Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Private Equity Firm to Acquire Sandvine

Vector Capital, a leading global private equity firm, agreed to acquire Sandvine (TSX: SVC) for CAD $3.80 in cash per share, representing an equity value of approximately CAD $483 million.

"The Sandvine Team has built the clear leader in network policy control and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished to date," said Dave Caputo, Sandvine's President and Chief Executive Officer. "There are a number of long-term growth opportunities that Vector, as a specialist technology investor, is enthusiastic about and can help us pursue more aggressively. We see this as an excellent opportunity to better serve our 300-plus customers, to enhance our strategic position over the longer term, and to do it The Sandvine Way."

"We are excited to partner with Dave and this deeply talented management team to take Sandvine to the next level," said Rob Amen, a Managing Director at Vector Capital. "We are confident that, together with the founding team, Vector can enhance Sandvine's proud track record of growth, innovation and independent operations.  Vector was specifically formed to collaborate with market leading technology companies to accelerate their growth and redefine their markets in new and disruptive ways. We believe that Sandvine's emerging product opportunities and transition to fully virtualized solutions represent an opportunity for such a disruption.  Our partnership with this deeply talented Team couldn't be stronger."

http://www.sandvine.com


DXC to offer security VNF based on AT&T FlexWave under expanded partnership

Expanding a long-standing strategic alliance, DXC Technology and AT&T announced a new initiative designed to help global customers improve efficiency, productivity and security when migrating, orchestrating and managing cloud-based networks across the enterprise.

Under the agreement, DXC will become the first IT services company to launch a third-party virtual network function (VNF) based on AT&T FlexWare. The initiative is intended to align the two companies to support businesses through technology-driven digital transformations.

DXC's on-demand security VNF, inclusive of firewall and intrusion protection services, enhances the virtual edge service functionality in its next generation portfolio. This capability is designed to help DXC clients leverage their investments, reduce capex and enhance operational scale and consistency for cloud platforms, whether hybrid, public or private.

The latest joint initiative expands the AT&T FlexWare platform ecosystem to support innovation and provide expanded choice for business customers. As well as adding a new VNF to the AT&T FlexWare platform and reselling AT&T FlexWare to its customers, DXC will also utilise FlexWare for its internal operations.

The new virtual edge service will provide DXC customers with advanced security for small- and mid-sized office locations alongside AT&T's catalogue of VNFs, which are supported through the marketplace. Utilising an opex model, the new offering will allow DXC's enterprise security policies to be extended to remote office locations, delivered as-a-service.

Additionally, the AT&T FlexWare platform will enable DXC to efficiently deliver services to clients while helping reduce capital requirements. DXC is continuing to explore additional opportunities to virtualise the technology supporting its services that are available to clients.



  • AT&T recently announced new network connectivity options and security applications for its FlexWare offering, and that it was expanding availability to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
  • The AT&T FlexWare platform is designed to simplify the delivery and deployment of software-based network functions for businesses and allow users to flexibly manage their networks, reduce total cost of ownership and avoid the need to use proprietary hardware-based solutions.
  • The latest FlexWare enhancements enable network function virtualisation (NFV) over a broader range of connection types. Specifically, FlexWare features an expanded range of connectivity options via both AT&T and third party service providers, with options including Ethernet, VPN (MPLS), dedicated Internet and broadband, as well as three new virtual security options.

Sonus enhances policy and management offering

Sonus Networks, a provider of solutions that enable secure and intelligent cloud communications, announced that its latest policy and management release is now generally available, offering a consolidated framework supporting management, session control, billing mediation and analytics functions across legacy and next-generation communication networks.

Key features of Sonus' policy and management offering include:

1. Cloud: enabling deployment of the Sonus DataStream Integrator (DSI) and NetScore products in OpenStack-based cloud environments, complementing the existing cloud-native portfolio that includes of the Sonus SBC, PSX centralised policy and routing engine (PSX), Diameter signalling controller (DSC) and element management system (EMS).

