Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ericsson's 5G Software Plug-ins Extend LTE

Ericsson announced a number of 5G Plug-Ins, software-driven innovations that bring essential 5G technology concepts to existing LTE networks. Ericsson said LTE will continue to expand and evolve, addressing both an increased number of subscribers and their growing demands for extreme app coverage for data and video, as well as new low power wide area (LPWA) applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).  These include:

  • Massive MIMO Plug-In: Massive MIMO is the combination of Single-User MIMO (SU-MIMO) and beamforming supported by advanced antennas with a large number of steerable ports. Massive MIMO improves both the user experience and the capacity and coverage of the network. 
  • Multi-User MIMO Plug-In: building on Massive MIMO, Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) transmits data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources and coordinates beamforming. MU-MIMO provides a better user experience, enhances network capacity and coverage, and reduces interference.
  • RAN Virtualization Plug-In: RAN Virtualization improves network efficiency and performance by enabling Virtual Network Functions (VNF) to be centralized on a common platform supporting both 4G and 5G.
  • Intelligent Connectivity Plug-In: where 5G and 4G coverage areas overlap, Intelligent Connectivity enables the network to robustly anchor and intelligently route data based on application requirements and network resource availability, increasing the combined data throughput of 4G and 5G resources.
  • Latency Reduction Plug-In: this Plug-In shortens access procedures and modifies the frame structure to enable instant network access and more frequent transmissions. This in turn reduces time-to-content while enabling real-time communications for key 5G applications such as smart vehicles.

"5G will be driven by new use cases requiring higher performance - from connected cars with perfect driving records, to immersive augmented reality for remote surgery, to multi-K movies on mobile devices. 5G will unlock new consumer and industrial applications, and with our 5G field trial plans already well underway, we are now introducing Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins, which enable the evolutionary steps that operators need to take as they develop networks to secure their 5G future," stated Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson.

http://www.ericsson.com


Bluetooth 5 Promises 4X Range, 2X Speed

The next update to Bluetooth, which should arrive in late 2016 to early 2017, promises significantly increased range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity.

Bluetooth 5 will quadruples range, doubles speed, and increases data broadcasting capacity by 800%, according to the Bluetooth Special Interest group. The increased data broadcast capacity will drive the adoption of Bluetooth-enabled beacons and location-based services in the home automation, enterprise, and industrial markets.

“Bluetooth 5 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices. And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience”

ASML to Acquire HMI for Sub-10nm Lithography

Netherlands-based ASML, a leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, agreed to acquire Taiwan-based Hermes Microvision,  a leading supplier of pattern verification systems used for advanced semiconductor devices, in a cash transaction valued at about TWD 100 billion (approximately EUR 2.75 billion).

The two companies are leaders in their respective fields and have been working together on new approaches that IC manufacturers can use to improve yields in the production of the most advanced microchips as they enter sub-10 nanometer resolutions and 3D integration. This requires very dense, high resolution metrology to measure and control device performance, whereas 3D integration requires very dense, high voltage contrast metrology for process control.

“Our over-arching goal is to serve our customers even better and offer them the tools they need to achieve higher yields at the most advanced nodes. This acquisition is intended to make a strong product offering even stronger. Our metrology technologies are complementary, and when combined offer the chance to significantly improve process control, and hence yields, for our customers. Our two companies have worked together for almost two years to see how we could best combine our capabilities, and found that we could significantly improve this constructive cooperation and better serve our customer by teaming up as one company. This also means that we expect enhanced product offerings faster,” said Peter Wennink, President and Chief Executive Officer at ASML.

http://www.ASML.com

Samsung Acquires Joyent for Container-Native Platform

Samsung Electronics has acquired Joyent, a start-up based in San Francisco that delivers container-native infrastructure, offering public cloud and private cloud software solutions for real-time web and mobile applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Since its inception, just over ten years ago, Joyent has developed Node.js, a Javascript runtime, into a de facto standard for web, mobile and IoT architectures. Joyent now offers Triton, a containers as a service solution, and Manta, a scalable object storage solution.

As a result of this acquisition, Samsung will become an anchor tenant for Joyent’s Triton and Manta solutions. Joyent said Samsung will bring it scale, financial muscle, and a strong partner for innovation. Joyent will continue as an independent subsidiary of Samsung.

