Thursday, November 1, 2018

Syntiant raises $25 million for battery-powered AI silicon

Syntiant, a start-up based in Irvine, California, raised $25 million in Series B funding for its deep neural network processors for battery-powered devices.

Syntiant said its forthcoming neural decision processors (NDPs) will use an analog neural network that can offer orders of magnitude lower power by extreme memory efficiency along with massively parallel computation with modest precision. The processsors are targetted at applications as small as hearing aids and IoT, to as large as smart speakers and mobile phones.

The funding was led by M12, Microsoft Corp.’s venture fund, and included the Amazon Alexa Fund, Applied Ventures, Intel Capital, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.

“We are both humbled and excited to be supported by several of the world’s greatest technology companies,” said Kurt Busch, CEO of Syntiant. “With participation from existing and new investors, and deeper guidance from our expanded board with the additions of Samir Kumar and Bret Johnsen, we will be able to commercialize Syntiant’s neural network technology for battery-powered devices to truly enable pervasive artificial intelligence.”

  • Syntiant is headed by Kurt Busch, who previously led Lantronix. Before that, he was a senior vice president and general manager of high performance analog business unit at Mindspeed Technologies, acquired by MACOM.

AT&T signs California for FirstNet services

AT&T has finalized a contract with the State of California that enables state and local public safety entities to procure FirstNet services.

FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America's public safety community. It's being built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority).

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cisco launches 400G data center switches

Cisco launched its portfolio of Nexus 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400G) switches for large cloud data centers. Field testing is expected in December and general availabity is targeted for the first half of 2019.

Beyond bringing just a new level of speed to the network, Cisco said its Nexus 400G platforms deliver:
  • Superfast policy, segmentation and whitelisting;
  • Real-time visibility into packets, flows and events – beyond just data sampling and system telemetry;
  • Smart buffering for big data or storage and machine learning workloads with dynamic packet prioritization; and
  • Lowest latency, with an ability to prioritize critical traffic on demand.

Cisco is supporting QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor – Double Density) modules as "the ideal 400G connectivity option: for all next-generation cloud and other hyperscaledata centers.

Cisco said it is also working to take BiDirectional (BiDi) Optical Networking to the 400 Gigabit Ethernet realm, enabling re-use of existing fiber cabling infrastructure when upgrading to higher speed interfaces.

Several models are initially offered.

Cisco Nexus 3400-S -- a 400G programmable switch with 50 Gbps PAM4 Serial-Deserializers (SerDes). It leverages a 12.8-Tbps ASIC for 32 ports of 400G using Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable – Double Density (QSFP-DD) modules that are backward-compatible with QSFP+, QSFP28, and QSFP56. The Cisco Nexus 3432D-S supports break out for 2x200/50G, 4x100/50G/25G, and 8x50G, supporting up to 128 ports of 100G or up to 168 ports of 50G. At 400G, the Cisco Nexus 3400-S claims the lowest latency in the industry, of 370ns at high-power efficiency.

Cisco Nexus 3408-S is powered by a 12.8-Tbps ASIC with 50 Gbps PAM4 SerDes. It has the following hardware configuration: 4RU, 8-slot chassis; 16 ports of Quad-Small-Form-Factor 28
(QSFP28); 4 ports of Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable – Double Density (QSFP-DD);

Cisco Nexus 9300-GX switches, also part of the fixed Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches series, offers 16 x 400/100-Gbps QSFP-DD ports or 28 x 100/40-Gbps Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP28) and 8 x 400/100-Gbps QSFP-DD ports. The platform introduces a fully backward-compatible 400G optical interface Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable – Double Density (QSFP-DD) to transparently migrate existing data center fabrics from 40-Gbps and 100-Gbps speeds to 400 Gbps. The platform provides investment protection for customers, delivering highly flexible layer 2 and layer 3 scalability, and performance to meet the changing needs of virtualized data centers and automated cloud environments. Cisco provides two modes of operation for Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches. Organizations can deploy Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) or Cisco Nexus switch environments (Cisco NX-OS mode).

"Our 400G switches do more than just bring a new level of speed to customers. They support the delivery of the signature capabilities that customers expect for their modern data-driven workloads and cloud environments,” said Roland Acra, SVP, General Manager Data Center Business Group. “Superfast policy, segmentation and whitelisting. Real-time visibility into packets, flows and events. Smart buffering for big data and machine learning workloads. The ability to prioritize critical traffic on-demand. These are the things that Cisco has delivered to our customers across multiple generations of Nexus switches. And we are doing so again with our new 400G portfolio.”

