Monday, May 20, 2019

Dept of Commerce issues 90-day license to Huawei suppliers

The U.S. Department of Commerce will issue a 90-day, temporary general license allowing U.S. vendors to continue delivering products and services to Huawei Technologies and its affiliates.

The Temporary General License runs from May 20, 2019 through August 19, 2019.

Specifically, the General license allows for:

  1. Continued Operation of Existing Networks and Equipment, including software updates and patches, subject to legally binding contracts executed between Huawei and third parties prior to May 16, 2019; 
  2. Support to Existing Handsets, including software patches and updates, that were made available to the public prior to May 16, 2019; 
  3. Cybersecurity Research and Vulnerability Disclosures critical to maintaining the integrity and reliability of existing and currently fully operational networks and equipment, as well as handsets. 
  4. Engagement as Necessary for Development of 5G Standards by a Duly Recognized Standards Body,  allowing engagement with IEEE, IETF, ISO – International Organization for Standards, ITU, ETSI - European Telecommunications Standards Institute, 3GPP - 3rd Generation Partnership Project, TIA- Telecommunications Industry Association, and GSMA.


https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-10829.pdf

Marvell to acquire Avera Semi, the ASIC division of GLOBALFOUNDRIES

Marvell agreed to acquire Avera Semiconductor, the ASIC business of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, for $650 million in cash at closing plus an additional $90 million in cash if certain business conditions are satisfied within the next 15 months.

Marvell said its ambition is to become the world’s leading supplier of infrastructure semiconductor solutions and that Avera’s ASIC capabilities will accelerate this transformation. 

Avera, which was once part of IBM’s Microelectronics business, has been responsible for more than 2,000 complex designs in its 25-year history. The team brings design competencies in analog, mixed-signal and SoCs as well as a rich IP portfolio including high-speed SerDes, high-performance embedded memory and advanced packaging technology.  Avera also has strong relationships with blue-chip wired and wireless networking OEMs, having delivered custom solutions for multiple generations of switches, routers and base stations.  More recently, Avera has started to address emerging opportunities in next-generation cloud data centers with multiple programs in development.

Marvell's capabilities enable a wide range of digital processing including baseband, processors, Ethernet switches and PHYs.  Marvell’s opportunity set has recently expanded to encompass a number of custom SoCs addressing a broader portion of the base station.  Several of these new products are designed to replace FPGAs with purpose-built optimized silicon.  At the same time, Avera has provided custom products to be deployed in the radio head of a leading wireless infrastructure OEM for multiple generations. 

“Our acquisition of Avera enables us to offer the complete spectrum of product architectures spanning standard, semi-custom to full ASIC solutions,” said Matt Murphy, president and CEO of Marvell.  “With their highly experienced design team and Marvell’s leading technology platform, we will be better positioned to capitalize on our expanding opportunity in wired and wireless infrastructure, starting immediately in the fast growing 5G base station market.  In addition, we are looking forward to furthering our successful partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES in the coming years and beyond.”

“This transaction is another example of our commitment to focus on our core business of providing differentiated foundry offerings as a manufacturing service provider, while establishing deeper relationships with customers who are leaders in their respective sectors,” said Tom Caulfield, CEO at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.  “With this deal and our growing strategic partnership with Marvell, we will forge new opportunities for the teams of both companies to leverage GF’s broad set of offerings and capitalize on the 5G infrastructure market as well as other opportunities.  We look forward to becoming a strategic provider for Marvell for decades to come.” 

Marvell to acquire Aquantia for multi-Gig Ethetnet

Marvell Technology Group agreed to Aquantia for $13.25 per share in cash, representing approximately $452 million in transaction value after adjusting for net cash on Aquantia's balance sheet.

Aquantia, which is based in San Jose, California, specializes in Multi-Gig 2.5G/5G/10G Ethernet over copper products. Its portfolio automotive PHYs for in-vehicle Ethernet networks supporting level 4 and 5 autonomous driving.

Marvell said the acquisition complements its portfolio of copper and optical physical layer product, including its gigabit PHY and secure switch products.

