Sunday, April 27, 2014

NTT Develops Long-lived Quantum Memory

NTT, in partnership with Japan's National Institute of Informatics and Osaka University, announced a new approach in the development of a long-lived quantum memory that could be used in quantum computing.

The research involves a superconductor diamond quantum hybrid system in which a dark state was shown to be 150 ns, an order of magnitude longer than previous attempts to hold state. By using a gap-tunable superconducting flux qubit, the researchers were able to change the energy without decreasing the lifetime of the memory.

http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2014/1404e/140408a.html


In November 2013, NTT announced a quantum buffer on an optical waveguide that takes advantage of the "slow light effect:, where the propagation speed of a pulsed light in a special optical waveguide slows significantly compared with the speed of light in vacuum.

The company said this innovation facilitates the precise synchronization of photons, thereby creating a buffer that could be used to create quantum computers.  Experiments have shown that the buffer can slow down the speed of pulsed photons to 1/60 of the speed of light in vacuum while faithfully preserving its quantum state. The device used for this demonstration was created by NTT Basic Research Laboratories fabricated by coupling nanocavities with a total length of 840 μm using a silicon photonic crystal.

The research was published in the UK science journal “Nature Communications”.

http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2013/1311e/131112a.html

Toshiba Research, BT and ADVA Test ‘Quantum Leap’ Encryption

Toshiba Research Europe, BT, ADVA Optical Networking and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s National Measurement Institute, have tested Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology over a live fibre network.

BT said the idea behind the trial is to leverage the principles of quantum mechanics in transmitting encryption key information. Any attempt to intercept the key can be identified, as it introduces anomalies which can be detected. If this occurs, the ‘transaction’ can be aborted, and a new key sent automatically. By sending multiple quantum keys every second, the security of a fibre line can be constantly monitored and attempts to ‘tap’ the signal can be instantly identified.

The test was conducted using quantum equipment developed by Toshiba, measured and evaluated by the Quantum Detection Group at NPL, and running in conjunction with ADVA Optical Networking’s encryption equipment over a live BT fibre link between Adastral Park, BT’s technology research campus in Suffolk, and another BT site in Ipswich.

"The first field trial of QKD on lit fibre marks an importance advance for the technology. Using techniques to filter out noise from the very weak quantum signals, we’ve shown that QKD can be operated on optical fibres installed in the ground and carrying conventional data signals," stated Andrew Shields from Toshiba Research Europe in Cambridge.

This means QKD can be implemented without the need for additional ‘dark fibre’ that is often unavailable or prohibitively expensive.”

http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/ShowArticle.cfm?ArticleID=05C86FD3-A148-443C-AF60-00F3C6E60B53

Huawei Saw a 21% Jump in its Services Business Last Year

As a follow-up to its 2013 financial report issued last month, Huawei provided additional detail on its services business:  2013 sales from services amounted to US$8.59 billion, a YoY increase of 21.3%, accounting for 31% of the total Carrier Network Business Group (CNBG) revenue, making it the fastest-growing business for the group.

Huawei said its services group saw traction from End-to-End (E2E) Network Planning and Evolution, Managed Services, and Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions.

Mr. David Leizhankui, Senior Vice President of Huawei Global Technical Service, said: "By enabling network and service evolution, Huawei Service has worked closely with carriers on their day-to-day operations, giving us deep insights and understanding into carriers' networks, services and customer experience. In fact, Services have become indispensable for meeting carrier demands."

http://pr.huawei.com/en/news/hw-333405-services.htm#.U13YkfldWP0

On 31-Mar-2014, Huawei reported 2013 sales revenues of CNY239 billion (US$38.45 billion), up 8.5% year-on-year (11.6% YOY growth in USD), and net profit of CNY21 billion (US$3.38 billion).  In its newly released annual report, the privately-held company said financial performance was strong across all business areas.

Some 2013 highlights:

  • Huawei's carrier network business achieved CNY166.5 billion in sales revenue, up 4.0% year-on-year. 
  • Enterprise and consumer businesses revenue increased by 32.4% and 17.8% to CNY15.2 billion and CNY57.0 billion, respectively. 
  • Huawei earned 65% of its revenue from markets outside of China in 2013.
  • In the Chinese market, Huawei achieved CNY84 billion in sales revenues, up 14.2% year-on-year.
  • Huawei invested CNY30.7 billion (~5.06 USD billion) into R&D, which is about 12.8% of its sales revenue. 
  • 150,000 employees

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Exar to Acquire Taiwan's iML for Flat Panel Silicon

Exar Corporation, which supplies analog mixed-signal, video and data management solutions, agreed to acquire Integrated Memory Logic Limited (iML), a provider of analog mixed-signal solutions for the flat panel display market.  Exar will pay acquire all of the outstanding shares of iML for NT$91.00 (approximately US$3.00) per iML share in cash and acquire any remaining shares at NT$91.00 per share pursuant to a follow-on merger. The gross transaction value will be NT$6.8 billion (approximately US$223 million), or NT$3.1 billion (approximately US$94 million), net of cash acquired.

