Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Cisco divests its Service Provider Video Software business

Cisco agreed to sell its Service Provider Video Software Solutions (SPVSS) business to a company backed by the Permira Funds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Permira Funds will create a new, rebranded company focused on developing and delivering video solutions for the Pay-TV industry. The new company's portfolio includes Cisco's Infinite Video Platform, cloud digital video recording, video processing, video security, video middleware, and services groups. Dr. Abe Peled, former Chairman and CEO of NDS and adviser to the Permira Funds, will serve as Chairman of the new company.

Cisco will retain the video and media technology related to its core business in networking, multi-cloud, security, data, and collaboration.

"This is a unique opportunity to lead and shape the video industry during its transition with the flexibility as a private company," said Dr. Peled. "The new company will have the scale, technology innovation, and world-class team to deliver outstanding go-to-market execution, customer engagement, and new end-user experiences.  Cisco has built a profitable business in the video space with innovations to capitalize on IP distribution and cloud-based services. These combined assets provide a significant new opportunity for the new company."

Cisco's 'Videoscape Unity' TV Platform -- Streaming Under the Cloud

Cisco introduced its "Videoscape Unity" TV Platform featuring a multiscreen cloud digital video recorder (DVR), which enables consumers to restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen.

Videoscape Unity, which is designed for service providers and media companies, is an open software platform that was created by combining the assets of NDS (which Cisco acquired last year ) with its own Videoscape portfolio.  The new platform comprises a set of cloud, network and client based components, connected by open interfaces.  Some pre-integrated components include:
  • Multiscreen Cloud DVR: Offers cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen.
  • Video Everywhere: Broadens the TV Everywhere proposition with unified search, discovery, and viewing functions to allow consumers to watch premium live and on-demand content on any (service provider managed or unmanaged) connected device regardless of location.
  • Connected Video to Any Device in the Home: Cisco's Connected Video Gateway serves as a single entertainment hub, with back-end management of IP and QAM video, for distributing video content and metadata to any IP-connected device in the home, while providing a unified user experience. 
  • IP Video over Cable: Gives consumers expanded choice of content and IP video services, with faster delivery of on-demand and interactive offerings, across a wider range of service provider managed devices - with the flexibility to add unmanaged devices.

Cisco said a key advantage of Videoscape Unity is that the cloud can now be used "to power personalized video services and enable multiple screens to be synchronized to create a single unified experience for the subscriber, so things look and feel the same no matter what device they use."

Significantly, Cisco is offering Videoscape "as a service," allowing operators to have Cisco build, monitor, operate and even host their video infrastructures.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns1043/networking_solutions_market_segment_solution.html


  • In March 2012, Cisco agreed to acquire NDS Group in a deal valued at approximately $5 billion. NDS, which was owned by News Corp.(49%) and Permira private equity (51%), developed video software and content security for media companies, cable & satellite TV operators and IPTV service providers. Key products included its MediaHighway Set-top Box middleware software, its "XTV" Digital Video Recorder software, its "Snowflake" electronic program guide (EPG), and its "VideoGuard CA" and "VideoGuard Connect" digital rights management system.  NDS customers include some of the largest cable, satellite and broadband pay-TV operators, including Astro, Bharti, BSkyB, Canal Plus, China Central Television ("CCTV"), Cox, DIRECTV, Kabel Deutschland, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, TataSky, UPC and Vodafone. The company notes that a significant portion of its business is recurring, with long-term contracts, typically with an average duration of approximately five years. NDS, which is based in the U.K., has approximately 5,000 employees with facilities in Israel, France, India and China.

  • In January 2011, Cisco's John Chambers outlined a new "Videoscape" portfolio of five major product families aimed at "transforming the TV experience." From the outset, the goal was to work with Service Providers to allow any device over any network to access any content to which they are entitled. Cisco Videoscape would enable service providers to monetize activities outside their own network or traditional device footprints.  A key facet of Videoscape is about delivering a consistent interface across multiple devices, while providing a universal guide and search capabilities across all content sources. This requires building capabilities into the service provider's video back-office using APIs extending across content management systems and virtualized storage. The capabilities would be social network-aware and open to advertising opportunities.

