Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Google Cloud offers TensorFlow processors, delivering teraflops for ML

Cloud Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) are now available in beta on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The Cloud TPUs are a family of Google-designed hardware accelerators that are optimized to speed up and scale up specific machine learning (ML) workloads programmed with TensorFlow.

Google's TPUs are built with four custom ASICs. Each Cloud TPU packs up to 180 teraflops of floating-point performance and 64 GB of high-bandwidth memory onto a single board. The boards can be connected via an ultra-fast network to form multi-petaflop ML supercomputers. These "TPU pods" will be available on GCP later this year.

The Cloud TPUs can be programmed with high-level, open source TensorFlow APIs. GCP is making a number of reference Cloud TPU model implementations available, including:

  • ResNet-50 and other popular models for image classification
  • Transformer for machine translation and language modeling
  • RetinaNet for object detection

Google adds that its cloud TPUs can also simplify the planning and management of ML computing resources. By purchasing the service, users benefit from the large-scale, tightly-integrated ML infrastructure that has been heavily optimized at Google over many years. The cloud TPUs are protected by the security mechanisms and practices that safeguard all Google Cloud services.

Google Builds a Custom ASIC for Machine Learning

Google has developed a custom ASIC for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) is tailored for TensorFlow, which is an open source software library for machine learning that was developed at Google.

In a blog posting,  Norm Jouppi, Distinguished Hardware Engineer at Google, discloses that the TPUs have already been in deployment in Google data centers for over a year, where they "deliver an order of magnitude better-optimized performance per watt for machine learning." The stealthy project to develop in-house silicon has been underway for several years.

A number of Google applications are already running on the Tensor Processing Units, including RankBrain, Street View, and the AlphaGo application that recently defeated the Go world champion, Lee Sedol.

Google plans to deliver machine learning as a service on its Google Cloud Platform by providing APIs for computer vision, speech, human language translation, etc.

https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/05/Google-supercharges-machine-learning-tasks-with-custom-chip.html


  • 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 can run on multiple CPUs and GPUs.

Verizon completes its first 5G call

Verizon completed its first over-the-air call on a 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system using licensed millimeter wave spectrum.

The call, which was completed at Nokia’s facility in Murray Hill, New Jersey earlier this month, used Nokia's 5G CloudRAN solution, which is comprised of the Nokia AirScale baseband and radio, AirFrame server, and AirScale Cloud RAN running 5G NR 3GPP-compliant software. Qualcomm provided 5G NR prototype devices in smartphone form factors.

The companies described the test as an important milestone on the road to preparing Verizon’s network for widespread implementation of commercial 5G mobile services for consumers and enterprises.

“With this first 3GPP NR standards-based connection, Verizon continues to lead the development of 5G technology,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president and chief technology architect, Corporate Network & Technology, Verizon. “By partnering with Nokia and Qualcomm to combine 5G technology with our deep millimeter wave spectrum, we’re well on the way to being the first to usher in the next era of wireless communications for customers.”

“Nokia’s 3GPP-compliant high-capacity 5G solution supports pioneering operators like Verizon in leveraging their assets to make a true difference with 5G for their customers,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks, Nokia. “Using the successful interoperability testing we conducted with Qualcomm as a basis, we’re now applying our standard-compliant 5G technology in this trial with Verizon to push the commercialization of 5G.”

Verizon, Qualcomm and Novatel to expedite 5G NR mmWave rollout

Verizon, Qualcomm Technologies, and Novatel Wireless, are pushing ahead with plans to expedite the rollout of 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter wave (mmWave) technology.  The companies have agreed to collaborate on over-the-air field trials based on the 5G NR Release-15 specifications being developed by 3GPP, with hopes of moving the mobile ecosystem towards faster validation and commercialization of 5G NR mmWave technologies at scale before the end of the decade.

The expedited plan call for an initial focus on 5G NR operation in 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands. The goal is to achieve robust multi-gigabit per second data rates with mobility at significantly lower latencies than today’s networks. Over-the-air trials are expected starting in 2018, that will be compliant with the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15. The trials will utilize 5G NR mmWave mobile test platforms from Qualcomm and will employ advanced 5G NR Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques.