Exar said the iML acquisition supports Exar's strategy of building a large scale diversified analog mixed-signal business.

"The acquisition of iML will increase the diversity of the markets we serve and add highly differentiated analog mixed-signal and power management products to our portfolio. iML is a leading provider of power management and color calibration solutions for large and medium-sized flat panel displays in the LED television market as well as high-resolution tablets. The company serves customers in Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China, which will enhance Exar's existing presence in these markets.  Additionally, iML has demonstrated consistent profitability and gross margins that reflect the value of the company's differentiated products," said Louis DiNardo, Exar President and CEO.

http://www.exar.com
http://www.iml.com

Samsung Boosts Data Center SSDs to 960GB

Samsung Electronics began mass producing the industry’s first high-performance, three-bit-NAND-based SSD for servers and data centers.

The new PM853T SSD, available in densities of 240GB, 480GB and 960GB, offers high levels of random IOPS (inputs/output per second) performance and quality of service (QoS).

Samsung said the new SSDs will allow data centers to better manage workloads related to social networking, web browsing and email, and enhance operation efficiency. Installations of the 3-bit MLC (multi-level-cell) NAND SSDs, initially in large-scale data centers, are expected to begin later this quarter.

“Following the last year’s introduction of 3-bit NAND-based SSDs for PC markets, our new 3-bit SSD for data centers will help considerably in expanding the market base for SSDs,” said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales and marketing, Samsung Electronics. “We expect SSD market growth will gain momentum as this new SSD delivers significant improvements in data center investment efficiency, leading to full-fledged commercialization of SSDs in IT systems later this year.”

http://www.samsung.com

Infonetics: Mobile Device Security Software to Hit $3.4 Billion in '18

Worldwide revenue for mobile device security client software is up 10% sequentially in 4Q13, to $385 million, and is projected to continue to grow rapidly in coming years, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

“The triple threat of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) as a dominant enterprise trend, an increasingly hostile threat environment, and the deluge of frightening revelations about privacy courtesy of the NSA is forcing enterprises and consumers to invest real money in mobile device security. The mobile device security software market grew 40% to cross the billion-dollar mark in 2013 and we expect it to grow to $3.4 billion in 2018,” says Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research.

Some additional highlights of the report:


  • Asia Pacific accounted for 34% of security client revenue in 2013, followed closely by North America (32%) and EMEA (31%); Latin America came in a very distant fourth
  • Though North America greatly lags behind EMEA and Asia Pacific in total smartphone shipments, it has strong security client adoption relative to the other regions
  • In 2013, enterprise mobile clients comprised 51% of the total security client market, while consumer mobile security clients made up 49%.

http://www.infonetics.com

Movistar TV Spain Signs On for UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup

Telefónica Movistar TV acquired exclusive broadcast rights for the Spanish market for the 546 official matches between European teams in the qualifying stages for UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Movistar TV already had rights for the main club competitions.

In addition, the new Movistar TV channel dedicated to international football means an expansion of self-produced programming on the television platform.

http://pressoffice.telefonica.com/

Friday, April 25, 2014

Freescale Posts Q1 Sales of $1.13 Billion

Freescale Semiconductor reported Q1 2014 sales of $1.13 billion, compared to $1.08 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $981 million in the first quarter of 2013. Net loss for the first quarter was $23 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to a net loss of $118 million, or $0.46 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013 and a net loss of $48 million, or $0.19 per share in the first quarter of 2013.

“We continue to see solid progress on our initiatives to increase revenue and improve gross margin,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO. “All five product groups generated revenue growth sequentially and year over year. With a 15 percent year-over-year growth in revenue, the company continues to make strides in gaining market share.

