Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Aqua Comms activates AEC-2 transatlantic cable

Aqua Comms activated AEC-2 (America Europe Connect-2), the company’s second Trans-Atlantic subsea cable system and complementing its existing AEC-1 (America Europe Connect-1) cable, which went Ready for Service in 2016. 

AEC-2 connects New Jersey, U.S.A to Denmark, and is a wholly diverse and resilient new Trans-Atlantic subsea route, doubling fibre connectivity between North America and Denmark making it the first new subsea system directly linking North America to Denmark and the Nordic region in twenty years. AEC-2 leaves North America from NJFX, a carrier-neutral cable landing station and Tier 3 colocation facility in New Jersey, providing the option to bypass New York City and a route that offers complete diversity from existing Trans-Atlantic cables.

AEC-2 offers wavelength services ranging from 10G, 100G and 400G. It was designed for complete redundancy and diversity to support key data centre connectivity routes across the North Atlantic. These include connecting key US locations such as Ashburn, VA and 165 Halsey Street in New Jersey to Copenhagen in Denmark and the wider Nordic region as well as critical existing locations throughout Europe including Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Hamburg.  

“As part of Aqua Comms’ expansion in the North Atlantic and across the globe, we are delighted to launch our second Trans-Atlantic cable, AEC-2, providing a new and diverse route that supports the critical data centre markets in the US and Northern Europe,” comments Nigel Bayliff, Chief Executive Officer of Aqua Comms. “Data traffic continues to grow exponentially and we are looking forward to delivering industry-leading services to our customers over this new cable system.” 

AEC-2 forms part of the North Atlantic Loop, that along with two new cables planned to go RFS in early 2021, will form a resilient, ring-based subsea infrastructure link between the East Coast of the United States, Ireland, the UK and the Nordics. 

http://www.aquacomms.com

Aqua Comm's AEC-2 subsea cable to tie into Interxion Copenhagen

Aqua Comms will interconnect its America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) subsea cable system at Interxion’s data center in Copenhagen.

AEC-2 is Aqua Comms’s portion of the Havfrue subsea cable project, connecting New Jersey, U.S.A., to Ireland, and Denmark. The America Europe Connect-2 cable is scheduled to land in Blaabjerg, near Esbjerg in September 2019 and will be the first new cable connecting Denmark to the U.S. in nearly two decades.

Aqua Comms supplies fiber pairs, spectrum and capacity networking solutions to the global media, content and carrier markets.

“The large number of networks and content platforms present at Interxion’s Copenhagen campus makes it an efficient location for AEC-2 to interconnect with our target customers,” said Nigel Bayliff, CEO of Aqua Comms. “The investment Interxion is making to develop its campus in Copenhagen aligns with the growth in demand we are seeing for highly resilient network capacity between northern Europe and the U.S”.

AEC-2 will complement Aqua Comms’ existing transatlantic cable, AEC-1, and deliver on its vision of creating a “North Atlantic Loop”, a resilient dual-path network across the Atlantic. This will be further enhanced by North Sea Connect (NSC) from Denmark to the UK and Celtix-Connect-2 (CC-2) as a second Irish Sea cable crossing from the UK to Ireland, both of which will follow shortly after AEC-2.

“The AEC-1 subsea cable already extends to the Interxion facility in Dublin, so we are pleased to expand our collaboration with Aqua Comms on this new cable into Denmark,” said Peder Bank, Managing Director of Interxion, Nordics. “Our community of customers greatly value international capacity on diverse, modern and resilient routes which is exactly what the ring topology of the North Atlantic Loop provides. The system further strengthens Interxion’s position as the main Gateway to the Nordic Region”.

AEC-2 is scheduled to go live in the fourth quarter of 2019 and will more than double fiber connectivity to Denmark from the US, increasing the diversity and reliability of the Internet to the region. Aqua Comms investment in subsea cables to northern Europe complements Interxion’s increased investments in its Nordic data centers in Copenhagen and Stockholm.