Progress at MEF: the Chairman's Perspective

The MEF18 event in Los Angeles revealed the progress of the industry in implementing the MEF 3.0 global services framework, which was launched a year ago, says Mike Strople, Managing Director at Zayo and Chairman of MEF.

In particular, it is exciting to see the LSO Sonata APIs and SDK, as well as progress with SD-WAN.

Netronome proposes open "chiplets" for domain specific workloads

Netronome unveiled its open architecture for domain-specific accelerators .

Netronome is collaborating with six leading silicon companies, Achronix, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Kandou, NXP, Sarcina and SiFive, to develop this open architecture and related specifications for developing chiplets that promise to reduce silicon development and manufacturing costs.

The idea is fo chiplet-based silicon to be composed using best-of-breed components such as processors, accelerators, and memory and I/O peripherals using optimal process nodes. The open architecture will provide a complete stack of components (known good die, packaging, interconnect network, software integration stack) that lowers the hardware and software costs of developing and deploying domain-specific accelerator solutions. Implementing open specifications contributed by participating companies, any vendor’s silicon die can become a building block that can be utilized in a chiplet-based SoC design.

“The end of Moore’s Law will increase the use of domain-specific accelerators to meet power-performance requirements in cloud infrastructure, network infrastructure and IoT/wireless edge applications,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst, The Linley Group. “With its modular approach, the open domain-specific accelerator architecture could change the chiplet paradigm from single-vendor solutions to a world of choice, thereby enabling OEMs and operators to develop and deploy advanced SoC solutions.”

“Netronome’s domain-specific architecture as used in its Network Flow Processor (NFP) products has been designed from the ground up keeping modularity, and economies of silicon development and manufacturing costs as top of mind,” said Niel Viljoen, founder and CEO at Netronome. “We are extremely excited to collaborate with industry leaders and contribute significant intellectual property and related open specifications derived from the proven NFP products and apply that effectively to the open and composable chiplet-based architecture being developed in the ODSA Workgroup.”

Wave Computing outlines its AI-enabled MIPS strategy for network edge

Wave Computing outlined its strategy for an AI-enabled MIPS offering and ecosystem. The company announced a new AI-enabled licensing roadmap and a broader 3rd party ecosystem.

The company said it will pursue a multi-pronged strategy to enable new use cases for AI based on MIPS architecture.

“Wave Computing’s MIPS technology is a key component of the Data Processing Unit we are developing as a fundamental new building block of next-generation data centers. We expect Fungible’s solution to be pivotal in powering modern data-centric applications such as AI and analytics” says, Pradeep Sindhu, CEO of Fungible, Inc.

“We are well underway in executing on our strategy to bring AI to All. This means delivering AI computing systems for datacenter and customer premise applications, licensable solutions for next-generation SoCs and AI application software for end customers in multiple markets. Since acquiring MIPS in June, we have been blown away by the overwhelmingly positive responses by customers and partners. This underscores the tremendous market opportunity for a common, AI-based development environment and associated suite of solutions. We’ve never been more optimistic on the value MIPS offers, and look forward to extending the market share of MIPS-based designs by enabling native AI performance for edge SoCs,” said Derek Meyer, CEO of Wave Computing.

Under the plan, the company is expanding its IP team globally, including hardware, software, marketing and sales staff.  It continues to invest in its 64-bit, scalable multi-threaded MIPS technology roadmap for embedded applications.

Wave Computing will offer new solutions ranging from CPU cores for edge applications to more robust implementations for emerging AI training and inferencing applications. Wave is also addressing the future of functional safety in autonomous vehicles by building on its ISO26262 certification and introducing advanced lock-step functionality for its MIPS cores.

  • In August, Wave Computing announced a strategic partnership with Broadcom to bring its dataflow processing unit (DPU) to market at the leading-edge 7nm process node. Specifically, Wave will leverage Broadcom’s design platform, productization skills, and 7nm 56Gbps and 112Gbps SerDes. The device will be fabbed using TSMC's 7nm process.

  • In June, Wave Computingacquired MIPS Tech, Inc. (formerly MIPS Technologies), a global leader in RISC processor Intellectual Property (IP) and licensable CPU cores.

Caltech research investigates metasurface optics for bending light

Researchers at Caltech are experimenting with metasurface optics to bend and focus light in a finely controllable way by using carefully designed microscopic structures on an otherwise flat surface.

In a paper published by Nature Communications on October 10, the researchers describe a technology called "folded metasurface optics," which is a way of printing multiple types of metasurfaces onto either side of a substrate, like glass.