Qualcomm shows 5G NR mmWave prototype

Qualcomm unveiled a 5G NR mmWave prototype system based on the 5G New Radio (NR) Release-15 specifications.  Peak download speeds of up to 5 Gbps are possible.

The prototype system, which operates in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum bands above 24 GHz, demonstrates how advanced 5G NR mmWave technologies can be utilized to deliver robust mobile broadband communications at multi-gigabit-per-second data rates in real-world mobile environments.

Qualcomm's prototype leverages the company's optimized mmWave RF Front-end design in a smartphone form-factor to test and trial real-world mmWave challenges, such as device and hand-blocking. It employs Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive analog beamforming and beam tracking/steering techniques, which is required for robust and sustained mobile broadband communications in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. It also supports 800 MHz bandwidth and advanced 5G NR technologies including LDPC channel coding for data channels.

AT&T expands its push into microservices

AT&T has added Accenture to its Microservices Supplier Program, which offers a new approach to delivering business functionality for software developers.

Teams from Accenture and AT&T will develop microservices using scaled, agile and DevOps processes. The collaboration is expected to improve customer experiences, reduce support costs, and get services to market faster.

AT&T describes microservices as one of the key pillars of its next-gen network platform. In 2017, AT&T deployed more than 300 microservices, with hundreds more planned for 2018.

“Our collaboration with Accenture allows us to quickly deliver the products and services our customers need to stay competitive in today’s technology-based economy,” said Pam Parisian, president, Technology Development, AT&T. “Soon, they will be able to access a whole new level of scalability and functionality as we shift legacy business functions into flexible, software-centric capabilities.”

Steve Tibbetts, a managing director at Accenture said, “By decomposing legacy systems into suites of small, modular and independent services, we can co-develop new products more rapidly than ever before. Together with AT&T, we are able to deliver an enhanced experience for their customers.”

AT&T launches Microservices Supplier Program

AT&T is launching its microservices supplier program in partnership with IBM.  The idea is to offer a new approach to delivering business functionality for software developers. AT&T said that it is a heavy user of microservices for its internal systems.

Under this partnership, IBM will collaborate with AT&T to design, develop and deploy microservices that will transform AT&T’s business backend processes. IBM’s creation of microservices across sales, ordering, and enterprise data will enhance and modernize AT&T’s mission-critical systems. This enables higher-performing backend processing with minimal downtime while allowing the whole business to adapt quickly to changing market dynamics through the deployment of new fast and easy to access services and capabilities.

“Our software journey has focused on virtualizing our network functions to give more speed and flexibility than the traditional hardware model,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations. “We’re now looking at the 2,200+ apps in our IT system. And we’re starting to break them up into microservices to create agility, speed, and scalability that wasn’t possible before. Microservices are at the very core of our vision for the future of our network.”

Earlier this week, AT&T introduced Acumos, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that makes it easy to build, share and deploy AI applications, built with microservices.

AT&T moves Acumos into open source as an AI-enabling platform

AT&T, in collaboration with Tech Mahindra, is backing an open source artificial intelligence (AI) platform called Acumos that can be used to build smart applications.

Acumos, which will be hosted by The Linux Foundation, makes it easy to build, share and deploy AI applications. More specifically, it provides the capability to edit, integrate, compose, package, train and deploy AI microservices. Acumos will provide a marketplace for accessing, using and enhancing those applications.

“Our goal with open sourcing the Acumos platform is to make building and deploying AI applications as easy as creating a website,” said Mazin Gilbert, vice president of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs. “We’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to establish an industry standard for AI in the networking space. We invite others to join us to create a global harmonization in AI and set the stage for all future AI network applications and services.”

“We’re opening up AI. We’re focusing on the telecommunication, media and technology spaces, starting with the network. The platform will be available to anyone and the more users who adopt it, the better it will get,” added Gilbert.

AT&T said the Acumos platform is built on open source technologies and can be powered by AT&T Indigo, its next-generation platform for delivering a seamless network experience.

