Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sierra Wireless Launches 4G LTE AirLink Rugged Gateway

Sierra Wireless introduced its AirLink GX440 4G LTE rugged wireless gateway for applications such as high-quality wireless video surveillance, multi-data-stream wireless connections to branch locations, or mobile office applications for public safety and field service activities.

Verizon Wireless has certified the product for use on its LTE network.

Sierra Wireless introduced a 3G version of the AirLink GX440 gateway last year, featuring an ARM 11-class microprocessor architecture with high-capacity DDR memory, as well as IPSec security.

Acer Intros its Own "AcerCloud"

At CES, Acer is introducing its own consumer cloud service to automatically syncing photos and documents between smartphones, laptops and tablets.

The upcoming service, dubbed "AcerCloud", appears to match Apple's iCloud service with nearly identical functionality and service.

AcerCloud will be bundled on all Acer consumer PCs starting Q2 2012. It will support all Android devices, while future support is planned for Windows-based devices. The service will be available in America, Europe, Asia and China.

Fusion-io Breaks the One Billion IOPs Threshold

Fusion-io, which specializes in next generation storage memory, announced a significant milestone: one billion input and output operations per second (IOPS). A public demo showed eight HP ProLiant DL370 servers, each equipped with eight ioDrive2 Duos, breaking the one billion IOP barrier when transferring 64 byte data packets.

"Rethinking how to provide powerful modern CPUs with the data they need through sophisticated software architectures has enabled us to deliver the ultra low latency performance needed to achieve one billion IOPS with existing hardware and Fusion ioMemory solutions," said David Flynn, Fusion-io Chairman and CEO.

"Breaking the one billion IOPS barrier is certainly a powerful way to demonstrate our ioMemory architecture. As an engineer, what really excites me about extensions to our core technology such as ACM are the possibilities introduced when flash is utilized as a new memory tier," said Steve Wozniak, Fusion-io Chief Scientist. "Instead of treating flash like storage, where data passes through all of the OS kernel subsystems that were built and optimized for traditional storage, our core ioMemory technology offers a platform with new programming primitives that can provide system and application developers direct access to non-volatile memory."

Ford Opens Silicon Valley R&D Lab

Ford Research and Innovation announced plans to open a new Silicon Valley lab in the first quarter. The R&D center is expected to help Ford keep pace with consumer trends as it "aggressively prepares for the future by developing mobility solutions to harness the power of seamless connectivity, cloud computing and clean technology."

Marvell Announces Native PCIe SSD Controller

Marvell announced volume availability of native PCIe SSD controller .

The new Marvell 88NV9145 controller supports a PCIe 2.0 x1 interface, ARM-based processor, external Double Data Rate (DDR) interface and four NAND flash channels with up to four Chip Selects (CSs) per channel. In addition, each 88NV9145 can support up to 128GB NAND capacity and has been tested to achieve up to 93,000 4K random read IOPS and 70,000 4K random write IOPS.

"Marvell is raising the bar in data storage by bringing to market the first incrementally scalable, native PCIe-to-NAND technology at a critical time when rapid data growth in public and private clouds is chronically reducing the performance of enterprise applications," said Alan Armstrong, vice president of Marketing for the Storage Business Group at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.

Motorola Mobility Sees Q4 Sales of $3.4 billion

Motorola Mobility updated its financial guidance for Q4 2011, saying it now estimates sales of $3.4 billion with modest profitability on a non-GAAP basis. These estimates include shipments of approximately 10.5 million mobile devices, of which approximately 5.3 million were smartphones. The company said its Q4 results were impacted by the increased competitive environment in the Mobile Device business and higher legal costs associated with ongoing Intellectual Property (IP) litigations. The company estimates sales of $900 million for the Home business in the fourth-quarter. Full results are expected on January 26, 2012.

Fujitsu Develops LTE Femtocell

Fujitsu introduced its BroadOne LTE Femtocell, a compact indoor base station that leverages existing broadband connections for the backhaul.

Fujitsu's BroadOne LTE Femtocell supports up to eight simultaneous LTE users. It features interference control technology that reduces signal interference between outdoor macrocell base stations and the femtocell.