The company’s net sales figures for the first quarter of 2014 were as follows:


  • Microcontroller net sales were $223 million, compared to $220 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $177 million in the first quarter of last year. On a year-over-year basis, Microcontroller revenues benefited from increased sales into distribution and higher sales of applications processors into the automotive market.
  • Digital Networking net sales were $249 million, compared to $246 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $202 million in the first quarter of last year. Year-over-year networking sales growth was broad based across service provider, enterprise and general embedded segments. Sequentially, the networking business benefited from higher sales of service provider equipment, including wireless base stations in China.
  • Automotive Microcontroller net sales were $304 million, compared to $267 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $254 million in the first quarter of last year. Automotive Microcontroller sales benefited from growth in all key geographies and in distribution due to growth in semiconductor content and higher automotive production levels.
  • Analog and Sensor net sales were $198 million, compared to $190 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $177 million in the first quarter of last year. Analog and Sensor sales benefited on a sequential and year-over-year basis from higher sales into the growing worldwide automotive market.
  • RF net sales, which include sales of power amplifiers to the wireless infrastructure market, were $113 million, compared to $96 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $86 million in the first quarter of last year. On a sequential and year-over-year basis, RF sales increased due to increased spending on 3G and 4G wireless networks, particularly in China.

http://www.freescale.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Core Infrastructure Initiative Brings Support to Key Projects

In the wake of the Heartbleed OpenSSL crisis, a new Core Infrastructure Initiative backed by leading technology companies has been established to fund and support critical elements of the global information infrastructure.

The multi-million dollar Core Infrastructure Initiative, which is managed by The Linux Foundation, will provide assistance to open source projects  that are in the critical path for core computing and Internet functions.

The first project under consideration to receive funds from the Initiative will be OpenSSL, which could receive fellowship funding for key developers as well as other resources to assist the project in improving its security, enabling outside reviews, and improving responsiveness to patch requests.

Founding backers of the Initiative include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Rackspace, VMware and The Linux Foundation.

“We are expanding the work we already do for the Linux kernel to other projects that may need support,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Our global economy is built on top of many open source projects. Just as The Linux Foundation has funded Linus Torvalds to be able to focus 100% on Linux development, we will now be able to support additional developers and maintainers to work full-time supporting other essential open source projects. We are thankful for these industry leaders’ commitment to ensuring the continued growth and reliability of critical open source projects such as OpenSSL.”

"Maintaining the health of the community projects that produce software critical to the security and safety of Internet commerce is in everyone's interest," said Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia Law School, Founding Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. "The Linux Foundation, and the companies joining this Initiative, are enabling these dedicated programmers to continue maintaining and improving the free and open source software that makes the Net work safely for us all. This is business and community collaboration in the public interest, and we should all be grateful to The Linux Foundation for making it happen."

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/programs/core-infrastructure-initiative

Dell Taps Big Switch for SDN-Enabled Fabric Monitoring

Dell announced a reseller agreement with Big Switch Networks targeting next-generation SDN fabric monitoring.

Specifically, Dell will offer Big Switch Networks’ Switch Light OS on Dell Networking’s Ethernet switching portfolio, starting with the S4810 and S6000 series. Dell will also offer Big Switch Networks’ production-ready SDN controller applications starting with the Big Tap Monitoring – an innovative new SDN-based network monitoring solution unlocking hidden customer value and helping solve an age-old, costly networking challenge.

Dell said the deal extends its vision of a new, disaggregated model for networking hardware and software. The Big Switch Big Tap Monitoring provides an SDN-enabled fabric monitoring solution that empowers tapping network traffic everywhere and delivering it to security and other appliances to:
expand choice and capabilities for customers looking for best-of-breed Ethernet switch hardware, OS and SDN apps;
enable a range of next-generation SDN solutions; and
realize operational simplification for management, control and policies.

“Dell’s push into open networking, and this announcement with Big Switch and other vendors, are great examples of original thinking and innovation coming from the new Dell, “said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “We’re seeing tremendous initial customer interest, especially among certain verticals such as large financials, Web 2.0 and mobile service providers. It’s drawing Dell Networking into additional business discussions where many customers may not have considered Dell before.”

“The early adopters of SDN were largely the hyper scale players. But with the advent of initiatives such as Open Networking from Dell, the path for all enterprises to enjoy the benefits of SDN is getting easier,” said Douglas Murray, CEO of Big Switch Networks. “The joint solutions coming from the Dell and Big Switch partnership will bring hyperscale data center design and choice to a broader audience.”

http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/uscorp1/secure/2014-04-24-dell-sdn-network-monitoring-big-switch
http://bigswitch.com/bigswitch-dell-partnership-announcement

FCC Chairman Comments on New Open Internet Rules

In response to published reports that of new rules that would limit or do away with the principles of Net Neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that he is circulating a proposal but that it is not his intention to limit the openness of the Internet.  In a blog posting, Wheeler confirms that he is looking to have new enforceable rules in place by the end of the year.

Wheeler states that the key elements of his proposal are:

  • That all ISPs must transparently disclose to their subscribers and users all relevant information as to the policies that govern their network;
  • That no legal content may be blocked; and
  • That ISPs may not act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity.

