Monday, December 11, 2017

Corning to acquire 3M's communications division for $900 million

Corning agreed to acquire 3M’s Communication Markets Division in a cash transaction valued at approximately $900 million. This business consists of optical fiber and copper passive connectivity solutions for the telecommunications industry including 3M’s xDSL, FTTx, and structured cabling solutions and, in certain countries, telecommunications system integration services.

3M’s Communication Markets Division, which is based in Austin, Texas, has an annual turnover of approximately $400 million for its high bandwidth and optical fiber products. This puts the acquisition at less than 7 times the Communication Markets Division’s estimated forward-annual adjusted EBITDA, including expected run-rate synergies.

Corning said it expects the transaction to add $0.07-$0.09 to 2019 EPS. In addition to its operations in Texas, the 3M business also has a dedicated manufacturing facility in Pontchâteau, France, and operations in Hannover, Germany. Approximately 500 3M employees are expected to join Corning upon completion of the transaction.

“Corning leads in optical passive components and solutions. This transaction expands both our global market reach and our high-bandwidth portfolio. It also provides new co-innovation opportunities and enhances our ability to serve customers globally,” said Clark S. Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “As the industry’s only true end-to-end manufacturer and supplier of optical solutions, we look forward to bringing these two strong organizations together and welcoming a group of outstanding employees.”

Ericsson confirms 5G contract with Verizon

Ericsson will provide the 5G Core network, 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), transport and associated services for Verizon's commercial 5G launch in selected U.S. markets during the second half of 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon will deploy the pre-standard 5G commercial radio network and the 5G Core network gear.

The deployment follows joint trials of fixed-wireless 5G using mmWave spectrum in multiple cities and residential neighborhoods with different geographies and housing densities.
“5G will change the way we work, interact, learn and play. Through our work with Ericsson, we are creating a clear roadmap and building a robust ecosystem that will enable us to maximize the potential of 5G,” stated Ed Chan, SVP Technology Strategy and Planning for Corporate Networking and Technology, Verizon.

“Our pioneering work with 5G will make US consumers and businesses among the first in the world to benefit from the transformative services of the new technology. It further illustrates how our global 5G portfolio, designed to support 5G NR as standardized in 3GPP, enables first movers in the early commercialization of 5G networks,” stated Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson.


  • In November, Verizon announced that its first 5G application will be a fixed residential broadband service. The first commercial launch will occur in Sacramento, California during the second half of 2018. Additional markets are also expected to launch in 2018. Verizon did not disclose the performance characteristics of its 5G residential service but said it will provide unprecedented wireless speeds for Internet access. Verizon estimates the market opportunity for initial 5G residential broadband services to be approximately 30 million households nationwide. The company also noted that the 5G residential rollout will not have a material impact on Verizon’s consolidated capital expenditures in 2018. CAPEX is expected to be consistent with the past several years.

Colt cuts Tokyo-London latency to under 159 milliseconds

Colt Technology Services has cut network latency between the Tokyo to London financial centres to less than 159 milliseconds. Lower latency is highly desirable for global financial firms.

“We are committed to providing global financial firms with a very fast and reliable network infrastructure together with superior customer experience. This is why we are investing heavily in low latency connectivity between the key financial centres and exchanges in Asia, Europe and North America. This year, we have announced improved latency on our Chicago to Tokyo network route and key APAC routes. We are now focusing on the Tokyo to London route. Firms are increasingly using their network to gain a competitive advantage and the Colt IQ Network provides a consistently high experience across all regions,” stated Andrew Housden, VP, Capital Markets at Colt.

In 2017, Colt has invested €200 million to upgrade capacity across its global Colt IQ Network.

Acacia ships pluggable coherent CFP2-DCO module for 100/200G

Acacia Communications has begun commercial shipment of a new pluggable coherent CFP2-DCO module supporting 100 Gbps and 200 Gbps transmission in a range of network applications such as including data center interconnect, metro access, metro core, long-haul, as well as emerging applications including remote PHY and client optical interfaces up to 80 km. 

The CFP2-DCO supports four times the faceplate density of the CFP-DCO.  Acacia’s CFP2-DCO incorporates its Meru DSP ASIC, based on 16nm CMOS technology, and its silicon photonic integrated circuit. Internal layer 1 encryption can be enabled for enhanced security applications. The technology was first sampled in 2016.

Acacia said these CFP2-DCO modules help to simplify network management and reduce operations costs for providers. The believes that these compact pluggable modules will allow its customers to offer some of the lowest power solutions available in the optical transport industry. 

