Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Furukawa brings a new line of fiber splicers

Furukawa Electric Co. introduced its FITEL S185 series of Fusion Splicers specifically designed for splicing specialty optical fibers used in optical components, fiber lasers, and optical sensors.

Furukawa's S185 Fusion Splicer series is a line of more compact, cost-effective, and efficient splicers for use in production and with specialized fibers including Polarization-Maintaining Fiber (PM Fiber) and Large-Diameter Fiber (LDF). Three versions of the splicer are being introduced: the S185PM, the S185HS, and the S185LDF. While the S185PM and S185HS splicers are designed for use with PM Fiber for optical components, the S185LDF splicer was developed for use with LDF in constructing and maintaining fiber lasers.

Key features of the S185 Fusion Splicer series:

  • Low Splice Loss – a new mechanism ensures even greater accuracy in fiber alignment;
  • Compact main body/footprint;
  • Portability with built-in battery (optional);
  • Easy operation by LCD screen with touch panel;
  • Clamp Soft-Landing - reduces the chance of fiber damage (fiber clamp can be detached from the canopy).


A fourth splicer in the series, the S185PMLDF, is designed for splicing PM-LDF optical fiber and is projected for launch in June 2019.

http://www.furukawa.co.jp/english

Turkcell CEO issues statement defending Huawei

Kaan Terzioğlu, CEO of Turkcell, issued the following statement defending Huawei as a reliable business partner in light of claims about national security.

"It wouldn’t be right to evaluate Huawei’s current situation by ignoring the competition in the smart phone market and the conflict of which company will lead 5G. You may recall that last year another smartphone company faced unfavorable news. As you can see, whenever an ‘unexpected’ company gets ahead, they are confronted. No one should expect us to act on uncorroborated claims. Turkcell will continue to work with its long-time business partner Huawei."

"Data security remains as a top priority national security issue globally. We have witnessed many failures of Western companies in securing personal data. There still are ongoing cases and investigations on this specific topic. Consequently, we are completely aware of potential risks. We have been and always will be cautious about our business partnerships. We are very well prepared in regardless of where we buy the technology whether it is from a Chinese, European or an American company. We have the necessary means to secure our networks and our customer’s data."

CommScope announces 3.5 GHz antennas for macro and small cells

CommScope announced new 3.5 GHz-capable antennas for macro and small cell densification to help increase network capacity and migration to 5G.

Key features of CommScope 3.5 GHz-capable antennas:

  • Support 3.5 GHz for macro cell and outdoor small cell deployments with a variety of single band and multiband options available, including beamforming.
  • Enable spectral efficiencies with carrier aggregation, higher-order MIMO, interference management and beam tilt capabilities.
  • Are future-ready as part of the path to 5G and compatible with LTE and earlier radio technologies.

New antennas and filter products now available include:

  • Sector antennas for macro cells with 2.3GHz beamforming
  • Multiband antennas and combiners for macro cells with 1400 MHz support for use in the European Union
  • Both 65° sector and quasi-omni small cell antennas
  • Combiners and tower mounted amplifiers supporting 3.5GHz macro cell and small cell deployments

“Network capacity is pushed to its limits, particularly in densely populated urban areas where additional sites are difficult or impossible to secure,” said Farid Firouzbakht, senior vice president for Mobility Solutions at CommScope. “Supporting 3.5 GHz spectrum with antenna designs that additionally offer spectral efficiency are two ways CommScope’s 3.5 GHz-capable antennas open up new avenues of capacity to these overburdened networks.”

Shaw optimizes fiber backbone with Fujitsu

Shaw Communications has optimized its fiber-optic network with the Fujitsu Network Communications' 1FINITY platform and Virtuora software.

The Fujitsu 1FINITY T310 Transport and 1FINITY L100 Lambda series blades combined with the Virtuora Network Control Solution provided Shaw with a modular, programmable, optical networking solution to enhance network utilization, capacity and performance, and were well suited to help Shaw achieve its connectivity goals. The Virtuora solution offers software-defined network control capability, network planning and design, network management, as well as service fulfillment and assurance functions.