The actual proposal has not yet been published.  The FCC will consider Wheeler's proposal on May 15.  The commission has also established an email inbox for public comment on the matter.

Public comment to: openinternet@fcc.gov
http://www.fcc.gov/blog/setting-record-straight-fcc-s-open-internet-rules

Equinix to Offer ExpressRoute to Microsoft Azure

Equinix announced plans to offer high-performance, private connections from its International Business Exchange data centers to Microsoft Azure.

Specifically, Equinix will enable customers to directly connect to Azure in Equinix IBX data centers across five continents including: North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.  Microsoft’s physical infrastructure for Azure ExpressRoute resides in Equinix data centers and is available via an Equinix switching fabric that provides secure connectivity and real-time provisioning.

Equinix is currently previewing the service from data centers in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C. and London.

"Enterprises are drawn to hybrid cloud to benefit from cloud computing efficiencies, while maximizing their existing infrastructure. With 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies already using Microsoft Azure combined with Equinix’s global data center footprint, we look forward to working together to help customers bridge their cloud and on-premises technology to build hybrid environments with enterprise-grade control and reliability," stated Steven Martin, general manager, Microsoft Azure at Microsoft.

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/expressroute/
http://www.equinix.com


  • Equinix already offers an AWS Direct Connect Service.

Microsoft Highlights Cloud Growth - 4 Million Office 365 Home Subscribers, Azure up 150% YoY

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO, gave a cloud spin to the company's quarterly financial report.

“This quarter’s results demonstrate the strength of our business, as well as the opportunities we see in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. We are making good progress in our consumer services like Bing and Office 365 Home, and our commercial customers continue to embrace our cloud solutions. Both position us well for long-term growth,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “We are focused on executing rapidly and delivering bold, innovative products that people love to use.”

Some highlights:

  • Devices and Consumer revenue grew 12% to $8.30 billion.
  • Windows OEM revenue grew 4%, driven by strong 19% growth in Windows OEM Pro revenue.
  • Office 365 Home now has 4.4 million subscribers, adding nearly 1 million subscribers in just three months.
  • Microsoft sold in 2.0 million Xbox console units, including 1.2 million Xbox One consoles.
  • Surface revenue grew over 50% to approximately $500 million.
  • Bing U.S. search share grew to 18.6% and search advertising revenue grew 38%.
  • Commercial revenue grew 7% to $12.23 billion.
  • Office 365 revenue grew over 100%, and commercial seats nearly doubled, demonstrating strong enterprise momentum for Microsoft’s cloud productivity solutions.
  • Azure revenue grew over 150%, and the company has announced more than 40 new features that make the Azure platform more attractive to cloud application developers. 
  • Windows volume licensing revenue grew 11%, as business customers continue to make Windows their platform of choice.
  • Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange, our productivity server offerings, collectively grew double-digits.


http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/apr14/04-24fy14q3earningspr.aspx

NTT's Dimension Data Acquires Nexus for ICT Integration

Dimension Data has acquired Nexus, a privately-owned provider of advanced IT solutions based in Valencia, California.

Dimension Data said the deal expands its operations in the U.S. by 40%, significantly increasing its presence throughout the West, Southwest and Southeast.  Nexus’ data center solutions and services complement Dimension Data’s focus in this area.

Nexus serves enterprises, mid-sized business and public sector clients, with industry specializations in education, retail, hospitality and healthcare.

“The acquisition of Nexus is a significant strategic step in enhancing the Group’s geographic coverage and depth of skills and capabilities to support our clients. For over three decades, Dimension Data has been building expertise and experience in ICT solutions and services that deliver real business value to our clients. Nexus increases our ability to support both our US-based and global clients with West Coast presence,” stated Brett Dawson, CEO of Dimension Data plc.

https://www.dimensiondata.com/

Nuage Networks Cites 30+ SDN Trials

Marking the one-year anniversary of its launch, Alcatel-Lucent's Nuage Networks division announced that it has participated in over 30 SDN trials with Fortune 500 enterprises, leading cloud providers, and telecommunication companies.

“In the year since Nuage Networks was launched around the same time as my own arrival at Alcatel-Lucent, it has already become recognized by the industry for its game-changing technology and for understanding the way CIOs think about operating their networks,” said Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent. “It is the perfect example of the kind of entrepreneurial innovation Alcatel-Lucent, under its new specialist focus, is now bringing to market.”

http://www.nuagenetworks.net

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FCC Proposes Dynamic Spectrum Sharing in 3.5GHz Band for Citizens Broadband Radio

The FCC outlined a proposal for a New Citizens Broadband Radio Service in 3.5 GHz band.