Sprint expands SD-WAN worldwide

Sprint announed the worldwide expansion of its Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) services worldwide.

"With just one dedicated Sprint team and one simple portal in the cloud, an enterprise is now able to more intelligently manage all of its network resources across the globe with the geographic expansion of our SD-WAN services," said Mike Fitz, vice president of the Sprint Global Wireline Business Unit. "Intuitive cloud-based management allows thousands of applications to be easily managed across any network to any destination, all anchored by Sprint's worldwide, Tier 1 wireline network. The result is better network availability, unparalleled monitoring, superior converged application support, an improved user experience and overall reduced operational costs."

Aerohive reports record EPS and subscription revenue

Aerohive Networks reported total revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018 of $40.6 million, compared with $39.3 million for the third quarter of 2017. Subscription and support revenue was $11.7 million, or 29% of total revenue, for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with $10.1 million, or 26% of total revenue, for the third quarter of 2017.

On a GAAP basis, net loss was $2.4 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with a net loss of $5.1 million for the third quarter of 2017. GAAP gross margin was 65.6% for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with 66.6% for the third quarter of 2017.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $1.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with a net loss of $0.1 million for the third quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP gross margin was 66.1% for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with 67.5% for the third quarter of 2017.

“Today we reported financially strong third quarter results with record subscription and support revenue and gross margins, as well as record high EPS and deferred revenue,” stated David Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer. “These results demonstrate our progress moving to a SaaS-like business model and underscore our focus on profitability. We are pleased to return to growth in the second half, and while we are not yet seeing the growth levels that we aspire to, we are encouraged that our improved product offerings are bringing us into more large opportunities, suggesting progress toward our long-term goals.”

EKINOPS intros OneAccess 10G Ethernet Access Device

EKINOPS introduced its OneAccess 10G Ethernet Access Device (EAD) for high-speed Ethernet services to Enterprise and wholesale customers.

The OneAccess 1651 EAD, which will be commercially available in Q1 2019, will enable operators to monitor thousands of Ethernet links centrally and generate service activation birth certificates without the need for deploying test equipment at the customer site.

EKINOPS said its new OneAccess 1651 EAD also enhances the L2 aggregation capabilities in optical transport deployments. The new combined solution draws on Ethernet packet multiplexing and grooming, enabling operators to transport Ethernet connections in a more efficient and flexible way over the optical network. This innovative pairing is the first joint development project by Ekinops’ Access and Optical Transport business lines.

“EKINOPS presence at the MEF18 conference allies perfectly with the focus of the event: to enable orchestrated communication services for the digital economy,” comments Pravin Mirchandani, CMO, Ekinops, France. “Our new Ethernet product will lower the cost of Cloud-enabling businesses for operators and CSPs everywhere. We are delighted also to report on the first example of how our newly combined access and optical transport specialisms are innovating to respond to the needs of operators; this time by increasing capacity on the optical network. Our commitment to openness in virtualization solutions continues to chime with operators globally, and is enabling them to migrate to NFV flexibly and at a pace they define, free from vendor-lock in.”

AT&T brings LTE to Mexico City’s Metro Line 2

AT&T has activated its LTE network in Line 2 of the Mexico City Metro, bringing connectivity to more than 800,000 daily users of this route. AT&T has also enabled free Wi-Fi in all 24 stations of the route. Line 2 is the 4th connected line by the company as part of the Mexico City Metro connectivity project to help reduce the digital gap in the country.

Line 2 is on average 6 meters deep. It runs from Cuatro Caminos to Tasqueña, and it has 24 stations; 14 of them are underground and 10 above ground. In addition, this line has some emblematic stations that go through Mexico City’s Historical Downtown, such as Hidalgo, Bellas Artes and Zócalo.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

MEF releases LSO Sonata APIs for inter-carrier services

MEF released four LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Sonata API technical specifications and Software Development Kits (SDKs) for inter-provider orchestration of current and emerging MEF 3.0 services (e.g., Carrier Ethernet, IP, SD-WAN, Optical Transport, security, and other virtualized services).

The four LSO Sonata technical specifications related to serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering cover business requirements, use cases, and attributes that serve as the basis for the associated LSO Sonata API SDKs and data models.

Each SDK includes an API developer guide, a Swagger data model, and other artifacts that enable a developer to rapidly build out these Sonata LSO APIs within their business systems. The four LSO Sonata SDKs currently available on the MEF public GitHub allow service providers and business system vendors to start developing their use of the LSO Sonata APIs for serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering.

