Sunday, January 21, 2018

Elliott comments on Qualcomm's extended tender for NXP

Elliott Advisors (UK) published an advisory letter to investment funds that now collectively hold an increased economic interest in NXP Semiconductors N.V. of approximately 6.6%. The advisory argues that that NXP is of significant strategic importance to QUALCOMM Incorporated (“Qualcomm”) and that such a transaction will deliver substantial value to Qualcomm shareholders at prices meaningfully higher than Elliott’s own assessment of standalone intrinsic value of $135 per share.

Elliott’s letter sets out the following points:

  • Qualcomm’s shareholders would benefit from a transaction which delivers material diversification away from its declining licensing business and provides meaningful strategic and financial synergies. In Elliott’s view, an acquisition of NXP brings more dollars of strategically relevant diversification in high-growth segments of the semiconductor market to Qualcomm than any other company. Elliott also notes that these benefits would not be available to Qualcomm through other means of capital allocation such as a buyback;
  • The synergies from the acquisition of NXP by Qualcomm alone could create between $19 and $48 of value per NXP share. NXP shareholders would be uniquely disadvantaged if a transaction occurred and these synergies were not appropriately and fairly shared. The average takeover premium paid on semiconductor and large cap deals during the last seven years was, based on one recent estimate, approximately 37%; and
  • The UBS Financial Analysis shows that Qualcomm shareholders could benefit from a share price increase from unaffected levels, as a result of an NXP acquisition, in excess of 30% at prices meaningfully higher than Elliott’s view of NXP’s standalone value of $135 per share.

“We believe both Qualcomm and NXP shareholders stand to benefit from a credible offer for NXP — an offer which appropriately and fairly recognizes both NXP’s intrinsic value, the substantial value that will be delivered to Qualcomm and a control premium for NXP shareholders,” Elliott said in its letter to shareholders. “Even if one’s view of NXP’s intrinsic stand-alone fair value is below Elliott’s own estimate of $135 per share, we believe the analysis supports the finding that Qualcomm can deliver value to its shareholders at prices for NXP higher than $135 per share. Our increasing economic interest in NXP which has current market value of approximately $2.7 billion underscores our significant level of conviction in the value opportunity present at NXP today.”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

NTT Com delivers global SD-WAN for Hitachi

NTT Communications will supply its SD-WAN solution for Hitachi's "GWAN” global network, which reaches about 40 countries.

The solution will be deployed in 1,000 offices, making it among the largest-scale solutions of its kind ever delivered in Japan. One of the offerings in NTT Com’s SD-WAN lineup, the solution leverages Master’s ONE CloudWAN provided by NTTPC Communications.

NTT Com said its SDN-enabled control panel will enable Hitachi to reconfigure the network structure and routers of 1,000 offices within just several tens of seconds to five minutes. Segmentation will enable Hitachi’s network to be divided by system or group company.

Sprint and Cox settle their differences and form alliance

Sprint and Cox Communications reached a settlement in a patent dispute and announced a new multi-year business alliance.

Under the agreement, Sprint will leverage Cox’s broadband infrastructure to accelerate the densification of the Sprint network while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of its macro backhaul and small cell deployment. Additionally, the agreement will increase and strengthen other business ties between the two companies.

Sprint has a number of initiatives underway to densify its network to enhance performance and improve the customer experience. Sprint’s Densification and Optimization toolkit includes a variety of solutions from traditional macro towers to small cells including Sprint Magic Box, airpoles, strand mounts and repeaters. Through this agreement with Cox, Sprint will significantly accelerate deployment of that toolkit throughout Cox’s national footprint.

"This is another opportunity to work with a strategic partner to accelerate our densification plans to improve our network performance and experience for Sprint customers throughout Cox’s national territory," said Sprint’s Chief Technology Officer John Saw. "Moving forward, we will continue to look for new opportunities to work with Cox in ways that are mutually beneficial."

"We are pleased to continue our positive, long-term working relationship that benefits both companies and consumers," said Steve Rowley, executive vice president, Cox Business.

Ericsson unveils the 5G Radio Dot

Ericsson is introducing a 5G version of its Radio Dot small cell solution.

The company says its 5G Radio Dot takes less than half the time to install compared to other indoor solutions and will support the new 5G mid-bands (3-6GHz) with speeds up to 2Gbps.