Earlier this year, AT&T moved its ECOMP into the open source curation of The Linux Foundation under the newly launched ONAP project. With Acumos, AT&T said it was acting to place the initial framework into open source as quickly as possible.

Blue Danube intros 96-element, Multiband, Massive MIMO Antenna

Blue Danube Systems, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, introduced its 96-element, second-generation 5G-ready Massive MIMO system.

Blue Danube's the BeamCraft 600 series supports simultaneous beamforming over multiple frequency bands and across multiple cellular standards, allowing operators to deliver increased capacity through a single compact system.

The company said its Massive MIMO can dynamically direct radio frequency (RF) beams where mobile traffic is high and without changes to existing cell sites or smartphones. The 96-element BeamCraft 600 supports up to two active mid bands using 16 software configurable beams, double the capacity of the company’s previous generation. An integrated passive low-band option is also available to further conserve antenna mount positions.  Blue Danube has deployed active solutions in 3 mid bands to date (AWS, PCS, DCS) and will trial the multi-band BeamCraft 600 in 2Q’18. Additional products supporting higher frequency bands including TDD will be available in 2H’18.

“Blue Danube’s portfolio of Massive MIMO products enables operators to flexibly customize RF energy to optimize capacity, coverage and cell edge performance.” said Mark Pinto, CEO & President of Blue Danube Systems. “Our 5G-ready architecture allows beam-based network management leading to virtualization of the network RF functions. By avoiding the rigidity imposed by other radio architectures, we are enabling a completely flexible RAN ecosystem.”


  • Blue Danube Systems is headed by Dr. Mark Pinto, who previously was was an executive vice president at Applied Materials, where he launched the company’s solar business. Earlier in his career, Dr. Pinto was CTO of the Lucent Microelectronics Group and general manager of a wireless/wireline product division.
  • The company was founded by Dr. Mihai Banu, who developed the Blue Danube concepts independently since 2006. Previously,  he was R&D director at Agere Systems, working on analog circuits, RF systems for wireless LANs and wireless circuits research, and before that was Head of the Communications Circuits Research department at Lucent Technologies.
  • Investors in Blue Danube Systems include Sequoia, Northgate, Silver Lake, and AT&T.

Wix.com is onboard with Google Cloud Platform

Wix.com, which offers website services to small businesses, has chosen G Suite productivity and collaboration apps from Google as its exclusive cloud productivity offering for its users.

Wix.com already uses the Google Cloud Platform, Google Maps API, YouTube and AdWords.

Yuval Dvir, Head of Online Partnerships from Google Cloud added, "We are delighted to be part of Wix's growth and we will continue to help SMBs get the best of Google Cloud as part of our strategic partnership with Wix."

Coriant forms IoT partnership with Prodea

Coriant announced a partnership with Prodea to deliver IoT services. The companies will leverage Coriant’s new Multi-Sided Platform Partnership Program and Prodea’s new IoT Service X-Change platform and ecosystem tp accelerate global adoption of IoT services.

Prodea’s IoT Service X-Change is a platform offering turnkey solutions and a framework for rapid IoT service creation and delivery with a comprehensive ecosystem of best-of-breed offerings including guaranteed quality of service. It was developed to solve a number of real problems in the IoT industry, such as:

1) Empowering service providers to participate in the IoT value chain beyond connectivity;
2) Providing a vehicle for efficient launch of partner-powered IoT solutions; and
3) Enabling monetizable and scalable services, rather than just technology components.

“While service providers, enterprises, and other organizations have been working to bring profitable IoT services to market, the full potential of these services has not been realized. In most cases, the challenge has been less about technology and more about optimal approaches to business models, specific verticals, and ecosystem partners,” said Homayoun Razavi, Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Digital Marketing, Coriant.

“We chose to partner with Prodea not only because of their technology innovation, but also because their IoT Service X-Change can form the basis for our Multi-Sided Platform Partnership Program’s distribution of IoT services from ecosystem partners to customers worldwide. We believe this brings together all the right go-to-market ingredients, enabling service providers and enterprises to accelerate monetization of IoT services.”