“Samsung evaluated a wide range of potential companies in the public and private cloud infrastructure space with a focus on leading-edge scalable technology and talent. In Joyent, we saw an experienced management team with deep domain expertise and a robust cloud technology validated by some of the largest Fortune 500 customers,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung Electronics
http://www.samsung.com
http://www.joyent.com

"5G for Switzerland" Backed by Swisscom and Ericsson

Swisscom, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Ericsson are launching a "5G for Switzerland" program that aims to understand to how 5G can play a transformative role in areas such as smart transportation, autonomous driving, automated traffic control systems, smart grid, IoT, and virtual reality.

Heinz Herren, CTO and CIO Swisscom said: “5G is still in the early stages of development. For Swisscom it is essential to be in on the planning from the start, preparing for future applications.”

Martin Buerki, Ericsson Country Manager, Switzerland, said: “We are delighted to partner with Swisscom and EPFL to extend our 5G for Europe program to Switzerland where we can address the innovation potential that 5G communications technology will bring by working together with local industries.”

http://www.ericsson.com

T-Mobile US Impletements Enhanced Voice Service Codec with Ericsson

With Ericsson’s support, T-Mobile U.S. has implemented the Enhanced Voice Service (EVS) next-generation audio codec, which was standardized in 3GPP for VoLTE/LTE networks.

The companies confirmed that T-Mobile provides nationwide EVS support for VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling users, delivering even greater audio quality than current HD voice services, and better call reliability and quality across both T-Mobile’s LTE network and Wi-Fi access.

“With Ericsson’s partnership, we’ve been able to bring better voice reliability and higher fidelity calls to T-Mobile customers in more times and places than HD voice alone could provide. We already have three EVS-capable devices in the market and will have seven by the end of the year,” stated Mark McDiarmid, Vice President Radio Network Engineering and Development at T-Mobile.

https://www.ericsson.com/news/160614-evolved-hd0-voice-for-volte_244039855_c

Coriant Adds SDN Capabilities

Coriant announced a number of new features and capabilities that extend SDN control to a broader set of multi-layer (Layer 0-3) transport applications. These include:

  • Extended SDN control from metro to core – Coriant extends SDN automation and control from the long haul optical core (e.g., Coriant hiT 7300) to packet-centric metro and access applications with availability of Coriant Transcend SDN Solution support for the Coriant mTera Universal Transport Platform (UTP), Coriant 7100 Packet Optical Transport Platform, Coriant Pluggable Optical Layer, Coriant Groove G30 DCI Platform, and Coriant 7090 Packet Transport Platform.
  • Seamless SDN and NMS interworking – by leveraging common resources and algorithms, including Path Computation Element (PCE) and network databases, Coriant improves interworking between the Coriant Transcend SDN Solution and Coriant TNMS. 
  • Improved Planning and Optimization – new Coriant TNMS software features provide more comprehensive support for full lifecycle tasks, including network planning, commissioning, maintenance, and optimization. Recently deployed in production Tier 1 networks, these intelligent optical control capabilities accelerate time-to-market for high-speed services by automating operational tasks and improving efficiencies in service workflows.
  • Support for MEF Ethernet Services – Coriant expands the multi-layer capabilities of the Coriant Transcend SDN Solution with the addition of support for Carrier Ethernet (CE) and MPLS-TP-based networks and services, with APIs that follow MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) reference architecture.  

"New video and cloud traffic demands are driving the need for enhanced software capabilities that help service providers more effectively manage the transition from traditional to SDN-enabled operational environments," said Filipe Caetano, Director of Product Management, Coriant. "Our new software enhancements reduce the cost of operating end-to-end networks and bring a new level of automation to the planning, commissioning, and management of end-user services."

http://www.coriant.com

IBM and VMware Extend Strategic Cloud Partnership

VMware Horizon Air customers will now be able to take advantage of cloud-hosted desktop and application services via the IBM Cloud.

The announcement reinforces IBM Cloud being a strategic cloud partner for VMware.

VMware Horizon Air cloud services delivers full Windows desktops or published applications to desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“Our strategic partnership with IBM continues to grow and evolve as we look to enable customers to access corporate applications and data through a secure digital workspace," said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, and head of global marketing and communications, VMware. “Customers are asking for choice and innovation, while protecting existing IT investments. Offering VMware Horizon Air on the IBM Cloud addresses customer demands with an enterprise-grade cloud and services from two proven and trusted companies.”

http://www.vmware.com
http://www.ibm.com


  • Earlier in 2016, IBM and VMware announced a strategic partnership designed to help enterprises take better advantage of the cloud’s speed and economics to extend existing workloads from on-premises software-defined data center to the cloud.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cisco Tetration Targets Pervasive Visibility with Forensics

Cisco unveiled its new Tetration Analytics solution for deep, real-time visibility into packet flows across a data center -- every packet, every flow, every speed.