"Our acquisition of Aquantia will fuel Marvell's leadership in the transformation of the in-car network to high-speed Ethernet over the next decade," said Matt Murphy, president and CEO of Marvell.  "At the same time, Aquantia extends our reach in the rapidly emerging Multi-Gig segment of network infrastructure and creates a leading end-to-end Ethernet connectivity portfolio."

"Marvell and Aquantia share a vision where the network – whether in an autonomous vehicle, an enterprise application or in cloud infrastructure – can seamlessly power the data economy," said Faraj Aalaei, chairman and CEO of Aquantia. "This is a fantastic opportunity as our customers will benefit from Marvell's global scale and expanding footprint in Multi-Gig network applications."

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Marvell's non-GAAP earnings per share and generate significant annual run-rate synergies of $40 million to be realized within 12 months after the transaction closes.

Marvell intros silicon for 5G infrastructure

Marvell, whose 3G and 4G solutions are widely deployed in 3G and 4G networks worldwide, announced an end-to-end silicon platform for 5G infrastructure.

Whereas initial deployments of 5G NR have been dominated by FPGA-based solutions, Marvell said its 5G solution encompasses baseband DSPs, Arm multi-core SoCs, purpose-built hardware accelerators, Ethernet connectivity engines and system-level security solutions.

Marvell's 5G NR Platform includes:

  • Radio Access SoCs: The OCTEON Fusion-M product line is optimized for cost/power and programmable with a 3GPP protocol stack split and massive MIMO capabilities. Marvell's SoCs set the performance benchmark for both LTE-A and 5G NR, with multiple deployments through key industry partners.
  • Transport/EPC Core Processors: Multi-core OCTEON processors that are optimized to address the most demanding use cases of 5G NR. Marvell's scalable data-plane acceleration makes its embedded processors ideal for 5G Core/EPC applications at the heart of the network as well. Marvell uniquely offers a single unified architecture for both transport and EPC core.
  • Ethernet Networking: switches and PHYs for carrier infrastructure. Marvell Prestera switches contain hierarchical traffic management for mobile infrastructure. In addition, Marvell's differentiated switching solutions allow advanced flow identification and access control to enable user-level security.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Marvell is ramping high volume production of 8x8 and 4x4 Wi-Fi 6 solutions. The 802.11ax engines include full MU-MIMO and OFDMA uplink and downlink, multi-gigabit peak speeds, precision location, cloud management, best-in-class beamforming and integrated Bluetooth 5 technology. 
  • ThunderX2 Arm-based Server: Marvell has introduced workload optimized ThunderX2 server processors to augment and enhance its 5G portfolio. 

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Mellanox debuts Ethernet Cloud Fabric for 400G

Mellanox Technologies introduced its data center Ethernet Cloud Fabric (ECF) technology based on its second generation, Spectrum-2 silicon, which can deliver up to 16 ports of 400GbE, 32 ports of 200GbE, 64 ports of 100GbE, or 128 ports of 50/25/10/1GbE. 

Mellanox ECF combines three critical capabilities:

Packet forwarding data plane
  • 8.33 Billion Packets per second – Fastest in its class
  • 42MB Monolithic and fully shared packet buffer to provide high bandwidth and low-latency cut-through performance
  • Robust RoCE Datapath to enable hardware accelerated data movement for Ethernet Storage Fabric and Machine Learning applications
  • Half a million flexible forwarding entries to support large Layer-2 and Layer-3 networks
  • Up to 2 Million routes with external memory to address Internet Peering use cases
  • 128-way ECMP with support for flowlet based Adaptive Routing
  • Hardware-based Network Address Translation
  • 500K+ Access Control List entries for micro-segmentation and cloud scale whitelist policies
  • 500K+ VXLAN Tunnels, 10K+ VXLAN VTEPs to provide caveat-free Network Virtualization
Flexible and fully programmable data pipeline
  • Support for VXLAN overlays including single pass VXLAN routing and bridging
  • Centralized VXLAN routing for brown field environments
  • Support for other overlay protocols including EVPN, VXLAN-GPE, MPLS-over-GRE/UDP, NSH, NVGRE, MPLS/IPv6 based Segment routing and more
  • Future-proofing with programmable pipeline that can support new, custom and emerging protocols
  • Hardware optimized stages that accelerate traditional as well as virtualized network functions
  • Advanced modular data plane and integrated container support enables extensibility and flexibility to add customized and application specific capabilities
Open and Actionable telemetry
  • 10X reduction in mean time to resolution by providing a rich set of contextual and actionable Layer 1-4 “What Just Happened” telemetry insights
  • Hardware based packet buffer tracking and data summarization using histograms
  • More than 500K flow tracking counters
  • Open and Extensible platform to facilitate integration and customization with 3rd party and open source visualization tools
  • Support for traditional visibility tools including sFlow, Streaming and In-band telemetry
Marvell said its Ethernet Cloud Fabric incorporates Ethernet Storage Fabric (ESF) technology that seamlessly allows the network to serve as the ideal scale-out data plane for computing, storage, artificial intelligence, and communications traffic. 

