Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Xilinx looks beyond FPGAs with Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform

At its second annual Xilinx Developer Forum (XDF) in San Jose, Xilinx unveiled strategic moves beyond its mainstay field-programmable gate array (FPGAs) with the introduction of its own accelerator line cards and, more significantly, a new Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP).

Xilinx, which got its start in 1984 and now sells a broad range of FPGAs and complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs), is transforming itself into a higher-value platform provider not only for existing workloads but for new domains, especially AI, hyperscale cloud data centers, autonomous vehicles, and 5G infrastructure.

In a keynote at the event, Victor Peng Xilinx's new CEO, Victor Peng, who took over the leadership position in January from Moshe Gavriel, said that a transformation is being driven by the rapid rise in overall compute workloads hitting just as Moore's Law is slowing down. Xilinx's chief advantages have been flexibility and performance compared to custom ASICs. As we move into the era of machine learning and artificial intelligence, Xilinx is positioning itself as a better alternative to CPUs (especially Intel), GPUs (especially NVIDIA), and the custom silicon developed by hyperscale cloud giants (especially Google and soon likely others).

As part of its updated data center strategy, Xilinx is announcing its own portfolio of accelerator cards for industry-standard servers in cloud and on-premise data centers. The new Alveo PCIe cards are powered by the Xilinx UltraScale+ FPGA, are available now for production orders. Customers can reconfigure the hardware, enabling them to optimize for shifting workloads, new standards, and updated algorithms.

Xilinx says performance when used in machine learning frameworks will be great. An Alveo U250 card increases real-time inference throughput by 20X versus high-end CPUs, and more than 4X for sub-two-millisecond low-latency applications versus fixed-function accelerators like high-end GPUs.  Alveo is supported by an ecosystem of partners and OEMs including Algo-Logic Systems Inc, Bigstream, BlackLynx Inc., CTAccel, Falcon Computing, Maxeler Technologies, Mipsology, NGCodec, Skreens, SumUp Analytics, Titan IC, Vitesse Data, VYUsync and Xelera Technologies.

"The launch of Alveo accelerator cards further advances Xilinx's transformation into a platform company, enabling a growing ecosystem of application partners that can now innovate faster than ever before," said Manish Muthal, vice president, data center, Xilinx. "We are seeing strong customer interest in Alveo accelerators and are delighted to partner with our application ecosystem to deliver production-deployable solutions based on Alveo to our customers."

The second big announcement from XDF was the unveiling Versal adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP), a fully software-programmable, heterogeneous compute platform that combines Scalar Engines, Adaptable Engines, and Intelligent Engines. Xilinx is claiming dramatic performance improvements of up to 20X over today's FPGAs, and over 100X over today's fastest CPUs. Target applications include Data Center, wired network, 5G wireless, and automobile driver assist applications.

The Versal ACAP is built on TSMC's 7-nanometer FinFET process technology. It combines software programmability with domain-specific hardware acceleration and the adaptability/

Xilinx already has plans for six series of devices in the Versal family.  This includes the Versal Prime series, Premium series and HBM series, which are designed to deliver performance, connectivity, bandwidth, and integration for the most demanding applications. It also includes the AI Core series, AI Edge series, and AI RF series, which feature the breakthrough AI Engine. The AI Engine is a new hardware block designed to address the emerging need for low-latency AI inference for a wide variety of applications and also supports advanced DSP implementations for applications like wireless and radar. It is tightly coupled with the Versal Adaptable Hardware Engines to enable whole application acceleration, meaning that both the hardware and software can be tuned to ensure maximum performance and efficiency.

"With the explosion of AI and big data and the decline of Moore's Law, the industry has reached a critical inflection point. Silicon design cycles can no longer keep up with the pace of innovation," says Peng. "Four years in development, Versal is the industry's first ACAP. We uniquely designed it to enable all types of developers to accelerate their whole application with optimized hardware and software and to instantly adapt both to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. It is exactly what the industry needs at the exact moment it needs it."

