm agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Rapid Bridge LLC, a San Diego-based developer of advanced techniques for semiconductor designs. The company's technology reduces complexity in integrated circuit (IC) development at advanced technology nodes to enable greater design flexibility and optimized die size and power consumption. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T Summarizes T-Mobile Acquisition Benefits in FCC Filing

AT&T formally filed papers with the FCC supporting its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA and responding to critics.

AT&T's top argument is that the merger will give it the scale, spectrum and other resources to deploy LTE to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population. The company says consumers will benefit because the expanded capacity will provide "a more robust platform for the next generation of bandwidth-intensive mobile applications while improving consumers' overall service quality through faster data speeds and fewer dropped and blocked calls."

If the merger is approved, the company promises to make an additional investment of more than $8 billion to expand LTE deployment and to integrate the AT&T and T-Mobile USA networks.

AT&T also argues that the merger will create jobs and investment, help bridge the digital divide, and help achieve the Administration's rural broadband objectives, all without the expenditure of government funds.

The FCC filing includes endorsements of the merger from ADTRAN, Avaya, Brocade, Corning, CWA, Facebook, KPCB, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, RIM, Yahoo!, many state governors and politicians, and others.

New M-PHY and UniPro Specs for Mobile Devices

The MIPI Alliance announced two new specifications for data transport performance in mobile devices such as smartphones and full-function phones, tablets/netbooks, digital cameras and high speed memory storage.

The M-PHY v1.0 offers an optimized physical layer with high bandwidth capabilities. It is a flexible serial interface with a data rate range spanning 10 kbps to near 6 Gbps. It offers multiple transmission modes plus a low energy per bit threshold rate. In addition, M-PHY is optical friendly, enabling an optional low-complexity electro-optical signal conversion and optical data transport.

The M-PHY physical layer is designed as the primary interface for MIPI's transport layer UniPro. This connection is accomplished via UniPort-M, the actual port coupling the two layers. By specifying a dedicated port, MIPI can insure that high performance data transport is maintained.

The UniPro v1.4 specification builds on the physical layer to provide a unified, layered protocol stack. It is suitable for a wide range of component types including application processors, co-processors and modems, as well as different types of data traffic. UniPro is scalable from a single link to network architecture.

Virgin Media's 100 Mbps Broadband Cover 4 million Homes in UK

Virgin Media 100 Mbps broadband roll-out has now passed four million homes across the UK. Powered by Virgin Media's fibre optic network, the UK's leading broadband service is now available to over 100 towns across the UK. The company aims to expands the service across the remainder of its network of nearly 13 million homes by mid-2012.

Virgin Media is also currently trialling 200 Mbps services and has deployed a 1.5 Gbps cable broadband trial in East London.

JouleX Secures $17 Million for Network-based Energy Management

JouleX, a start-up based in Atlanta, closed $17 million in venture funding for its enterprise energy management systems for data centers, distributed office environments and facilities.

The JouleX Energy Manager (JEM) is a network-based, "agentless" system that measures the energy consumption and utilization of all network-connected devices and systems to provide visibility into power usage across the enterprise. The system provides monitors, analyzes and controls energy usage of all network-connected devices and systems—no client-side agents or hardware meters required.

The company's current technology partners include Cisco, Intel, VMware, Juniper Networks, Enterasys and Siemens.

The investment capital came from new investors Sigma Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners and Intel Capital, in addition to existing investors Target Partners and TechOperators. JouleX plans to use the capital to expand its development and sales footprint into growth markets around the world.

International Monetary Fund Hit by Cyber Attack

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the latest victim of a cyber attack, possibly originating with a sophisticated "spear phishing" penetration, according to news reports. The data breach has been described as "major" and "extensive" although details have not been disclosed. As a precautionary measure, the World Bank has cut off direct network links with the IMF.

Recent high-profile cyber incidents in recent weeks include the RSA Secure-ID data breach, Sony, Google, Lockheed Martin and CitiGroup.http://www.imf.orf

Denmark's XENA Offers 10-40-100 Gbps Ethernet Test Module

Xena Networks introduced a tri-speed 10-40-100 Gbps Ethernet Test Module. It features a suite of test features for Layer 2 and Layer 3, including protocol testing, capture, histograms, service disruption measurements, multi-stream Ethernet generation & test and RFC 2544 benchmarking. This is augmented with 40/100G-specific features such as virtual lane swapping, skewing and PRBS testing.

The new tri-speed module will be available for both Xena's large (4U) 12-module XenaBay chassis, as well as the small (1U) single-module XenaCompact chassis.