MEF notes that more than 40 service and technology companies have contributed to or supported the MEF LSO Sonata standardization and certification effort, participated in MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata implementation work, and/or participated in the LSO Sonata-related PoCs at MEF18.

“The LSO Sonata Developer Release celebrated this week at MEF18 involves technical specifications and SDKs with the progression towards standardization related to serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering APIs,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “We are delighted to advance the LSO Sonata API standardization with an eye toward production deployments for inter-provider orchestration of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services starting in early 2019. We appreciate the dedication of key contributors who have been working hard to meet aggressive development targets. Further advancements to the set of LSO Sonata APIs will include support for the full range of MEF 3.0 services without changing the basic API structure itself thanks to the polymorphic approach used in collaboration with ONAP and TM Forum.”

In addition, the MEF 3.0 certification program for service providers and technology solution providers will be expanded on a pilot basis in 1Q 2019 to include cloud-based testing of LSO APIs, beginning with certification of LSO Sonata APIs for serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering.

MEF circulates SD-WAN Service draft specification

MEF completed a draft technical specification that defines an SD-WAN service and its various attributes. The draft spec is circulating among MEF members. A complete MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition standard is expected in 1Q 2019.

SD-WAN service standardization will enable a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services. The SD-WAN service definition is a foundational step for accelerating sales, market adoption, and certification of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

“MEF’s groundbreaking work in standardizing an SD-WAN service addresses one of the biggest obstacles impacting SD-WAN service market growth,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “In a recent joint MEF and Vertical Systems Group survey of service providers worldwide, nearly 80% of respondents identified the lack of an industry-standard service definition as a significant challenge for service providers to offer or migrate to SD-WAN services. MEF’s SD-WAN service standardization will undoubtedly accelerate sales of SD-WAN products and services like MEF accomplished with Carrier Ethernet service standardization.”

Two big announcements at MEF18 - SD-WAN and LSO Sonata API

MEF's mission is to accelerate the adoption of assured services across automated networks. Nan Chen, president of MEF, makes two important announcements:

1. The industry's first SD-WAN service definitions, which provide common terminology for buying, selling and delivering standardized SD-WAN services. Look for these in Q1 2019.

2. LSO Sonata API - providing the ability to automate MEF services end-to-end globally. A developer release is now available.

Nokia intros WaveSuite software for Optical Transport Services

Nokia introduced its WaveSuite software for optimizing and virtualizing the optical networks of service providers, wholesalers, and large enterprises.

Nokia describes WaveSuite as a new breed of intelligent software applications driven by real-world use cases.

Nokia’s WaveSuite applications are organized into three categories:

WaveSuite Node Automation: an approach to streamline service supporting equipment, leading to faster deployment, task automation and faster time to revenue

WaveSuite Service Enablement: virtualizes network infrastructure, enabling the support of new customers and new market channels

WaveSuite Network Insight: provides real-time network intelligence and contextual analysis to ensure networks are running at their maximum potential

WaveSuite complements Nokia’s Network Services Platform carrier SDN solution and its FlowOne OSS by providing enhanced services orchestration and operational tools for the optical networking domain. Support for open northbound and southbound interfaces ensure its functionality in multi-vendor environments.

Sam Bucci, head of optical networks for Nokia, said: “As part of Nokia’s already rich portfolio of network software, WaveSuite applications provide the tools operators need to accelerate their business transformation. These innovations are the result of years of working closely with our customers to address all aspects of optical networking with open applications enhancing not just operations, but opening up new services and business models.

Ciena launches cloud-based analytics-as-a-service

Ciena is launching a cloud-based analytics-as-a-service offering to help network providers translate network performance data into actionable insights.

Ciena said its Insights Service, which builds on its existing consulting practice, consolidates a wide array of analytics-based capabilities into a single, multi-tiered service offering designed to ensure networks are securely “fit for flexibility” today and into the future.

The offer is available in three tiers of service and through a subscription-based model. Highlights:

  • Discover: gives network operations personnel greater visibility into network assets, service availability, network health, and areas of risk.
  • Analyze: uses machine learning capabilities to process trend information to create actionable insights for network optimization.
  • Predict: helps network operators head off issues before they occur to prevent customer churn or costly outages and preemptively determines the best direction for optimizing and transforming the network to further improve network availability, customer satisfaction, lower operational costs and more.

“Our holistic analytics approach enables a smooth transition path for network providers to evolve toward building more adaptive networks. Each customer’s analytics needs are unique in this journey. We’ve designed our Analytics portfolio so customers can easily choose and deploy the analytics services and/or software applications that best meet their needs today, while gaining the flexibility to add capabilities as their analytics strategy evolves,” stated Ricardo Warfield, Vice President of Global Services, Ciena.