The Versal AI Core series, which is optimized for cloud, networking, and autonomous technology, has five devices, offering 128 to 400 AI Engines. The series includes dual-core Arm Cortex-A72 application processors, dual-core Arm Cortex-R5 real-time processors, 256KB of on-chip memory with ECC, more than 1,900 DSP engines optimized for high-precision floating point with low latency. It also incorporates more than 1.9 million system logic cells combined with more than 130Mb of UltraRAM, up to 34Mb of block RAM, and 28Mb of distributed RAM and 32Mb of new Accelerator RAM blocks, which can be directly accessed from any engine and is unique to the Versal AI series' – all to support custom memory hierarchies. The series also includes PCIe Gen4 8-lane and 16-lane, and CCIX host interfaces, power-optimized 32G SerDes, up to 4 integrated DDR4 memory controllers, up to 4 multi-rate Ethernet MACs, 650 high-performance I/Os for MIPI D-PHY, NAND, storage-class memory interfacing and LVDS, plus 78 multiplexed I/Os to connect external components and more than 40 HD I/Os for 3.3V interfacing. All of this is interconnected by a state-of-the-art network-on-chip (NoC) with up to 28 master/slave ports, delivering multi-terabit per-second bandwidth at low latency combined with power efficiency and native software programmability.  The full product table is now available.

The Versal Prime series is designed for broad applicability across multiple markets and is optimized for connectivity and in-line acceleration of a diverse set of workloads. This mid-range series is made up of nine devices, each including dual-core Arm Cortex-A72 application processors, dual-core Arm Cortex-R5 real-time processors, 256KB of on-chip memory with ECC, more than 4,000 DSP engines optimized for high-precision floating point with low latency. It also incorporates more than 2 million system logic cells combined with more than 200Mb of UltraRAM, greater than 90Mb of block RAM, and 30Mb of distributed RAM to support custom memory hierarchies. The series also includes PCIe® Gen4 8-lane and 16-lane, and CCIX host interfaces, power-optimized 32 gigabits-per-second SerDes and mainstream 58 gigabits-per-second PAM4 SerDes, up to 6 integrated DDR4 memory controllers, up to 4 multi-rate Ethernet MACs, 700 high-performance I/Os for MIPI D-PHY, NAND, and storage-class memory interfaces and LVDS, plus 78 multiplexed I/Os to connect external components, and greater than 40 HD I/O for 3.3V interfacing. All of this is interconnected by a state-of-the-art network-on-chip (NoC) with up to 28 master/slave ports, delivering multi-terabits per-second bandwidth at low latency combined with power efficiency and native software programmability. The full product table is available now.

Digital Realty opens state-of-the-art Global Operations Command Center in NJ

Digital Realty opened a new, state-of-the-art Global Operations Command Center in Clifton, NJ.  The new facility continuously monitors and manages the health and performance of Digital Realty's 198 global data centers, providing centralized network and infrastructure monitoring, product support, event management and security. 

Digital Realty said the new command center also enables advanced communications coordination and standardization for major events and escalated threat conditions for effective regional readiness.  Digital Realty staff at all facilities are kept apprised of weather changes and other events through real-time updates and closely monitor developments to fully understand their impact on local environmental and municipal services.

"Digital Realty designed the recently expanded Global Operations Command Center to ensure our customers' success and enhance the resiliency of their data center operations," said Erich Sanchack, Digital Realty Executive Vice President, Operations.  "The command center enables customers to rapidly adapt to changing technologies and to better utilize the right tools to correlate events, automate certain tasks and provide visibility into network health.  Our notifications capabilities, for instance, allow customers to strategically allocate resources for routine and event-driven maintenance across their global footprints.  This helps ensure data center availability and safeguards our customers' digital capital to make growing their businesses easier than ever before."

Italy raises EUR 6.5 billion in 5G spectrum auction

The government of Italy raised EUR 6.50 billion in an auction of 700 MHz, 3700 MHz, and 26 GHz spectrum for 5G usage. The total significantly exceeded the expected EUR 4 billion government forecast.

Winning bidders included Iliad Italia, Vodafone Italia, Telecom Italia, Fastweb, and Wind TRE.