HAVFRUE subsea cable to link NJ and Denmark with 108 Tbps capacity

TE SubCom will serve as the system supplier for HAFVRUE, a new subsea cable that will link New Jersey to the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark with a branch landing in County Mayo, Ireland. Optional branch extensions to Northern and Southern Norway are also included in the design.

The HAVFRU system will be owned and operated by multiple parties, including Aqua Comms, Bulk Infrastructure, Facebook, and others. Aqua Comms, the Irish cable owner/operator and carriers’ carrier, will serve as the system operator and landing party in U.S.A., Ireland, and Denmark. Bulk Infrastructure of Norway will be the owner and landing party for the Norwegian branch options.

The HAFVRUE subsea cable system will be optimized for coherent transmission and will offer a cross-sectional cable capacity of 108Tbps, scalable to higher capacities utilizing future generation SLTE technology. SubCom will incorporate their Wavelength Selective Switching Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer (WSS-ROADM) for flexible wavelength allocation over the system design life. It is the first new cable system in almost two decades that will traverse the North Atlantic to connect mainland Northern Europe to the U.S.A.

HAVFRUE is the Danish word for mermaid.

Preparation work is underway and system ready-for-service (RFS) is expected in Q4 2019.

“The HAVFRUE cable will provide state-of-the-art connectivity for increasing needs of users, ranging from individual consumers to businesses and the research community. SubCom is proud to be selected as the supplier for this project,” said Sanjay Chowbey, president of TE SubCom.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 brings 3rd gen 5G modem, 6th gen processor

Qualcomm previewed its new flagship - the Snapdragon 888 - featuring its 3rd generation X60 5G Modem-RF System with global band coverage and a 6th generation AI Engine operating at an astonishing 26 tera operations per second (TOPS).

The 5G modem operates in mmWave and sub-6 across all major bands worldwide, and it brings support for 5G carrier aggregation, global multi-SIM, stand alone, non-stand alone, and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing.

The new 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine features completely re-engineered Qualcomm Hexagon processor that improves performance and power efficiency.

“Creating premium experiences takes a relentless focus on innovation. It takes long term commitment, even in the face of immense uncertainty,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. “It takes an organization that’s focused on tomorrow, to continue to deliver the technologies that redefine premium experiences.”



https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2020/12/01/qualcomm-redefines-premium-snapdragon-tech-summit-digital-2020


Salesforce's $27.7B acquisition of Slack brings enterprise communications tools


Salesforce agreed to acquire Slack in a deal valued at approximately $27.7 billion ($26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share).

Slack’s enterprise communications platform integrates with more than 2,400 apps that people use to collaborate, communicate and get work done. 

The companies plan to integrate Slack's enterprise communication tools into every Salesforce Cloud. This will make Slack into the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360.

"Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it,” said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.”

“Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work. The opportunity we see together is massive,” said Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO and Co-Founder. “As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going.”


SSE Enterprise Telecoms selects Infinera’s XTM for UK expansion

SSE Enterprise Telecoms, one of the UK’s leading connectivity providers, has selected Infinera’s XTM Series for the second phase of its UK-wide network expansion. 

SSE Enterprise Telecoms operates a 20,000km private telecoms network and 15 data centres that span the UK and offers a range of connectivity solutions including leading edge SD-WAN, Ethernet, Optical and dark fibre services.


With Infinera’s XTM Series, SSE Enterprise Telecoms leverages an industry-leading optical solution optimized for 5G transport with high-performance synchronization capabilities and low latency. The network’s Layer 2 packet optical aggregation features also provide enterprise customers with high-bandwidth connectivity services over the same network. These benefits extend across SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ network, which upon completion will span over 30,000 km. 

“This network expansion with Infinera’s XTM Series is key to our UK initiative as it enables new technologies including the IIoT and autonomous vehicles, as well as opening the door to new business technologies such as seamless, instant video streaming and immersive virtual and augmented reality,” said Dave Eddy, COO, SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “Infinera’s XTM solution provided the high performance, scalability, and flexibility required to meet our network needs.”

“The UK market’s bandwidth is growing exponentially, and SSE Enterprise Telecoms is poised to meet this growing demand as it more than doubles its number of connected exchanges,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President, Sales at Infinera. “We are proud to be a part of SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ network expansion as it ushers the era of 5G with the unique capabilities of Infinera’s XTM.”