Fujitsu said its interference mitigation approach means that mobile operators will not have to make adjustments to the outdoor macrocell base stations. In addition, the BroadOne LTE Femtocell allows for seamless switching between LTE and Wi-Fi.

Fujitsu will be showcasing the product at International CES and Mobile World Congress.

The company aims to sell 1 million units by the end of FY2015.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SK Telecom Implements HetNet Integration for 3G + LTE + Wi-Fi

SK Telecom is implementing Heterogeneous Network Integration technology that enables simultaneous use of different types of networks including 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi.

The technology seamlessly integrates two heterogeneous networks -- i.e. 3G and Wi-Fi, or LTE and Wi-Fi -- to provide a unified data service, the speed of which is the sum of two network speeds.

SK Telecom, which claims to be the first carrier in the world to implement this technology, said it is able to deliver up to 100 Mbps.

SK Telecom plans to implement this solution to enable simultaneous use of 3G and Wi-Fi networks in the second quarter of 2012 to realize a theoretical maximum speed of 60 Mbps service and begin LTE and Wi-Fi integrated service in 2013 to offer a 100 Mbps ultra-high speed wireless Internet service.

The first smartphone supporting Heterogeneous Network Integration technology is expected to become available this year. SK Telecom expects to apply the technology to all its handsets to be launched in 2013, after conducting an analysis of consumer responses and a study on the data distribution effect.

SK Telecom also said it will push for standardization of Heterogeneous Network Integration technolgy through 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T).

SK Telecom plans to demo this technology at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2012 next month in Barcelona.

Canada's Xplornet Deploys Sandvine for QoE Measurement & Control

Xplornet Communications, which is building a 4G rural broadband service for Canada that combines a fixed-wireless network on the ground and two 4G satellites in space, will deploy Sandvine's Network Analytics product. The equipment provides an intelligence layer to measure quality of experience for their customers; especially for those using applications such as streaming video.

“With Sandvine’s Network Analytics product, we will have intelligent, real-time visibility into how our network is performing with respect to the activities that are increasingly critical for our customers. We will then be empowered to allocate network resources appropriately to optimize customer experience�? said David Miles, Chief Network Officer at Xplornet Communications Inc.

“When you watch a video online, you know whether or not the quality is acceptable – but your service provider has little or no insight into your quality of experience,�? said Tom Donnelly, COO, Sales and Global Services, Sandvine. “Forward-thinking service providers like Xplornet are using Sandvine’s Real-Time Entertainment Dashboard to quantify the online quality and implement measures to help ensure a positive subscriber experience.�?

Broadcom Launches First Gigabit Speed 802.11ac Chips

Broadcom introduced its first family of 802.11ac chips, promising devices that are three times faster and up to six times more power efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions. The company is positioning its 802.11ac "5G WiFi" silicon as "a major evolutionary step from the existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks" as its will boost the wireless rate and the range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously.

Broadcom's family of 5G WiFi solutions includes the BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516. Some highlights:

  • 80 MHz channel bandwidth that is 2 times wider than current 802.11n solutions

  • 256-QAM, a higher modulation scheme that increases data transfer efficiency

  • Transmit and receive beamforming

  • Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) Codes

  • Space-Time Block Codes (STBC)

  • BCM4360 supports the PCIe interface and implements 3-stream 802.11ac specifications, and reaches speeds up to 1.3 Gbps.
    BCM4352 and BCM43526 implement 2-stream 802.11ac specification to reach up to 867 Mbps. BCM4352 supports PCIe interface; BCM43526 supports the USB interface.

  • BCM43516 supports USB and reaches speeds of up to 433 Mbps with its single stream 802.11ac implementation.

  • Chips with the PCIe interface are ideal for access points, routers, DSL/cable gateways and PC products; chips that use USB are ideal for consumer electronics devices including televisions, set-top boxes and Blu-Ray players.

Mindspeed Cuts Financial Guidance

Mindspeed Technologies cuts its financial guidance for its fiscal first quarter of 2012, which ended on December 30, 2011. The company now expects revenues in its fiscal first quarter of 2012 to be approximately $33.3 million. The company's previous guidance for fiscal first quarter revenue was to be in the range of $35.9 million to $37.5 million.