700 MHz

Iliad Italia garnered 10 MHz in the 700 MHz FDD band for EUR 676 million,472,792.00 euros, while Vodafone SpA was awarded 2 generic lots in the 700 MHz FDD band, for a total of 10 MHz at a bid of EUR 683 million, The remaining 2 generic batches in the 700 MHz FDD band, for a total of 10 MHz, were awarded to Telecom Italia for EUR 680 million.

26 GHz

Five lots in the 26 GHz band awarded: Telecom Italia won a lot for EUR 33 million; Iliad Italia won a lot for EU 32.9 million; Fastweb SpA won a lot for EUR 32.6 million; Wind 3 won a lot for EUR 32.5 million, and Vodafone Italia won a lot for EUR 32.6 million.

3700 MHz band

Telecom Italia won the specific lot (C1) of 80 MHz for EUR 1.694 billion; Vodafone Italia was awarded a generic lot of 80 MHz for EUR 1.685 billion; Wind 3 was awarded a generic lot of 20 MHz for EUR 484 million; and Iliad Italia won the second generic lot of 20 MHz for EUR 483.9 million.

http://www.sviluppoeconomico.gov.it/index.php/it/per-i-media/comunicati-stampa/it/194-comunicati-stampa/2038666-gara-5g



Holston Electric Coop deploys ADTRAN’s Total Access 5000, GPON

Holston Electric Cooperative (HEC), which serves 25,000 residential and 5,500 commercial and industrial members in the Tennessee Valley, is using ADTRAN’s Total Access 5000 Gigabit services platform with Ethernet Transport Optical Switch (ETOS-10) and GPON.

HEC partnered with solution provider FiberRise to build its broadband network. The HolstonConnect network is establishing a long-term, multi-gigabit fiber access solution built on an open, scalable architecture.

“HEC and other electric cooperatives continue to be at the forefront of delivering much needed broadband service to rural communities,” ADTRAN Vice President of Regional Service Provider Sales Brian Efimetz said. “As our partnerships within the electric coop market continue to expand significantly, we are proud to work with an ever-growing number of coops to serve their members’ needs by delivering dependable solutions and services.”

Holston Electric Cooperative General Manager James Sandlin, P.E., stated "the electric business has become fairly challenging over the past decade. Members are using less electricity each year because the appliances and devices that coop members buy today are more energy-efficient than those they replace. By investing in state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure with ADTRAN access solutions, Holston can diversify our member offerings with triple-play services of voice, video and broadband as well as benefit from newly enabled applications, such as smart grid management of our electrical network and smart home solutions."

New IEEE 802.3bt Power over Ethernet standard scales to 10G

The Ethernet Alliance hailed the ratification of IEEE 802.3bt, IEEE Standard for Ethernet - Amendment 2: Power over Ethernet (PoE) over 4 Pairs.

Among other additions, the newly ratified specification introduces four new classes and increases maximum power levels supplied by a factor of three.

IEEE 802.3bt offers a host of new features and capabilities, such as support for highly efficient 4-pair power delivery, and channel definitions for 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps, and 10 Gbps PoE operations, among others.

Ratified in September 2018, the new specification also boosts the maximum power that power sourcing equipment (PSEs) are capable of by a factor of three, expanding it from 30 to 90 watts, and elevates the power level for powered devices (PDs) to 71.3 watts. Additionally, IEEE 802.3bt doubles the number of supported classes from four to eight, addressing Type 3 and 4 devices for both PSEs and PDs between 4 – 90 watts and 3.84 – 71.3 watts respectively.

“The IEEE 802.3bt standard was skillfully crafted to facilitate the swift expansion of an array of PoE use cases. This inherent flexibility will help future-proof networks by enabling them to capitalize on a new generation of advanced PoE technologies,” said John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance. “With the increased number of classes and extended range of use cases of the IEEE 802.3bt standard, it’s imperative to have an effective means for easily identifying which PDs and PSEs can be coupled together, and that’s where the Ethernet Alliance Generation 2 PoE Certification Program will come in. By providing a quick, effortless approach for visually identifying compatible products, the program helps promote multivendor interoperability and ensures users reap the full benefits of current and future PoE solutions.”

http://www.ethernetalliance.org

Ericsson plans first 600 MHz spectrum trials with regional U.S. carriers

Ericsson will conduct a joint 4G LTE trial using 600 MHz spectrum with Agri-Valley Services and NewCore Wireless in Caro, Michigan. This will be the first 600 MHz trial with a regional carrier in the United States.