2. Intelligent session control: allowing customers to use the Sonus PSX to intelligently route traffic based on the attributes of a session, for example, routing audio-only calls differently from high bandwidth video calls.

3. Network analytics: providing enhanced insight into network capacity, bandwidth utilisation and traffic patterns, with NetScore able to access peak traffic statistics in the GSX and provide new analytics for average and peak trunk utilisation, as well as trunk group bandwidth utilisation.

4.   Gateway: leveraging installed GSX solutions, customers are able to optimise the media path for SIP-SIP backhaul, helping to reduce network costs by freeing up media ports on the intermediate gateway.


  • Recently, Sonus announced that its cloud-native SBC Software edition (SBC SWe) had completed testing and validation for the Wind River Titanium Cloud ecosystem program. As a result, in collaboration with Wind River Sonus is able to offer a carrier-grade virtual SBC designed to meet service provider requirements for performance, reliability and availability.
  • The Titanium Cloud ecosystem enables interoperable standard products optimised for NFV deployment with Titanium Cloud. The combination of Titanium Cloud and Sonus' cloud native SBC is designed to allow service providers to deliver carrier-class real-time communications in the cloud.

Melita and Vodafone Malta to merge to create fixed and mobile service provider

Vodafone Group, together with Apax Partners Midmarket and Fortino Capital, announced an agreement to combine broadband, cable and pay TV company Melita and Vodafone Malta.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vodafone Malta, the country's largest mobile operator, operating a 4G mobile network covering 99% of the Maltese population, will be combined with Melita, the largest provider of cable, broadband and pay TV services with a network covering 99% of Maltese households. Melita offers a range of content and high speed broadband with download speeds of up to 250 Mbit/s.

The transaction values Vodafone Malta at an enterprise value of Euro 208 million, and values Melita at an enterprise value of Euro 298 million. At completion, the shareholders of Melita will own 51% of the combined company and Vodafone Europe, the current shareholder of Vodafone Malta, the remaining 49%2. The combined entity will have net debt of approximately Euro 345 million and Vodafone will receive an estimated cash payment of Euro 120 million, with Melita shareholders receiving an estimated cash payment of Euro 33 million.

On closing, the combined company's mobile and enterprise business will operate under the Vodafone brand and will offer a range of solutions, including Vodafone's portfolio of products and services, as well as having access to Vodafone's expertise and capabilities in mobile and fixed operations.

The combination will establish a new integrated communications company with the scale and resources to deliver quad play bundled mobile, fixed broadband, fixed telephony and TV services to consumers and a range of enterprise services for businesses and the public sector in Malta. Vodafone noted that the new company will be better positioned to compete with the integrated incumbent Maltese operator GO.

The combined company expects to realise cost synergies through the rationalisation of duplicated activities and improved network investment efficiency as the company begins to introduce 4.5G, and in the future 5G, mobile networks and gigabit-capable fixed networks.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, Vodafone Malta generated Euro 30 million of underlying EBITDA and Euro 14 million of underlying operating free cash flow; for the financial year ended March 31, 2016 Vodafone Malta generated a pre-tax profit of Euro 11 million. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, Melita generated Euro 33 million of underlying EBITDA and Euro 20 million of underlying operating free cash flow.

The Melita shareholders intend to appoint the current CEO of Melita, Harald Rösch, as CEO of the combined company and Vodafone intends to appoint the current CFO of Vodafone Malta, Caroline Farrugia, as CFO.


The transaction, which requires approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, is currently expected to close in the second half of 2017.

SES Networks launches hybrid resiliency service, Palau Telecoms first customer

Global satellite operator SES has announced a new hybrid resiliency platform designed to serve the requirements of telcos, mobile network operators, enterprises and maritime connectivity providers.