Twilio posts sales of $115 million, up 41% yoy

Twilio, which enables developers to embed messaging, voice, and video capabilities directly into their software applications, reported Q4 2007 revenue of $115.2 million, up 41% from the fourth quarter of 2016 and 15% sequentially from the third quarter of 2017.

There was a GAAP loss from operations of $20.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with GAAP loss from operations of $12.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Non-GAAP loss from operations was $3.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with non-GAAP profit from operations of $0.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Twilio was serving 48,979 active customer accounts as of December 31, 2017, compared to 36,606 as of December 31, 2016.

“We are kicking off our tenth year as a company with fabulous momentum. I’m very proud of the team for our fourth quarter performance, but my excitement lies in the foundations we’ve laid for the next ten years of Twilio,” said Jeff Lawson, Twilio’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We are poised for a stellar year ahead, built on our relentless focus on customer success, quality, and software-fueled innovation.”

One Africa Network envisions a regional traffic exchange

The Smart Africa Alliance (SAA) and Global Voice Group (GVG) have agreed to build an African Regional Traffic Exchange and Financial Settlement (ARTEF) Platform as part of the One Africa Network (OAN) initiative.

The idea is to establish a harmonized African telecommunications framework that would give African countries the potential to make significant leaps in development through lower intra-region communication costs. For consumers, the goal would be to lower the costs of communications by eliminating roaming charges. This would boost intra-African traffic, leading to more trade and economic growth. Calls from one OAN country to another would not have to leave the OAN zone to incur international changes.

As Patrice Baker, CEO of GVG, pointed out: “The OAN is a major initiative for the socio-economic development of Africa. The idea of a free roaming zone and the necessity of establishing a harmonized African telecommunications framework has been discussed for many years across the continent. It is time now for action. As a technical partner and provider of the traffic exchange platform, GVG is strongly committed to assist SAA members in the successful implementation of the OAN.”

http://smartafrica.org
https://www.globalvoicegroup.com

Monday, February 12, 2018

Oracle to open 12 new cloud data center regions worldwide

Oracle announced plans to significantly expand its cloud infrastructure footprint by opening 12 new data center regions worldwide. The company seeks to increase the breadth and depth of Oracle Cloud services available across Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

The regional expansion will include locations in Asia including China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Korea; Europe including Amsterdam and Switzerland; and North America including two in Canada and two new US locations to support U.S. Department of Defense workloads.

Oracle's portfolio includes the breadth of cloud services (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) and new services in security, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence.

“The future of IT is autonomous. With our expanded, modern data centers, Oracle is uniquely suited to deliver the most autonomous technologies in the world,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. “As we invest, our margins will continue to expand. And with our global datacenter expansion, we are able to help customers lower IT costs, mitigate risks and compete like they never have before.”

In addition, Oracle announced the industry’s first end-to-end financially backed cloud warranty for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Oracle said it is now the only cloud infrastructure provider offering guaranteed service levels across performance, manageability, and availability: the three key characteristics defining how enterprises measure cloud infrastructure providers. Under terms of the new performance SLA, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure guarantees it will deliver more than 90 percent of published performance every day in a given month. If it falls below that level for even as few as 44 minutes a month, customers may claim service credits according to Oracle’s terms of service.

“No cloud provider in the world can match what Oracle guarantees,” said Thomas Kurian, President of Product Development, Oracle. “Our competitors offer narrow commitments and countless exclusions in fine print while Oracle’s SLAs deliver an industry first: guaranteed performance, manageability and availability in the cloud.”

Orange to test 5G Fixed with Cisco and Samsung

Orange is planning to launch a 5G millimeter wave trial in the second half of 2018 in Romania. Cisco and Samsung Electronics have been selected to participate.

Orange is believed to be the first operator to conduct a multi-vendor 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) customer trial in Europe.