The idea would be to designate 3.5 GHz spectrum as an "innovation band" for exploring new methods of spectrum sharing and promote a diverse array of network technologies, with a focus on relatively low-powered applications.

The FCC is proposing a three-tier authorization framework under which existing primary operations – including authorized federal users and grandfathered FSS earth stations - would
make up the Incumbent Access tier and would receive protection from harmful interference. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service would be divided into Priority Access and General Authorized Access (GAA) tiers of service, each of which would be required to operate on a non-interference basis with the Incumbent Access tier. The FCC is also proposing that any party that meets basic eligibility requirements under the Communications Act be eligible to hold a PAL or, when authorized, operate a CBSD on a GAA basis in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

The FCC noted that this proposed three-tier framework enjoys significant support from a diverse group of commenters, including AT&T, Google, Public Knowledge, and the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation. Others, including CTIA – The Wireless Association (CTIA), NSN, and Qualcomm have argued that a two-tier framework that would prohibit or segregate GAA users would be a more efficient way to manage the 3.5 GHz Band.

Under the FCC proposal, in place of fixed channel assignments, a Spectrum Access System (SAS) would dynamically assign bandwidth within given geographic areas to Priority Access Licensees and GAA users. The SAS would ensure that Priority Access Licensees have access to allotted 10 megahertz channels and that GAA users are provided access to at least 50 percent of the band. However, the exact spectral location of any given authorization, whether Priority Access or GAA, would not be fixed. For example, a licensee might have Priority Access rights for a single PAL, but the specific channel location assigned to that user would be managed by the SAS and could be reassigned from time to time (e.g., from 3550-3560 MHz to 3630-3640 MHz). Individual GAA users would be assigned available bandwidth of a size and spectral location determined by the SAS (e.g., from 3550-3556 MHz or 3662-3673 MHz).

http://www.fcc.gov/document/proposes-creation-new-citizens-broadband-radio-service-35-ghz

Additional background:


In July 2012, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a report identifying 1,000 MHz of federal spectrum for sharing with the private sector.

U.S. federal policy should shift in favor "Shared-Use Spectrum Superhighways" instead the current plan which is to first clear federal users from specific bands and then auction this spectrum for the exclusive use of the highest bidder, according to a new report issued by

A Presidential memorandum issued in June 2010 requires that 500 MHz of spectrum to be made available for commercial use within 10 years.  However, a recent NTIA Study found that clearing just one 95 MHz band will take 10 years, cost $18 billion, and cause significant disruption. Moreover, the net revenue for the Treasury from the last successful auction of 45 MHz realized a net income of just a few hundred million a year ($5.3 billion total).

The PCAST report said its vision of shared spectrum is viable using existing technologies and is not dependent on cognitive or "smart" radios. Instead, a geo-location database could be used the share spectrum much like how the FCC is using managing TV bands. The TV Whitespaces system could be used as a model. Technical standards would need to be implemented for coexistence of transmitters and receivers to enable flexible sharing.

IBM Unveils Power Systems Servers for Scale-Out, Big Data

IBM unveiled its new line of high-performance, Power Systems servers based on its own POWER8 processor and designed for the era of Big Data.

IBM said the new servers, which represent a $2.4 billion investment and three-plus years of development, leverage new silicon with more than 4 billion transistors and more than 11 miles of high-speed copper wiring.  IBM calculates that its new Power Systems are capable of analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems, and certain analytics processes can be run 1,000 times faster.

The Power Systems servers will run various Linux implementations, including Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu OpenStack and Juju service orchestration tools.  They will also support PowerKVM, a Power Systems-compatible version of the popular Linux-based virtualization platform KVM, as well as Red Hat and SUSE Linux. The first POWER8-based systems to debut are five Power Systems S-Class servers designed for large, scale-out computing environments.

"This is the first truly disruptive advancement in high-end server technology in decades, with radical technology changes and the full support of an open server ecosystem that will seamlessly lead our clients into this world of massive data volumes and complexity," said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "There no longer is a one-size-fits-all approach to scale out a data center. With our membership in the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM's POWER8 processor will become a catalyst for emerging applications and an open innovation platform."

IBM's POWER architecture is the cornerstone of innovation for the OpenPOWER Foundation, which also includes participation of Google, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Tyan and over 20 others.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43702.wss

Facebook has 802 Million Daily Active Users

In its Q1 2014 earnings report, Facebook reported the following operational metrics:

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 802 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 609 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 43% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.28 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 15% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.01 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 34% year-over-year.
  • Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2014 were $363 million.


http://www.facebook.com

See also