The new SES solution delivers fully-managed, bandwidth-on-demand connectivity featuring intelligent routing and resiliency functionality. SES explained that its multi-orbit approach, which leverages the wide coverage capabilities of geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites combined with the high throughput capabilities of medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites, is designed to ensure 100% availability for services.

The new managed solution is currently available in the Asia Pacific region, and leverages a platform designed to enable highly reliable, high performance networks across orbit-diverse connections. SES plans to rollout the service across additional regions, complementing the site diversity intelligent routing capability already deployed for SES networks customers.

In conjunction with the new service launch, SES announced that long-standing partner Palau Telecoms and its customers would become the first to utilise the new hybrid MEO-GEO broadband platform

SES recently launched a new go-to-market organisation based on customer-focused business units. Under the new model, data-centric market segments are served by SES Networks, while SES focuses on delivering differentiated satellite-enabled solutions for fixed data, mobility and government applications. SES noted that the hybrid resiliency platform leverages the infrastructure, networks and operations available via the SES Networks business unit.


SES' combined GEO-MEO offering leverages over 50 satellites in GEO and 12 in MEO. The company operates through two business units - SES Video and SES Networks – that provide satellite communications services to broadcasters, content providers and ISPs, mobile and fixed operators, governments and institutions. SES includes O3b Networks, a global managed data communications service provider, and MX1, a media service provider. SES announced it would acquire a 100% stake in O3b in June 2016.



Synopsys unveils DesignWare multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP

Synopsys, describing itself as the Silicon to Software partner for companies developing electronic products and software applications, announced its new DesignWare Multi-Protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP targeting high-performance computing applications including machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Synopsys' new PHY IP allows designers to integrate multiple protocols including PCI Express 4.0, 25 Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and CCIX into system-on-chips (SoCs) targeting the 7 nm and 16 nm FinFET processes. The multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY is claimed to reduce power and area requirements by over 35% compared to the 16 Gbit/s PHY solution via optional power management features such as I/O supply under drive and decision feedback equalisation (DFE) bypass.

In addition, the solutions features programmable continuous calibration and adoption (CCA), which is designed to optimise performance across voltage and temperature variations, which is key for applications in harsh data centre environments.

Designers are able to integrate the multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY with Synopsys' digital controllers and verification IP to provide a complete, low latency IP solution that is compliant with the industry-standard protocol specifications.

The new DesignWare multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP offers designers key features including:

1.         Flexible clock multiplier unit (CMU) with dual PLLs and dividers to support flexible multi-protocol configurations while transmitting data across lossy channels.

2.         Analogue front-end that incorporates adaptive continuous time linear equaliser (CTLE), decision feedback equalisation (DFE) and feed forward equalisation (FFE) for enhanced signal integrity and jitter performance.

3.         Embedded bit error rate (BER) circuitry for evaluating channel quality and on-die test features for testability and visibility into system performance without the need for external test equipment.

Synopsys noted that the silicon design kit for DesignWare multi-protocol 25 Gbit/s PHY IP for TSMC 7 nm FinFET process is currently available; the silicon design kit for TSMC's 16 nm FinFET process is scheduled to be available in October.


The Synopsys DesignWare IP portfolio includes logic libraries, embedded memories, embedded test, analogue IP, wired and wireless interface IP, security IP, embedded processors and subsystems.


Vecima launches Entra access switch and Terrace DVB commercial video gateway

Canada-based Vecima Networks, a designer and manufacturer of advanced technology for the broadband market, announced the launch of new products with the Entra Access Switch and the Terrace DVB commercial video gateway at ANGA COM 2017.

Entra access switch

Vecima's new Entra access switch is designed to extend the capacity of networks with insufficient fibre capacity while minimising the use of costly digital optics. Entra can help to reduce capex for short run fibre extensions, deep fibre deployments and DOCSIS 3.1 node aggregations utilising existing short and long range fibre infrastructure.