“Everything we do is driven by our customers, and we are committed to enhancing our network with new technologies to meet their growing need for connectivity,” said Damian Poltz, Vice President, Technology, Strategy & Network, Shaw Communications. “Fujitsu has helped make our network more agile and scalable, especially in urban areas — which will allow us to continue delivering a seamless connectivity experience.”

"Combining our technology with Shaw’s infrastructure has allowed us to enable a virtualized, programmable network with automated applications and faster service provisioning,” said Paul Fagan, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “Fujitsu’s integrated 1FINITY and Virtuora platforms allows operators to meet their customers’ needs today and well into the future, in a cost-efficient way."

Arianespace launches two telecom satellites

Arianespace successfully launched two telecommunications satellites: the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 condosat for operators KACST and Hellas Sat; and GSAT-31 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The launch marked the 103rd Ariane 5 mission.

The Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 will provide advanced communications services for Saudi Arabia’s KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology), as well as secure communications for countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperative Council region. The Hellas Sat 4 will provide advanced regional communications services for Arabsat’s subsidiary, Hellas Sat, the Greek-Cypriot satellite operator.

ISRO's GSAT-31 satellite will provide Ku-band transponder capacity for the Indian mainland and islands.

Arianespace said up to five Ariane 5 dual launches are planned in 2019, to orbit a total of 10 geostationary satellites.

Databricks raises $250 million for Big Data Analytics

Databricks, a start-up based in San Francisco that was founded by the original creators of Apache Spark, raised $250 million in a Series E funding for its unified analytics solutions.

The company's Unified Analytics allows organizations to do data science on massive data sets. The approach addresses data silos and the gap between data processing and machine learning platforms.

Databricks said it generated in excess of $100 million in annual recurring revenue during 2018 and experienced approximately 3x year-over-year growth in subscription revenue during the last quarter of 2018.

The new funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz. Coatue Management, Microsoft, and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) also participated. The company has now raised $498.5 million to date. Its valuation now stands at $2.75 billion.

“Databricks has gone from almost no revenue to over $100 million in annual recurring revenue in just three years, putting us among the fastest growing enterprise software companies,” said Ali Ghodsi, CEO and co-founder of Databricks. “What’s driving this incredible growth is the market’s massive appetite for Unified Analytics. Organizations need to achieve success with their AI initiatives and this requires a Unified Analytics Platform that bridges the divide between big data and machine learning.”

“Databricks is the clear winner in the big data platform race,” said Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “In addition, they have created a new category atop their world-beating Apache Spark platform called Unified Analytics that is growing even faster. As a result, we are thrilled to invest in this round.”

http://www.databricks.com

Rancher Labs adds support for multi-cluster Kubernetes applications

Rancher Labs has added support for multi-cluster applications within Rancher, its open source Kubernetes management platform.

Multi-cluster Kubernetes application support extends the feature set of Helm, the Kubernetes package manager. Users simply select the application from the Rancher Application Catalog, add target clusters, provide information about each cluster, and deploy. Multi-cluster applications use Kubernetes controllers running in the Rancher management plane to fetch Helm charts and deploy the application to each target cluster. The use of Helm charts allows Rancher to leverage features like upgrades, rollbacks, and versioning of the applications.

“Rancher has made deployment and management of Kubernetes a breeze, and over the years we have added several new capabilities like RBAC, Projects and out-of-the-box monitoring to make it even simpler,” said Will Chan, co-founder and vice president of engineering at Rancher Labs. “As the number of users and clusters grow within an organization, for example in edge computing scenarios, the deployment, management and upgrade of applications and services that run across these clusters becomes impossible to manage. With Rancher’s support for multi-cluster apps, we’re thrilled to provide our customers with the exact tools needed to alleviate the complexity and meet enterprise requirements.”