Cisco to acquire Accompany for $270 million

Cisco, agreed to acquire Accompany, a start-up developing an AI-driven relationship intelligence platform, for $270 million in cash.

Accompany, which is based in Los Altos, California, offers business insights for finding new prospects, navigating the selling process, and strengthening relationships. Accompany Founder and CEO Amy Chang will join Cisco as senior vice president in charge of the Collaboration Technology Group. Chang, who has served as a member of Cisco's Board of Directors since October 2016, has in conjunction with the transaction resigned from the Cisco Board of Directors.

Cisco said the acquisition will enable it to take collaboration to the next level with even more intelligence. Accompany's AI technology and talent will help Cisco accelerate priority areas across its collaboration portfolio, such as providing user and company profile data in Webex meetings. Together, Cisco and Accompany will continue to power the future of work in a smarter way to enhance customer experiences.

"Amy has proven to be an effective and innovative leader through her years as an entrepreneur, an engineer, and CEO, and I couldn't be more pleased to have her and the Accompany team join Cisco," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chairman and CEO. "Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to further enhance AI and machine learning capabilities in our collaboration portfolio and continue to create amazing collaboration experiences for customers."

"I am thrilled with the opportunity to join Cisco and the industry's leading collaboration team," said Amy Chang, Accompany founder and CEO. "Enterprise applications are rapidly becoming more intelligent and augmented with data and pertinent information in real-time. By combining Accompany's relationship intelligence capability with Cisco's award-winning collaboration product portfolio, customers will be able to more intelligently collaborate with employees, customers and partners."

In addition, Cisco announced that Rowan Trollope, current senior vice president and general manager of the Collaboration Technology Group, is leaving Cisco to become CEO at another company effective May 3.

In December 2016, Accompany raised $20 million in funding in a round led by Ignition Partners and participation from CRV. This brought total funding to $40 million.

Xtera's subsea repeaters enable C+L transmission on Seaborn's ARBR cable

Seaborn Networks will use Xtera’s wideband repeater to enable C+L band capability for its new ARBR cable between São Paulo and Buenos Aires.

The ARBR submarine fibre optic cable system, which is a fully-funded project developed jointly by Seaborn Networks and the Werthein Group. The 2,700 km open system, 4-fibre pair, 48Tbps, direct PoP-to-PoP subsea cable will connect Argentina and Brazil. The ARBR subsea cable system will allow for direct onward connectivity to New York, via the new Seabras-1 system.

Xtera’s wideband repeater is a hybrid Raman / EDFA design and can be configured to provide bandwidth in the C band alone, or across the C+L bands. First deployed in 2015, Xtera’s addition of Raman amplification to standard repeater technology has been used to achieve bandwidths of approximately 70 nm, while also offering very low noise solutions. Xtera said development continues to increase the capacity on a fibre pair to well over 100Tbit/s, further demonstrating that high capacity solutions do not have to mean large and costly fibre count systems.

In comparison, standard subsea repeaters use a single frequency band to carry the traffic. Seaborn said that by putting both the C and L frequency bands into ARBR’s cable on a fiber pair basis, it can pick and choose which fiber pair uses both bands and which use a single band, therefore enabling a choice between the most cost-efficient deployment of a fiber pair (single band) or an ultra-high capacity fiber pair (C+L). Seaborn is therefore able to tailor the subsea solution of each fiber pair to match the needs of different customers. For instance, carriers, ISPs and enterprise customers need affordable bandwidth from Argentina, whereas hyper-scalers need the assurance of ultra-high capacity throughout the life of the cable system.

“We work constantly with our partners and customers in this dynamic Latin American market to develop subsea cable systems that meet their future bandwidth demands,” says Larry Schwartz, Chairman & CEO of Seaborn. “Use of Xtera’s technology on the ARBR system will allow Seaborn to offer the most advanced system under the sea with on-demand capacities of up to 44Tbit/s per fiber pair. Disruptive innovation like this resonates with our content provider customers and positions us to respond to their needs well into the future.”

Xtera in conversation with Verizon - part 1



The evolution of optical transport technology in terrestrial and subsea networks as we approach Shannon's limit is the topic of discussion in this conversation with Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon, Stuart Barnes, Chairman and CSO, Xtera, and Vijay Rudravajjala, VP Engineering, Xtera.