Nishant Batra, Head of Product Area Network Infrastructure at Ericsson, says: “Adding small cell solutions to our 5G portfolio is a natural part of the network evolution. Enterprises have been asking for first-rate connectivity indoors, as well as higher speeds and capacity to serve advanced use cases that cannot be addressed by traditional indoor systems. Our 5G portfolio, bolstered by small cells, will enable operators to meet these demands.”



  • The Ericsson Radio Dot System is a disk shaped remote antenna element about the size of a hockey puck. The Ericsson Radio Dot is connected via standard Category 5/6/7 Ethernet cabling to a indoor base station.  The Dot delivers 3G and 4G LTE for indoor users using 2X 100 milliwatt output power.  Up to 96 of the dots could be connected to a single base station.

Mellanox posts record Q4 revenues of $237.6M, up 7% yoy

Mellanox Technologies reported revenues of $237.6 million for the fourth quarter and $863.9 million in fiscal year 2017.

GAAP operating loss was $(6.7) million, or (2.8) percent of revenue, in the fourth quarter, and was $(17.1) million, or (2.0) percent of revenue, in fiscal year 2017.Non-GAAP operating income was $38.0 million, or 16.0 percent of revenue, in the fourth quarter, and $118.7 million, or 13.7 percent of revenue, in fiscal year 2017.

GAAP gross margins were 64.1 percent in the fourth quarter, and 65.2 percent in fiscal year 2017.
Non-GAAP gross margins were 68.8 percent in the fourth quarter, and 70.4 percent in fiscal year 2017.

“We are pleased to achieve record quarterly and full year revenues,” said Eyal Waldman, President and CEO of Mellanox Technologies. “2017 represented a year of investment and product transitions for Mellanox. Fourth quarter Ethernet revenues increased 11 percent sequentially, due to expanding customer adoption of our 25 gigabit per second and above Ethernet products across all geographies. We are encouraged by the acceleration of our 25 gigabit per second and above Ethernet switch business, which grew 41 percent sequentially, with broad based growth across OEM, hyperscale, tier-2, cloud, financial services and channel customers. During the fourth quarter, InfiniBand revenues grew 2 percent sequentially, driven by growth from our high-performance computing and artificial intelligence customers.

BT adds direct connect to IBM Cloud services

BT launched a new service to provide global businesses with direct access to IBM Cloud via the BT network.

Within the UK, the BT Cloud Connect Direct now provides connectivity into IBM Cloud data centres in the UK.

This will be followed in the coming months with direct connectivity into IBM Cloud data centres in mainland Europe, the US, Australia and Asia, optimising performance and compliance for customers in those regions.

Cloud Connect Direct for IBM will be managed and supported from a single BT-managed service desk, providing proactive management and quality of service.

IBM's Q4 cloud revenues increased 27% to $5.5 billion

IBM reported fourth-quarter revenue of $22.5 billion, up 4 percent (up 1 percent adjusting for currency).

There was a GAAP net loss of $1.1 billion from continuing operations, including a one-time charge of $5.5 billion associated with the enactment of U.S. tax reform.. Non-GAAP operating revenue was $4.8 billion.

"Over the past several years we have invested aggressively in technology and our people to reposition IBM,” said James Kavanaugh, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer. "2018 will be all about reinforcing IBM's leadership position in key high-value segments of the IT industry, including cloud, AI, security and blockchain."

Fourth-quarter cloud revenues increased 30 percent to $5.5 billion (up 27 percent adjusting for currency).

IBM said its cloud revenue over the last 12 months amounted to $17.0 billion, including $9.3 billion delivered as-a-service and $7.8 billion for hardware, software and services to enable IBM clients to implement comprehensive cloud solutions.

Texas 5G Alliance gets underway

A new organization called the Texas 5G Alliance has been organized with a mission to promote smart city infrastructure in Texas.