CBRE acquires Romonet for data center analytics

CBRE Group, the global data center real estate firm, has acquired the assets of Romonet, which develops analytics software for data center operators.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Romonet's software helps increase capacity at data centers. The company was founded in 2008 by data center technology pioneers Zahl Limbuwala and Liam Newcombe. Romonet is based in the UK and serves clients across the globe. Romonet and its team of professionals will be integrated into CBRE’s global Data Center Solutions offering.

John Dunstan, president, Data Center Solutions at CBRE, said: “Romonet adds complementary market-leading solutions to our existing platform and will help us to deliver highly differentiated outcomes for our clients across the globe.”

Mr. Limbuwala, co-founder of Romonet, said: “The data center market continues to rapidly evolve and scale, and automation is increasingly critical. Joining CBRE’s leading global data centers team will allow us to provide worldwide support and capability for our clients.”

Investment bank reduces latency with FPGA-based accelerator

Velocimetrics, which supplies flow tracking and real-time, in-stream performance analytics, is using acceleration technology from Napatech to reduce the tick-to-trade latency of a global Tier 1 investment bank in Europe.

After detailed analysis of the bank's complex trading platform, Velocimetrics' analytics identified bottlenecks and latencies which, once corrected, resulted in a reduction in tick-to-trade latency from 100μs (microseconds) to 10μs.

The project used the Napatech SmartNIC FPGA-based solution as a key component in the Velocimetrics suite of products.

Paul Spencer, COO of Velocimetrics, commented: "In trading, every bit of latency makes a huge difference to the bottom line, and slashing it by a factor of 10 is enormously significant and, of course, profitable for the client. Napatech and Velocimetrics have a long and successful partnership, and the joint solution uses an innovative combination of technology; the success experienced by the client with this deployment provides further evidence of the financial value provided."

Jarrod Siket, CMO of Napatech, said: "To meet today's business requirements and address increasing competition and changes in the equities trading marketplace, financial services companies need full, independent visibility of their network and systems, as well as internal and external network applications, to make the right business decisions. This requires advanced monitoring and analytics that can deliver results in near-real time to keep pace with the speed of equities trading."

MACOM posts revenue of $151M, up 15% yoy

MACOM reported quarterly evenue of $150.7 million for the period ending December 28, 2018, an increase of 15.1% compared to $130.9 million in the same period a year earlier. Gross margin was 50.8%, compared to 46.6% in the previous year. Net loss from continuing operations was $23.4 million, or $0.44 loss per diluted share, compared to net loss of $17.0 million, or $0.49 loss per diluted share, in the previous year.

“Revenue for the fiscal first quarter was $151 million dollars, roughly flat sequentially. Adjusted gross margin was 56% and adjusted earnings per share was $0.20. All in all, a solid quarterly performance in the face of a challenging macro environment,” commented John Croteau, President and CEO of MACOM.

“Seasonally speaking, the early part of the year normally tends to have lower visibility as orders slow ahead of Chinese New Year. This year, trade tensions and recent geopolitical events have exacerbated the situation, which we view as short-term and temporary in nature. Based on current discussions with customers, we believe end market demand looks healthy for the year as a whole, with 5G in particular expected to drive a rebound for MACOM in the second half of the calendar year.”

Monday, February 4, 2019

Fujitsu intros 5G fronthaul transport transponder

Fujitsu Network Communications, in partnership with HFR, introduced a new Smart xHaul plug-in transponder card that enables service providers to leverage their existing 4G network to support 5G services.

Fujitsu said its Smart xHaul solution enables optical transport for the most demanding Xhaul needs. The solution comprises Fujitsu services, software and disaggregated hardware, including the HFR flexiHaul platform. Existing flexiHaul 8000 series platforms offer modular scaling options for the new ROE3J transponder card, providing multiple 5G channels over a single fiber core. This new transport solution is fully backward compatible with 4G Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) platforms and serves as a significant early enabler for architectures that are critical to 5G success.

