Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ADVA Intros Sync Probe (1588v2) for Mobile Base Stations

ADVA Optical Networking introduced an Ethernet network probe that helps mobile network operators deliver precise time-of-day information for phase alignment between adjacent base stations.

The ADVA FSP 150SP device features a Precision Time Protocol (PTP) clock probe that simultaneously supports Synchronous Ethernet and IEEE 1588v2, and a built-in GPS receiver, enabling time synchronization and assurance across multi-vendor mobile backhaul infrastructures.

"Service providers need to do more than simply bring fiber to the cell tower; they also need to deliver precise time-of-day information for phase alignment between adjacent base stations. This is the primary goal of our FSP 150 platform and its new member, the FSP 150SP," said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking.


Steadfast's 121 Varick St Data Center Offline

Steadfast Networks' 5,000 square foot data center located at 121 Varick St. in Manhattan was knocked completely offline by Hurricane Sandy.  The facility suffered an auxiliary electrical failure after commercial power was cut off in the neighborhood and the building evacuated.  Steadfast's data center remained inaccessible as of Tuesday afternoon.


Broadcom Expands Base Station Solutions

Broadcom introduced a Digital Front End (DFE) board designed to speed development of multi-protocol radio systems for macro and small cell base stations. The board ships with the components for a complete transmit loop, with the exception of the customer's selected driver and power amplifier (PA).

Broadcom also noted that it recently began sampling its 28 nanometer (nm) dual-core XLP-200 series communications processor for scalable small cell designs simultaneously supporting 3G, 4G and 5G WiFi. Volume shipments of 40nmXLP-300 series processors are ramping in wireless base station, radio network controller, mobile core and cloud applications.


EMC to Acquire Silver Tail for Web Session Intelligence

EMC agreed to acquire Silver Tail Systems, a start-up offering web session intelligence and behavior analysis tools, for an undisclosed sum.

The Silver Tail Systems platform collects and analyzes real-time web traffic forensics with the goal of providing visibility into all web and mobile application traffic.  Silver Tail then provides a behavioral analysis engine that creates heuristics and rules to detect anomalies, IT security threats, fraud, insider threats, business logic abuse and other malicious activity. The company's Big Data-driven approach is to gather and analyze mass quantities of information in real time and at scale to deepen visibility into web sessions. 

Silver Tail was founded in 2008 and is based in Menlo Park, California.  The company announced a strategic relationship with MasterCard earlier this year.

EMC said the Silver Tail will extend  the capabilities of RSA's Identity Protection and Verification (IPV) solutions, as well as other areas across RSA's enterprise security portfolio.  Following the acquisition, Silver Tail will operate within EMC's RSA security division.  

"The industry is well beyond the point of providing effective security using static, perimeter point tools that fail to keep up with dynamic cyber attackers. Customers need better intelligence, analytics, and the ability to respond in real time which is a capability that Silver Tail’s products do extraordinarily well to help foil web-based attacks. Silver Tail offers proven anti-fraud solutions that complement RSA’s portfolio of risk-based and adaptive products and services, stated Art Coviello, RSA Executive Chairman and Executive Vice President, EMC Corporation.



  • In 2011, EMC acquired NetWitness -- a privately-held provider of network security analysis solutions -- for an undisclosed sum.  NetWitness' technologies provide precise and pervasive network visibility, enabling security teams to detect and remediate advanced threats while automating the incident investigation process. NetWitness' monitoring and analysis platform addresses insider threats, zero-day exploits and targeted malware, advanced persistent threats, fraud, espionage, data leakage, and continuous monitoring of security controls. NetWitness also enables automated malware analysis, a rapidly growing requirement for addressing advanced persistent threats. 

China's 21st CBH: China Unicom Looks at its Cisco Core Routers

China's 21st Century Business Herald reported that China Unicom has decided to replace Cisco core routers in the China169 backbone nodes in Wuxi, Jiangsu province due to security concerns.

Neither company has commented on the report.

The article notes that the report follows the recent public scrutiny that Huawei and ZTE have faced in the U.S..


JDSU Sees Cautious Spending by Service Providers

JDSU reported revenues of $420.9 million and a GAAP net loss was $(11.6) million, or $(0.05) per share for its fiscal 2013 first quarter ended September 29, 2012. Prior quarter net revenue was $434.0 million, with a net loss of $(22.2) million, or $(0.10) per share.