Korea's "Make Everything Linked" Targets WDM-PONs

MEL (Make Everything Linked) is a start-up company founded in 2009 by former ETRI (the federally supported telecom research institute in Korea) researchers, announced the opening of an office in California and appointment of Dr. Donald P. Yu as its Chief Marketing Officer.

MEL's original technology is the wavelength reuse WDM-PON, where the optical signal modulated with downstream data is re-used so as to carry the upstream data through the Reflective Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (RSOA) in the CPE by a series of noble processes. As this scheme removes the Broadband Light Source (BLS), which constitutes a core element in competing WDM-PON technology offerings, it alleviates system complexity and operational burden inherent with the high-power dual BLS. With this RSOA-based "Reuse" scheme, MEL provides a simpler colorless DWDM architecture, offering significant cost-effectiveness and efficient wavelength resource utilization.

MEL's other key technology is the tunable external cavity laser (ECL) with waveguide Bragg gratings, based on Polymer and Silicon materials which support color-free OLT and ONU tunable transceivers (data rate up to 2.5Gbps 16 and 32-channels). An additional ECL technology is now commercially available, where the output wavelength is determined by a wavelength assigned patch cord (named as lambda-connector) while the SFP remains the same for up to 40 channels on ITU-T 100GHz spacing grid in either C-band or L-band.

Recently, MEL released hybrid PON products, which link WDM-PON as trunk with G-PON (or E-PON) as existing access network on the Physical Layer (OSI Layer 1). This provides an efficient, practical central office consolidation, offering opportunities for smooth migration of G-PON (or E-PON) to WDM-PON.

Dr. Yu is a former top executive at the Hanjin Information System and Telecommunication in Korea and now doing research at the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, University of California at Irvine as a visiting scholar.

IBM Develops 10 GHz Graphene IC for Potential Wireless Applications

Researchers at IBM have created the first integrated circuit fabricated from wafer-size graphene and demonstrated a broadband frequency mixer operating at frequencies up to 10 GHz. The milestone is significant because it demonstrates the viability of integrating graphene transistors with other components on a single chip. Graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms packed in a honeycomb structure, possesses outstanding electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties.

The breakthrough is reported by IBM Research in the magazine Science. The project was funded under DARPA's Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA) program.

The new broadband frequency mixer circuit consists a graphene transistor and a pair of inductors compactly integrated on a silicon carbide (SiC) wafer.

"Just a few days before IBM commemorates its 100th anniversary, our scientists have achieved a nanotechnology milestone which continues the company's century-long pursuit of innovation and technology leadership," said T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "This research breakthrough has the potential to in-crease the performance of communication devices that enable people to interact with greater efficiency."

IBM noted that previously it has demonstrated standalone graphene transistors with a cut-off frequency as high as 100 GHz and 155 GHz for epitaxial and CVD graphene, for a gate length of 240 and 40 nm, respectively.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ericsson Money Services Launches in 7 European Countries

Ericsson Money Services, which allows consumers to transfer money to family and friends using their mobile phones, has launched across seven Europe1an countries -- UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden.

Ericsson plans to make the service available to the rest of Europe soon. The company, which also plans to launch a similar service globally (via Ericsson Money Interconnect), said its goal is making sending money as quick, easy and natural as sending a text message a reality for people around the world.

Avaya Files for $1 Billion IPO

Avaya Holdings Corp. (Avaya), the parent company of Avaya Inc., filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of $1 billion of its common stock. The joint book-runners of the proposed offering will be Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital Inc., UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC.
  • In September 2009, Avaya prevailed its bid to acquire Nortel Enterprise Solutions at auction for US $900 million in proceeds to Nortel and an additional pool of $15 million reserved for an employee retention program.

  • In October 2007, Avaya was delisted from the NYSE (ticker: AV) in a privatization deal in which Silver Lake and TPG Capital paid approximately $8.3 billion.

  • In October 2000, Avaya was spun off from Lucent Technologies. Previously, it was part of AT&T.

Huawei M2M Modules Certified by Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless has certified two machine-to-machine (M2M) embedded modules from Huawei for operation over its network. The MC323 is a low cost 2G module that is designed for applications that are used in business-to-business applications including fleet management, utilities, retail, security, asset tracking and other M2M applications. The EM660 provides capabilities that are tuned to the unique needs of laptops, tablets and M2M solutions.

Sprint and Motorola Announce Reinvigorated Alliance

Sprint and its prepaid brands of Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA will launch more than 10 new Motorola devices in 2011, including the newly unveiled Motorola PHOTON 4G, boasting Sprint 4G, Android 2.3, Sprint ID and worldphone capabilities.