AWS to deploy Intel's Gaudi AI accelerators in EC2 instances

AWS will begin offering EC2 instances with up to eight of Intel's Habana Gaudi accelerators for machine learning workloads.

Gaudi accelerators are specifically designed for training deep learning models for workloads that include natural language processing, object detection and machine learning training, classification, recommendation and personalization.

“We are proud that AWS has chosen Habana Gaudi processors for its forthcoming EC2 training instances. The Habana team looks forward to our continued collaboration with AWS to deliver on a roadmap that will provide customers with continuity and advances over time,” states David Dahan, chief executive officer at Habana Labs, an Intel Company.

ntel acquires Habana Labs for $2 billion - AI chipset

Intel has acquired Habana Labs, an Israel-based developer of programmable deep learning accelerators for the data center, for approximately $2 billion.

Habana’s Gaudi AI Training Processor is currently sampling with select hyperscale customers. Large-node training systems based on Gaudi are expected to deliver up to a 4x increase in throughput versus systems built with the equivalent number of GPUs. Gaudi is designed for efficient and flexible system scale-up and scale-out.

Additionally, Habana’s Goya AI Inference Processor, which is commercially available, has demonstrated excellent inference performance including throughput and real-time latency in a highly competitive power envelope. Gaudi for training and Goya for inference offer a rich, easy-to-program development environment to help customers deploy and differentiate their solutions as AI workloads continue to evolve with growing demands on compute, memory and connectivity.

Habana will remain an independent business unit and will continue to be led by its current management team. Habana will report to Intel’s Data Platforms Group, home to Intel’s broad portfolio of data center class AI technologies.

“This acquisition advances our AI strategy, which is to provide customers with solutions to fit every performance need – from the intelligent edge to the data center,” said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group at Intel. “More specifically, Habana turbo-charges our AI offerings for the data center with a high-performance training processor family and a standards-based programming environment to address evolving AI workloads.”

Habana Labs chairman Avigdor Willenz will serve as a senior adviser to the business unit as well as to Intel Corporation after Intel’s purchase of Habana.

“We have been fortunate to get to know and collaborate with Intel given its investment in Habana, and we’re thrilled to be officially joining the team,” said David Dahan, CEO of Habana. “Intel has created a world-class AI team and capability. We are excited to partner with Intel to accelerate and scale our business. Together, we will deliver our customers more AI innovation, faster.”


Interview: Habana Labs targets AI processors



Habana Labs, a start-up based in Israel with offices in Silicon Valley, emerged from stealth to unveil its first AI processor. Habana's deep learning inference processor, named Goya, is >2 orders of magnitude better in throughput & power than commonly deployed CPUs, according to the company. The company will offer a PCIe 4.0 card that incorporates a single Goya HL-1000 processor and designed to accelerate various AI inferencing workloads,...



HPE returns to pre-pandemic levels of $7.2 billion, relocates to Texas

 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) reported revenue of $7.2 billion for the 4th quarter of its fiscal year, up 6% from the prior quarter and flat from the prior-year period. GAAP was $0.12, above the previously provided outlook of $0.02 to $0.06 per share. Non-GAAP was $0.37, above the previously provided outlook of $0.32 to $0.36 per share.

“Hewlett Packard Enterprise finished the year with a very strong performance,” said Antonio Neri, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “In Q4 we saw a notable rebound in our overall revenue, with particular acceleration in key growth areas of our business.”

“The global pandemic has forced businesses to rethink everything from remote work and collaboration to business continuity and data insight,” he continued. “Over the last several months, customers have increasingly turned to HPE for our unique capabilities from edge to cloud that help them empower their workforces, deploy resilient new IT solutions and extract insights from critical data, while consuming these solutions more flexibly as a service.”


HPE also announced plans to relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas. 