Net revenue for the fiscal 2012 first quarter was $415.8 million, with a net loss of $(5.8) million, or (0.03) per share.

The Communications Test and Measurement division accounts for 40% of revenues, while the Communications and Commercial Optical Products division accounts for 46%, and the Optical Security and Performance Products division accounts for the remaining 14%.

"Our solid fiscal Q1 results reflect JDSU’s ability to deliver to its commitments even during periods of economic uncertainty,” said Tom Waechter, JDSU’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

 "Communications service providers continue to spend cautiously due to macro-economic and geo-political concerns. Because of this uncertain climate, we are not projecting the calendar year-end budget release that frequently occurs in the Telecom industry. Looking forward, we are encouraged by the relentless broadband demand that remains a powerful driver for JDSU’s core business. Our ability to differentiate through product innovation, evolve our variable cost model, and maintain a robust balance sheet means that we are well positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities as the gap closes between demand and actual spending by our core network customers."


Monday, October 29, 2012

Riverbed to Acquire OPNET for Network Visibility and Performance

Riverbed Technology agreed to acquire OPNET for $43 per share in cash and stock, representing an equity value of $1 billion and an enterprise value of $921 million. 

The deal will combine Riverbed's Cascade network performance management (NPM) business with OPNET's expertise in application performance management (APM) market.  The combination of Cascade and OPNET will have over $250 million in annualized revenue in a market that the companies characterize as a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Riverbed and OPNET said their joint offering will provide "unparalleled visibility and insight into application and network performance." 

“The addition of OPNET establishes Riverbed as the clear leader in the high-growth and converging application and network performance management markets,” said Jerry Kennelly, Chairman and CEO at Riverbed. “This acquisition also transforms Riverbed into a billion dollar revenue company.”

“Riverbed and OPNET have natural synergies,” said Marc Cohen, OPNET’s Chairman and CEO. “Riverbed’s leadership in accelerating business technology combined with OPNET’s industry-leading suite of APM products provides customers with a single solution for monitoring, troubleshooting and actually fixing the application and network performance problems challenging them today.”


  • OPNET is led by Marc Cohen (CEO) and Alain Cohen (CTO).  The company was founded in 1986 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Earlier in October, Riverbed announced enhancements to its Cascade application-aware network performance management (NPM) solution with new capabilities for virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI), server virtualization, and fully virtualized data centers using VXLAN software-defined networks (SDNs).  The upcoming Cascade 10.0, which will be released in Q4, is targeting these virtualization features for deployment by service providers as well as in public, private, and hybrid clouds. The company said Cascade 10.0 will help network operators to pinpoint, understand, and troubleshoot performance issues within these virtualized environments. This includes:
  • For virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI), Cascade 10.0 monitoring supports the most popular VDI protocols, providing visibility for VMware View (PCoIP protocol) and the Common Internet File Systems (CIFS) protocol.
  • For monitoring VXLAN SDNs, Cascade 10.0 provides visibility into the UDP-encapsulated traffic and virtual tunnel endpoints. This helps control and understand VXLAN virtual overlay network performance.
  • Cascade 10.0 adds the ability to monitor and troubleshoot software-defined data centers (SDDC) and the physical network.
  • Riverbed is also introducing two new virtual editions of its Cascade product family that enable managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver application-aware network performance management (NPM) as a service to their small-to-medium-sized and enterprise customers. Riverbed said its new Cascade Profiler Virtual Edition and Cascade Gateway Virtual Edition, in addition to the existing Cascade Shark Virtual Edition, provide a completely virtualized NPM solution portfolio that allows MSPs to deliver continued value in a virtualized world with the next-generation of performance management.

Gigamon Extends and Scales its Traffic Visibility

Gigamon has enhanced its Traffic Visibility Fabric solutions with a new, 400 Gbps processing card for its high-density, GigaVUE H Series chassis. The platform supports a range of GigaSMART applications to enable the deduplication, modification, manipulation and transport of network traffic as it is delivered to management, monitoring and security tools and systems.