Agri-Valley Services is testing the performance of 600 MHz band for fixed wireless access for its subscribers. NewCore Wireless, a leader in providing hosted solutions for regional carriers, will offer hosted core services for Agri Valley Services.

Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks, Ericsson North America, says: "The success of this trial will be a gateway to enabling 600 MHz 4G LTE coverage to our rural customers on their existing network infrastructure. It will enable more options for customers who want to choose fixed wireless access solutions." 

Nokia leverages Keysight's 5G test

Nokia has selected Keysight Technologies’ Nemo Outdoor field test solution, FieldFox spectrum analyzer and Nemo Analyze as several of their preferred toolsets for the measurement of 5G new radio (NR) radio-wave propagation in the field. Nokia will also use Keysight solution fo verification of outdoor and indoor coverage across both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequency ranges. Keysight’s solutions also help enable Nokia to benchmark new software releases and features in the network and validate the quality of the company’s 5G network solutions.

“5G NR leverages massive MIMO and beamforming capabilities, which need to be extensively tested in a field environment,” said Erkka Ala-Tauriala, head of cloud development services at Nokia. “Keysight’s 5G field measurement solutions help our field verification teams verify feature performance and ensure proper functionality prior to network deployment. A single, portable solution capable of measuring both mmWave and sub-6GHz frequency ranges, allows us to verify 5G coverage in both indoor and outdoor environments.”

Monday, October 1, 2018

AT&T releases spec for White Box Cell Site Gateway Router

AT&T published specifications for a "white box" cell site gateway router designed to serve its backhaul transport requirements in its next-gen network. AT&T has previously disclosed plans to deploy up to 60,000 such routers at cell towers over the next few years. The specs, which are being released to the Open Compute Project, could be used by network vendors as reference designs. AT&T is developing its own network operating system software, based on technology from its Vyatta acquisition, to control and manage the white box hardware.

“This transformation is about meeting the surging data demands of our customers as we head into this 5G world,” said Chris Rice, senior vice president, Network Cloud and Infrastructure at AT&T. “Data traffic on our wireless network has grown 360,000% since 2007. We now carry more than 222 petabytes of data on an average business day. The old hardware model simply can’t keep up, and we need to get faster and more efficient. We believe this white box approach helps us meet that demand while allowing us and others now to innovate faster than ever before.”

AT&T said its white box could be coupled with a separate, disaggregated software solution. This creates several advantages:
  • It decouples hardware from software, so providers have freedom to choose software implementations that best support their business and operational models.
  • It is designed to support a wide range of speeds on the client side including 100M/1G needed for legacy Baseband Unit systems and next generation 5G Baseband Unit systems operating at 10G/25G and backhaul speeds up to 100G.
  • It is designed to operate at industrial temperature ranges (-40C to +65C).
  • It features the Broadcom Qumran-AX switching chip with deep buffers to support advanced features and QOS.
  • It includes a baseboard management controller (BMC) for platform health status monitoring and recovery.
  • It includes a powerful CPU for network operating software.
  • It has timing circuitry that supports a variety of inputs and outputs to meet the evolving timing requirements and implementations in the 5G technology evolution.

“We’re very excited to be contributing our hardware specification to the Open Compute Project” said Michael Satterlee, vice president of Network Infrastructure and Services at AT&T Labs. “We’ve future-proofed it with high-speed interfaces and density, timing features, Quality of Service capabilities, and a powerful processor. We’re confident other mobile service providers will look at this spec and conclude, like us, that this platform can meet their needs.”