Highlights:

  • Intelligent Edge revenue was $786 million, up 6% year over year or 5% when adjusted for currency, with 10.1% operating profit margin, compared to 6.2% from the prior-year period. Revenue grew 15% sequentially or 14% when adjusted for currency. Intelligent Edge best-in-class portfolio was recognized as a leader for the 15th year in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for wired and WLAN access infrastructure. The Company also expects to take share in both campus switching and WLAN.
  • High Performance Compute & Mission Critical Systems (HPC & MCS) revenue was $975 million, up 25% year over year, with 12.2% operating profit margin, compared to 10.2% from the prior-year period. Revenue grew 50% sequentially driven by strong performance in Cray, HPC-Apollo and MCS.
  • Compute revenue was $3.2 billion, down 5% year over year or down 4% when adjusted for currency, with 6.1% operating profit margin, compared to 13.9% from the prior-year period. Revenue was down 6% sequentially or 7% when adjusted for currency but was up low single-digits when adjusted for backlog conversion.
  • Storage revenue was $1.2 billion, down 3% year over year, with 16.7% operating profit margin, compared to 17.4% from the prior-year period. Revenue grew 8% sequentially or 7% when adjusted for currency driven by strong operational execution, reduction of backlog and momentum in key areas of the portfolio.
  • Advisory & Professional Services (A&PS) revenue was $245 million, down 9% year over year or 10% when adjusted for currency, with (0.4%) operating profit margin, compared to 0.4% from the prior-year period. Revenue was up 8% sequentially or 6% when adjusted for currency even as COVID-19 impacted consulting activities and chargeability levels of our team members. A&PS is a strategic business that pulls through significant infrastructure and operational services sales.
  • Financial Services revenue was $849 million, down 3% year over year or 4% when adjusted for currency. 

ADTRAN expands its access routing portfolio

ADTRAN introduced two access routers for fiber-based IP connectivity to the enterprise.

The NetVanta 3148 and 4148 expand on ADTRAN’s suite of NetVanta access routers by combining routing and switching capabilities for both copper and fiber into VoIP-ready platforms. Routing performance and eSBC capacity vary among the new routers, providing flexible and scalable options for managed service providers and their customers. The NetVanta 3148 supports up to 500Mbps of routing performance and up to 300 eSBC calls, while the NetVanta 4148 supports a full Gigabit and up to 1,000 eSBC calls.

“ADTRAN’s enterprise and SMB solutions have a long heritage and highly-diversified customer base, which built a solid foundation for our latest expansion to the NetVanta portfolio,” said Brian Lenahan, Product Line Manager of Enterprise Subscriber Solutions at ADTRAN. “The new options we developed address the growing bandwidth demands on the enterprise network and help managed service providers apply the right solution to build the best network for each of their customers.”

http://www.adtran.com

Monday, November 30, 2020

2020 Next-Gen SD-WAN and SASE Series Overview

In this SD-WAN and SASE overview video, we present the concise thoughts of the industry's thought leaders including Sunil Khandekar, General Manager/Founder of Nuage Networks from Nokia; Rupesh Chokshi, Vice President of AT&T Cybersecurity; Jeff Aaron, VP of Enterprise Marketing at Juniper Networks; Mick Higgins, SVP of Product at Asavie, now part of Akamai; Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global; and Craig Connors, VP and CTO of SD-WAN at VMware.

https://youtu.be/D3n_vIYDFSA

Our new showcase site also features a complimentary 2020 Next-Gen SD-WAN and SASE Report from AvidThink examining current enterprise viewpoints and service provider trends. We look at the rapidly changing vendor ecosystem and provide observations of the market to help enterprises chart a safe SD-WAN and SASE course in 2021. 

Ericsson: Mobile network data traffic up 50% from 3Q19 to 3Q20

Mobile network data traffic grew 50 percent between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, according to the newly updated Ericsson Mobility Report.

A second key finding is that current 5G uptake in subscriptions and population coverage confirms 5G as deploying the fastest of any generation of mobile connectivity. Ericsson estimates that by the end of this year, more than 1 billion people – 15 percent of the world’s population – will live in an area that has 5G coverage rolled out. The company has raised its year-end 2020 estimate for global 5G subscriptions to 220 million, thanks largely to rapid uptake in China, reaching 11 percent of its mobile subscription base. 