Founding members of the alliance include Crown Castle, Dell, T-Mobile, Google Fiber, Ericsson, Bypass Mobile, Carnegie Technologies, SmartAustin, VERTICOM, Tech Titans and the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

"We are on the cusp of groundbreaking technology that will change our everyday lives for the better," said Scott Dunaway, spokesperson for the Texas 5G Alliance. "Texas is setting the pace for innovative and life-changing technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, robotic deliveries, traffic flow solutions, and dedicated public safety and first responder networks, all of which will be dependent on small cell infrastructure that provides broad-scale 5G connectivity. We will aim to ensure Texas is a national and global leader in this pursuit."

http://www.texas5galliance.com

Bell Canada picks Ericsson’s MediaFirst TV Platform

Bell Canada, the number one television provider in Canada, selected Ericsson’s MediaFirst TV Platform to power its next-generation multiscreen TV services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bell currently has more than 1.5 million Fibe TV and Alt TV subscribers in Canada.

Rizwan Jamal, Bell’s President of Residential and Small Business, says: “Our longstanding and successful relationship with Ericsson helped us deliver the innovative and exclusive new Fibe TV services that propelled Bell to the #1 in position in Canadian TV. We look forward to taking the game-changing Fibe TV and Alt TV even further, enabling next-generation services across a wider range of devices by leveraging the innovative IPTV technologies of Ericsson MediaFirst.”


  • Earlier this month, Ericsson announced that TELUS selected its MediaFirst TV platform.



Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Apple to invest $10B in US data centers

In its widely-reported announcement that it will repatriate an estimated $245 billion in overseas earnings, Apple also disclosed plans to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next five years. Over $10 billion of this CAPEX will be investments in U.S. data centers.

Apple currently has data centers and co-located facilities in seven US states, including North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and a recently announced project in Iowa. The company has just broken ground on a new data center in Reno, Nevada located next to its existing facility in the city.

Apple will also increase the size of its Advanced Manufacturing Fund from $1 billion to $5 billion.


In December, Apple announced plans to invest $390 million in Finisar to support the high-volume production of Finisar's vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are used power Apple’s TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.  The iPhone X's TrueDepth camera enables Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfie capabilities.

The $390 million investment comes from Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund supporting innovation and job creation by American manufacturers.

Finisar plans to reopen its 700,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas. Volume production should be underway in the second half of 2018. The companies estimate this will create more than 500 jobs at the facility. Finisar operates another plant in nearby Allen, Texas. With both plants in full operation, Finisar's payroll in northern Texas is expected to be $65 million.

OIF advances Common Electrical I/O for 56 Gbps

The OIF has published “Common Electrical (I/O) CEI 4.0” with a focus on Serdes standards for 56 Gbps.

The result is a number of carefully optimized channel definitions, paving the way for a range of interoperable solutions at 56 Gbps data rates. Key to this effort was aiming for the lowest possible power dissipation for each application while balancing link budget and latency. At this time the OIF is releasing CEI 4.0 with the following new clauses:


  • CEI-56G-USR-NRZ: Ultra Short Reach, die-to-die inside muti-chip-modules, NRZ modulation
  • CEI-56G-XSR-NRZ: Extra Short Reach, chip-to-driver, NRZ modulation
  • CEI-56G-VSR-PAM4: Very Short Reach, chip-to-module, PAM-4 modulation
  • CEI-56G-MR-PAM4: Medium Reach, chip-to-chip, one connector, PAM-4 modulation
  • CEI-56G-LR-PAM4: Long Reach, chip-to-chip, two connectors over backplane, PAM-4 modulation
  • CEI-56G-LR-ENRZ: Long Reach, chip-to-chip, two connectors over backplane, ENRZ modulation

“The industry continues to face challenges for diverging requirements regarding link latency and concerns with power consumption at the higher data rates,” said Klaus-Holger Otto of Nokia and the OIF Technical Committee Chair.  “Documenting channel definitions in more granular reaches and multiple  modulation schemes allows for the optimization of silicon chip designs, channel architectures and network operator use cases. These parameters for 56 Gbps will be used as building blocks for protocol specifications written by other organizations across the industry so the forum wanted to provide definitions that met their unique needs.”