“Our product development and quality assurance processes are structured to ensure we deliver a reliable, feature-rich, and secure product into our production network” said Ken Duell, assistant vice president of Packet Edge Development at AT&T Labs. “We take our time and do it right because we know the stakes are high. We’re on track to meet the commitment made earlier this year to begin First Field Applications (FFA) this calendar year and in time refreshing our entire base of over 60,000 cell site routers to this new white box implementation.”

https://about.att.com/story/2018/5g_cell_specifications.html

The DANOS Project promises a Unified Network Operating System

The Linux Foundation will host a new Disaggregated Network Operating System (DANOS) project to enable community collaboration across network hardware, forwarding and operating system layers.

DANOS is initially based on AT&T’s “dNOS” software framework of an open, cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional networking operating systems.

A first code release is expected the second half of 2018.

“We are pleased to welcome DANOS to The Linux Foundation community of open, collaborative innovation,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking, The Linux Foundation. “DANOS will provide an open NOS framework that leverages existing open source resources and complementary platforms such as switches and white box routers. We invite others in the broader ecosystem to join the effort to accelerate innovation and creation of an industry-standard disaggregated NOS.”

“As far as we know, DANOS is an industry first: an open-source, carrier-grade operating system for wide area networks,” said John Medamana, Vice President, Packet Optical Network, AT&T. “DANOS is a milestone for us and the industry, and we’re excited to see how developers and other users implement and build upon it.”

“ONF has been a champion of disaggregation, white boxes and open source and in this regard, we are happy to see DANOS launched as a carrier-grade, open source network OS for white boxes,” said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF. “We are looking forward to DANOS and ONF’s recent open source platform Stratum, thin switch OS, working together.”

AT&T’s whitepaper on the dNOS framework is available here: http://about.att.com/content/dam/innovationblogdocs/att-routing-nos-open-architecture_FINAL%20whitepaper.pdf

Infinera completes its acquisition of Coriant

Infinera completed its previously-announced acquisition of Coriant. Under the deal, which was announced on July 23, 2018, Infinera issued 20,975,384 shares of its common stock and will pay an aggregate amount of cash consideration consisting of approximately $230 million, of which approximately $154 million was paid upon closing.

Infinera said the acquisition significantly increases its revenue and customer base. The newly combined company serves nine of the top 10 global network operators and the top six global internet content providers as customers. The combined portfolio includes end-to-end packet optical network solutions for communications service providers and internet content providers.

“This is an exciting day for Infinera. The acquisition of Coriant is a major milestone, expanding the scope of our vertical integration strategy across a powerful suite of packet optical solutions for our customers,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. “The acquisition immediately strengthens our ability to serve a global customer base and accelerates delivery of the innovative solutions our customers demand.”

Infinera to acquire Coriant for $430 million

Infinera agreed to acquire privately-held Coriant, creating one of the world’s largest optical network equipment providers. Infinera will pay approximately $150 million in cash at closing, and estimated additional amounts of $25 million in the two quarters post-closing and $55 million over a period of years. Infinera will issue approximately 21 million shares, which when combined with the cash consideration, results in total transaction consideration of approximately $430 million. Coriant’s majority owner, Oaktree Capital Management, will be compensated largely in stock. Post-transaction, Oaktree will own approximately 12 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Infinera said the acquisition significantly scales the company as the next wave of global network spending begins as operators transform their networks from 4G to 5G, from Optical Transport Network (OTN) to packet and from closed to open network architectures. The company also says its vertically integrated business model delivers higher performance at lower cost for customers and higher profit margins for stockholders. The acquisition approximately doubles Infinera’s revenue and expands the company’s customer base to serve nine of the top 10 global network operators (five new to Infinera) and the top six global internet content providers (three new to Infinera).

“Acquiring Coriant is a fantastic opportunity, strengthening our ability to serve the world’s largest network operators, accelerating our ability to leverage vertical integration and reinforcing our commitment to our long-term business model,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. “This powerful combination immediately benefits our combined customers by delivering the innovative technology required for the next wave of network spending.”

