Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Google's Stadia cloud gaming service promises low-latency

Google unveiled its Stadia cloud gaming service at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

Stadia is a cloud streaming service "for all types of devices capable of running a Chrome browser" and not requiring a gaming console.

Stadia will launch later this year in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Europe. Stadia will support up to 4K HDR at 60 FPS. An Internet connection of at least 25 Mbps downstream is required. Eventually, Stadia expects to support up to 8K resolutions and 120 fps. In addition to the 4K 60 FPS connection to the player, the Stadia network can also deliver a 4K 60 FPS stream to YouTube so that the action can be saved and shared as a video.

To deliver the service, Google will leverage its global backbone and its 8,500 edge node locations around the world. Google is working with AMD to produce a 10.7 teraflop GPU that will be custom servers its data centers and edge locations.



Tencent Cloud builds a global ecosystem for gaming

Tencent is showcasing its global cloud ecosystem at this week's Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

Tencent Cloud's global cloud infrastructure currently operates 53 availability zones in 25 countries and regions worldwide, offering high concurrency, rapid elastic expansion, anti-DDoS protection, and solutions tailored to various game genres.

Tencent highlighted its Game Multimedia Engine (GME), which provides multiplayer voice chat, voice messaging, voice-to-text conversion and features such as 3D positional voice for gaming and other applications, and Global Application Acceleration Platform (GAAP), which reduces latency and achieves industry-leading performance for real-time interactive games and applications, especially those that serve many concurrent users across long geographical distance.

Both GME and GAAP have successfully served numerous popular games to date. One of the most well-known titles that has adopted GAAP is Tencent's Arena of Valor, the second-highest-grossing free-to-play title in 2018 after Fortnite. PUBG MOBILE, winner of the 2018 Joystick Awards' Mobile Game of the Year and King of Avalon, which has over 60 million registered users globally are another two titles that have adopted GAAP to improve user experience.

Tencent's solutions ensure quality and consistent gameplay for gamers worldwide, including in China, where Honor of Kings and PUBG MOBILE enjoy immense popularity. The Chinese online game market boasts over 500 million active players and is expected to grow to US$42 billion, or 27% of the global market, within the foreseeable future. Tencent Cloud's ecosystem provides unique access to this market, offering seamless integration with platforms and services from other arms of Tencent's business.

Two of these, Tencent Games and social media platform WeChat, will also showcase their offerings for the gaming sector at GDC.

GSMA: China’s mobile ecosystem equivalent to 5.5% of China’s GDP

China’s mobile ecosystem added RMB5.2 trillion ($750 billion) in value to the country’s economy last year, equivalent to 5.5 percent of China’s GDP in 20181, according to a new GSMA report.

Highlights:

  • China is the largest mobile market in the world, home to almost 1.2 billion unique mobile subscribers2 at the end of 2018, representing 82 percent of the country’s population;
  • More than two thirds (69 percent) of mobile connections in China3 are smartphones, with smartphone adoption expected to reach 88 percent of connections by 2025;
  • 77 percent of China’s connections are currently running on 4G networks – 4G adoption will peak in the coming years before falling as consumers migrate to next-generation mobile services;
  • China is set to become one of the world’s leading 5G markets with 460 million 5G connections forecast by 2025, which would account for 28 percent of China’s total connections by this point;
  • The RMB5.2 trillion ($750 billion) economic contribution by China’s mobile ecosystem in 2018 is forecast to grow to RMB6 trillion ($870 billion) by 2023;
  • China’s mobile ecosystem, directly and indirectly, supported 8.5 million jobs in 2018 and made a tax contribution to the public finances of government of RMB583 billion ($84 billion).
  • The number of licensed cellular IoT connections in China stood at 672 million at the end of 2018, supporting various industrial and smart cities applications.

The new report ‘The Mobile Economy China 2019’ is authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA.

“Our new report outlines how China’s mobile industry has been a key driver of economic growth, inclusion and modernisation – creating a new generation of digital consumers and transforming industry and society,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. “After spending billions over the last decade deploying 4G networks to all corners of the country, Chinese mobile operators are now set to invest a further RMB401 billion ($58 billion) over the next two years to prepare for and begin 5G rollouts, laying the groundwork for China to become one of the world’s leading 5G markets.”



https://www.gsma.com/r/mobileeconomy/china/

China Telecom's service revenue grew 5.9% in 2018

China Telecom reported 2018 operating revenues of RMB377.1 billion, of which, service revenues amounted to RMB350.4 billion, representing an increase of 5.9% compared to 2017. EBITDA reached RMB104.2 billion, representing an increase of 2.0% over the same period last year. Net profit amounted to RMB21.2 billion, representing an increase
of 13.9% compared to last year, while basic earnings per share were RMB0.262, achieving rapid growth. Capital expenditure was RMB74.9 billion, representing a decrease of 15.5% compared to last year, the third consecutive annual decline.