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “This year has seen society take a big leap towards digitalization. The pandemic has highlighted the impact connectivity has on our lives and has acted as a catalyst for rapid change, which is also clearly visible in this latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

Additional highlights:

  • In 2026, 60 percent of the world’s population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion.
  • North America is expected to end the year with about 4 percent of its mobile subscriptions being 5G. Commercialization is now moving at a rapid pace and by 2026, Ericsson forecasts that 80 percent of North American mobile subscriptions will be 5G, the highest level of any region in the world.
  • Europe will end the year with about 1 percent 5G subscriptions in the region. During the year, some countries delayed auctions of the radio spectrum needed to support 5G deployment.
  • The rate of introducing 5G New Radio (NR) functionality is increasing, with more than 150 5G device models launched commercially. Many devices support 5G Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). The first 5G standalone (SA) networks have been launched in Asia and North America, as well as the first devices capable of NR carrier aggregation.
  • The number of service providers offering fixed wireless access (FWA) is on the rise. Almost two-thirds of service providers now have an FWA offering. FWA connections are forecast to grow more than threefold and reach more than 180 million by the end of 2026, accounting for about a quarter of total mobile network data traffic.

https://www.ericsson.com/4adc87/assets/local/mobility-report/documents/2020/november-2020-ericsson-mobility-report.pdf

SK Telecom designs its own AI chip

SK Telecom unveiled its own artificial intelligence (AI) chip and announced plans to enter the AI semiconductor business.

The South Korean telecoms operator said its new "SAPEON X220" chip is optimized for processing large amounts of data in parallel. Its deep learning computation speed is 6.7 kilo-_frames per second, which is 1.5 times faster than that of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for inference that are being widely used by AI-service companies. At the same time, it uses 20% less power than GPU by consuming 60 watts of energy and is about half the price of a GPU.

SKT plans to use the chip for its own AI-powered services, including for voice recognition. The aim is to generate synergies by combining AI semiconductor chips and 5G edge cloud. 

SAPEON X220 will also be utilized by SKT’s affiliate companies. For instance, ADT Caps will apply the chip to enhance the performance of its AI-based video monitoring service named T View. In addition, SAPEON X220 will be applied to the cloud server of the next-generation media platform of Cast.era, a joint venture of SKT and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

SKT also announced a plan to enter the AI as a Service (AIaaS) business. It will offer a complete solution package as a service by combining its AI chip and AI software, including diverse AI algorithms for features like content recommendation, voice recognition, video recognition and media upscaling, along with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

https://www.sktelecom.com/en/press/press_detail.do?page.page=1&idx=1492&page.type=all&page.keyword=



 

Huawei previews 800G module

Huawei previewed an optical module that supports an adjustable line rate ranging from 200 to 800 Gbps. It will use a proprietary Channel Matched Shaping (CMS) algorithm to increase range. 

Huawei also highlighted its Liquid OTN solution, saying it reduces per-site latency by 70%, and supports 100-fold more connections by breaking bandwidth into 2M hard slices. The company is also introducing a compact OXC product -- the OSN 9800 P32C.

“Optical networks should play an important role in 5G, home broadband, private line and cloud. An end-to-end target network for all-optical cities is the foundation for providing all premium services, so let's work together to embrace the next gold decade of optical network industry," said Richard Jin, President of Huawei's Transmission and Access Network Product Line.

https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2020/11/upgrade-optical-networking-2-solution-business

AWS launches EC2 Mac instances

Amazon Web Services announced new Mac instances (EC2 Mac instances) for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), enabling customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud.

EC2 Mac instances are powered by a combination of Mac mini computers—featuring Intel’s eighth-generation 3.2GHz (4.6GHz turbo) Core i7 processors, 6 physical/12 logical cores, and 32 GiB of memory—and the AWS Nitro System, providing up to 10 Gbps of VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of EBS storage bandwidth through high speed Thunderbolt 3 connections.

“Our customers tell us they would love to have their Apple build environment integrated with AWS services,” said David Brown, Vice President of EC2, at AWS. “With EC2 Mac instances, developers can now provision and access on-demand macOS compute environments in AWS for the first time ever, so they can focus on creating groundbreaking apps for Apple’s industry-leading platforms, rather than procuring and managing the underlying infrastructure.”