See video:
https://youtu.be/H3zt-Nd-xQ8

Juniper sees better than expected Q1 results despite declining routing and switching sales

Juniper Networks reported net revenues of $1,082.6 million for the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of 11% year-over-year and 13% sequentially. GAAP operating margin was 5.1%, a decrease from 12.8% in the first quarter of 2017, and a decrease from 16.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017. GAAP net income was $34.4 million, a decrease of 68% year-over-year, resulting in diluted net income per share of $0.10. Non-GAAP net income was $99.5 million, a decrease of 44% year-over-year and 50% sequentially, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $0.28.

“We hit the high-end of our guidance during the March quarter due to better than expected results from our cloud vertical and another quarter of growth in our enterprise business," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. "We are encouraged by the trends we are seeing in several areas of our business and remain confident in our expectation to deliver sequential growth through 2018 and a return to year-over-year growth by the December quarter."

Some highlights from the company's quarterly report:

  • Cloud revenues were up slightly sequentially and ahead of the company's expectations. 
  • The Service Provider vertical was challenged due to the timing of customer deployments, resulting in decreases both year-over-year and sequentially.
  • Enterprise increased 4% year-over-year due to strength from all technologies. 
  • Routing product revenue amounted to $408 million, down 22% year-over-year and down 20% sequentially. 
  • Switching product revenue amounted to $230 million, down 5% year-over-year and down 1% sequentially. 
  • Security product revenue was $73 million, up 11% year-over-year and down 17% sequentially. 
  • Service revenue was $372 million, down 5% year-over-year and down 9% sequentially. 
  • Of the top 10 customers for the quarter, four were Cloud, four were Service Provider, and two were Enterprise. Of these customers, four were located outside of the U.S.
  • Sales in the Americas amounted to $588 million, down 17% year-over-year and down 17% sequentially. 
  • Sales in EMEA amounted to $308 million, up 8% year-over-year and down 5% sequentially. 
  • Sales in APAC amounted to $187 million, down 17% year-over-year and down 11% sequentially

MACOM reports upturn in its most recent fiscal quarter

MACOM reported revenue of $150.4 million for its fiscal second quarter ended March 30, 2018, a decrease of 19.2% compared to $186.1 million in the previous year fiscal second quarter and an increase of 14.9% compared to $130.9 million in the prior fiscal quarter. Gross margin was 43.6%, compared to 37.0% in the previous year fiscal second quarter and 46.6% in the prior fiscal quarter. Net loss from continuing operations was $15.5 million, or $0.50 loss per diluted share, compared to net loss from continuing operations of $134.3 million, or $2.21 loss per diluted share, in the previous year fiscal second quarter and net loss from continuing operations of $17.0 million, or $0.49 loss per diluted share, in the prior fiscal quarter.

“The December quarter marked the bottom of the cycle for MACOM in terms of revenue and demand, as evidenced by our 15% sequential growth. Across our served markets, order intake and customer forecasts returned to more normalized patterns in our fiscal second quarter,” commented John Croteau, President and CEO of MACOM.

“Following last year’s cyclical downturn in China, we believe we are entering the next phase of global infrastructure spending driven by 5G Telecom, continued strong investment by Cloud Service Providers, and now, a surge in defense spending and industrial capital investment. We’ve spent the last couple of years developing a portfolio of disruptive products and technologies to service these targeted areas of secular growth. Major customers have validated our technology and capabilities and are actively sponsoring us as we work to ramp volume.”

American Tower reports robust demand as sales grow 7.8% yoy

American Tower reported revenue of $1.742 billion for Q1 2018, up 7.8% over last year.

“The strong demand we experienced in late 2017 for our telecommunications real estate further accelerated in the U.S. as well as in our Latin America and EMEA regions in the first quarter of 2018. Notably, record levels of new business commencements, along with a robust pipeline of applications for both amendments and new colocations resulted in our increase in expectations for full year U.S. Organic Tenant Billings Growth to approximately 6.5% in 2018," stated Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer.