Some highlights from the company's financial presentation.






China Telecom's full 2018 slide deck is here: https://www.chinatelecom-h.com/en/ir/presentations/annpre190319.pdf


Samsung debuts "Flashbolt" High Bandwidth Memory- 3.2 Gbps per pin

Samsung Electronics Co. announced its new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) which promises to deliver the highest DRAM performance levels for use in next-generation supercomputers, graphics systems, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The new Flashbolt DRAM is the industry’s first HBM2E to deliver a 3.2 Gbps data transfer speed per pin, which is 33 percent faster than the previous-generation HBM2.

Flashbolt has a density of 16Gb per die, double the capacity of the previous generation. With these improvements, a single Samsung HBM2E package will offer a 410 gigabytes-per-second (GBps) data bandwidth and 16GB of memory.

“Flashbolt’s industry-leading performance will enable enhanced solutions for next-generation data centers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and graphics applications,” said Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue to expand our premium DRAM offering, and improve our ‘high-performance, high capacity, and low power’ memory segment to meet market demand.”

Huawei adopts Open Rack in its cloud data centers

Huawei Technologies will adopt Open Rack in its new public cloud data centers worldwide.

The Open Rack initiative proposed by the Open Compute Project (OCP) seeks to redefine the data center rack and is one of the most promising developments in the scale computing environment. It is the first rack standard that is designed for data centers, integrating the rack into the data center infrastructure, a holistic design process that considers the interdependence of everything from the power grid to the gates in the chips on each motherboard. Adopted by some of the world’s largest hyperscale internet service providers such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft, Open Rack is helping to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and improve energy efficiency in the scale compute space.

“Huawei’s engineering and business leaders recognized the efficiency and flexibility that Open Rack offers, and the support that is available from a global supplier base. Providing cloud services to a global customer base creates certain challenges. The flexibility of the Open Rack specification and the ability to adapt for liquid cooling allows Huawei to service new geographies. Huawei’s decision to choose Open Rack is a great endorsement!” stated Bill Carter, Chief Technology Officer for the Open Compute Project Foundation.

“Huawei’s strategic investment and commitment to OCP is a win-win,” said Mr. Kenneth Zhang, General Manager of FusionServer, Huawei Intelligent Computing Business Department. “Combining Huawei’s extensive experience in Telco and Cloud deployments together with the knowledge of the vast OCP community will help Huawei to provide cutting edge, flexible and open solutions to its global customers. In turn, Huawei can leverage its market leadership and global datacenter infrastructure to help introduce OCP to new geographies and new market segments worldwide.”

DataGryd upgrades its data center at 60 Hudson in NYC

DataGryd, which is a leading data center provider in New York City, has selected Clune Construction to build out its MegaSuite 6 facility at the 60 Hudson Street building in Manhattan. The companies said the facility will be transformed into New York City’s most modern and efficient high-density, high-performance data center.

DataGryd’s MegaSuite 6 is expected to be ready for occupancy by the third quarter of 2019.

“DataGryd’s selection of Clune Construction as our general contractor for the build out of MegaSuite 6 is a testament to their outstanding track record for successfully delivering superior projects on time,” says Tom Brown, President and CEO of DataGryd. “As a result, we are committed to providing our customers near limitless scalability in the heart of New York City’s most concentrated hub of global data networking solutions.”

Upon completion of MegaSuite 6, DataGryd’s customers will benefit from cost-effective megawatt configurations, supported by 5,000 kilowatts (kW) of utility power generators and towers. Located within 60 Hudson Street, a globally renowned world-class carrier hotel, DataGryd’s customers will be able to directly connect to over 300 carriers, network providers, exchanges and more than six fully operational subsea systems anchored within the building without incurring monthly cross-connect fees.

Cohesity and SoftBank form joint venture for Japan

Cohesity, which specializes in hyperconverged secondary storage, has formed a joint venture with SoftBank Corp. to offer services in Japan. Secondary data includes data used for backups, archives, analytics, testing and development and other workloads and comprises 80 percent of an enterprise’s total data volume.