"We continued to experience a weaker demand environment in the fiscal first quarter of 2012, primarily related to a slower work-down of inventory levels in the channel than we had anticipated, across the entire product portfolio," said Raouf Y. Halim, chief executive officer of Mindspeed. "That said, based on positive trends in channel inventory and customer point of sales data through the month of December, as well as current backlog, our perspective is that the demand environment is stabilizing. We also believe we will see improving gross margin trends in the fiscal second quarter," added Mr. Halim.

JDSU Acquires Dyaptive Systems for Wireless Test Emulators

JDSU has acquired Dyaptive Systems, a developer of capacity test solutions for 2G, 3G and 4G wireless networks, for an undisclosed sum.

The Dyaptive test solutions are used to emulated thousands of mobile devices to support network capacity planning. The Dyaptive solutions emulate high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming video across multiple wireless devices, to ensure quality performance for service providers and their customers. Specifically, Dyaptive offers a software-defined, radio-based solution that cost-effectively scales to thousands of application-loaded mobile devices. The company, which is based in Vancouver, generated revenue in the high single-digit millions during the trailing 12-month period. Approximately 40 employees will be joining JDSU.

JDSU said this acquisition expands its test position in LTE trials and deployments by extending network testing in the labs and field to devices and applications.

“Dyaptive’s portfolio complements JDSU’s expansive set of wireless test tools, software and services, extending from the lab to the field and all the way to the end user experience,�? said David Heard, president of JDSU’s Communications Test and Measurement business segment. “JDSU’s focus on mobile service assurance is a key element of our growth strategy as dependence on wireless devices at home, work and play continues to explode worldwide.�?http://www,

Mindspeed to Acquire Picochip

Mindspeed Technologies agreed to acquire U.K.-based Picochip Limited, a leading supplier of integrated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for small cell base stations, for a purchase price of approximately $51.8 million, plus a potential earnout payment of up to $25 million payable in the first calendar quarter of 2013.

Picochip specializes in femtocell SoCs. Its publicly announced customers include Alpha Networks, AT4 Wireless, Airspan (partnered with Fujitsu), Intel, ip.Access, Ubiquisys (supplying NEC and Motorola), Willtek, Xinwei Telecom, Zyxel and a number of other major OEMs and ODMs.

Mindspeed said the acquisition will make it a clear market leader in small cell base station solutions for next generation mobile broadband communications infrastructure.
  • Picochip was founded in 2000. Its investors have included AT&T, Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Intel, Pond Venture Partners, Rothschild, Samsung, and Scottish Equity Partners.

AT&T Announces 11 More LTE Networks

AT&T announced LTE rollouts in 11 more markets, including New York City metro area, San Francisco and Los Angeles. This brings AT&T's LTE footprint to 26 markets covering 74 million consumers. Active markets now include Athens, Ga.; Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Boston; Chapel Hill; Charlotte; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City metro area; Oakland, Oklahoma City; Orlando; Phoenix; Raleigh; San Antonio; San Diego; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington, D.C..

AT&T noted that it is the only U.S. carrier offering LTE and HSPA+.

John Stankey, President and Chief Executive Officer—AT&T Business Solutions, speaking at Citi’s 22nd Annual Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco, said the company regrets that its T-Mobile USA acquisition did not get approved but that it had no regrets about pursuing the deal.

He also noted that at the end of 2011, 80% of AT&T mobile data traffic was be carried on its upgraded Ethernet-based backhaul links.

Another data point, Stankey noted that AT&T is now experiencing less than 1% of dropped calls.
  • AT&T launched its first LTE market on September 19, 2011.

Sprint Confirms LTE Launch in 1H

Sprint confirmed plans to launch commercial LTE services in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio in the first half of 2012. Six other small market launches are also slated for the first half of the year.

As part of its Network Vision program, Sprint is deploying multimode base stations across many of its cell sites throughout the country. The company said 3G customers will notice improvements in voice quality, signal density and data speeds as this occurs. The first completed deployment of a multimode base station was in Branchburg, N.J., in December 2011. As additional areas receive 3G enhancements and 4G LTE service, announcements will be made.