The agreement marks a reinvigorated alliance between Sprint and Motorola.

Two new devices were communicated today as part of this relationship, including the iconic Motorola PHOTON 4G, Motorola's first Sprint 4G device with a dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM, and the Motorola TRIUMPH, the first Virgin Mobile USA device from Motorola.

"Over the years, we have teamed with Motorola to bring top of the line devices to our customers across both prepaid and postpaid brands," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. "I am pleased to see our collaboration grow. Together we will enhance the customer experience by bringing innovative devices to market, such as the Motorola PHOTON 4G and Motorola TRIUMPH."

NSN Completes GSM Dual Full Rate Call with OSC-DFR

Nokia Siemens Networks announced the first pre-commercial call exploiting Orthogonal Sub-Channel Dual Full Rate (OSC-DFR) software.

Orthogonal Sub Channel (OSC) technology carries four calls in one GSM radio timeslot, effectively doubling the voice capacity of the GSM radio network.

The company said OSC-DFR will provide a 100% increase in GSM voice capacity and significantly enhanced speech quality. Operators who have deployed the commonly used Adaptive Multi Rate-Full Rate (AMR FR) in their networks can use the OSC-DFR feature to achieve unmatched speech quality and at the same time can nearly double their voice capacity. Nokia Siemens Networks' new GSM feature will be used in customer pilots from the end of June 2011.

"The new feature builds on our OSC innovation of 2009, and extends its capabilities by offering better speech quality along with an increase in voice handling capacity," said Kimmo Virkki, head of GSM product management at Nokia Siemens Networks. "OSC-DFR can reduce capital and operations expenditure for operators as it requires fewer carrier units and base station sites as well as less transport capacity. Moreover, the OSC-DFR feature allows operators to accommodate more voice and data traffic into the existing spectrum, thus facilitating the reuse or refarming of 3G/LTE services in GSM frequency bands."

10 Years Ago: SuperComm 2001 Attracted over 54,000

SuperComm 2001, held June 6-9 in Atlanta, attracted just over 54,000 attendees, topping the previously year's 53,000 attendance. There were a record 853 exhibiting companies.

The record breaking event was produced by the United States Telecom Association (USTA) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

Rogers Picks Ottawa for First LTE Rollout

Rogers Communications has selected Ottawa to launch its first commercial LTE service this summer. Enrollment is now open for Rogers' customers in Ottawa who want to reserve a spot in the initial rollout. The company is offering an LTE "Rocket" stick from Sierra Wireless as its first LTE device.

Rogers announced a comprehensive technical trial of LTE in Ottawa and Montreal last year to ready itself for a smooth commercial deployment in 2011. At its Annual General Meeting in April, Rogers announced that it would launch commercial LTE network services in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in 2011 followed by the top 25 markets in 2012.

Verizon Cuts Energy Consumption at 24 U.S. Data Centers

Verizon has implemented an aggressive, intelligent energy-management systems from Vigilent to significantly cut energy consumption and carbon emissions at 24 of its U.S. data centers. Vigilent energy management systems consist of hundreds of wireless temperature sensors at each data center that are connected through an intelligent mesh network to on-site servers using energy management software. The company said this new system enabled it to:

  • Turn off approximately 40 percent of the computer room air conditioners in these data centers within two days of implementing the energy management systems, providing an instant reduction in energy consumption and an anticipated savings of more than 55 million kilowatts annually.

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 66 million pounds of CO2 on an annualized basis.

  • Decrease average temperatures by two degrees Fahrenheit throughout the data centers, with significantly reduced temperature fluctuations and extremes.

Verizon noted that its energy reduction and recycling initiatives in its facilities around the globe reduced CO2 emissions by more than 297.5 million pounds in 2010, leading to an improvement of more than 15 percent in the rate of emissions per terabyte of data.

"Vigilent energy management systems have reduced cooling consumption by more than 40 percent as well as provided important safeguards that help improve our uptime," said Mark Capurso, director of national technical operations at Verizon. "This combination of energy savings and improved efficiencies goes a long way toward helping meet Verizon's goal of improving its carbon efficiency by 15 percent this year.

Russia's MTS Selects Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS for Mobile Backhaul

Russia's Mobile TeleSystems has selected Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS-based mobile backhaul solution for supporting 3G mobile broadband. Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 7750 Service Router (SR) and 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR) along with the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) in line with related services including design, installation and commissioning for full turnkey project implementation. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CitiGroup Suffers Data Breach

CitiGroup reported that hackers have compromised the security of "hundreds of thousands" of credit card customers in the U.S. The cyber intruders gained access to general account information, including name, account number and contact information.