“The Spectrum-2 switch ASIC operates at speeds up to 400 Gigabit Ethernet, but goes beyond just raw performance by delivering the most advanced features of any switch in its class without compromising operation ability and simplicity,” said Amir Prescher, senior vice president of end user sales and business development at Mellanox Technologies, “Spectrum-2 enables a new era of Ethernet Cloud Fabrics designed to increase business continuity by delivering the most advanced visibility capabilities to detect and eliminate data center outages. This state-of-the-art visibility technology is combined with fair and predictable performance unmatched in the industry, which guarantees consistent application level performance, which in turn drives predictable business results for our customers. Spectrum-2 is at the heart a new family of SN3000 switches that come in leaf, spine, and super-spine form factors.”

The Spectrum-2 based SN3000 family of switch systems with ECF technology will be available in Q3.


With Mellanox, NVIDIA targets full compute/network/storage stack

NVIDIA agreed to acquire Mellanox in a deal valued at approximately $6.9 billion.

The merger targets data centers in general and the high-performance computing (HPC) market in particular. Together, NVIDIA’s computing platform and Mellanox’s interconnects power over 250 of the world’s TOP500 supercomputers and have as customers every major cloud service provider and computer maker. Mellanox pioneered the InfiniBand interconnect technology, which along with its high-speed Ethernet products is now used in over half of the world’s fastest supercomputers and in many leading hyperscale datacenters.

NVIDIA said the acquired assets enables it to data center-scale workloads across the entire computing, networking and storage stack to achieve higher performance, greater utilization and lower operating cost for customers.

“The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s datacenters,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant datacenter-scale compute engine.

Lattice’s MachX03D FPGA offers Hardware Root-of-Trust

Lattice Semiconductor has begun sampling its MachXO3D FPGA for securing systems against a variety of threats.

The MachXO3 FPGA devices are typically the “first-on/last-off” component on circuit boards.

Lattice Semiconductor said that by integrating security and system control functions, its device becomes the first link in a chain of trust that protects entire systems.

Key features of the new MachXO3D include:

  • Control function FPGA that provides 4K and 9K look-up tables for implementing logic that instantly configures at power up from on device flash memory
  • On-device regulator for single 2.5/3.3-volt power supply operation
  • Support for up to 2700 Kbits of user Flash memory and up to 430 Kbits sysMEM™ embedded block RAM to provide more flexible design options
  • Up to 383 I/Os, configurable to support LVCMOS 3.3 to 1.0, and designed to integrate into a wide variety of system environments with features such as hot-socketing, default pull-down, input hysteresis, and programmable slew rate
  • Embedded security block that provides pre-verified hardware support for cryptographic functions such as ECC, AES, SHA, PKC and Unique Secure ID
  • Embedded secure configuration engine to ensure only FPGA configurations from a trusted source can be installed
  • Dual on-device configuration memories to enable fail-safe reprogramming of component firmware in the event of compromise

“System developers commonly take advantage of FPGA flexibility to enhance system functions after deployment,” said Gordon Hands, Director of Solutions Marketing, Lattice Semiconductor. “With MachXO3D, we took care to retain that flexibility while adding a secure configuration block to deliver the industry’s first control-oriented FPGA compliant with NIST’s Platform Firmware Resilience specification.”