During Q1, American Tower spent approximately $673 million to acquire nearly 10,600 sites primarily in international markets, including approximately 10,200 sites in India as part of its previously announced transaction with Vodafone India Limited.

Networking notes from Facebook's F8 Developer Summit

Here are some networking notes from Facebook's F8 developer conference this week in San Jose, California:

  • Facebook is fully invested in the Messenger platform.
  • Businesses are using Messenger to handle 8 billion customer messagers per month
  • Messenger is adding real-time translation between major languages
  • Facebook has attracted over 200,000 independent developers for Messenger
  • Facebook is adding Augmented Reality capabilities to Messenger and its bots
  • Over 300,000 bots have been created for Messenger
  • Facebook is also fully committed to WhatsApp, which has 450 million daily users.
  • WhatsApp is the largest implementation of end-to-end encryption
  • WhatsApp handles 65 billion messages per day, and these are not retained by the company.
  • WhatsApp is handling 2 million minutes of voice/Video calling per day
  • Group calling will soon be available on WhatsApp
  • Facebook is adding Augmented Reality features to Instagram.
  • Instagram is adding video chat.
  • Facebook began selling a standalone VR headset for $199.

Materials from the event are posted here: https://www.f8.com/

IDT launches High Baud Rate Linear Driver for 400G/600G

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) introduced its new GX76470 64G linear driver, in die form, for optical integrated modules, for 400G/600G coherent applications.

The driver is designed for OIF defined, highly integrated optical sub-assembly modules such as the HB-CDM (High Bandwidth Coherent Driver Modulator) and IC-TROSA (Integrated Coherent Transmitter-Receiver Optical Sub-Assembly) which enable miniaturization of optical transceiver modules and lowering the component cost for 400G ZR, metro, Data Center Interconnect (DCI) applications.  As such, the optical sub-assemblies are promising to be applicable to all the key small form factors: QSFP-DD, OSFP, CFP4-ACO, and CFP2-DCO.

"IDT's new GX76470 driver is another exciting addition to the expanding portfolio of data center and telecommunication solutions," said Dr. Koichi Murata, marketing director, Telecom, for IDT's Optical Interconnects Division. "Consumer and business demand for new, bandwidth-hungry applications and service like 5G, IoT, Smart City and virtual reality is driving the need for faster, more cost-effective data centers solutions that can be supported by our GX76470 driver and other new devices."

Interxion plans new data centres in AMS and Frankfurt

Interxion announced new data centre builds in Amsterdam (“AMS10”) and Frankfurt (“FRA14”), together with an expansion at the Science Park facility (“AMS9.2”) and the acquisition of land and a building at the Schiphol-Rijk campus in Amsterdam. The company is raising its 2018 annual capital expenditure guidance to €365 million - €390 million to account for the additional spending.
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“Interxion is continuing to see a strong flow of opportunities across markets and customer segments and we are increasing our expansion programme to address this demand,” said David Ruberg, Interxion’s Chief Executive Officer. “Customers are recognising the value of our communities of interest and our trusted provider status for their mission critical applications. We are capturing deals from multiple customer segments, including connectivity, digital media, Cloud platforms and enterprises, and across the size spectrum. Of the announced phases in AMS9.2, AMS10 and FRA14, approximately 25% of the capacity is pre-sold.”

Monday, April 30, 2018

Verizon simplifies with multiservice edge

Verizon is using SDN to combine all of its existing service edge routers for Ethernet and IP-based services onto a single platform. Verizon is working with Cisco and Juniper on this new multi-service edge. The solution features a disaggregated control plane and leverages external compute to enhance the capabilities of that control plane beyond that of a traditional router.

“Software defined networking continues to deliver on its promise to improve network management and also enables us to be more nimble in the ways we serve our customers,” said Michael Altland, director, Network Infrastructure Planning, at Verizon. “By decoupling the control plane from a carrier-grade provider edge routing platform and moving it to general compute servers, we can serve our consumer and enterprise customers from the same platform, giving them all the functionality they need, while running our networks far more efficiently. This will also allow us to take advantage of future advances in server technology as our networks continue to grow.”

“Verizon continues to cross key milestones in transforming its networking practices to maximize performance and simplify operations,” said Sumeet Arora, senior vice president of engineering, Service Provider Business, Cisco. “With this new flexibility, Verizon can develop and launch innovative services for its customers faster, with improved efficiency.”