 Samsung will provide commercial 5G home routers (indoor and outdoor customer-premises equipment (CPE)), 5G Radio Access Units (RAN) comprised of a compact radio base station and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning services. Cisco will supply its Cisco Ultra Gateway Platform, delivering a 5G virtual packet core on top of Cisco NFV Infrastructure. The mobile gateway will be deployed with Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) for enhanced throughput and flexibility.

“Together with Samsung and Cisco, we are joining forces to drive the development of 5G and prepare for its progressive roll-out starting 2020,” said Arnaud Vamparys, senior vice president, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange. “This trial will demonstrate how FWA, NFV and multi-vendor interoperability create new opportunities and gives us flexibility to build our next-generation network as a multi-service network.”

Citrix acquires Cedexis for application delivery service for multiclouds

Citrix Systems has acquired Cedexis, a start-up that offers a real-time, data-driven service for dynamically optimizing the flow of traffic across public clouds, data centers, CDNs, and ISPs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cedexis, which is based in Portland, Oregon, delivers real-time insight into network performance. This enables intelligent traffic steering for applications in multi-cloud environments.

“Citrix and Cedexis are a natural combination. We see tremendous value for our customers and partners, along with significant growth potential for our solutions,” said Ryan Windham, CEO of Cedexis. “Citrix is the clear leader in software-defined networking that helps IT adopt and manage complex cloud environments. It makes sense to combine our offerings into a comprehensive secure digital perimeter approach, which unifies and delivers the apps, data and services people need to be productive.”

United Airlines picks ViaSat for Ka-band in-flight connectivity

United Airlines awarded a contract to ViaSat to bring its latest generation in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system to more than 70 aircraft, including at least 58 of United's new Boeing 737MAX aircraft. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The service will be delivered over Viasat's advanced high-capacity Ka-band satellite system, which will include the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms.

Viasat's IFEC system will also power United's Private Screening entertainment option, which offers customers access to hundreds of entertainment titles from its onboard library direct to their own devices.

NEC develops digital beamforming for 5G in 28GHZ band

NEC has successfully tested a new digital beamforming transmission method that uses a massive-element active antenna base station and 28 GHz band spectrum.

The demo is described as the simultaneous beamforming transmission (four multi-user MIMO) from a single massive-element active antenna system (AAS) to four terminals.  NEC achieved a 3.1 Gbps cell throughput by applying a frequency bandwidth of 300 MHz.
 
NEC said its massive-element AAS, supporting a 28 GHz band, adopts a fully digital control system, which improves the precision of beamforming. The fully digital control system enables simultaneous beamforming in multiple directions from a single massive-element AAS unit and efficiently implements high-speed and high-capacity communication without interfering with adjacent users through spatial multiplexing.

The beamforming takes into account multipath, a non-direct wave signal, and moderately adjusts beam directions as needed. It also cancels out interference through multipath and reduces performance deterioration caused by inter-cell interference.

NEC enables its advanced beamforming without digital/analog signal and frequency converters. Instead, the massive-element AAS adopts a fully digital control system with less power and more compact conversion functions.

"In order to effectively implement sophisticated services that apply 5G features from 2020 onward, it is essential to utilize 28 GHz and other high frequency radio bands, which enable the securing of wide bandwidth, and the utilization of beamforming," said Katsumi Tanoue, Deputy General Manager, Wireless Access Solution Division, NEC Corporation. "Moving forward, NEC will continue its efforts in development and demonstration tests for a massive-element active antenna base station system that delivers high speed, high capacity and massive connectivity."

Viavi supplies 5G test equipment to China Mobile

VIAVI Solutions is supplying 5G test and measurement solutions to China Mobile, which aims to introduce 5G service in China by the end of 2019. VIAVI said it is a preferred vendor of China Mobile, supporting their specific technologies and aggressive roadmap with advanced test solutions. These include Slicing Packet Network (SPN) with FlexE interface, the technology the carrier is positioning for 5G transport.