Sampling is underway.

http://www.latticesemi.com/MachXO3D

ADVA's FSP 3000 TeraFlex brings fractional QAM

ADVA announced that its open, ultra-high-capacity FSP 3000 TeraFlex terminal now enables existing optical networks to carry up to 30 times more traffic using new fractional QAM capabilities ultra-flexible bandwidth modulation across brownfield and subsea networks of all distances.

“Up until now, traditional 50GHz grids have had a 100Gbit/s speed limit. 200 Gbps was possible over short reaches, but it simply couldn’t go the distance. Now, with the fractional QAM capabilities of our FSP 3000 TeraFlex, 300 Gbps can be achieved across all metro links without upgrading the OLS. And up to 600 Gbps becomes possible in 100GHz grids. What’s more, enabling this massive capacity increase couldn’t be simpler or more cost-effective," said Stephan Rettenberger, SVP, marketing and investor relations, ADVA.

The FSP 3000 TeraFlex is a 1RU platform that enables super channels of up to 1200 Gbps and a total capacity of 7.2 Tbps.

The FSP 3000 TeraFlex now optimizes all optical paths over every distance, ensuring the lowest cost per bit for any network. It achieves this through fractional QAM modulation, which switches between lower and higher schemes for maximum spectral efficiency, significantly boosting capacity or extending the reach of installed legacy infrastructure. This transforms existing carrier networks, with those designed for 10 Gbps channels able to transport 30 times more traffic and outperforming upgrades based on 200 Gbps by 50%.

“The FSP 3000 TeraFlex leverages Acacia’s AC1200 module, based on our Pico coherent DSP ASIC, to deliver a flexible transmission solution that was designed to address a wide range of multi-haul applications by leveraging 3D shaping features, including fractional QAM modulation and adaptive baud rate capabilities. For CSPs, we believe that translates into enhanced performance, as well as improved network and port efficiency, which helps to enable capex and opex savings,” commented Eric Fisher, vice president, global sales, Acacia Communications.

The solution will be showcased at NGON and DCI World in Nice, France, from May 21 to 23.

http://adva.li/fractional-qam


Huawei cites momentum with optical transport

Huawei announced that its Super 200G optical transport solution has over 80 commercial deployments around the world.

At Huawei's Sixth Optical Network Innovation Forum this week in Nice, France, the company also announced the following:

  • Huawei has cooperated with operators in Asia and Europe to achieve Super C-Band innovation, increasing the effective spectral width by 50% compared with the traditional C band.
  • Huawei's new OXC all-optical cross-connect solution has been commercially deployed multiple operators to provide all-optical interconnection for hundreds of super core nodes/
  • Huawei's OSN 9800 M series and OSN 1800 series support the extension of OTN to the metro network. More than 60% of OTNs have been moved to COs in China, and that number exceeds 50% in Europe.
  • New smart O&M: Huawei has worked closely with 38 operators around the world to develop OTN premium private lines and help operators achieve revenue growth. 
  • Huawei, together with leading operators in China and Europe, is working on the introduction of AI into optical networks to predict faults on optical networks and better anticipate future network resource requirements, improving O&M efficiency and marking a critical step towards zero-touch optical networks.

Richard Jin said that "Looking to the future, the bandwidth potential of optical fibers is infinite. In a fully-connected 5G era, Huawei proposes to redefine the optical industry. Massive connectivity will promote the continuous expansion of optical networks."

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/5/huawei-on2-all-optical-networks-operators

Ajit Pai voices support for T-Mobile+Sprint merger

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is voicing support for the pending T-Mobile + Sprint merger:

“Two of the FCC’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity.  The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives.

“For example, the companies have committed to deploying a 5G network that would cover 97% of our nation’s population within three years of the closing of the merger and 99% of Americans within six years.  This 5G network would also reach deep into rural areas, with 85% of rural Americans covered within three years and 90% covered within six years.  Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint have guaranteed that 90% of Americans would have access to mobile broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps and 99% would have access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps.

Pai's statement also mentioned a commitment from the companies not to raise prices for three years, to divest Boost Mobile, and to build out their mid-band spectrum holdings.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr also issued a statement in support of the merger.