NTT DATA acquires Canada's Sierra Systems for IT consulting

NTT DATA Services, the global technology services arm of the NTT Group, agreed to acquire Sierra Systems Group, Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of The Sierra-Cedar Group, Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sierra Systems is a leading IT services and consulting firm offering a full range of IT consulting, systems integration, and application managed services across Canada.

In addition to industry and geographical expansion, Sierra Systems will expand NTT DATA’s digital services capabilities and bolster its talent in core areas, such as Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and ServiceNow. Through its global capabilities and strength in infrastructure, application and digital services, NTT DATA will bring a broader portfolio of services to Sierra Systems’ existing clients as well as other Canadian companies.

“Sierra Systems’ reputation as a trusted advisor in Canada is evidenced by the strength of their client relationships, many of which have spanned decades,” said Bob Pryor, CEO, NTT DATA Services. “With the addition of Sierra Systems’ talented team, we’ll expand our ability to deliver innovation and business outcomes to clients in Canada and extend our North American delivery capabilities. Growth prospects are very strong in Canada, so this is an attractive market as we continue to grow globally.”

Deutsche Telekom approves Sprint+T-Mobile deal

T-Mobile received a written consent of Deutsche Telekom Holding B.V., holder of approximately 63.5% of T-Mobile Common Stock, in favor of the Sprint transaction.

Regulatory approvals are still pending. T-Mobile expects the deal will be completed in the first half of 2019.

“This is another step forward in creating the New T-Mobile, so we can deliver on our promise to bring robust competition to the 5G era, giving consumers more for less and creating jobs,” said John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile. “For more than five years, T-Mobile’s Un-carrier strategy has disrupted the wireless industry, and together with Sprint we will continue our mission by securing U.S. leadership in nationwide 5G, creating a real alternative to fixed broadband and bringing a consumer-first mentality to entrenched giants. We can’t wait to continue improving the wireless industry for all consumers as the New T-Mobile.”

A10 Networks posts Q3 sales of $60 million, better than expectations

A10 Networks reported Q3 2018 revenue of $60.5 million, compared with $62.0 million in third quarter 2017. GAAP gross margin of 78.5 percent, non-GAAP gross margin of 78.8 percent. There was a GAAP net loss of $1.8 million, or $0.02 per share, non-GAAP net income of $2.3 million, or $0.03 per share.

“We delivered a solid third quarter achieving revenue of $60.5 million, which exceeded the high-end of our guidance range. In the quarter, we continued to execute on our initiatives to transform our sales team, sharpen our focus on execution and expand our advanced suite of 5G, security and cloud solutions, and we are pleased with the initial results of our efforts,” said Lee Chen, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks.

CyrusOne reports continued growth in data center colocation

CyrusOne reported revenue was $206.6 million for the third quarter, compared to $175.3 million for the same period in 2017, an increase of 18%. The increase in revenue was driven primarily by a 26% increase in occupied CSF and additional interconnection services.

Net loss was $(42.4) million for the third quarter, compared to net loss of $(55.1) million in the same period in 2017. Net loss for the third quarter included a $(36.6) million unrealized loss on the company’s equity investment in GDS Holdings Limited (“GDS”), a leading data center provider in China, due to a decrease in GDS’s share price during the quarter.

Some highlights:

  • Leased 15 megawatts (“MW”) and 114,000 colocation square feet (“CSF”) in the third quarter, totaling $27 million in annualized GAAP revenue
  • Backlog of $89 million in annualized GAAP revenue as of the end of the third quarter, representing nearly $850 million in total contract value
  • Closed acquisition of Zenium, establishing a presence in London and Frankfurt, the two largest data center markets in Europe
  • Acquired 15 acres of land in Santa Clara, California, establishing a presence in a key West Coast market with an onsite power cogeneration facility
  • Also acquired 40 acres of land in Northern Virginia (in addition to previously announced acquisition of 154,000 square foot powered shell) and 24 acres of land in Dallas to support continued strong growth in these markets
  • Added seven Fortune 1000 companies as new customers (three through third quarter leasing, four through the acquisition), increasing the total number of Fortune 1000 customers to 208 as of the end of the quarter
  • Raised nearly $400 million in net proceeds through a common stock offering of 6.7 million shares in late September and entered into a forward sale agreement with respect to an additional 2.5 million shares resulting in estimated net proceeds of nearly $150 million upon settlement by September 15, 2019