Two North American Tier One operators are planning to deploy this new transport solution in their live 5G commercial networks having successfully completed 5G radio interoperability testing.

“Fujitsu offers a broad portfolio of industry-leading 4G and 5G transport options, including the versatile and scalable Smart xHaul solution, which is installed in live 5G networks today,” said Paul Havala, vice president of global planning and photonics, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “We have worked closely with HFR to provide a cost-effective, fast track to 5G as an easy upgrade to the Fujitsu Smart xHaul solution, offering robust transport that supports the low latency, high capacity and scalability requirements of tomorrow’s 5G networks, today.”

http://www.fujitsu.com/us/about/resources/news/press-releases/2019/fnc-20190204.html

West Africa Cable System upgraded to 32X100G

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) has been successfully upgraded to 32*100G wavelengths configured on the longest optically amplified single fiber span stretching 11500km from South Africa to Portugal.  WACS has two network operation centers and 15 landing points in 14 countries spanning West Africa and Europe.

Huawei Marine, which was the contractor, said the upgrade employed Flex Grid and Optical pass-through technologies, and now represents the world's longest 100G system.

Ma Yanfeng, Vice President of Huawei Marine said, “The WACS Consortium selected Huawei Marine to expand the system’s capacity, and looking once again to Huawei Marine verified our product solution capabilities, quality, and process improvement capabilities. Thanks to the WACS Consortium for its trust in Huawei Marine. We will continue to accumulate experience from the project and strive to improve connections between Africa and the world.”

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/2/huawei-marine-wacs-upgrade

T-Systems consolidates from 89 to 13 data centers worldwide

In what it calls the world's largest transformation project, T-Systems has reduced the number of its data centers worldwide from 89 to 13 while increasing its overall compute and storage capacity by approximately 25 percent.

The transformation comprised a total of 5,200 migration projects with around 23,600 compute servers alone, 60 percent of these in Germany.

"We are particularly proud of the fact that we were able to implement the transformation without any loss of quality in customer operations," explained Jörn Kellermann, responsible for IT production at T-Systems.


  • In September, T-Systems opened its Biere II data center in Saxony-Anhalt after 18 months of construction.  With the completion of the second construction phase, Biere now boasts an IT production area of over 11,000 square meters, providing enough space for up to 100,000 servers. The campus has the potential to grow to nearly 40,000 square meters.

Ericsson joins O-RAN Alliance

Ericsson announced its entrance into the O-RAN Alliance, a group of leading telecom service providers and suppliers with the commitment to evolving radio access network (RAN) architecture and orchestration built on openness, intelligence, flexibility and performance.

Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson is a strong supporter of openness in the industry, and the benefits this has on global ecosystems and innovations. Our ambition is to actively support and drive discussions and developments around future RAN architectures and open interfaces. The O-RAN Alliance is an important coalition that creates an arena for these discussions, complementing other standardization and open-source initiatives in the industry which we are already active in.”

As a member of O-RAN, Ericsson plans to focus on the open interworking between RAN and network orchestration and automation, with emphasis on AI-enabled closed-loop automation and end-to-end optimization. Ericsson will also focus on the upper-layer function as specified in 3GPP to provide interoperable multivendor profiles for specified interfaces between central RAN functions, resulting in faster deployment of 5G networks on a global scale.

Reliance Jio, TIM, and Verizon join O-RAN board

The O-RAN Alliance, which is a carrier-led effort to open the radio access network of next-generation wireless systems, released its inaugural white paper, “O-RAN: Towards an Open and Smart RAN,” which is available on the O-RAN website. The white paper describes the O-RAN architecture, which drives a more cost-effective, intelligent RAN with open interoperable interfaces for next-generation 5G networks and beyond.

The O-RAN Alliance also announced that Reliance Jio, TIM, and Verizon have joined the O-RAN board.