Bloomberg: FTC probe targets Broadcom

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into Broadcom, according to Bloomberg. The inquiry reportedly concerns exclusive licensing practices of Wi-Fi and switching chip products. The company did not comment in the report.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-20/broadcom-chip-business-targeted-in-widening-u-s-antitrust-probe?

Kingston Digital ships next gen NVMe PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital announced its next gen M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD for enterprise and power users based on the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. It offers read and write speeds up to 3,200 and 2,200MB/s, respectively.

The KC2000 is a self-encrypting drive that supports end-to-end data protection using 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and allows the usage of independent software vendors with TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions.

Drive capacities are 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Openreach deploys ADVA's demarc gateway for 5G Small Cell rollout

Openreach, the infrastructure division of BT Group, is deploying the ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro Series cell site gateway to enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to roll out small cell services throughout the UK.

Openreach will house the compact edge demarcation product in street furniture access points to support its Street Access service. The MEF 3.0-certified gateway will support Openreach’s 1Gbit/s Carrier Ethernet and IP services and deliver the precise phase synchronization needed for 5G mobile connectivity.

The ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro, which is billed as the world’s smallest cell site gateway device, delivers precise time and frequency synchronization. It features automated testing and in-service monitoring and is available in two sizes. A hardened housing is sealed against water, moisture, and dust.

ADVA says this single device with standardized software-defined networking (SDN) interfaces offers a unique combination of Carrier Ethernet and IP features together with the advanced synchronization capabilities required for emerging technologies such as LTE-Advanced and 5G. The ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro features a comprehensive set of protocols and tools for fast and efficient service activation, testing and monitoring.

With multi-layer Carrier Ethernet and IP integration, service lifecycle management and precise, assured distribution of phase and frequency synchronization, the ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro ensures that Openreach can cover a wide range of applications with a single
demarcation product. In addition, the ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro offers open programming interfaces, supporting bandwidth slicing, and provides deployment flexibility through moisture resistance, extended temperature range and power-over-Ethernet support.

“The ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro is a key tool in our drive to address urgent small cell challenges. Its design and feature set enables us to roll out the highly efficient mobile backhaul architecture we need to support our 1Gbit/s Street Access product as well as LTE Advanced and 5G services,” said Mark Logan, product director, Openreach. “The ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro requires no expensive air conditioning system. It also has an extremely compact form factor coupled with a design ruggedized to withstand harsh conditions, making it ideal for deployment in lampposts and street cabinets. And, despite being the smallest network terminating equipment solution on the market, the ADVA FSP 150-GO102Pro provides true carrier-class capabilities including automated testing, in-service monitoring and full phase sync support.”

https://www.advaoptical.com/

Tata Communications brings Cisco SD-WAN to its cloud platform

Tata Communications and Cisco have extended their partnership to enable customised and secure multi-cloud native hybrid network solutions.

The new offering brings together Tata Communications’ IZO cloud enablement platform and Cisco SD-WAN, giving businesses the ability to securely connect any user to any application location, and provide the assurance of application performance needed to support successful digital transformation.

Tata Communications’ cloud and hybrid networking capabilities are underpinned by the company’s global tier-1 Internet backbone and partnerships with major cloud providers, including Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba. This means that through IZO SDWAN powered by Cisco, enterprises are now able to offer their employees a secure and reliable user experience for and with cloud-based applications and on premise applications seamlessly in more than 150 countries worldwide.

“We want our customers to be able to harness the power of the Internet and the cloud to transform how they operate, but without jeopardising security or performance,” said Song Toh, Vice President, Global Network Services, Tata Communications. “With our new SDWAN solution powered by Cisco, we offer a fully managed hybrid network service that’s fit for your digital business. It’s a resilient cloud-ready network-as-a-service which can grow and scale as needed, while ensuring predictable and secure access to data and applications.

Huawei completes first 5G VoNR video call

Huawei recently completed the world's first voice over NR (VoNR) call on a 5G standalone (SA) network and using two Huawei Mate 20X 5G phones. One of the mobile phones was placed in a 5G test field at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology while the other was placed in a 5G test field at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Both sites are in Beijing, but the distance between them is over 60 km.