Cisco Tetration Analytics gathers telemetry data from the ASICs on-board Cisco Nexus 9000 switches and/or from low-overhead software sensors in servers. It then applies machine learning techniques using analytics software running on Cisco UCS C220 servers to addresses critical data center operations such as policy compliance, application forensics, and whitelist security. REST APIs are used to drive a WebGUI.

Cisco Tetration Analytics can continuously monitor application flows in real-time, sending out instant alerts when flows deviate from established behavior. The solution also tracks and analyses historical flows, providing forensic analysis of what happened on the network at certain points in time. Cisco claims 10s of billions of events are searchable in seconds. The big picture is to deliver a "single pane of glass" for all data center activity.

Cisco said continuous monitoring and analysis are key to simplifying operational reliability, ensuring zero-trust operations in automated data centers. The Tetration Analytics could be used in conjunction with Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture to automate policy enforcement through a Cisco APIC. It could also be used in brownfield data centers with the software sensors in the servers.

“Gaining much deeper visibility into the data center and automating actionable analysis across a company’s infrastructure marks a critical technology advancement in building secure digital business models like cloud, mobile and IoT,” said David Goeckeler, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Networking and Security Business Group. “We believe the insights we gain from  applications and the data center overall will enhance existing software solutions and drive the future development of new advanced software that will improve business operations, efficiency and customer experiences.”

Cisco has implemented Tetration in its own network, collecting billions of data points over a short period of time. The company said it has been able to reduce operational expenses by 70% while also gaining the ability to untangle application dependencies on hardware infrastructure.

http://www.cisco.com


NEC Carries Record 34.9 Tbps over 6,300km of Fiber

NEC has demonstrated a transmission capacity of 34.9 terabits per second (Tbps on a single optical fiber over a distance greater than 6,300 km.

The results, which were presented earlier this year at OFC 2016 in California, broke previous the spectral efficiency record for transoceanic transmission of 7.1 bit/s/Hz, achieving 8.3 bit/s/Hz using the C-band spectrum. This is a 16.9% improvement on the previous record.

NEC said this level of capacity comes very close to the Shannon limit, which is the fundamental spectral efficiency limit of optical communications. In fact, the demonstration came within 0.5 decibels (dB) of the theoretical maximum value.

"We are proud to have come so close to Shannon's cornerstone of communication theory," said Toru Kawauchi, General Manager of the Submarine Network Division at NEC Corporation. "NEC's research and development teams will continue to explore the limits of even greater subsea capacity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness."

http://www.nec.com/en/press/201606/global_20160613_02.html

Technical University of Denmark Hits 43 Tbps Optical Transmission

Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have achieved an optical transmission speed of 43 terabits per second ( 43 Tbps) using a single laser and a single fiber.

The demonstration used a new type of optical fiber (developed by NTT) that contains seven cores (glass threads) instead of the single core used in standard fiber.

DTU noted that its researchers have previously helped achieve the highest combined data transmission speed in the world—an incredible 1 petabit per second—although this involved using hundreds of lasers.

http://www.dtu.dk/english/News/Nyhed?id=bed76c33-c9da-4214-91f3-c9ed3f8a0e24


Cavium to Acquire QLogic for Server/Storage Adapters

Cavium agreed to acquire all of the outstanding QLogic common stock for approximately $1.36 billion in equity value ($15.50 per share, comprised of $11.00 per share in cash and 0.098 of a share of Cavium common stock for each share of QLogic common stock).

QLogic, which is  based in Aliso Viejo, California, supplies Fibre Channel Adapters, converged network adapter for the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) market, Ethernet adapters, iSCSI adapters, and ASICs.  The company has design wins for next generation Ethernet (10/25/50/100Gb) and Fibre Channel (16/32Gb) platforms.

QLogic, which is listed under the NASDAQ symbol QLGC, was created in 1992 after being spun off by Emulex. QLogic has 782 employees.

Cavium said QLogic's portfolio of advanced connectivity and storage solutions is highly complementary to its portfolio of networking, compute, and security solutions. The combination enables Cavium to offer a complete end-to-end offering to customers in Enterprise, Cloud, Data Center, Storage, Telco and Networking markets.