“Joining forces with Infinera accelerates our vision of transforming next-generation networks with best-in-class innovation,” said Pat DiPietro, CEO and Vice Chairman of Coriant. “The combined company will benefit from Coriant’s significant investments in software automation and open, disaggregated solutions, which have gained significant traction and wide-scale adoption by customers around the world.”

The companies also noted:

  • Coriant invested nearly $1 billion in research and development over the last five years to significantly advance its portfolio to address the growing demand for software automation and open, disaggregated platforms. 
  • Approximately 70% of Coriant's product revenue in 2017 (~80% projected in 2018) came from solutions that are new or have been refreshed in the last three years. 
  • Coriant has over 80 trials in progress or have been completed to date in 2018 for Coriant’s suite of new products and automation tools. 
  • Coriant’s SDN orchestrator Maestro has been deployed operationally at one of the two largest Tier 1 service providers in North America. 
  • Coriant has added more than 20 new customers to date in 2018, seven of which are driving more than $1 million in annual revenue.
  • Infinera recently upgraded its portfolio based on its Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4). 
  • The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. 

Coriant was formed in 2013 by private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners, combining Nokia Siemens Networks, Tellabs and Sycamore Networks.

http://investors.infinera.com/home/default.aspx




Ajit Pai's 5G FAST Plan

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai outlined his strategy for pushing the U.S. into a leadership position with a "5G FAST Plan". There are three key components: (1) pushing more spectrum into the marketplace; (2) updating infrastructure policy; and (3) modernizing outdated regulations.

These are summarized by the FCC as follows.

Spectrum

  • High-band: The FCC has made auctioning high-band, millimeter-wave spectrum a priority.  The FCC will hold its first 5G spectrum auctions this year in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands.  In 2019, the FCC will auction the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.  With these auctions, the FCC will release almost 5 gigahertz of 5G spectrum into the market—more than all other flexible use bands combined.  And we are working to free up another 2.75 gigahertz of 5G spectrum in the 26 and 42 GHz bands.
  • Mid-band: Mid-band spectrum has become a target for 5G buildout given its balanced coverage and capacity characteristics.  With our work on the 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 3.7-4.2 GHz bands, we could make up to 844 megahertz available for 5G deployments.
  • Low-band: The FCC is acting to improve use of low-band spectrum (useful for wider coverage) for 5G services, with targeted changes to the 600 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz bands.
  • Unlicensed: Recognizing that unlicensed spectrum will be important for 5G, the agency is creating new opportunities for the next generation of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz and above 95 GHz band.

Infrastructure Policy

  • Speeding Up Federal Review of Small Cells: The FCC adopted new rules that will reduce federal regulatory impediments to deploying the small-cell infrastructure needed for 5G (as opposed to large cell towers) and help to expand the reach of 5G for faster, more reliable wireless service.
  • Speeding Up State and Local Review of Small Cells: The FCC has reformed rules designed decades ago to accommodate small cells.  

Modernizing Outdated Regulations

  • Restoring Internet Freedom: To lead the world in 5G, the United States needs to encourage investment and innovation while protecting Internet openness and freedom.  The FCC adopted the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which sets a consistent national policy for Internet providers.
  • One-Touch Make-Ready: The FCC has updated its rules governing the attachment of new network equipment to utility poles in order to reduce cost and speed up the process for 5G backhaul deployment.
  • Speeding the IP Transition: The FCC has revised its rules to make it easier for companies to invest in next-generation networks and services instead of the fading networks of the past.
  • Business Data Services: In order to incentivize investment in modern fiber networks, the FCC updated rules for high-speed, dedicated services by lifting rate regulation where appropriate.
  • Supply Chain Integrity: The FCC has proposed to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a national security threat to the integrity of American communications networks or the communications supply chain.

Cisco completes acquisition of Duo Security

Cisco completed its acquisition of Duo Security, a privately-held company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for $2.35 billion in cash and assumed equity awards.

Duo Security specializes in unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud. Duo Security's solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications.

Cisco said the acquisition enables it to extend intent-based networking into multicloud environments. Cisco currently provides on-premises network access control via its Identity Services Engine (ISE) product. Duo's software as a service-based (SaaS) model will be integrated with Cisco ISE to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control. Duo's technology will also add trusted identity awareness into Cisco's Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and several other cloud-delivered products.