The joint venture operates under the name Cohesity Japan KK (“Cohesity Japan”). SoftBank and SoftBank C&S Corp. will distribute and resell Cohesity solutions in Japan, along with other partners including Networld Corporation and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation. Solutions from Cohesity are available today to Japanese enterprises.

Cohesity is a portfolio company of SoftBank Vision Fund.
 
“We are thrilled to collaborate with SoftBank in enabling Japanese enterprises to use modern data infrastructure to advance their digital transformation journeys,” said Mohit Aron, CEO and Founder, Cohesity. “SoftBank and Cohesity both believe that if enterprises can derive maximum insights from secondary data and applications, the possibilities are endless across a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare, public sector, life sciences, media, technology, telecommunications and education.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

Aurora supercomputer to break exaFLOP barrier in 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to build Aurora - the first supercomputer with a performance of one exaFLOP in the United States - at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago by 2021.

The contract,  which is valued at more than $500 million, was awarded to Intel and Cray Inc. as a sub-contractor.

One exaFLOP of performance is equal to a “quintillion” floating point computations per second.

Intel said the foundation of the Aurora supercomputer will be new technologies designed specifically for the convergence of artificial intelligence and high-performance computing at extreme computing scale. These include a future generation of the Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel’s Xe compute architecture, a future generation of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, and Intel’s One API software. Aurora will use Cray’s next-generation supercomputer system, code-named “Shasta,” which will comprise more than 200 cabinets and include Cray's SlingshotTM high-performance scalable interconnect and the Shasta software stack optimized for Intel architecture.

“Achieving exascale is imperative, not only to better the scientific community but also to better the lives of everyday Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “Aurora and the next generation of exascale supercomputers will apply HPC and AI technologies to areas such as cancer research, climate modeling and veterans’ health treatments. The innovative advancements that will be made with exascale will have an incredibly significant impact on our society.”

“There is tremendous scientific benefit to our nation that comes from collaborations like this one with the Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, and industry partners Intel and Cray,” said Argonne National Laboratory Director Paul Kearns. “Argonne’s Aurora system is built for next-generation artificial intelligence and will accelerate scientific discovery by combining high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to address real world problems, such as improving extreme weather forecasting, accelerating medical treatments, mapping the human brain, developing new materials and further understanding the universe – and that is just the beginning.”

OneWeb prepares to launch its LEO constellation

OneWeb, which is planning to deploy a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites, secured $1.25 billion in new capital, enabling it to start mass production of satellites through its joint venture with Airbus. This round was led by SoftBank, Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm, and the Government of Rwanda. OneWeb has now raised to $3.4 billion to date.

OneWeb said it will now "embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history." Satellites will be built at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. The first launch occured on February 27th.  Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. Further phases are planned.

"This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition," said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb. "With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation. Our success is made possible thanks to the backing of our investors and the cooperation of our world class commercial partners including Arianespace, Airbus, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Virgin, and Hughes.”

On the additional investment, Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank Group Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Group International said: “OneWeb has extended its first-mover advantage and is on track to become the world’s largest and first truly global communications network. At SoftBank, our aim is to invest in transformative companies at the leading edge of technology disruption. OneWeb’s potential is undeniable as the growth in data from 5G, IoT, autonomous driving and other new technologies drives demand for capacity above and beyond the limits of the existing infrastructure.”

OneWeb’s priority rights to a large block of globally harmonized spectrum and its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation design will enable a unique combination of high speed, low latency, and truly global service. OneWeb’s network will go beyond the limits of existing infrastructure, enabling connectivity for rural communities and schools as well as for business and industries that demand seamless global connectivity solutions such as Aviation, Maritime, Backhaul, and Land Mobility. OneWeb’s customers will be able to develop and support a wide range of emerging applications that require real-time communication and collaboration.

“I have worked for over 20 years to bring network access to people throughout Mexico and Latin America and have seen first-hand the power of connectivity to change and improve lives. OneWeb will have the ability to reach places that have previously been impossible to connect. We are proud to be supporting Adrian and the entire OneWeb team and are looking forward to creating new opportunities for people everywhere,” said Ricardo Salinas, Founder and Chairman of Grupo Salinas.