http://www.oiforum.com/wp-content/uploads/OIF-CEI-04.0.pdf

Telia to deploy Nokia Cloud Packet Core

Telia Company has chosen Nokia's cloud packet core solution for all of its operations in Nordics and Baltics, covering Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania. Telia will evolve their physical common multi-country evolved packet core to a common cloud native solution on a shared cloud infrastructure.  Nokia will be the sole vendor for this part of Telia's Next Generation Core.
The deployment will include Nokia's Cloud Mobility Manager and Cloud Mobile Gateway. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"There is tremendous potential with the continued growth of mobile broadband, and with new services and 5G in the near future. To take advantage of these opportunities, Telia must deploy a new generation cloud-native packet core that is able to connect to a greater variety of devices and deliver a broader range of services over multiple access technologies. Nokia uniquely combines field-proven cloud-native software, cloud technologies and mobile and IP routing expertise to help Telia speed up service delivery, deliver greater scale and capacity and operate its network more efficiently. Plus, because our cloud packet core is built on our robust, field proven router software (SROS), it provides Telia with a solid foundational framework for the evolution of its 4G and the path forward to 5G," stated Sri Reddy, senior vice-president of Nokia's IP and Optical business.

Radisys enhances its MediaEngine for NFV-Accelerated Media Processing

Radisys announced enhancements to its virtualized MediaEngine platform that deliver 30 percent capacity increases on Intel architecture-based servers and support a broader range of public and private cloud environments.

Radisys' MediaEngine is also gaining support for HW-Assist, an architecture that can utilize additional available processing from DSPs and GPUs in off-the-shelf servers as well as Open Compute Project architecture platforms to delivers advanced cloud media processing and transcoding for HD voice, video calling and unified communications services. The company says HW-Assist could result in a data center footprint that is 6 to 10 times smaller than that of off-the-shelf servers’ CPU-based media processing alone.

“As the trend to NFV has accelerated, the cost of virtualizing media processing on a large scale has been prohibitive. This has forced many service providers to a two-pronged strategy: moving application and control to the cloud, while deferring the move of data plane and signal processing intensive capabilities like media processing,” said Al Balasco, vice president, MediaEngine, Radisys.

Alibaba Cloud plugs into CoreSite Silicon Valley and No. Virginia

CoreSite is now offering private connectivity to Alibaba Cloud Open Cloud Exchange data centers in Silicon Valley and Northern Virginia.

Customers can now get direct connectivity to Alibaba Cloud, including enhanced security, optimal network performance, and compatibility with the full suite of Alibaba Cloud services including Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Elastic Compute Service and Object Storage Service.

As one of the largest global cloud services providers, we are pleased to partner with CoreSite to extend the reach of Alibaba Cloud services,” said Karen Lu, General Manager, Alibaba Cloud North America. “By leveraging the CoreSite ecosystem, we will be able to provide more customers access to our comprehensive worldwide suite of cloud computing services in order to help grow their businesses.”

Tel Aviv-based VDOO raises $13M for IoT security

VDOO, a cybersecurity start-up based in Tel Aviv, Israel raised $13 million in initial funding for its efforts to create an end-to-end platform for the automated analysis and certification of security on connected devices.

VDOO said its solution performs a security gap analysis on IoT devices, against the specific security requirements for each device type, and provides a detailed recommended plan of action to fill security gaps. Once security features have been implemented, VDOO validates that security requirements have been met and provides physical and digital certifications. The on-device digital certification agent monitors the security state of the device and communicates it to other systems such as gateways, firewalls, and edge solutions; which provides post-deployment security, ensuring the device is not being compromised.

VDOO was founded by Netanel Davidi, Uri Alter, both of whom previously founded Cyvera, a company that developed endpoint security solutions and which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks in 2014. A third founder of VDOO is Asaf Karas, who brings 2 decades of cyber experience with the IDF.

The venture round was led by 83North (formerly Greylock IL) and included participation by Dell Technology Capital and other strategic individual investors, including David Strohm, Joe Tucci, and Victor Tsao.

Anomali raises $40 million for threat mgt and collaboration

Anomali, a start-up based in Redwood City, California announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series D funding round. The company specializes in threat management and collaboration solutions, announced today that it has closed an oversubscribed.

Anomali cited significant momentum in 2017, including the introducing new capabilities in its ThreatStream, Anomali Enterprise and STAXX solutions, enabling advanced threat forensics and threat sharing capabilities. The company also:

  • launched a 48-bank threat sharing community in the United Arab Emirates,
  • testified before the Homeland Security Committee regarding the importance of threat sharing,
  • partnered with the Bank of England to collect, integrate, hunt and investigate cyber security intelligence data, and
  • published a series of Cybersecurity Country Profiles, including Russia, China and Iran.