The enhancements represent the second step in Gigamon's four-phase evolution of its Visibility Fabric.  Subsequent phases are expected to include an Active Visibility Fabric and Living Visibility Fabric.

Gigamon emphasized that its solution represents the highest port density of any network visibility switch and that the packet processing cards as a game changer for managing, analyzing and securing IT infrastructure.

"As the volume and speed of network traffic continues to increase, the need to converge on a single platform – a fabric – that not only simplifies and automates traffic visibility, but also provides built-in intelligence, will drive the way organizations choose to monitor and manage their networks," said Paul Hooper, VP of Marketing at Gigamon.  "We see the features offered by GigaSMART as an anticipated and necessary next step in the evolution of the Visibility Fabric."


PMC Posts Q3 Revenue of $131.7 Million

PMC posted Q3 revenue of $131.7 million, a decrease of 4% compared to net revenues of $137.8 million in the second quarter of 2012 and a decrease of 24% compared to $173.3 million in the third quarter of 2011. GAAP net loss for Q3 was $274.4 million, or a loss of $1.31 per share.

Third quarter GAAP results included impairment write-downs of goodwill and intangible assets of $276.1 million related to the Passave and Wintegra acquisitions, completed in 2006 and 2010, respectively. This compares to a GAAP net income of $26.5 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, including a $28.5 million benefit from the recognition of certain U.S. tax credits, mainly arising from foreign withholding taxes paid in the second quarter of 2012.

“Our third quarter results were in line with expectations despite a tough macro environment,” said Greg Lang, president and chief executive officer of PMC. “With business uncertainty weighing on infrastructure purchases in every geography and market segment, we remain focused on best-in-class product execution, design wins and controlling operating expenses.”


Google Launches Nexus 4 Smartphone, No LTE

Google introduced its Nexus 4 smartphone, a 4.7" handset built by LG and powered by Qualcomm's quad core, Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.

The phone is priced at $299 in the U.S. for an unlocked version. It uses GSM/HSPA+ radios but it does not offer LTE connectivity.

The Nexus 4 runs Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and features integrated Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome, Play, etc.

China Telecom's Profit Slides as Revenues Rise

China Telecom reported Q3 revenue of CNY 71.9 billion, up 15.6% over the same period last year.  Profit attributable to equity holders in the company amounted to CNY 3.75 billion, down 7.8% compared to a year earlier.

China Telecom now has 152.62 million mobile subscribers, of which 59.72  are on the 3G network.


Juniper's QFabric Completes EMC Compatibility Testing

Juniper Networks' QFabric products  have completed testing through EMC's E-Lab, certifying their interoperability with EMC VMAX and VNX storage arrays. In addition, Juniper's QFabric system has been added to EMC's Support Matrix.

EMC E-Lab tested the QFabric solution in an end-to-end, multivendor environment, which included testing and qualification of solutions with hypervisors, operating systems, Converged Network Adapters (CNA), Fibre Channel, Ethernet Switches, and EMC VMAX and EMC VNX storage systems.

The qualification adds Juniper Networks QFX3500 10GbE top-of-rack switch, QFX3000-M QFabric System and QFX3000-G QFabric System to EMC's Support Matrix.


Ceragon Says Mobile Operators Showing Extreme Caution in Spending

Ceragon Networks reported Q3 revenue of $118.0 million, up 2% from $116.1 million for the third quarter of 2011, and down 1% from $119.1 million in the second quarter of 2012.  Net loss (GAAP) was $(2.7) million or $(0.07) per basic share and diluted share, compared to net loss of $(6.7) million in the third quarter of 2011, or$(0.19) per basic share and diluted share.

"We are pleased to achieve a gross margin near our target and reach an operating profit margin of 4%," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. "We are making excellent progress toward our profitability goal. We remain optimistic about the business because we are well-positioned in an attractive sector that is likely to enjoy numerous growth drivers for years to come, but we are not immune to macroeconomic factors that are causing the second half of the year to be slower than originally expected.  After a dramatic pickup in bookings to record levels in Q2, we experienced a reversal in the order pattern in Q3. Although a portion of this change is accounted for by some large orders being delayed until Q4, due to the macroeconomic environment, we expect Q4 revenues to decline sequentially. With operators showing extreme caution regarding spending, sales cycles are lengthening and we are assuming no improvement from Q4 levels as we move into 2013."