Greg Wyler, Chairman and Founder of OneWeb, added “We are committed to bridging the digital divide, and this funding helps ensure our globally shared dream will soon become a reality. We look forward to continuing our work with the many supportive and forward-looking Governments, ISP’s, and Telecom Operators to help them broaden the reach of connectivity to connect people everywhere.”

https://www.oneweb.world/newsroom/oneweb-secures-1-25-billion-in-new-funding-after-successful-launch

USB4 promises 40G over new cables

A new USB4 specification under final review promises to be a significant update to the existing USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 architectures.

USB4 is based on the Thunderbolt protocol specification recently contributed by Intel.

Key characteristics USB4:

  • Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbps certified cables
  • Multiple data and display protocols to efficiently share the total available bandwidth over the bus
  • Backward compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3

Over 50 companies are actively participating in the final stages of review of the draft specification. Publication of the final spec is expected around the middle of 2019.

“The primary goal of USB is to deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution,” said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman. “The USB4 solution specifically tailors bus operation to further enhance this experience by optimizing the blend of data and display over a single connection and enabling the further doubling of performance.”

IDC: Worldwide server market remains robust

Vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 12.6% year over year to $23.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q18), according to a new report from IDC. Worldwide server shipments increased 5.0% year over year to just under 3.0 million units in 4Q18.

"Reduced demand from hyperscale companies created downward pressure on worldwide server market growth rates during the quarter," said Sebastian Lagana, research manager, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "This was offset by increased server sales to enterprise customers and higher average selling prices (ASPs). Enterprises are buying richly configured servers to support resource intensive workloads, resulting in higher ASPs and pushing revenue growth higher than growth from unit shipments."



Highlights:

  • The overall server market continues to experience robust demand with 4Q18 marking the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth and its highest total revenue in a single quarter ever. 
  • Volume server revenue increased by 17.8% to $19.0 billion, while midrange server revenue grew 30.3% to $2.5 billion. High-end systems declined 28.3% to $2.1 billion.
  • Tied for the number one position in the worldwide server market during 4Q18 were Dell Inc., at 18.7% revenue share, and HPE/New H3C Group, with 17.8% revenue share, growing 20.4% and 10.5% year to year respectively. 
  • IBM was the third-ranked server supplier during the quarter capturing 8.3% of total server revenues. IBM's performance during the quarter excludes sales generated through the company's recently established partnership with Inspur Power Systems. 
  • Inspur/Inspur Power Systems and Lenovo tied for fourth with revenue shares of 6.6% and 6.2% respectively. Inspur/Inspur Power Systems increased its revenue 70.7% year over year and Lenovo increased its revenue 33.8% year over year. The ODM Direct group of vendors accounted for 20.1% of total revenue, up 11.6% year over year to $4.7 billion. This was an uncharacteristically low growth rate for this group of companies. 
  • Dell led the worldwide server market in terms of unit shipments, accounting for 19.4% of all units shipped during the quarter. 

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44905719


AT&T launches API Marketplace based on Ribbon's Kandy

A new AT&T API Marketplace has launched to provide pre-packaged software code for business customers to embed in their websites and applications, enabling simpler, faster and more efficient ways to communicate with customers in near real-time.

The Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable capabilities such as click-to-connect voice, video and text as well as 2-factor authentication, conferencing, virtual directories and contact center. For example, businesses could use an app to embed a click-to-chat button on their website to give customers an easier way to connect with support representatives.

“Even the largest enterprises struggle with securing the time and resources needed to deploy capabilities that can enhance customer service and create personalized experiences,” says Roman Pacewicz, chief product officer, AT&T Business. “In today’s omnichannel communications environment, customers expect timely responses. By giving businesses a consistent experience and easy-to-use tools, we can help address common pain points efficiently and effectively.”

The AT&T API Marketplace leverages Ribbon Communications’ Kandy platform.

https://apimarket.att.com/

TDC signs with Ericsson for 5G

Denmark's TDC has awarded a 5G network upgrade contract to Ericsson spanning TDC’s entire RAN and core network. The contract also cover R&D collaboration for driving TDC's "Digital Denmark" ambitions - to empower a new digital economy era and enhance Denmark’s reputation as a digital leader - by helping mobile broadband subscribers, enterprises, industries, and society to capitalize on 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Industry 4.0. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the project, Ericsson will modernize TDC’s entire Radio Access Network (RAN) network with the latest solutions from Ericsson Radio System, while TDC’s core network will be modernized with Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Cloud Core solution. Roll-out of Ericsson 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software products will begin in 2019 in line with 5G licensing obligations. TDC will make 5G available to selected customers under pilot testing from mid-2019, with actual 5G network roll-out expected to be initiated in October – pending the anticipated approval and availability of licensed 5G spectrum.