Key advantages of the CFP2-DCO form factor compared to alternative coherent architecture:

  • Pay-as-you-grow deployment model – Defers the deployment cost, including that of the digital signal processor (DSP), of additional ports until additional bandwidth is needed.
  • Digital host interface – Streamlines integration into existing network equipment and supports field plugability without the need for complex calibration.   The use of pluggable optics means that a failure in a single module will affect only the module's port, not the entire line card.
  • Flexible modulation – 100 Gbps transmission using QPSK modulation for metro-core and long-haul applications and 200 Gbps for metro-access applications using either 16QAM for backward compatibility or 8QAM for greater reach and fewer regeneration stages.

“Our team has done a great job to develop this low power solution, while maintaining high performance. With the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) developing a CFP2-DCO Implementation Agreement, the form factor is positioned for wide adoption in the optical networking industry and with support for up to 400 Gbps, the CFP2-DCO form factor can offer network operators a long-term return on investment,” said Benny Mikkelsen, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Acacia Communications.

Elliott Advisors says Qualcomm's bid for NXP is too low

Elliott Advisors (UK), which advises funds that collectively hold an economic interest in NXP Semiconductors of approximately 6%, published an open letter stating that Qualcomm's offer to acquire the company is too low. Elliot believes NXP is worth $135 per share on an intrinsic standalone basis – far above the $110 offered by Qualcomm.

Elliott states Qualcomm’s offer of $110 per share is acting as "a ceiling on NXP’s valuation", noting that NXP’s peers have traded up 65% since rumors of Qualcomm’s interest arose.

“We believe NXP’s prospects are bright. Approximately half of NXP’s revenue is exposed to exciting growth engines of the semiconductor market – automotive and industrial,” Elliott stated in its letter to shareholders. “We believe NXP shareholders have the opportunity to unlock a material valuation gap that exists today.”

Qualcomm to Acquire NXP -- Engines for the Connected World

Qualcomm agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of NXP for $110.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $47 billion. The deal will be financed through cash on hand and $11 billion in new debt. The companies expect total annualized synergies of $500 million within two years of close.

NXP Semiconductors N.V., which headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands, employs approximately 45,000 people in more than 35 countries and is known for its mixed-signal semiconductor electronics. The company was known as Philips Semiconductor prior to 2006.

Key markets include automotive, broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, network processing and RF power. NXP has a broad customer base, serving more than 25,000 customers through its direct sales channel and global network of distribution channel partners.

For Q3 2016, NXP reported revenue of $2.469 billion, up 4.4% over a year ago, and GAAP gross profit of $1.184 billion, up 7.7% over a year ago.

The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of more than $30 billion, serviceable addressable markets of $138 billion in 2020 and leadership positions across mobile, automotive, IoT, security, RF and networking.

Menlo Security raises $40M for cloud-based threat isolation

Menlo Security, which offers a cloud-based isolation platform that prevents web-based malware from infecting local machines by running the browser in a cloud-based container, raised $40 million in Series C funding.

Menlo Security describes its Isolation Platform as a digital partition, isolating and executing all web content, email links and documents in the cloud, then streaming a malware-free version of the content to employees’ computers via a patented Adaptive Clientless Rendering (ACR) technology.

New investors in the round include American Express Ventures, Ericsson Ventures, and HSBC. Existing investors include JPMorgan Chase, General Catalyst, Sutter Hill Ventures, Osage University Partners and Engineering Capital. This brings total investment in Menlo Security to $85 million.

“More than a million users at hundreds of companies are protected by Menlo, with zero infections to date,” said Amir Ben Efraim, CEO of Menlo Security. “This has given the market tremendous confidence in our solution. Customers are demanding more durable approaches to malware prevention versus a long legacy of solutions that remain perennially vulnerable to the latest attacks. This funding allows us to respond to this opportunity by continuing to expand our deployments globally to meet this growing demand while delivering on our vision of eliminating the phishing, ransomware and malware risks from email, web and document downloads.”

Digicel appoints new CEO

Digicel has appointed Alexander Matuschka Greiffenclau as Group Chief Executive, replacing Colm Delves who stepped down for personal and family reasons. Delves is expected to remain as a non-executive director of Digicel.

Greiffenclau previously served as Group Chief Performance Officer of VEON since mid-2015.  He previously served as Chief Transformation Officer at Nokia Networks, where he was credited as playing a key role in its transformation.