“Next-generation services that require low latency and real-time response are moving closer to users at the network edge, creating new gains in performance and business agility,” said Bikash Koley, chief technology officer, Juniper Networks.

Company profile: Adolite, an optical components start-up in Silicon Valley and Taiwan

Unlocking manufacturing bottlenecks for optical transceivers may be key in the race to 400G

Nearly two dozen companies announced 400G capabilities of some sort at the recent OFC 2018 conference, including transceivers in various formats, active optical cables, backplane interconnects, interface cards, optical module drivers, test equipment, and even full-blown switches. 

A few months ago, Broadcom announced commercial shipments of its StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Ethernet switch silicon, boasting 12.8 Terabits/sec in a single device – enough to drive 32 x 400GbE ports. It has since followed up with the commercial shipment of a 400G gearbox device for hyperscale data centre and cloud applications – the BCM81724. This device is an 8x56-Gbps PAM-4 to 16x25-Gbps NRZ forward and reverse gearbox designed to enable next-generation high-performance switches with PAM-4 I/Os to connect to the large existing ecosystem of switches and plug-in modules with NRZ interface. We should see data centre switches with 400G ports on the market soon.

Put all of these together and we have a 400G ecosystem that is primed for rapid growth. Hyperscale data centres say their networks are besieged with a flood of east-west data flows. They are ready to deploy 400G backbones.

However, volume production of 400G transceivers may be a gating factor that holds back mass deployment of 400G data centre backbones for much of 2018 and into next year. Simply put, the market may remain supply constrained until transceiver manufacturers bring more manufacturing capacity online. This is difficult to do because building the highest performance optical transceivers requires skilled labor and specialised equipment to precisely align light sources, lenses and fibre in a repeatable fashion. The manufacturing, especially when we are talking about the multiple lanes required to achieve 400G, is hard to do.

Adolite, a privately-held start-up with its head office in Santa Clara, California and its manufacturing base in Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park, was founded earlier this year with a vision to solve this problem. The company has developed a breakthrough optical interconnect solution that simplifies the manufacturing of optical transceivers and on-board optics in high volume.

Adolite’s key innovation is to embed optical waveguides and electrical circuits into a single layer of flexible polymer circuit (FPC). The process directly integrates lasers and photo diodes onto the FPC using flip chip bonding techniques, eliminating the need for lenses and difficult fibre alignment and bonding, which is time consuming. Conventionally, microscopes were needed for the difficult and imprecise fibre alignment step and this led to low-yields and high costs in transceiver manufacturing.
By directly embedding the optical waveguides and electrical circuits into the FPC, the manufacturing process is greatly simplified and yields should go up, leading to faster production and lower costs. 
 
While other companies are using FPC technology, their implementations have been electric-only FPC bonded to optical layers, still requiring lenses and complex alignment during manufacturing.

Much of Adolite’s innovation is centred on the process of integrating optical reflectors and polymer waveguides on a single FPC layer. Adolite says thermal management and material science techniques enable its FPC to handle 400G data rates and up. The polymer material is sourced from Japan. The company says its design also uses significantly less power – perhaps as little as 10 percent of its competitors – which would also be a strategic advantage in dense data centres. Patents are pending. The company is also on track to receive ISO 9001: 2015 certification in the 2nd half of 2018 for its manufacturing operations in Taiwan. Patent filings are underway.

Adolite is using its technology to build its own line of optical transceivers and on-board optic solutions for 25G, 100G, 200G, 400G and upwards. It product plans extend from 25 SFP28  AOCs to 400G QSFP DD PAM4 (FR4) transceivers. Adolite expects to have volume production of its 400G solutions by Q1 2019.

For a start-up, ramping up from prototype to manufacturing in only twelve months is a challenge.  In this case, there will be big rewards for companies that open up the 400G market. Adolite is headed by Abraham Jou (CEO), who worked five years on the R&D team at Apple and went on to found two start-ups, PayEase (payments and big data processing) and Silicon Valley Communications (optical communications). Its technical team includes Dr. David Chung, CTO, Dr. Paul Wu in the critical role of EVP of Production, and Dr. Kenny Young as Principle Engineer.. The company has not disclosed its investor or its funding level to date, but no doubt will attract the attention of the venture capital community as its transceivers based on its FPC technology are put to the test.