Entra is an outdoor, centrally managed 8 port x 10 Gigabit Ethernet weatherproof network switch that is designed to support Carrier Ethernet services in most deployment scenarios. Vecima noted that a key feature of the Entra access switch is its versatility through being strand mountable, allowing for placement at the edge of a broadband access network to support business services, mobile network backhaul and DOCSIS 3.1 distributed access architecture (DAA) aggregation.

Terrace video gateway

Vecima also announced the launch of its Terrace DVB commercial video gateway, extending the Terrace QAM platform. The Terrace DVB features commercial-grade HD programming for business-to-business commercial video applications in hospitality, MDU and other commercial environments, and is designed to enable DVB cable operators to cost effectively serve commercial accounts via the provision of bulk digital services.


By offering support for SD and HD programming in the same chassis, the new Terrace DVB is designed to provide the flexibility to adapt to emerging technologies as well as supporting legacy formats. The Terrace DVB allows cable operators to implement analogue reclamation while enhancing their commercial video businesses and freeing up network capacity to enable delivery of additional services.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Frontier to deploy Nokia's G.fast in Conn.

Frontier Communications will deploy Nokia's G.fast technology to increase in-building broadband speeds for customers living in apartment and multi-dwelling units (MDU) across Connecticut. The project is described as a state-wide network expansion initiative. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia said its G.fast solution will allow Frontier to use the last few hundred meters of existing copper located in buildings to deliver ultra-broadband access to customers. The solution leverages SDN and is compliant with NetConf and Yang models.

Steve Gable, Frontier EVP and Chief Technology Officer said: "Nokia's field-proven G.fast solution will help Frontier quickly bring ultra-broadband access to customers by using the existing copper twisted pair wiring that is often found in apartment buildings. Without it, we'd have to drill holes and pull fiber into each apartment unit we serve, a time consuming and challenging process that can be frustrating for customers. Nokia's solution allows us to deliver new enhanced services without ever having to enter the place of residence."

http://www.nokia.com

WD Delivers Solid State Drives with 64-Layer 3D NAND Tech

Western Digital introduced its first client solid state drives built with its 64-layer 3D NAND technology.

“Delivering 64-layer 3D NAND-based SSDs into the PC segment marks a critical step in our ongoing conversion to this new technology, as well as offers long-term benefits for our customers,” said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer, Western Digital. “Between our two, strong brands in SanDisk and WD, and their respective loyal customer bases and distribution channels, these advanced SSDs will appeal to a very broad footprint of the computing population that are seeking the benefits of today’s newest technologies.”

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs boast an industry-leading 1.75M hours MTTF, as well as the quality backing of WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab (F.I.T. Lab™) certification.  The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are ideal as a drop-in upgrade for existing systems.

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities in both a traditional 2.5-inch/7mm cased drive as well as a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities in a traditional 2.5-inch/7mm cased drive form factor.

https://ww.sandisk.com/home/ssd/ultra-3d-ssd

Batelco's Bahrain Tests 5G with Ericsson

Batelco, Bahrain’s leading digital solutions provider, is working with Ericsson on a 5G field trial.

The trial was conducted at Batelco’s Headquarters during a their 5G Forum event. The companies reported 5G capabilities in a real world environment over a live network, including tests on speed, latency and beam steering, reaching a record speed of 25 Gbps.

http://www.ericsson.com

Friday, May 26, 2017

Designing propulsion power for the world’s first Hyperloop



Sandhya Jetti is changing the world as a Senior Electrical Engineering at Hyperloop One where they are creating the world’s first operational Hyperloop, an on-demand, energy-efficient, and safe mode of transportation at unprecedented speed.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Google to Rearchitect its Data Centres as it Shifts to AI First Strategy

AI is driving Google to rethink all its products and services, said Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, at the company's Google IO event in Mountain View, California. Big strides have recently pushed AI to surpass human vision in terms of real world image recognition, while speech recognition is now widely deployed in many smartphone applications to provide a better input interface for users. However, it is one thing for AI to win at chess or a game of Go, but it is a significantly greater task to get AI to work at scale. Everything at Google is big, and here are some recent numbers:


  • Seven services, now with over a billion monthly users: Search, Android, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, Play, Gmail
  • Users on YouTube watch over a billion hours of video per day.
  • Every day, Google Maps helps users navigate 1 billion km.
  • Google Drive now has over 800 million active users; every week 3 billion objects are uploaded to Google Drive.
  • Google Photos has over 500 million active users, with over 1.2 billion photos are uploaded.
  • Android is now running on over 2 billion active devices.