“2017 was another remarkable year for Anomali, in which we saw record customer growth and product innovation. We are thrilled to add Lumia Capital, DTCP, Telstra and Sozo Ventures to the Anomali family and are already preparing major initiatives with our newest partners,” said Hugh Njemanze, chief executive officer, Anomali. “Our latest investors ideally position us for growth in Europe, Japan and Australia.”

The latest funding round was led by Lumia Capital, with the participation of Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP), Telstra and Sozo Ventures. Returning investors included GV, General Catalyst, IVP and Paladin Capital Group. This announcement marks a total of $96 million total investment raised by Anomali over four rounds of funding.

  • Anomali is headed by Hugh Njemanze, who previously co-founded ArcSight in May 2000 and served as CTO as well as Executive Vice President of Research and Development.

John Chambers launches venture capital firm

John Chambers, the former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, is launching a new venture capital firm to invest in global start-ups dedicated to the digital future. His son, John J. Chambers, is playing a key role as Head of Growth in the business. Shannon Pina, who worked at Cisco as Chambers' executive communications manager , will serve as Chief of Staff.

JC2Ventures, which is based in Palo Alto, California, already lists eight portfolio companies in which it has invested: Airware, Aspire, Dedrone, OpenGov, Pindrop, Privoro, Sprinklr, and Uniphore.

 

Finisar's Jerry Rawls steps down, Michael Hurlston takes over as CEO

Michael Hurlston has been appointed as CEO and a director of Finisar following the retirement of Jerry Rawls as Chairman and CEO of Finisar. Rawls will continue to serve as a Director of the Company. Finisar's Lead Director Robert Stephens has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Jerry for his tireless and inspired leadership of Finisar over the past nearly 30 years," stated Robert Stephens. "Under Jerry's leadership, Finisar has grown from its founding in Quonset hut in Menlo Park, California to a world-leading optics company with cutting-edge products and approximately $1.4 billion in revenues in its most recently completed fiscal year. We are deeply grateful to Jerry for his innumerable contributions to Finisar's growth and success to-date and are confident that he has positioned the Company solidly for the great opportunities in our industry today."

Michael Hurlston most recently served as a Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Mobile Connectivity Products/Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division at Broadcom Limited. Previously, he held senior leadership positions in sales, marketing and general management at Broadcom. Prior to joining Broadcom in 2001, Mr. Hurlston held senior marketing and engineering positions at Oren Semiconductor, Inc., Avasem, Integrated Circuit Systems, Micro Power Systems, Exar and IC Works. Mr. Hurlston is also a Director of Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. and a member of the Board of Advisors of Vilynx Inc. Mr. Hurlston received a B.S.E.E., an M.S.E.E. and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Davis.

Samsung ramps 16-Gigabit GDDR6 for advanced graphics

Samsung Electronics Co. has commenced mass production of the industry’s first 16-gigabit (Gb) Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) memory for use in advanced graphics processing for gaming devices and graphics cards as well as automotive, network and artificial intelligence systems.

Samsung's new 16Gb GDDR6 memory is built on advanced 10-nanomter (nm) class process technology, and performs at an 18-gigabits-per-second (Gbps) pin speed with data transfers of 72 gigabytes per second (GBps), which represents a more than two-fold increase over 8Gb GDDR5 with its 8Gbps pin speed.

ADTRAN reports disappointing Q4 following slowdown with tier 1 US carrier

ADTRAN reported Q4 2017 sales of $126.5 million compared to $163.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income was a loss of $11.1 million compared to income of $7.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Earnings per share, assuming dilution, were a loss of $0.23 compared to income of $0.16 for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.05 compared to $0.21 for the fourth quarter of 2016.

ADTRAN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “As we previously disclosed, our results for the quarter were negatively affected by a merger-related review and spending slowdown by a domestic Tier 1 customer. While this disruption continues to impact our business, our overall expectations regarding our domestic and international programs and opportunities remain positive. The company’s engagement with leading service providers across the globe is extremely strong, with high interest and acceptance of our next-generation Software Defined Access solutions. ADTRAN is well positioned to help our carrier and MSO customers successfully manage the transition to a fully realized Gigabit and beyond marketplace by providing the industry’s most innovative and complete portfolio of transformative SD-Access solutions so that any subscriber, in any market, can realize the full potential of the network.”