O-RAN approves architecture, elects AT&T's Andre Fuetsch as chair

The O-RAN Alliance has approved its overall O-RAN architecture plan and established an initial set of seven working groups to drive the work forward. These are:

WG1: Use Cases & Overall Architecture
WG2: Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC) (non-Real Time) & A1 Interface
WG3: RIC (near-Real Time) & E2 Interface
WG4: Open Fronthaul (FH) Interface
WG5: Stack Reference Design and F1/V1/E1/X2
WG6: Cloudification and orchestration
WG7: White Box Hardware

At its recent meeting at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the O-RAN Alliance also elected Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs, as chair of the Board. In addition, Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, was appointed as Operations Officer; and Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, KT, Singtel, SK telecom, Telefonica, and Telstra were approved as new Board members. This expands the number of Board Directors to 12.

Intel invests in Catalytic, Fortanix, Pliops

Intel Capital announced investments in three startups:

  • Catalytic (Chicago) -- offers a SaaS intelligent automation platform that can remove many of a business’ manual data processing tasks. The platform has more than 200 actions that enable users to rapidly build an intelligent automation layer to process data, documents, emails, websites and systems. In addition to reducing manual effort, Catalytic shortens cycle time and improves accuracy.  Intel led the Series B round of funding, which amounted to $23 million. Other investors include Redline Capital, NEA, Boldstart, and Hyde Park Angels. https://catalytic.com/
  • Fortanix (Mountain View, California) -- allows customers to more securely operate even the most sensitive applications without having to trust the cloud. The company provides unique deterministic security by encrypting applications and data everywhere – at rest, in motion and in use – with its Runtime Encryption technology built upon Intel SGX. Intel led the Series B round of funding, which amounted to $23 million. Other investors include Foundation Capital and Neotribe. https://www.fortanix.com/
  • Pliops (Ramat Gan, Israel) -- a new category of storage processor that enables cloud and enterprise data centers to access data up to 50x faster with 1/10th of the computational load and power consumption. The Pliops storage processor allows cloud databases like MySQL or Cassandra deployed on disaggregated Flash to scale more efficiently via a 90% reduction in compute load, a 20x reduction in network traffic, a 50x improvement to latency and over 10x application throughput. Pliops recently raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Softbank Ventures Asia, with participation from all Series A investors including Intel Capital, State of Mind Ventures (SOMV) and Viola Ventures, along with strategic investors Western Digital Capital and Xilinx.  http://www.pliops.com/

“The cloud has been one of the most transformative trends in enterprise computing – boosting productivity, cutting costs and creating flexible environments. But cloud adoption still faces momentous challenges, including security risks and an exponential rise in computing complexity. That’s why we’re pleased to announce new investments in three exceptional companies that will help overcome these challenges,” stated Mauro D’Amato and Sunil Kurkure, investment directors at Intel Capital.

Platform9 intros managed Kubernetes service on VMware

Platform9, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced a fully managed Kubernetes service on VMware vSphere with Platform9 Managed Kubernetes (PMK).

Platform9 says its solution eliminates the operational complexity of Kubernetes at scale by delivering it as a fully managed service, with all enterprise-grade capabilities included out of the box: zero-touch upgrades, multi-cluster operations, high availability, monitoring, and more, all handled automatically and backed by a 24x7x365 SLA. The service delivers centralized visibility and management across all Kubernetes environments - whether on-premises, in the public cloud, or at the Edge - with quota management and role-based access control.

"Kubernetes is the #1 enabler for cloud-native applications and is critical to the competitive advantage for software-driven organizations today. VMware was never designed to run containerized workloads, and integrated offerings in the market today are extremely clunky, hard to implement and even harder to manage," said Sirish Raghuram, Co-founder and CEO of Platform9. "We're proud to take the pain out of Kubernetes on VMware, delivering a pure open source-based, Kubernetes-as-a-Service solution that is fully managed, just works out of the box, and with an SLA guarantee in your own environment."