Google is already pushing AI into many of these applications. Examples of this include Google Maps, which is now using machine learning to identify street signs and storefronts. YouTube is applying AI for generating better suggestions on what to watch next. Google Photos is using machine learning to deliver better search results and Android has smarter predictive typing.

Another way that AI is entering the user experience is by using voice as an input for many products. Pichai said the improvement in voice recognition over the past year have been amazing. For instance, its Google Home speaker uses only two onboard microphones to assess the direction and to identify the use in order to better serve customers. The company also claims that its image recognition algorithms have now surpassed humans (although it is not clear what the metrics are). Another one of the big announcements at this year's Google IO event concerned Google Lens, a new in-app capability to layer augmented reality on top of images and videos. The company demo'ed taking a photo of a flower and then asking Google to identify it.

Data centres will have to support the enormous processing challenges of an AI-first world and the network will have to deliver the I/O bandwidth for users to the data centres and for connecting specialised AI servers within and between Google data centres. Pichai said this involves nothing less than rearchitecting the data centre for AI.

Google's AI-first data centres will be packed with Tensor processing units (TPUs) for machine learning. TPUs, which Google launched last year, are custom ASICs that are about 30-50 times faster and more power efficient than general purpose CPUs or GPUs for certain machine learning functions. TPUs are tailored for TensorFlow, an open source software library for machine learning that was developed at Google. TensorFlow was originally developed by the Google Brain team and released under the Apache 2.0 open source license in November 2015. At the time, Google said TensorFlow would be able to run on multiple CPUs and GPUs. Parenthetically, it should also be noted that in November 2016 Intel and Google announced a strategic alliance to help enterprise IT deliver an open, flexible and secure multi-cloud infrastructure for their businesses. One area of focus is the optimisation of the open source TensorFlowOpens in a new window library to benefit from the performance of Intel architecture. The companies said their joint work will provide software developers an optimised machine learning library to drive the next wave of AI innovation across a range of models including convolutional and recurrent neural networks.

A quick note about the technology: Google describes TensorFlow as an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs. Nodes in the graph represent mathematical operations, while the graph edges represent the multidimensional data arrays (tensors) communicated between them.

Here come TPUs on the Google Compute Engine

At its recent I/O event, Google introduced the next generation of Cloud TPUs, which are optimised for both neural network training and inference on large data sets. TPUs are stacked onto boards, and each board has four TPUs, each of which is capable of 180 trillion floating point operations per second. Boards are then stacked into pods, each capable of 11.5 petaflops. This is an important advance for data centre infrastructure design for the AI era, said Pichai, and it is already being used within the Google Compute Engine service. This means that the same racks of TPU hardware can now be purchased online like any of the other Google cloud services.

There is an interesting photo that Sundar Pinchai shared with the audience, taken inside a Google data centre, which shows four racks of equipment packed with TensorFlow TPU pods. Bundles of fibre pair linking between the four racks can be seen. Apparently, there is no top-of-rack switch, but that is not certain. It will be interesting to know whether these new designs will soon fill a meaningful portion of the data centre floor.

Video: IEEE is making big strides in AI, IoT, SmartCities, and much more



IEEE President and CEO, Karen Bartleson, discusses IEEE’s Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, IoT, smart cities, and robotics and how IEEE is working to advance technologies for the benefit of humanity.