Wireless Charging Builds Momentum

The Power Matters Alliance (PMA), which is creating an ecosystem and open standard for smart wireless power, has added AT&T, Google and Starbucks as members. Vint Cerf will serve as honorary chairman of the organization.

"An Internet of 'smart things' is rapidly evolving and most of them are powered electrically. Google cares greatly about a future where power can be wireless, smart and environmental," said Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. "The PMA is about doing for power what the Internet did for data.  With the help of Starbucks, AT&T, P&G, Powermat and so many others I believe this goal is finally within reach."

PMA announced the following milestones
  • AT&T has begun selling PMA-compatible wireless power cases and charging surfaces in select markets.
  • Delta airlines installed PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots in lounges and gates in leading airports.
  • Duracell has begun a nationwide retail rollout of PMA-compatible wireless charging accessories through its Duracell Powermat joint venture.
  • General Motors – the world's largest automaker – will include PMA-compatible wireless charging for smartphones in upcoming models.
  • Jay Z has installed PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots throughout his 40/40 Club in New York.
  • Madison Square Garden, 'The world's most famous arena,' has begun installing hundreds of PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots throughout the arena, as has the brand new Barclays Center, in Brooklyn.
  • Powermat Technologies – the world's leader in wireless power – has contributed its core technology to the PMA and has committed that all its products will comply with the PMA specification.
  • Starbucks is testing PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots in select Boston stores.
  • Westfield - one of the world's largest shopping center portfolios – has installed PMA-compatible charging spots in Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall.

Xilinx Announces Defense-Grade 7 Series FPGAs

Xilinx introduced its fourth generation secure architecture with Information Assurance and Anti-Tamper IP core support for defense-grade 7 series FPGAs and Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoCs.

The reprogrammable Xilinx FPGAs and SoCs use 28nm process technology and include Information Assurance methodology and DoD 5000 Series compliant Anti-Tamper Security Monitor IP core (SECMON) technology for aerospace and defense systems.

"In addition to the secure capabilities, the defense-grade 7 series FPGAs and Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoCs offer mask set control, ruggedized packaging with fully-leaded (Pb) content for harsh environmental operation, full extended temperature range testing, long term availability and anti-counterfeiting features," stated Yousef Khalilollahi, senior director, Aerospace and Defense at Xilinx.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

IBM Builds Carbon Nanotube Chip

IBM announced a breakthrough in building a semiconductor using carbon nanotubes instead of silicon.  IBM researchers created a device consisting of more than ten thousand working transistors made of nano-sized tubes of carbon.  Standard semiconductor processes were used to fabricate the device.

IBM has previously demonstrated that carbon nanotube transistors can operate as excellent switches at molecular dimensions of less than ten nanometers – less than half the size of the leading silicon technology. 

“Carbon nanotubes, borne out of chemistry, have largely been laboratory curiosities as far as microelectronic applications are concerned. We are attempting the first steps towards a technology by fabricating carbon nanotube transistors within a conventional wafer fabrication infrastructure,” said Supratik Guha, Director of Physical Sciences at IBM Research. “The motivation to work on carbon nanotube transistors is that at extremely small nanoscale dimensions, they outperform transistors made from any other material. However, there are challenges to address such as ultra high purity of the carbon nanotubes and deliberate placement at the nanoscale. We have been making significant strides in both.” 


In November 2010, IBM announced significant advances in its path to integrate electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon. The new CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics, which is the result of a decade of development at IBM's global Research laboratories, promises over 10X improvement in integration density than is feasible with current manufacturing techniques.

At the time, IBM said it anticipates that Silicon Nanophotonics will dramatically increase the speed and performance between chips. In addition to combining electrical and optical devices on a single chip, the new IBM technology can be produced on the front-end of a standard CMOS manufacturing line. Transistors can share the same silicon layer with silicon nanophotonics devices. To make this approach possible, IBM researchers have developed a suite of integrated ultra-compact active and passive silicon nanophotonics devices that are all scaled down to the diffraction limit -- the smallest size that dielectric optics can afford. This makes possible the integration of modulators, germanium photodetectors and ultra-compact wavelength-division multiplexers with high-performance analog and digital CMOS circuitry. 