Under Colm’s leadership over the past 13 years, Digicel grew from US$478 million revenues in eight markets to $2.5 billion revenues across 32 markets with a ten-fold increase in profitability and subscribers.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Juniper Bots aim for the Self-Driving Network

Juniper Networks is introducing a series of new applications called Juniper Bots that are intended to simplify network operations by translating intent into automated workflows.

Leveraging both the Contrail and AppFormix platforms, the Juniper bots incorporate real-time analytics to translate higher-level business requirements (the "what") into automatic configuration changes across the network (the "how"). The first Juniper bots include:

  • Contrail PeerBot automates the traditionally cumbersome process of network peering -- managing multiple Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing and complex policy enforcement -- to simplify policy enforcement and on-demand scaling.
  • Contrail TestBot, an application that's part of Juniper's broad effort to help network operators embrace a DevOps approach for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment, automates the continuous auditing of design, provisioning, and deployment changes in the network.
  • AppFormix HealthBot is a machine learning fitness and health tracker for the network that leverages AppFormix to collect real-time network data and glean insight, HealthBot translates troubleshooting, maintenance, and real-time analytics into an intuitive user experience to give network operators actionable insights into the health of the overall network.

Also being introduced are Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET) enhancements that extend the current management and control API framework to the data plane. This will allow developers to create applications with direct data plane access on Juniper's vMX and MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers.

"Juniper Bots bring us closer to our vision for The Self-Driving Network, one that requires less human intervention and the ability to focus on more strategic business initiatives. To move at the speed of business, network operators need to spend less time precisely managing manual network knobs and levers, and more time expressing intent," stated Sally Bament, vice president, service provider marketing, Juniper Networks.

Cisco to acquire Cmpute.io for cloud optimization tools

Cisco will acquire Cmpute.io, a start-up based in Bangalore that optimizes applications by moving workloads between private and multiple public clouds or region, based on current performance metrics and/or spot pricing.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cmpute.io, also known as 47Line Technologies, analyzes cloud-deployed workloads and consumption patterns. Its cost-optimization strategies help customers
minimize cloud instance overprovisioning.

Cmpute.io’s team and technology will join Cisco CloudCenter.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

HDMI 2.1 spec cranks up speed to 48 Gbps, support for 8K60

A newly released Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K.

HDMI v2.10, which is backwards compatible, offers significantly increased bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps across the connection. Key attributes of the specification:

HDMI Specification 2.1 features include:

  • Higher video resolutions support a range of high resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz. Resolutions up to 10K are also supported for commercial AV, and industrial and specialty usages.
  • Dynamic HDR 
  • The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable supports the 48G bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support. The cable also features very low EMI emission and is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
  • eARC simplifies connectivity, provides greater ease of use, and supports the most advanced audio formats and highest audio quality. It ensures full compatibility between audio devices and upcoming HDMI 2.1 products.
  • Enhanced refresh rate features ensure an added level of smooth and seamless
  • motion and transitions for gaming, movies and video. They include:
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better-detailed gameplay.
  • Quick Media Switching (QMS) for movies and video eliminates the delay that can result in blank screens before content is displayed.
  • Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.

“The HDMI Forum’s mission is to develop specifications meeting market needs, growing demands for higher performance, and to enable future product opportunities,” said Robert Blanchard of Sony Electronics, president of the HDMI Forum.

Crosslake Fibre plans subsea cable from Toronto to Buffalo

Crosslake Fibre, a new venture that plans to construct the first submarine cable across Lake Ontario from Toronto, Canada to Buffalo, New York, has secured an investment from Tiger Infrastructure Partners.

Crosslake intends to build a high fibre count network linking data centres in Toronto t networks in the United States. The 60-km subsea cable will be the first in Lake Ontario. Crosslake Fibre said intends to use horizontal directional drilling to land the submarine cable at each landing in order to minimize any impact to the shore end or beach. The ready-for-service (RFS) date for the system is September 2018.

“Crosslake will enable the purchase of new, diverse dark fibre between Canada and the U.S., allowing carriers to displace leased fibre and add diversity,” said Michael Cunningham, CEO of Crosslake. “We are excited to
partner with Tiger Infrastructure to grow the Crosslake platform.”

In November, Crosslake Fibre announced plans for a submarine cable system connecting cable landing stations in Wall, New Jersey to Long Island, New York.

Megaport activates Direct Connect to IBM Cloud

Megaport, which provides SDN-based Elastic Interconnect Services, has begun offering direct, secure connectivity to IBM Cloud from any of the 179 data centres globally where it is present.