“Within the first half of 2012, Sprint customers should experience first-hand the wide-reaching improvements we have made in terms of boosting voice and data quality,�? said Bob Azzi, senior vice president – Network, Sprint. “With advanced smartphones and sophisticated wireless modems, our customers are using more and more mobile data, and one of our top priorities is to provide the best technology possible to improve our customers’ experience.�?

Speaking at Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference , Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the company is holding off on any further investment in LightSquared until its spectrum interference issues are resolved. The company has extended an internal deadline with LightSquared to the end of the month, hoping the issues will be resolved.

Hesse also admitted that the carrier throttles data capacity to about 1% of its unlimited data plan users when their usage becomes excessive.
  • Under its Network Vision plan, Sprint will repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for Sprint 3G service, thereby enhancing coverage, particularly the in-building experience for customers. Augmenting its 1.9GHz footprint with 800MHz, Sprint expects its CDMA coverage density will increase throughout the country. More density generally equates to fewer dropped calls and a more seamless network experience for customers.

  • Sprint's suppliers include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung.>/li>

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

EZchip Partners with Marvell on Next Gen NPU

EZchip Semiconductor has selected Marvell to be the ASIC partner for its next generation network processor, the 200-Gigabit NP-5. EZchip, which had disclosed its NP-5 plans last year, said it already has signed a tier-1 router vendor for the forthcoming silicon. Samples are expected by the end of the year.

The companies were also partners for EZchip’s NP-4 100-Gigabit network processor, which is currently in production.

“We are very pleased that our leading tier-1 customers have selected to continue the EZchip path,�? said Eli Fruchter, EZchip’s CEO. “EZchip currently has a commanding position in the marketplace by providing our customers with significant time to market advantages. We believe that with the NP-5 we will further our market leadership. We will bring the NP-5 and its variants, similar to the NP-4 and its variants, to the market at the earliest possible time and allow our leading customers to continue to build on their success in the marketplace with EZchip.�?http://www,

China Telecom to Launch as MVNO with Everything Everywhere

Everything Everywhere, the joint venture that operates the networks for T-Mobile (UK) and Orange (UK), has signed China Telecom as an MVNO on its network. The partnership marks the first time that a Chinese telecom operator has launched MVNO services outside China.

"Entering the UK mobile market is a strategic move for China Telecom (Europe). We selected Everything Everywhere based on the strength of its network, and Transatel’s proven track record of getting MVNOs up and running quickly and efficiently. We are keen to launch the service in the UK as soon as possible as there is a real gap in the market for the provision of tailored mobile services and competitive tariffs aimed at the growing Chinese population in the UK," stated Yan Ou, Managing Director of China Telecom (Europe).

Cisco Terminates its ūmi Home Telepresence Product

Cisco reportedly is dropping its ūmi telepresence system for the home. The news was first reported by CRN magazine.

Cisco ūmi, which was introduced in October 2010, combined an HD video camera, a console and a remote. It was positioned as a premium home telepresence system with pristine video and audio quality delivered over a broadband connection. The system offered dynamic resolution scaling based on available bandwidth (1080p, 720p, and 480p supported).

However, Cisco priced the consumer gadget at $599 a piece and each unit required a $24.99 a month subscription service, in addition to broadband service.
  • In March 2011, Cisco announced interoperability between Cisco umi and its Cisco TelePresence portfolio for businesses.

Netflix: 2 Billion Hours of Streaming in Q4

Netflix streamed more than two billion hours of TV shows and movies to its members in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company said it now has more than 20 million streaming members, including international customers.

KT Kicks Off its LTE Network

KT has launched commercial LTE services in five districts in Seoul. KT is using the 1.8 GHz band ((2 X 10MHz)) and promising top theoretical downlink speeds of 75 Mbps. 2G services using this spectrum are being terminated.

Samsung's Galaxy S II LTE and the Pantech Vega LTE are among the handsets initially on offer. The carrier aims to attract 4 million LTE subscribers in 2012.

By the end of March, KT's LTE network is expected to cover 26 cities and by the end of April, the network will cover 92% of South Korea's population. Overall, KT expects to invest KRW 1.3 trillion for the nationwide LTE and the majority of this spending is expected in the first half of the year.

KT is leveraging "LTE WARP" technology to share resources among up to 144 base stations. Cloud and virtualization technologies are also being employed to improve network capacity while minimizing radio wave interference between cell units.