Duo CEO and co-founder Dug Song and team are joining Cisco's Networking and Security business led by EVP and GM David Goeckeler.

BT Group transfers 31,000 employees to Openreach

BT Group officially transferred 31,000 employees to Openreach, the final step in establishing Openreach as a legally separate business.

"This is an on ongoing process, and success requires continued commitment to the right behaviours, as well as transparency on how the arrangements are working in practice. We are committed to working with the regulator and industry to ensure customers up and down the country get the connectivity and customer service they deserve," stated BT Group Chief Executive Gavin Patterson.

In addition, as of today, BT’s ‘Northern Ireland Networks’ division will be rebranded ‘Openreach Northern Ireland’.

Openreach commits to "Fibre First" for the UK

Openreach announced plans to accelerate its rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) across the UK.

The new "Fibre First Programme" represents a strategic shift in the way that Openreach thinks about last mile infrastructure. Going forward, the company will seek to deploy "fibre first" wherever possible, including in rural areas.

Openreach said its new goal is to reach three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020. The programme will start in a few months in an initial eight cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London, and Manchester.

Reaching an all-fibre network across the UK is a massive and Openreach said the full rollout may take decades.

Satellite companies form C-Band Alliance to advance U.S. mid-band spectrum for 5G

A new C-Band Alliance has been formed by leading satellite companies, including Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, and Telesat with a goal of making mid‐band spectrum available for 5G services in the United States.

The CBA will act as a facilitator, as described in a recent FCC proceeding featuring the companies’ market-based proposal to clear a portion of C-band spectrum in the United States.

The market-based proposal, which was approved by the FCC in July 2018, aims to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to U.S. broadcasters, media, and data companies. The proposal establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in a portion of the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the U.S., speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.

The CBA will undertake the technical and commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process.

The CBA will be led by Bill Tolpegin, currently CEO of OTA Broadcasting, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of CBA. Media sector veteran Preston Padden will serve as Head of Advocacy and Government Relations.


FCC looks to open 3.7 and 4.2 GHz for 5G

The Federal Communications Commission has identified up to 500 megahertz of mid-band spectrum between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz that could be open for 5G wireless services.

A newly adopted FCC order sets forth several steps toward making more mid-band spectrum available for terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband use.  Specifically, the Order will require Fixed Satellite Service earth stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to certify the accuracy of existing registration and license information and will collect additional information from space station licensees on their operations in the band to assist the Commission and commenters in developing a clearer understanding of how the band is currently being used.  The Commission will then use this information to evaluate the most efficient way to drive the deployment of mid-band spectrum for mobile services and more intensive fixed services.

The FCC said its Notice also proposes to add a mobile (except aeronautical mobile) allocation to all 500 megahertz in the band and seeks comment on various proposals for transitioning part or all of the band for flexible use, working up from 3.7 GHz, including market-based, auction, and alternative mechanisms.  The Notice also seeks comment on allowing more intensive point-to-multipoint fixed use in some portion of the band, on a shared basis, working down from 4.2 GHz and on how to define and protect incumbent users from harmful interference, and it seeks comment on service and technical rules that would enable efficient and intensive use by any new services in the band.

Intel touts new Xeon server performance benchmarks

Intel reported 95 new performance world records for its Xeon Scalable processors as achieved in servers from major original equipment manufacturers, ranging from single-socket systems up to eight-socket systems.

The new performance benchmarks were achieved in a variety of server platforms, ranging from general computing workloads running on single-socket systems to advanced technical computing and big data analytics workloads running on eight-socket systems. All systems tested include mitigations for Spectre and Meltdown.

“I’m extremely proud of the 95 world record performance benchmarks that our partners have delivered, but even more delighted to see the real-world performance that our customers are achieving on the fastest ramping Intel Xeon processor family in history,”
stated Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon products and data center marketing.