“Apple’s thriving community of more than 28 million developers continues to create groundbreaking app experiences that delight customers around the world,” said Bob Borchers, Vice President, Worldwide Product Marketing, at Apple. “With the launch of EC2 Mac instances, we’re thrilled to make development for Apple’s platforms accessible in new ways, and combine the performance and reliability of our world-class hardware with the scalability of AWS.”

https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/Mac/


Zoom affirms AWS as its preferred cloud

Zoom Video Communications has named AWS as its preferred cloud provider. 

AWS said it has supported Zoom since 2011, and earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting businesses, schools, and governments around the world, Zoom expanded its relationship with AWS to keep up with surging demand as hundreds of millions of new Zoom participants began to use the platform for everything from online education to business meetings to social gatherings to exercise classes. Over the past year, Zoom has grown on AWS to accommodate an increase from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to more than 300 million a day regularly since April 2020. 


“Faced with unprecedented global demand this past year, we’ve been able to handle it in significant part by running the substantial majority of our cloud-based workloads on our preferred cloud provider, AWS, and relying on AWS’s performance and scalability,” said Eric S. Yuan, CEO of Zoom. “Looking forward, we will continue to innovate alongside AWS to reinvent virtual collaboration and deliver secure and exciting experiences for our customers.”

“COVID-19 changed everything for Zoom, putting demands on the company to meet the video conferencing needs of hundreds of millions of new participants around the globe, and AWS was there from the beginning to ensure Zoom could scale to meet these new requirements virtually overnight,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “When organizations build on AWS – as Zoom has done since 2011 – they transform their business, expanding and innovating much faster. Together, Zoom and AWS have delivered great experiences for new Zoom users around the world, and we look forward to using the cloud to develop new ways to help the world communicate.”

FCC chairman Pai to step down in January


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he intends to leave the FCC on January 20, 2021.  Chairman Pai issued the following statement:

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years.  I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a Commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me.  To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege.  As I often say: only in America."

http://www.fcc.gov

Ajit Pai confirmed for new term as FCC Chairman

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Ajit Pai for a second term as chairman of the FCC. Ajit Varadaraj Pai was nominated for FCC Commissioner by President Obama in 2011. Pai took over the seat abandoned by Meredith Baker who left the FCC to take a job as a lobbyist for Comcast. Pai was previously a Partner in the Litigation Department of Jenner & Block LLP. Previously, Pai worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission, where he served as Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Special Advisor to the General Counsel. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Separately, Dr. Eric Burger was appointed Chief Technology Officer of the FCC. Prior to joining the Commission, Dr. Burger served as director of the Security and Software Engineering Research Center in Washington, DC. Previously, he has taught computer science at Georgetown University, George Mason University, and The George Washington University. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology, an MBA from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


CENIC builds new fiber route in northern California

The California Research and Education Network (CalREN) has built a new and diverse fiber path between Sacramento and Northern California, adding to its inland route. The new path creates a diverse 260-mile regional loop from Sacramento and back, traveling through Colusa, Corning, Palo Cedro, and Chico. The path has 3.2 terabits of spectrum capacity and includes new nodes in Chico and Palo Cedro.

http://www.cenic.com


California Research and Education Network upgrades to 400G

The California Research and Education Network (CalREN) is now able to provide high-capacity services, from 100G to 400G and beyond, on its coastal path between Los Angeles and Sunnyvale. The 460-mile upgraded optical route includes nodes in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Soledad.

The upgrades leverages flex-grid spectrum Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs). Flex grid optimizes the amount of spectrum used per wavelength, enabling more data capacity to be provisioned over fiber spans.

CalREN, which is operated by CENIC, serves the vast majority of K-20 students, educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions. CalREN operates over 8,000 miles of fiber optic cable and serves more than 20 million users.