Video recorded at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference #WIELead

See video: https://youtu.be/FmKTTdQB9rw




Video: The Huge Potential for Disaster Robotics

Dr. Robin Murphy, Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, talks about how disaster robotics can have a huge potential to save lives and how young women and girls can engage in STEM.

Video recorded at the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference #WIELead

See video: https://youtu.be/VzrL02_PeCQ




Video: Highlights of IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference



Nita Patel gives a recap of the engaging speakers, workshops and sessions at the IEEE WIE ILC, which was held May 22-23 in San Jose, California.

The IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference was a success! Nita Patel, Founder and Chair of WIE ILC, gives a recap of the engaging speakers, workshops and sessions at the 2017 conference.

See video: https://youtu.be/ZEk8xWTjjcw



Nutanix Posts Q1 Revenue of $192 Million Up 67% YOY

Nutanix reported Q1 2017 revenue of $191.8 million, up 67% year-over-year from $114.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. Billings reached $234.1 million, growing 47% year-over-year from $159.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. There was a net loss (GAAP) of $112.0 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $46.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

“We continue to execute on our strategy of building a cloud operating system that provides our customers maximum choice of hardware platforms. We recently established a partnership with IBM to bring to market the industry’s first hyperconverged solution on Power Systems, and introduced support for HPE ProLiant and Cisco UCS blade servers,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO, Nutanix. “Our third quarter results reflect our continue focus on the Global 2000 as well as a measurable improvement in the number of larger deals in the quarter, particularly in North America.”

Some highlights:

  • Nutanix ended the third quarter of fiscal 2017 with 6,172 end-customers, adding approximately 790 new end-customers during the quarter. Third quarter customer wins included Caterpillar Inc., KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd., MobileIron, SAIC Volkswagen, Société Générale, and Sprint.
  • Added Support for New Hardware Platforms: The company announced plans to expand the supported hardware platforms for its enterprise cloud OS Software to include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ProLiant rackmount servers and Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers, allowing customers greater choice of hardware.
  • Partnered with IBM for New HCI Solution: New partnership between Nutanix and IBM® will bring a turnkey hyperconverged solution combining Nutanix’s software and IBM Power Systems targeting high-performance workloads and one-click private clouds for large enterprises.
  • Expanded Economic Consumption Model with Nutanix Go: Nutanix Go offers qualified U.S. customers a new pricing model that enables enterprises to build their cloud, from hardware to software, using operating budgets. This innovative economic model allows customers to break free of long-term capital budget commitments and align with the purchasing experience of the public cloud.
  • Increased Number of $1 Million+ Deals: 34 customers with over $1 million in the quarter as a result of an increased focus on large deals.

http://ir.nutanix.com/company/financial/

T-Mobile Intros Digits to Virtualize Phone Numbers

T-Mobile introduced DIGITS, a technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.

T-Mobile, which plans to introduce the technology to all of its customer phone numbers on May 31. Additional DIGITS line will cost $10 a month with AutoPay.

“Phone numbers are so yesterday—DIGITS are now,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Starting next week, T-Mobile doesn’t have phone numbers anymore—we have DIGITS. They’re your REAL T-Mobile phone number but with none of the old limits. DIGITS is another industry-shaking Un-carrier innovation aimed at changing wireless for good.”

http://www.t-mobile.com/getDIGITS

AT&T to Deliver IoT for Red Bull

AT&T announced that its IoT solution has been selected to connect up to 1 million Red Bull branded beverage coolers around the world. The solution will deliver data on the cooler status, including temperature stats and door activity, via an AT&T Global SIM.

"Our end-to-end solutions support the near real-time monitoring and analyzing of the global beverage market," said Thaddeus Arroyo, Chief Executive Officer, Business Solutions & International, AT&T Inc. "This is another great example of collaboration and innovation to create real value for our customers. It streamlines the processes, creates visibility and improves operations, helping drive significant cost savings and return on investment."

http://www.att.com

See also