“Today’s acquisition of QLogic is highly complementary and strategic to Cavium and it creates a diversified pure-play infrastructure semiconductor leader,” stated Syed Ali, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cavium.  “QLogic’s industry leading products extend our market position in data center, cloud and storage markets, and further diversifies our revenue and customer base. In addition to the compelling strategic benefits, the manufacturing, sales and operating synergies will create significant value for our shareholders.”

“QLogic with Cavium is a winning combination for customers and employees and is financially compelling for QLogic shareholders,” said Christine King, Executive Chairman of QLogic. “The scale of operations of a nearly $1 billion revenue business will allow the combined company to deliver better solutions for customers and create more career opportunities for employees. Shareholders will benefit from both the immediate premium, as well as the opportunity to participate in the long-term value creation from the combined company’s strong growth prospects.”

http://www.Cavium.com

Linksys Returns to Selling Cable Modems

Linksys has returned to the business of selling cable modems.

Specifically, Linksys is announcing 3 new cable modems and will be shipping two of them:

  • 8X4 Cable Modem – CM3008 --  Broadband plans under 100 Mpbs - $59.99
  • 16X4 Cable Modem – CM3016 – Broadband plans up to 250 Mbps – Available soon.
  • 24X8 Cable Modem – CM3024 – Broadband plans over 250 Mpbs - $129.99

The CM3008 8X4 and the CM3024 24X8 are DOCSIS 3.0 certified, include Intel Puma chipsets and are compatible with major cable service providers including Charter, Comcast Xfinity, Cox and Time Warner Cable.

“Consumers can save up to $120 a year if they purchase their own cable modem instead of paying monthly rental fees,” said Brian Nickell, cable modem product manager at Linksys.

http://www.linksys.com


  • In 2013, Belkin acquired Linksys from Cisco. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In 2003, Cisco acquired Linksys for approximately $500 million in Cisco stock
  • Linksys was founded in 1988 in Taiwan and later moved its HQ to California.

NEC Completes Wireless Transport SDN

NEC completed a Wireless Transport SDN Proof of Concept (PoC) with the Open Networking Foundation’s (ONF) Open Transport Working Group.

The PoC, which was hosted by the Telefonica laboratory in Germany in April 2016, involved 12 companies, including NEC, and used a standard OpenDaylight controller.

The actual PoC consisted of five use cases used for the purpose of demonstrating dynamic network view, configuration, discrepancy monitoring and detection, and event handling:

  • Detection and configuration of new microwave devices
  • Detection of aberrances
  • Detection and visualization of the configured microwave network
  • Detection and visualization of the currently effective network
  • Receiving, displaying and storing of alarm information

NEC said it provided its iPASOLINK VR ultra-compact microwave communications systems equipped with a NETCONF interface. The iPASOLINK VR completed all the test cases for configuration and management of wireless network elements in an open environment with an OpenDayLight-based controller.

http://www.nec.com/en/press/201606/global_20160613_01.html


Patricia Robb: Transforming the World with 5G

5G will fundamentally transform the way we live. Access to connectivity will become a basic need for all people.

CANARIE and Starlight Test 300G at 8QAM with Ciena

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, and the StarLight International/National Communications Exchange Facility Consortium completed an optical transport trial that carried 300 Gbps capacity using the latest coherent optical modulation available via Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 Extreme chipset.

Specifically, the trial carried 150 Gbps per wavelength with 8QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) on a live research network that connects Ciena’s labs in Ottawa with StarLight’s Chicago-based R&E communication services exchange facility -- a distance of more than 1,440 km.

Ciena said 8QAM modulation means more flexibility for the network operator, providing higher capacity than QPSK, and greater optical reach than 16QAM. All three programmable modulations will be generally available on Ciena’s any-haul Data Center Interconnect (DCI) Waveserver this summer.

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, collectively form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN).

http://www.ciena.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Barefoot Unveils 6.5 Tbps Tofino Switching Chip

Barefoot Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California emerged from stealth to unveil its "Tofino" switching chip and announce that it has raised $130 million, including a strategic investment from Google.

Dubbed "the fast switch every built", Barefoot’s programmable Tofino switch chip processes packets at 6.5 terabits per second, twice as fast as the previous record holder. While conventional programmable network devices such as NPUs have orders of magnitude slower than their fixed-function brethren, Barefoot said its Tofino silicon provides the first programmable forwarding plane while setting a new performance benchmark for performance, power, and price.

The silicon is designed for user programmability via the open-source P4 programming language, enabling precise control over packets and bringing entirely new features into the switch—for example, features that replace load balancers, features that replace firewalls, features that add packet-by-packet telemetry enabling rapid debug of distributed application behavior.