The test 5G VoNR call used Huawei's end-to-end 5G commercial products, including a 5G radio access network, core network, bearer network, and 5G chips and terminals.

Huawei said the test call showed that the 5G new radio (NR) leverages the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) to provide 5G voice services (VoNR). The test was also a dry run of interoperability on the 5G air interface.

VoNR is a voice and video solution using in the 5G SA network architecture. The test call was based on a 5G network that Huawei built under the auspices of the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group.

The Huawei Mate 20X 5G mobile phone used for the call is equipped with Huawei's Balong 5000 5G multi-mode chip. The Balong 5000 is the world's first single-core, multi-mode 5G cellphone baseband processor. It is the first baseband processor compatible with SA and NSA network architectures and that fully supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G networks. The Balong 5000 supports peak downlink speeds of 4.6 Gbps on the sub-6GHz frequency band, 6.5 Gbps on the mmWave frequency band, and 7.5 Gbps in 5G NR+LTE dual-connection mode.

Huawei also noted that it has signed more than 40 5G contracts with operators worldwide, and shipped more than 100,000 5G base stations.

Huawei shows UHD live streaming over 5G network slice

In a public event conducted with The China Media Group and China Mobile, Huawei demonstrated UHD live streaming through a real end-to-end 5G network slice. The demo is believed to be the first live streaming slice on a 3GPP-compliant 5G SA network.

In the demo, a network slice was dedicated carrying the CCTV 4K live streaming services with the ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low latency. The test personnel used 4K cameras to shoot videos in the outdoor field of Dong Zhi Meng of China Mobile Beijing. The video streams after being encoded and compressed were backhauled to the 4K TVs through the 5G SA network.

Huawei notes that each network slice is logically isolated from end to end, including terminals, radio access network (RAN), transport networks, and core networks. This meets various requirements in different industries and service scenarios. This verification uses the SA base station, SPN transport network, and brand-new 5GC network from China Mobile to build dedicated channels based on 5G network infrastructure and slice services, for a guaranteed 4K UHD video playback experience. 5G network slicing will be widely used in fields, such as live media broadcasting, smart grid, and mobile gaming.

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/5/chinamediagroup-chinamobile-huawei-uhd-live-streaming-5g-sa-slices

Huawei blacklist weekend news wrap-up

Ren Zhengfei, Chairman and CEO of Huawei, told the Nikkei Asian Review that his company will be fine even with the U.S. government blacklisting, and that Huawei will not acquiesce to any demands from the U.S. for management changes or monitoring conditions. Ren further said that the U.S. blacklisting would only slightly impact Huawei's stellular growth.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade-war/Huawei-does-not-need-US-chips-CEO-on-Trump-export-ban

Due to the Department of Commerce blacklisting, Google will discontinue supplying Android updates to Huawei along with its professional support services, according to an exclusive report from Reuters. The blacklisting apparently does not apply to prior open source versions of Android. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-alphabet-exclusive/exclusive-google-suspends-some-business-with-huawei-after-trump-blacklist-source-idUSKCN1SP0NB

On Friday, the CEO of HiSilicon Technologies, which is Huawei's chipmaking division, stated that the company has contigency plans to deal with a disruption of semiconductors from U.S. suppliers. The internal memo from He Tingbo, which was widely circulated on Chinese media sites, said the company would transition quickly to its own silicon designs.

Bloomberg reported that Huawei has stockpiled an inventory of semiconductors and other vital components to last at least three month if the supply from U.S. vendors is cut off. People cited in the article commented that Huawei has been building its inventory since at least the middle of 2018.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-17/huawei-built-at-least-a-three-month-stockpile-ahead-of-trump-ban




Sony and Microsoft alliance to include cloud, edge, silicon, AI

Sony and Microsoft announced an alliance targeted at direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.

The companies agreed to explore joint development of cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services. In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.

Sony and Microsoft also agreed to collaborate in the areas of semiconductors and AI. For semiconductors, this includes potential joint development of new intelligent image sensor solutions, potentially integrating Sony’s image sensors with Microsoft’s Azure AI technology in a hybrid manner across cloud and edge.

In terms of AI, the parties will explore the incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.

“Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony. “PlayStation® itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere."