Last week, Intel CFO and Interim CEO, Bob Swan, disclosed that its data-centric businesses grew 25 percent through June, and cloud revenue grew a whopping 43 percent in the first six months of the year. Responding to increasing demand for server and PC processors, Intel updated its CAPEX guidance for the year, saying it now plans to invest a record $15 billion in capital expenditures in 2018, up approximately $1 billion from the beginning of the year. Intel is investing $1 billion into its 14nm manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland and Israel. Swan also cited progress with 10nm, stating that volume production will begin in 2019.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/benchmarks/server/xeon-scalable/1st-gen-xeon-world-record.html

Dell'Oro: Network Security Appliance market growing at 9% clip

Network Security Appliance market revenue grew nine percent year-over-year in 2Q 2018, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

"The Firewall –Enterprise segment again realized robust growth in 2Q 2018, increasing 15 percent year-over-year to record levels," said Casey Quillin, Director at Dell'Oro Group. "Networks now require protection against numerous vulnerabilities, from securing connectivity for multiple users and device types to mitigating the risks of delivering disparate applications in hybrid Cloud environments. New products addressing, especially those with application-aware or next generation functionality, are driving high-end firewall revenue growth," Quillin continued.

Some highlights:

  • The top Firewall –Enterprise vendors in ranking order are Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Check Point, Huawei, and Juniper.
  • The Application Delivery Controller market revenue increased four percent year-over-year and unit shipments were up two percent.
  • Virtual WAN Optimization market was flat year-over-year for the third consecutive quarter. Revenue growth in virtual appliances could not offset declines in physical appliance sales.

GTT Acquires Access Point, a service provider in North Carolina

GTT Communications has acquired Access Point, a provider of communication services headquartered in Cary, North Carolina for $40 million. GTT paid $35 million in cash and 115,194 shares valued at $5 million.

“Access Point’s strong client relationships in key vertical markets make it a compelling strategic fit for GTT,” said Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO. “We expect a rapid integration as we work with our new clients to deliver on our purpose of connecting people across organizations, around the world and to every application in the cloud.”

"With GTT, Access Point customers now have access to one of the industry’s largest Tier 1 global IP networks and a broad portfolio of cloud networking services backed by a commitment to providing outstanding service that mirrors our own,” said Richard Brown, Access Point CEO. “We value the loyalty of our customers, and we look forward to providing them an even more robust set of communication services as we integrate swiftly with GTT."


Guo Ping takes his turn as chair of Huawei

Mr. Guo Ping has taken over the position of Rotating and Acting Chairman of Huawei. He will serve from October 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 as the company's top leader, and head the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.

Guo has worked at Huawei since 1988 and has served as R&D Project Manager, General Manager of Supply Chain, Director of Huawei Executive Office, Chief Legal Officer, President of the Business Process & IT Mgmt Dept, President of the Corporate Development Dept, Chairman and President of Huawei Device, Rotating CEO of Huawei, and Chairman of the FC.

IEEE launches Ethics Certification Program for AI

IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) are launching an the Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS).

The idea is to offer a process and define a series of marks by which organizations can seek certified A/IS products, systems and services.

“It becomes more and more evident that consumers and citizens of the world are expecting technology to conform with ethical principles beyond functionality,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of IEEE-SA. “IEEE is one of the first global organizations to recognize the importance of certified accountability, transparency and reduction of algorithmic bias as being a critical enabler for A/IS value realization. This is also why the formation of ECPAIS complements the series of our IEEE P7000™ standard projects, along with all our A/IS Ethics work.”

“Today’s technology ecosystem calls for solutions that secure fair and transparent A/IS development, and Finland is at the forefront of key global efforts to move ethical A/IS from principles to pragmatism through close public-private partnership,” noted Meeri Haataja, chair of Ethics Working Group in Finland’s AI Program, and chair of ECPAIS. “Moving forward, A/IS need certifiable processes supported by a trusted organization that establishes easily identifiable marks, in order to signal high levels of reliability and safety to the general public. As chair of this groundbreaking IEEE program, I am honored to more broadly share and further incentivize Finland’s, and Europe’s, forward-thinking push to secure certifiably ethical A/IS.”

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