The Race to 400G

Adolite’s simplified production process could be especially useful to hyperscale data centres operators who find a constrained market for transceivers. Broadcom may already be shipping its 400G silicon to hyperscale data centre operators who are designing and building custom switches for their backbones. Clearly, a very large number of 400G ports will be needed in data centres hosting 100s of thousands of Xeon servers with 25G interfaces. Adolite’s flexible polymer circuit is a promising solution to ramp up manufacturing

Intel intros two AI software applications

Intel introduced two artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software applications that associative memory learning and reasoning to facilitate faster issue resolution. Target applications include issue resolution for manufacturing, software and aerospace.

The Intel Saffron AI Quality and Maintenance Decision Support Suite is comprised of:

Similarity Advisor finds the closest match to the issue under review, across both resolved and open cases, identifying paths to resolution from previous cases and surfacing duplicates to reduce backlogs.

Classification Advisor automatically classifies work issues into pre-set categories, regulator mandated or self-defined, speeding up and increasing reporting accuracy while improving operations planning.

“Testing is transforming into quality engineering where applied intelligence is at the core of driving productivity and agility,” said Kishore Durg, senior managing director, Growth and Strategy and Global Testing Services Lead for Accenture. “The Accenture Touchless Testing Platform is augmented with artificial intelligence technology from Intel Saffron AI that brings in analytics and visualization capabilities. These support rapid decision-making and help reduce over-engineering efforts that can save anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of time and effort.”

Intel Nervana Aims for AI

Intel introduced its "Nervana" platform and outlined its broad for artificial intelligence (AI), encompassing a range of new products, technologies and investments from the edge to the data center.

Intel currently powers 97 percent of data center servers running AI workloads on its existing Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi processors, along with more workload-optimized accelerators, including FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).

Intel said the breakthrough technology acquired from Nervana earlier this summer will be integrated into its product roadmap. Intel will test first silicon (code-named “Lake Crest”) in the first half of 2017 and will make it available to key customers later in the year. In addition, Intel announced a new product (code-named “Knights Crest”) on the roadmap that tightly integrates best-in-class Intel Xeon processors with the technology from Nervana. Lake Crest is optimized specifically for neural networks to deliver the highest performance for deep learning and offers unprecedented compute density with a high-bandwidth interconnect.

Keysight announces 5G NR Emulation

Keysight Technologies announced its PROPSIM F64 5G Channel Emulation Solution – the industry’s first 5G New Radio (NR)-ready channel emulation solution. Keysight’s PROPSIM F64 5G Channel Emulation Solution enables chipset, device, and network equipment manufacturers to characterize end-to-end system performance of the latest 4G and 5G base stations and mobile devices by emulating real-world radio conditions in the lab.

Keysight said its PROPSIM F64 5G Channel Emulation Solution supports all 5G NR signal bandwidths, carrier aggregation (CA) schemes, and offers the highest number of channels for massive MIMO channel emulation and testing. The solution integrates channel modeling tools for user-defined 3D spatial scenarios and dynamic modeling of movement. It supports both conducted and Over-The-Air (OTA) testing across sub 6 GHz and mmWave frequencies.

“With the PROPSIM F64 5G launch, Keysight is the first to deliver a portfolio of 5G NR-ready channel emulation solutions across all 5G new radio signal bandwidths and carrier aggregation schemes,” said Kailash Narayanan, vice president and general manager for Wireless Device and Operators at Keysight. “The new 5G Channel Emulation solution delivers end-to-end realistic and repeatable real-world performance testing in the lab, and enables real world emulation of networks essential for 5G deployment.”

http://www.keysight.com/find/5G


  • In December 2017, Keysight was also first to introduce a 5G NR-ready network emulation solution which allows the entire mobile ecosystem to benefit from a common scripting engine that uses interactive 5G stack and tools, breaking down the silos and disconnected workflows between teams, and achieving cost-efficient testing.