In 2019, CENIC upgraded the southern path of its network between Los Angeles and Riverside, including nodes in Tustin, Oceanside, San Diego, Escondido, and Sun City. Work will start in the fall on upgrades to the final inland path, which completes the network ring from Sunnyvale back to Los Angeles and includes nodes in Oakland, Sacramento, Fergus, Fresno, and Bakersfield.

“Next-generation infrastructure ensures CENIC can easily meet today’s networking demands while remaining flexible to meet the needs of tomorrow,” said CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox. “These upgrades provide CENIC’s members a more robust and efficient network on which to conduct data-intensive research, support teaching and learning, provide cutting-edge medical care, and enhance community engagement.”

CENIC is also supporting the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a partnership of more than 50 institutions, led by researchers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, with support from the National Science Foundation. PRP builds on the optical backbone of Pacific Wave, a project of CENIC and Pacific Northwest Gigapop, to create a high-speed freeway for large scientific data sets by connecting campus networks and supercomputing centers on a regional scale, with Science DMZs at each site.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

SpaceX completes 16th Starlink launch, feedback from beta users

On Tuesday, November 24, SpaceX successfully completed its 16th Starlink launch mission, delivering a further 60 satellites to orbit, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites launched to date to over 950. The number of Starlink satellites currently in ordit may be a bit lower, as media reports indicate that the company could have de-orbited a small number of its earliest satellites. 

Following Tuesday's launch, the booster rocket successfully landed on a drone ship off the Florida coast. The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster that supported this mission previously flew on six other missions.

SpaceX also confirmed that its "Better Than Nothing Beta" test program is underway. A Reddit page with feedback from participants is here:



https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/jybmgn/we_are_the_starlink_team_ask_us_anything/

Mavenir and Airtel demo O-RAN RIC

Bharti Airtel and Mavenir demonstrated an O-RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) that makes use of advanced machine learning algorithms to optimize network performance. This demonstration showed RIC in action, ingesting configuration data and performance metrics from a demonstration RAN, and iteratively optimizing the configuration parameters to achieve improvement in key performance indicators. The target objective function is configurable by the operator, guiding the optimization process to meet potentially dynamically changing business requirements at runtime. Scope of demonstration also includes O-RAN O1 interface testing of Mavenir Non-RealTime RIC.


The demo occurred at the recent Global O-RAN ALLIANCE Plugfest hosted by Airtel.

Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO Mavenir, said, “We are excited to partner with Airtel in the first global O-RAN plugfest event that enables re-thinking of traditional network deployment models.”

“We are delighted to partner with the global O-RAN community. Our engagement with Mavenir for this successful demonstration is yet another step forward towards building 5G systems with open network architecture,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO at Bharti Airtel.

U.S. to block China's SMIC from accessing U.S. investment

The Trump administration is planning to add Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China's leading chip producer, to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to an exclusive report from Reuters. The move would restrict the company's access to U.S. investors. Reuters also reports that China Construction Technology Co Ltd, China International Engineering Consulting Corp, and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) will also be added to the list.


NEC participates in the UK Government-led 5G Open RAN trial

NEC is showcasing its Open Radio Access Network (RAN) technology in the UK.

The NeutrORAN project will be used to test and demonstrate a multiple operator, neutral host solution using an Open RAN ecosystem. 

NEC also confirmed that will establish a Global Open RAN Center of Excellence in the UK. The NeutrORAN will be one of the first solutions delivered by the Center of Excellence.


"The project is another step in NEC's growing commitment to the UK and follows the establishment of the company's Global Open RAN Center of Excellence in the UK," said Oliver Dowden, UK Government Digital Secretary.

"We see this project as a catalyst for NEC introducing Open RAN into the UK and enabling the acceleration of 5G deployment," said Chris Jackson, CEO of NEC Europe Ltd.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Kaneka develops heat-resistant polyimide film for 5G circuit boards

Kaneka Corporation of Japan has developed a super heat-resistant polyimide film for use in two-layer, flexible print circuit boards for 5G millimeter-wave devices.

Two-layer flexible print circuit boards can be made thinner than conventional three-layer boards, and also have superior reliability and dimensional stability.

The company says its new film reduces the dielectric loss tangent in high frequencies down to 0.0025, the best level achieved to date for polyimide film.