"The development of the Silicon Nanophotonics technology brings the vision of on-chip optical interconnections much closer to reality," said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "With optical communications embedded into the processor chips, the prospect of building power-efficient computer systems with performance at the Exaflop level is one step closer to reality."

  • In March 2010, IBM announced a Germanium Avalanche Photodetector working at 40 Gbps with CMOS compatible voltages as low as 1.5V. This was the last piece of the puzzle that completes the prior development of the “nanophotonics toolbox of devices necessary to build the on-chip interconnects.

  • In March 2008, IBM scientists announced the world’s tiniest nanophotonic switch for "directing traffic" in on-chip optical communications, ensuring that optical messages can be efficiently routed.

  • In December 2007, IBM scientists announced the development of an ultra-compact silicon electro-optic modulator, which converts electrical signals into the light pulses, a prerequisite for enabling on-chip optical communications.

  • In December 2006, IBM scientists demonstrated silicon nanophotonic delay line that was used to buffer over a byte of information encoded in optical pulses - a requirement for building optical buffers for on-chip optical communications.
  • http://www.research.ibm.com/photonics

    América Móvil Hits 319 Million Accesses

    Mexico-based América Móvil finished was serving 319 million accesses as of the end of September 2012,  up by 4.1 million wireless subscribers and 1.6 million fixed-line revenue generating units (RGUs) in the third quarter. This figure includes 255.9 million wireless subscribers, 30.3 million landlines, 16.7 million broadband accesses and 15.8 million PayTV units. Fixed-line accesses increased 11.3% year-on-year while the wireless subscriber base was up 6.0%.

    América Móvil  third quarter revenues were 193 billion pesos (US$14.8 billion), up 4.5% from the year before.  The yearly comparison is affected by the appreciation of the Mexican peso vis-à-vis the dollar and other currencies. At constant exchange rates, the company's service revenues increased 6.1% year-on-year— practically the same pace seen the prior quarter — driven by mobile data and PayTV revenues.

    América Móvil's net debt totaled 363 billion pesos at the end of the quarter, equivalent to 1.4
    times EBITDA (last twelve months).

    Capital expenditures amounted to 81.7 billion pesos *(US$6.28 billion).

    América Móvil operates under the "Claro" brand in most of its markets.  In the U.S., it owns TracFone.


    Ericsson's Global Services Now Represent 45% of Sales

    Citing tighter carrier spending on wireless infrastructure projects, Ericsson reported lower Q3 2012 revenue of 54.6 billion SEK (US$8.14 billion  ), down 2% YOY and down 1% compared to Q2.  Net income declined 42% YOY to SEK 2.2 billion, impacted by lower profitability in Networks.

    Ericsson cited weaker sales in parts of Europe, China, Korea and Russia as well as continued decline in CDMA equipment sales.  This was partially offset by strength in North America.

    “Demand for Global Services and Support Solutions continued to be good, while Networks showed a decline in sales YoY. In North America Networks sales developed favorably, despite the expected decline in CDMA sales, while parts of Europe, China, Korea and Russia continued to be slow,” says Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). “The growing Global Services business contributes not only with topline but also with stable operating profitability and, together with Support Solutions, represented more than 50% of Group sales," stated Hans Vestberg, Ericsson's CEO.

    Some notes:

    Global Services grew 19% YoY and 1% QoQ. Global Services represented 45% (37%) of Group sales in the quarter compared to 44% in Q212.

    Network sales were down 17% YOY to SEK 26.9 billion (US$4.0 billion)

    Ericsson cited good traction for the Smart Services Router (SSR), with 13 new contracts signed compared to seven in Q212.

    Ericsson noted good growth for the its fixed and mobile IP portfolio, with accelerating demand for AIR, its antenna-integrated radio and part of the RBS6000 family.

    CDMA sales in the quarter amounted to SEK 1.6 b., a decline of -50% YoY and with lower operating margin than average in Networks.

    LTE rollouts are accelerating in Latin America, where Ericsson claims a 50% share

    ST-Ericsson is still in a challenging situation although performance improved
    in the quarter.

    Ericsson's total number of employees at the end of the quarter increased to 109,214 (108,095) due to the addition of service professionals mainly in India and the acquisition of Technicolor Broadcast Service Division.