"IBM Cloud has a long and rich history within the enterprise space," said Vincent English, Chief Executive Officer, Megaport. "Clients who want to build next-generation applications now have direct, scalable access to cloud infrastructure that is tuned for AI and big data. Our connectivity model bypasses the public internet and serves enterprises moving to the cloud while improving performance and network reliability to critical business applications. As a result, customers can optimise workloads and scale between on-premises infrastructure and the cloud."

"Enterprises have moved well past using the cloud simply for cost-savings, and are now embracing higher value cloud-native services to create new business opportunities," said Kit Linton, Vice President of Network, IBM Cloud. "Megaport is enabling direct connectivity to IBM Cloud Direct Link to provide a reliable way for global enterprises to expand their reach, drive innovation and embrace a cloud strategy that seamlessly connects public and private infrastructure."

Toshiba boosts conventional HDD to 14TB

Toshiba introduced an enterprise hard disk drive (HDD) with a record capacity of 14 TB and based on Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) technology. The drive uses a 9-disk, helium-sealed design and is aimed at cloud-scale and enterprise storage applications. A 12 TB, 8-disk version of the drive will also be available.



DE-CIX hits a peak load of 6 Tbps for first time

On December 6th, the DE-CIX Internet Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany hit exceeded the 6 Tbps threshold of peak load for the first time.

The DE-CIX Internet exchange in Frankfurt boasts over 700 networks connections. Access is available in 20+ data centers in the metro area. Exchange traffic flows over the DE-CIX Apollon platform.

Kansas City Power & Light picks Nokia

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) has selected Nokia to enhance the microwave communications network that supports a range of mission-critical services for the utility's power transmission and distribution grid.

Nokia said that for this project it is introducing the latest microwave packet radio technology as an overlay to existing equipment.

KCP&L is deploying Nokia's Wavence microwave packet radio family of technologies (formerly known as the 9500 Microwave Packet Radio), which will enable the utility to support all of its grid control applications alongside its legacy data services using a single, converged network. The current deployment, covering 40 sites, is already underway and is to be completed before the end of 2017.  A second phase consisting of 29 additional sites will follow shortly after.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

IBM unveils POWER9 server with PCIe 4.0

IBM unveiled its next-generation Power Systems Servers based on its newly designed POWER9 processor and designed for compute-intensive AI workloads and frameworks, such as Chainer, TensorFlow and Caffe, as well as accelerated databases such as Kinetica.

The new POWER9-based AC922 Power Systems are the first to embed PCI-Express 4.0, next-generation NVIDIA NVLink and OpenCAPI, which combined can accelerate data movement, calculated at 9.5x faster than PCI-E 3.0 based x86 systems.

IBM calculates that its new POWER9 systems are capable of improving the training times of deep learning frameworks by nearly 4x.

“Google is excited about IBM's progress in the development of the latest POWER technology," said Bart Sano, VP of Google Platforms "The POWER9 OpenCAPI Bus and large memory capabilities allow for further opportunities for innovation in Google data centers." 

"We’ve built a game-changing powerhouse for AI and cognitive workloads,” said Bob Picciano, SVP of IBM Cognitive Systems. “In addition to arming the world’s most powerful supercomputers, IBM POWER9 Systems is designed to enable enterprises around the world to scale unprecedented insights, driving scientific discovery enabling transformational business outcomes across every industry.”


Broadcom hits revenue of $4.8 billion, up 9%

Broadcom reported Q4 2017 revenue of $4,844 million, an increase of 9 percent from $4,463 million in the previous quarter and an increase of 17 percent from $4,136 million in the same quarter last year.

Gross margin was $2,383 million, or 49.2 percent of net revenue, compared with gross margin of $2,149 million, or 48.2 percent of net revenue, in the prior quarter, and gross margin of $2,171 million, or 52.5 percent of net revenue, in the same quarter last year.

“On the heels of very strong fiscal 2017 financial results, and continuing momentum into the new fiscal year, we are increasing capital returns to our shareholders and have raised our interim quarterly dividend by 72%,” said Hock Tan, President and CEO of Broadcom Limited. “We also closed the acquisition of Brocade early in the first fiscal quarter of 2018, adding to our very successful track record of highly accretive M&A.”

MEF 3.0 Certifications - Career Opportunities



One of the challenges with SDN and NFV, especially with operators, is the need to transform the entire organization, says Marc Cohn. This video covers new certification programs being developed for MEF 3.0.  There are plans to broaden the certifications across multiple domains. One goal is to help people leverage this knowledge into career opportunities.

See video: https://youtu.be/JkQLqmThs1A