“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”

Friday, May 17, 2019

HPE adds to high performance portfolio with Cray acquisition

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will acquire Cray Inc., the legendary supercomputer developer, in a deal valued at approximately $1.3 billion, net of cash.

The companies said the deal was driven by opportunities in the high performance computing (HPC) sector, which is expected to grow from approximately $28 billion in 2018 to approximately $35 billion in 2021.

Cray traces its origin back to 1972 and the founding of Cray Research. The company is currently based in Seattle, with US-based manufacturing, and approximately 1,300 employees worldwide. The company delivered revenue of $456 million in its most recent fiscal year, up 16 percent year over year.



Cray recently announced an Exascale supercomputer contract for over $600 million for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The system, which is targeted to be the world’s fastest system, uses Cray’s new Shasta system architecture and Slingshot interconnect. The company was also part of an award with Intel for the first U.S. Exascale contract from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, with Cray’s portion of the contract valued at over $100 million.

“Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data,” said Antonio Neri, President and CEO, HPE. “Only by processing and analyzing this data will we be able to unlock the answers to critical challenges across medicine, climate change, space and more. Cray is a global technology leader in supercomputing and shares our deep commitment to innovation. By combining our world-class teams and technology, we will have the opportunity to drive the next generation of high performance computing and play an important part in advancing the way people live and work.”

“This is an amazing opportunity to bring together Cray’s leading-edge technology and HPE’s wide reach and deep product portfolio, providing customers of all sizes with integrated solutions and unique supercomputing technology to address the full spectrum of their data-intensive needs,” said Peter Ungaro, President and CEO of Cray. “HPE and Cray share a commitment to customer-centric innovation and a vision to create the global leader for the future of high performance computing and AI. On behalf of the Cray Board of Directors, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that we believe maximizes value and are excited for the opportunities that this unique combination will create for both our employees and our customers.”





Thursday, May 16, 2019

U.S. Dept of Commerce: Huawei restriction begins Friday

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, announced that restrictions on the export of U.S. technology to Huawei begin on Friday.

Earlier, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirmed that Huawei and its affiliates have been added to the Bureau’s Entity List. The reason given is that "Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest."

For companies on the Entity List, a license must be issued by BIS for the sale or transfer of U.S. technology. A license may be denied if the sale or transfer would harm U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.

“This action by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, with the support of the President of the United States, places Huawei, a Chinese owned company that is the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, on the Entity List. This will prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “President Trump has directed the Commerce Department to be vigilant in its protection of national security activities. Since the beginning of the Administration, the Department has added 190 persons or organizations to the Entity List, as well as instituted five investigations of the effect of imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962.”

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/05/department-commerce-announces-addition-huawei-technologies-co-ltd

On Thursday, Huawei issued a statement condemning the decision by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), saying "This decision is in no one's interest. It will do significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business, affect tens of thousands of American jobs, and disrupt the current collaboration and mutual trust that exist on the global supply chain."

https://huawei.eu/media-centre/press-releases/media-statement-regarding-decision-bureau-industry-and-security-bis-us

FirstLight acquires Maine Fiber Company

FirstLight, which delivers fiber, Internet, data center, cloud and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the northeastern U.S., has acquired Maine Fiber Company (MFC), a dark fiber leasing company with a 1,100-route-mile, high-capacity fiber network in the state of Maine. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FirstLight said the MFC network adds unique routes into Canada including a cable landing, the Maritime Express Route from Nova Scotia to Boston, as well as additional diversity to FirstLight’s robust network.

MFC was established in 2009 to drive the construction of the Three Ring Binder - a network of three fiber rings encircling rural western, eastern and northern Maine. The network was built through a combination of a federal grant and private investment.

“Acquiring MFC is very exciting for FirstLight. We have a long-standing, positive working relationship with this organization and are impressed with what they have been able to accomplish since the company’s inception in 2009,” stated Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight Fiber. “The companies have leveraged their strong ties over the years to expand broadband access to customers in Maine and beyond.  We expect the integration process will be swift and seamless to our customers and stakeholders.”

http://www.mainefiberco.com/
https://www.firstlight.net/firstlight-acquires-maine-fiber-company/

See also