Dell Technologies Capital: One third of new bets focused on AI/ML

Since emerging from stealth a year ago, Dell Technologies Capital, the venture investment practice for Dell Technologies, has completed 24 new and follow-on investments as part of its $100 million average annual investment run rate.

The company reports that a third of its new investments are focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and the remaining investments focused on security, next-gen infrastructure and other technology areas strategic to the Dell Technologies family of companies.

Some other notes.

  • Dell Technologies Capital had 11 exits in the past year, of which three of its portfolio companies IPO'd in the past seven months. 
  • Dell Technologies Capital was the first institutional investor in Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS), a leading pioneer in transforming network security for the cloud era; the startup went public in March 2018. 
  • Dell Technologies Capital invested in MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB) which went public in October 2017 
  • Dell Technologies Capital invested in DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU), which also went public recently
  • Dell Technologies Capital's portfolio includes several startups currently experiencing growth rates of more than 100% and several exceeding $50 million in revenue. 

"Since coming out of stealth at Dell EMC World last year, we've had a very busy, and very successful, year," said Scott Darling, president of Dell Technologies Capital. "We are delighted with our continued strong performance and the market reception to the DocuSign, MongoDB and Zscaler IPOs. The real value we bring to Dell Technologies and our startup portfolio companies is through our joint work, which allows us to deliver best-of-breed solutions for our customers faster, especially in emerging tech areas."


https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/capital/ventures/portfolio.htm

Akamai continued to grow at 11% annual clip in Q1

Akamai Technologies reported revenue was $669 million, an 11% increase over first quarter 2017 revenue of $600 million and a 9% increase when adjusted for foreign exchange. GAAP net income was $54 million, a 28% decrease from first quarter 2017. Non-GAAP net income* was $136 million, a 19% increase from first quarter 2017.


  • Web Division revenue was $353 million, up 16% year-over-year and up 13% when adjusted for foreign exchange.
  • Media and Carrier Division revenue was $316 million, up 6% year-over-year and up 4% when adjusted for foreign exchange
  • Cloud Security Solutions revenue was $149 million, up 36% year-over-year and up 32% when adjusted for foreign exchange
  • Revenue from Internet Platform Customers was $44 million, down 14% year-over-year and when adjusted for foreign exchange.

"We are very pleased with the results of our first quarter performance, which featured continued outstanding growth in our security business, substantial improvement in our media business, margin expansion and accelerated revenue growth overall," said Dr. Tom Leighton, Chief Executive Officer.



ZTE posted a Q1 growth rate of 12% prior to export ban on its suppliers

ZTE reported revenue of RMB 28.879 billion (US$5.548 billion) for the first quarter of 2018, up 12% over the same period in 2017. Net profit after extraordinary items attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company amounted to RMB 1.368 billion (US$216 million).

The company said it is still assessing the impact of the export ban imposed on its U.S. suppliers by the U.S. Department of Commerce, stating that this action will have adverse effects.

The 2018 First Quarterly Report was prepared prior to the issuance of the export ban order, therefore ZTE said it was unable  "to ensure the truthfulness, accuracy and completeness of the contents of this report" in light of the order.


Semiconductor sales top $111 billion in Q1, up 20%

Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $111.1 billion during the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017, but 2.5 percent less than the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Sales for the month of March 2018 came in at $37.0 billion, an increase of 20 percent compared to the March 2017 total of $30.8 billion and 0.7 percent more than the February 2018 total of $36.8 billion.

"The global semiconductor market has demonstrated impressive growth through the first quarter of 2018, far exceeding sales through the same point in 2017, which was a record year for semiconductor revenues," said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "Sales in March increased year-to-year for the 20th consecutive month. All regional markets experienced double-digit growth compared to last year, and all major semiconductor product categories experienced year-to-year growth, with memory products continuing to lead the way."

Chris McGugan returns to Avaya as Chief Technologist

Chris McGugan has re-joined Avaya in a new role as Chief Technology Strategist.

In his previous tenure with Avaya, McGugan was Vice President of Emerging Products and Technology, and of Contact Center Solutions and Marketing. He has also held executive and management positions at Belkin, Cisco and Motorola/Symbol Technologies, in addition to several board advisory positions at technology companies around the globe.

See also