Viavi said CMCC has determined that Slicing Packet Network (SPN) is an optimal technology to support next-generation architecture, bandwidth, traffic model, network slicing, latency and time synchronization. Flexible Ethernet or FlexE is used in conjunction with SPN to create smaller Ethernet channels from a larger one, or vice versa, to guarantee quality of service (QoS) and isolation between slices at the transport layer. CMCC has requested that the ITU undertake standardization of SPN. VIAVI is committing to support CMCC by delivering an SPN test platform, establishing a common foundation for network equipment manufacturers, chip developers and transceiver vendors to validate products based on this technology.

Combining Ride Hailing, Smart Cities, and Networking – part 1

Preamble: The world’s largest ride-hailing service is integrating its “DiDi Smart Transportation Brain” with the traffic planning authority in Beijing and other major Chinese cities to optimize the routing of its vehicles and lessen urban congestion. The AI system will pull data from traffic sensors and connected vehicles in a massive network application that will require the most advanced mobile and backhaul network.

On an average day, DiDi Chuxing, the ride-hailing service that acquired Uber China in August 2016, is enabling up to 25 million rides. Its app has been downloaded more than 450 million times. By the company’s reckoning, this makes it the world’s leading mobile transportation platform. There are over 21 million drivers in China signed up for DiDi and by some estimates, 80% of taxi fares in the big cities are now booked via its app.

DiDi has moved well beyond basic car rides. Its app now lets the user pick from a range of transportation options: Taxi, Express, Premier, Luxe, Hitch, Bus, Minibus, Designated Driving, Car Rental, Enterprise Solutions and even Bike-Sharing though the ubiquitous bluegogo brand. Hiring a bike on a short-term basis no longer requires a deposit –just the DiDi app and a valid user account. DiDi is now a simple and cashless way of travelling through China’s municipalities.

Business is booming too for Uber.  However, Uber and to some extent Lyft often finds itself in contentious relationships with the communities it serves. In the UK, Uber is beset by numerous legal and social difficulties. In September, Transport for London, stripped Uber of its license, accusing the company of being “unfit to operate.”  Last week, a protest against Uber by London black cab drivers caused gridlock across the city. Other municipalities are taking action as well. The City of York is the third British municipality that has acted to strip Uber of its license. In the EU, a recent ruling from the European court of justice (ECJ) has determined that Uber is a taxi operator and not an information service, requiring it to accept stricter regulation and licensing terms.  Even in its home market, Uber faces a slew of lawsuits from investors, ex-employees, customers and cities for a list of management missteps, improprieties, questionable business practices, data breaches and possibly criminal behaviour.

In contrast, DiDi Chuxing enjoys the implied endorsement of the Chinese government and the investment of all three of China’s Internet giants – Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent – as well as Apple and dozens of other high-profile investors. Better yet, there is a regulatory framework for the company to grow.  In July 2016, China became the first country to officially legalize ridesharing. This came about when seven of China's ministries, including the Ministry of Transport, jointly published "Preliminary Rules on the Management of Online Car-Booking".

DiDi Chuxing, which is headquartered in Beijing, was founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei, a former employee of Alibaba. The company’s inception came approximately three years after Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick established Uber, but in many ways, its brief life as a business has been just as eventful and even more meteoric.

From the outset, there were local rivals backed by various tech giants and a series of price wars. There were also protests by established taxi companies and their drivers. To gain size and stature, a merger with the biggest rival was necessary, followed by the acquisition of Uber China in August 2016, a deal that some called a forced marriage and others a marriage of convenience. (Uber retained a 5.89% interest in DiDi Chuxing, while DiDi Chuxing also got a minority interest in Uber Global).  The deal effectively consolidated the market in China, leaving this one big player and a much simpler regulatory job for government authorities.