Bloomberg: Huawei Sting

The FBI has raided a laboratory in San Diego belonging to Huawei Technologies as part of an investigation related to AKHAN Semiconductor, a start-up based in Gurnee, Illinois, according to a report from Bloomberg.

AKHAN Semiconductor accuses Huawei of breaking and possibly attempting to reverse engineer a sample of its proprietary Miraj Diamond technology, which uses a micro diamond film to create very strong glass. The technology potentially could be used for smartphone screens and for military applications. AKHAN provided a sample to Huawei, which was later returned in damaged condition.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-02-04/huawei-sting-offers-rare-glimpse-of-u-s-targeting-chinese-giant

VPIphotonics and Luceda Photonics streamline PIC design

VPIphotonics, which offers simulation software for photonic design automation, has teamed up with Luceda Photonics to streamline the design process for Indium Phosphide-based Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs).

Luceda’s IPKISS design platform combines circuit level design and simulation, layout and device CAD all based on Python scripting. Luceda’s SMART Photonics PDK allows designers to tape-out to the SMART Photonics foundry by means of a foundry validated PDK.

VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits is a professional simulation and design environment for large-scale photonic integrated circuits and offers a large mix of general-purpose photonic, electrical and optoelectronic device models. The library extension VPItoolkit PDK SMART v1.5 enables a layout-aware schematic-driven PIC design workflow and provides access to a broad set of available standard building blocks of the SMART PDK.

The companies said the solution enables the designer to combine the best of both worlds by porting a schematic design to the Python-based layout.

“The IPKISS design platform supports a growing number of PDKs from the major photonic IC foundries in silicon, dielectric and III-V technology. By making our validated SMART Photonics PDK available from within  VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits, organizations can now take a leap forward and create a design flow that is more reliable and scalable and that will enable them to consolidate their knowledge in a fast moving industry,” stated Pieter Dumon, CTO of Luceda Photonics.


Ribbon to acquire assets of Anova Data

Ribbon Communications, agreed to purchase the business and technology assets of Anova Data, a provider of advanced analytics solutions. Under the deal, the equity owners of Anova Data will receive at closing an aggregate of 3.3 million shares of Ribbon common stock in exchange for substantially all of the assets and liabilities of Anova Data. Ribbon does not expect that the acquisition will materially affect its financial results in 2019.

Anova Data offers a cloud-native, streaming analytics platform for network and subscriber optimization and monetization.

"These assets perfectly complement our existing security and analytics platform, Ribbon Protect," said Fritz Hobbs, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ribbon Communications. "Anova Data's cloud-native solutions, which already boast several global Tier 1 deployments, are expected to help us further expand our offerings to mobile service providers with a comprehensive solution set that combines subscriber-level analytics with real-time network optimization and intelligence."


An Ethernet switch with integrated HDMI from Netgear and ZeeVee

ZeeVee introduced a plug-in module to enable the world's first Ethernet switch featuring integrated HDMI connectivity for video sources, including the capacity to distribute uncompressed 4K/UHD and HDR content.

The new ZeeVee ZyPer4K HDMI Module, developed in collaboration with NETGEAR and the SDVoE Alliance, plugs into a NETGEAR M4300-96X Modular Managed Switch.

"We are proud to continue our close relationship with NETGEAR and the SDVoE Alliance to, for the first time, enable HDMI source connectivity to an Ethernet switch," said Bob Michaels, CEO, ZeeVee. "This combination of IT and AV at the integrated product level, rather than purely at the infrastructure level, will promote the wider adoption of next-generation communications systems."

"While we see the matrix switch as obsolete, its customizability is a valuable feature we can learn from as we move to a standards-based, interoperable Ethernet infrastructure for AV distribution," said Justin Kennington, SDVoE Alliance president. "NETGEAR took the first step by creating the affordable modular Ethernet switch, and we are not surprised that SDVoE Alliance co-founder ZeeVee added its pro AV expertise to jump to the forefront of the exciting new product category."