Barefoot said the open-source P4 language provides software developers with the compilers, tools, and applications they need to successfully program the fastest networking gear. This could eliminate "middle boxes" that add latency, complexity and cost to a data center network. Barefoot’s new compiler technology has taken P4 programs – written by customers – and converted them into blazing-fast running code executed on Tofino.  Barefoot will open an ecosystem of compilers, tools and P4 code to make P4 accessible.

Barefoot Networks also disclosed that it has recently closed a $57 million funding round led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments and Google Inc. This brings total funding to more than $130 million to date.

“The basic fixed-function switch architecture was set in 1996 and has remained unchanged for twenty years,” noted Nick McKeown, co-founder and chief scientist at Barefoot Networks. “Yet everything else in the data center changed. We went from monolithic software to VM’s and then to containers and fully distributed applications. With the rise of the cloud, data center traffic patterns changed as did the role of the data center. How could a 1996 switching architecture be the right foundation for 2016’s applications? In all other parts of the data center we have moved to programmability. Tofino enables this move for networking. It empowers network owners and their infrastructure partners to design, optimize and innovate to their specific requirements.”

"Mega-scale data center operators greatly benefit from building their own networking equipment and writing the software that runs on it. The forwarding plane, though, has been off-limits to programmers because of the rigid nature of high-performance switching solutions,” noted Martin Izzard, co-founder and CEO, Barefoot Networks.  “With P4 and Barefoot, the landscape is changing; users can develop the P4 programs to define the innovative forwarding plane behavior, introducing new ways to monitor and analyze network traffic, making networks more reliable, scalable, efficient and secure."

http://www.barefootnetworks.com


  • Barefoot Networks was co-founded by Nick McKeown, a Stanford professor and co-founder of Nicira (acquired by VMware), Martin Izzard, Pat Bosshart, and Dan Lenoski VP Engineering.

Portworx Debuts Enterprise-Class Storage for Containers

Portworx, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, introduced its purpose-built, enterprise-class storage for containers.

While containers are distributed and fast, legacy storage is siloed and slow, and cannot be quickly provisioned or scaled to respond to changing container workloads. Portworx said its solution for container storage provides per-container storage management and can keep pace with container scalability and bursts.

The company also claims that it can cut the cost of traditional storage arrays and virtual machines by up to 70 percent.

Key features and benefits of PX-Enterprise include:

  • Scale-out block storage deployed as a container, which minimizes required resources
  • Container-granular controls for storage capacity, performance and availability
  • Container-granular snapshots, which require less storage capacity
  • Replication, which adds an extra measure of redundancy
  • The ability to deploy in the cloud, on-premises or both, thus preventing vendor lock-in
  • A RESTful API and a command-line interface, which allows easy deployment and integration with containers
  • Unified storage with a global file namespace that makes storage easy to deploy and manage
  • Multi-cluster visibility for unified storage management
  • Predictive capacity management that provides proactive alerts before storage capacity is reached

“Like containers themselves, Portworx container-defined storage is radically simple, and the cost-savings are undeniable,” said Murli Thirumale, CEO and co-founder of Portworx. “For the first time, we’ve eliminated the complex and expensive decision of purchasing storage for containers in production. Portworx will enable enterprises of all sizes to realize the true potential of containers.”

http://www.portworx.com

CenturyLink acquires multi-cloud platform startup ElasticBox

CenturyLink has acquired ElasticBox, a start-up offering a multi-cloud application management service. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ElasticBox, which has offices in San Francisco and Madrid, enables enterprise IT organizations to orchestrate the deployment of applications and create a self-service catalog of applications and infrastructure.

Specifically, ElasticBox enables application orchestration for more than 12 different cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, IBM's SoftLayer, Microsoft Azure and VMware. ElasticBox recently added support for CenturyLink Cloud and more feature support for Google Compute Engine and OpenStack. ElasticBox also supports Docker and Amazon ECS containers, and recently added Kubernetes as another destination for applications. These deployment options enable customers to package a range of applications into a container and manage it via ElasticBox.

"The acquisition of ElasticBox strengthens and enhances CenturyLink's development and deployment of multi-cloud services management capabilities, as well as our ability to deliver end-to-end network and hybrid IT services to business customers globally," said CenturyLink Chief Technology Officer Aamir Hussain. "The ElasticBox multi-cloud management platform frees businesses to focus on issues that are central to their organization rather than spending time and resources managing multiple clouds."

http://www.ctl.io


  • ElasticBox investors included Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Sierra Ventures, and a16z seed.

See also