TDC is targeting the end of 2020 to provide nationwide 5G coverage in Denmark.

The deal will also see Ericsson working in partnership with TDC to upgrade its existing 4G LTE network.

The companies have also signed a five-year managed services contract, centered on the Artificial Intelligence (AI)- and automation-driven Ericsson Operations Engine, which will see Ericsson operate TDC’s network from September 2019.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says “TDC becomes the latest service provider in Europe that we will switch on 5G for. We are delighted to partner with TDC not just in 5G radio and core, but in related R&D and innovation, and the absolute latest in managed services through Ericsson Operations Engine. We will work with TDC to digitalize the Danish economy to ensure Danish consumers, enterprises and society benefit from the new experiences, services, and capabilities enabled by 5G."

Germany's TelemaxX deploys Ciena for Ethernet Business Services

TelemaxX Telekommunikation GmbH, a leading data center provider in Germany, recently deployed sCiena’s Packet Networking portfolio to transform its network and ensure a smooth rollout of Ethernet Business Services (EBS).

TelemaxX manages five data centers across the region of Karlsruhe. To support the introduction of EBS and improve end-user experience and data center interconnect with the network upgrade, TelemaxX is utilizing several solutions from Ciena’s Packet Networking portfolio, including the 8700 Packetwave Platform, 5142 Service Aggregation Platform, 3942 Service Delivery Switch, 3916 Service Delivery Switch, and 3904 Service Delivery Switch.  Additionally, Ciena’s Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) software gives TelemaxX multi-layer provisioning capabilities for end-to-end network and service management, software-based control and automation, and online planning.

AWS to offer NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs

Amazon Web Services will begin offering NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs as part of its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) G4 instances.

The new G4 instances are aimed at AI services. Through AWS Marketplace, customers will be able to pair the G4 instances with NVIDIA GPU acceleration software, including NVIDIA CUDA-X AI libraries for accelerating deep learning, machine learning and data analytics.

T4 will also be supported by Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes, making it possible to deploy, manage and scale containerized applications on EC2 G4 GPU instances using Kubernetes.

“NVIDIA and AWS have worked together for a long time to help customers run compute-intensive AI workloads in the cloud and create incredible new AI solutions,” said Matt Garman, vice president of Compute Services at AWS. “With our new T4-based G4 instances, we’re making it even easier and more cost-effective for customers to accelerate their machine learning inference and graphics-intensive applications.”

T4 will join other Amazon EC2 instances featuring NVIDIA GPUs, providing developers and data scientists with the most sophisticated compute resources available to support a variety of customer needs.

Ribbon's Session Border Controller available in Microsoft Azure

Ribbon Communications' Session Border Controller (SBC) Software edition Lite (SWe Lite) is now being offered in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

The SWe Lite is a virtualized enterprise SBC that delivers Unified Communications (UC), collaboration and security capabilities. In addition, Ribbon's SBC SWe Lite delivers high-performance and capacity in Microsoft Hyper-V and is one of a select few solutions that is fully certified to deliver secure voice services for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and Skype for Business.

"Making our SBC SWe Lite available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace not only is another major step forward in our cloud investment strategy, but more importantly it helps our customers evolve their communications capabilities to the cloud quickly and conveniently," said Kevin Riley, Chief Technology Officer for Ribbon. "

Cambodia's SINET picks Nokia for FTTH

SINET, Cambodia's leading ISP, selected Nokia for a nationwide access network that will start in major residential and gated communities, locally known as borey and housing apartments in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

SINET will deliver broadband services targeted residents living in newly-built gated borey and housing apartments with the Nokia GPON Mini Optical Line Terminal (OLT).

The solution includes:

  • Nokia 7362 Intelligent Service Access Manager (ISAM) Dense Fiber (DF) -16GW gives new flexibility in fiber deployments and helps optimize the fiber business case
  • Nokia Mini OLT supports up to 8x 10GigE uplinks and 16-port GPON or 4-port XGS-PON/TWDM-PON downlinks and is capable of boosting the speeds of fiber networks
  • Nokia 7368 ISAM ONT G-010G-Q provides a GPON interface to the subscriber and paves the way to deliver premium triple-play services in a FTTH environment

See also