DiDi Chuxing recent milestones
• Completed 7.43 billion rides in 2017. Launched accessible vehicles services with UNDP for disadvantaged people.
• Established a partnership with Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
• Started new joint venture projects to build EV charging networks.
• DiDi Labs opens new campus in Mountain View.
• Adopted Apple Pay as a new payment method
• Announced a strategic partnership with Taxify, a rideshare leader in Europe and Africa.
• Announced a strategic partnership with Careem, the leading ride-hailing and internet platform in the Middle East and North Africa.
• Released DiDi's first open source software, VirtualAPK, a flexible, lightweight and powerful plug-in framework for Android.
• Closed over USD 5.5 billion financing round to support global strategy and technology investments.
• Signed new Smart Transportation partnership with Shenzhen, after Tianjin, Nanjing and Shenyang.
• Launched an overseas car rental service

Quantenna posts Q4 revenue of $41.3m, up 10% yoy

Quantenna Communications, which supplies high-performance Wi-Fi silicon, posted Q4 revenue of $41.275 million, up 10% year-over-year. Full-year 2017 revenue to $176.4 million, representing year-over-year growth of 37%

Q4 net income (NonGAAP) was $455,000or $0.01 per share.

Fourth quarter GAAP gross margin of 51.6% compared to 51.5% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016.

“Overall, 2017 was a very successful year as we posted 37% year-over-year revenue growth. We are pleased to report that our key cable MSO customer has initiated a nationwide rollout of a gateway solution using our industry leading Wave 3 10G technology. We enter 2018 excited about the opportunities in front of us and believe we are well positioned to extend our Wave 2 market opportunities and garner incremental Wave 3 10G designs,” remarked Dr. Sam Heidari, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ericsson says 5G RAN software will be ready by Q4

Ericsson announced that its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) software, based on the recently approved first 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard, will be commercially available by Q4 2018, paving the way for operators to launch commercial services in 2019. The 5G radio network software complements Ericsson’s already launched baseband and 5G radios. The company says all of the base radios from the Ericsson Radio System delivered since 2015 will be 5G NR-capable by a remote software installation.

Ericsson’s 5G radio network software promises multi-band support for global deployment and will allow operators to use new frequency spectrum as it becomes available. It also introduces a new category of radio products called Street Macro – a new site type that addresses the need of operators to grow in cities with limited available radio locations. The idea is to place radios on building facades with a smaller footprint but the necessary strength to secure network efficiency and coverage. Ericsson is also adding new radios with Massive MIMO technology.

Ericsson also announced enhancements to its Distributed Cloud architecture, which support cloud application deployment across multiple sites - central, distributed, and edge. The design can be managed, orchestrated, and perceived as one solution in what the company calls "Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) to the edge". In addition, the Ericsson Distributed Cloud will add support for hardware options in a multi-vendor framework.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, says: “Operators who want to be early with 5G now have the essential pieces for launching 5G networks already this year. With our expanded platform, they will get more efficient networks as well as opportunities to create new revenues from emerging consumer and industrial use cases.”

Switch backs Gigawatt Nevada -- largest solar project in U.S.

Plans were unveiled for Gigawatt Nevada, an initiative to build the single largest solar project portfolio in the United States, by Switch and Capital Dynamics.

Switch is a leading co-location data center operator with massive facilities in Nevada including its flagship campus in Las Vegas and a new campus in Reno. The company also has a marquee data center in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is building another regional data center in Atlanta.

The Gigawatt 1 assets will be owned and developed by Capital Dynamics, the second largest owner of solar projects in the country.  Gigawatt 1 anchor tenants will include Switch and several of its Switch CORE client. The project is negotiating with multiple private and public sector access customers within Nevada and outside the state.

Gigawatt 1 is projecting energy costs substantially less than the renewable energy from NV Energy (Nevada Power).


“The foundation of Gigawatt Nevada is that Nevada should harness the sun the same way Alaska harnesses its oil to significantly benefit all Nevadans,” Rob Roy said.  “Nevada enjoys the best solar window in the nation and so we Nevadans should not only be using solar for ourselves, but exporting it throughout the Western U.S. to create new jobs, tax revenue, economic diversification, and raise energy independence.”

“Climate scientists have repeatedly warned that we must move to renewable energy as rapidly as possible, but many monopoly utilities continue to hold us back from making this transition,” said Gary Cook, Senior IT Sector Analyst and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace.  “Gigawatt 1 shows that when Switch and other leading companies don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, they can work together and kick open the door to large-scale sources of renewable energy that are better for the planet, and better for the economy in Nevada.”

See also