Wednesday, October 17, 2018

FWD: Arm expands infrastructure ambitions with Neoverse

Arm is recommitting and expanding its ambitions to supply processors for network and data center infrastructure. The renewed effort is inspired by the goal of building one trillion connected things by 2035 -- a figure cited by parent-company Softbank, whose multi-billion "Vision" fund invests in many start-ups across this ecosystem.

At this week's ARMTechCon conference in San Jose, Arm outlined its "Neoverse Foundation", a dedicated infrastructure roadmap for infrastructure-class processor designs. The company is building a global ecosystem of software developers, equipment OEMs, service mobile operators (including sister company Sprint) and public cloud operators. Neoverse, which will also its brand identity for infrastructure processing, will extend from high-performance servers in hyperscale data centers, to mobile gateways, WAN routers, and new classes of products designed for the Edge Cloud.

While Arm is the established market leader in mobile devices, three generation of server CPU designs from its licensees have failed to capture significant market share versus Intel's Xeon processors. This time, the company says the market is ready because server designs are segmenting into specific workloads. Already we see GPU-powered cloud instances, TPU-powered servers and even servers optimized for in-memory database, video encoding, or streaming telemetry.

The Neoverse roadmap initially shows four designs all named after Greek gods. The current "Cosmos" design is implemented in 16nm. Next year, Arm will introduce its first Ares platform designs in 7nm. This will be followed by at least two further generations that bump up the performance by 30% with each iteration while targeting more specific workloads.

Previously, Arm licensees took the company's designs and then adapted them to their specific needs. In the server category, Cavium comes to mind with its multiple generations of ThunderX and ThunderX designs, which offered intriguing performance differentiators, but perhaps not enough to displace Intel in a meaningful way. While this market strategy remains in place, Arm is clearly aiming to deliver more complete designs with its Neoverse Foundation ecosystem.

In other infrastructure categories, Arm processors are already widely used. In fact, the company claims that 30% of top-of-rack (TOR) switches, 20% of mobile base stations, and 15% of gateways already include an ARM-licensed device. Neoverse should find some traction here.

So far, silicon companies listed in the Neoverse ecosystem include TSMC, Marvell, Broadcom, Ampere, Mellanox, Qualcomm, Samsung, NXP, Xilinx, Achronix, HuaXinTong, Cadence, Synopsys and Mentor.

Cloud ecosytem partners are Amazon's annapurnalabs, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent Cloud, and Packet.

Platform partners include HPE, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, ZTE, Pegatron, Gigabyte, ENEA, and Telco Systems.

The Service Provider Edge Cloud Opportunity

Will Service Providers be able to leverage the strategic advantage they have in Edge and Edge Clouds?

Sally Bament, VP of Service Provider Marketing at Juniper Networks, comments.

Ciena bolsters its Packet Networking portfolio

Ciena introduced major additions to its Packet Networking portfolio, including new Adaptive IP capabilities, coherent optics, and purpose-built hardware platforms.

The new capabilities and platforms address high-growth opportunities like the evolution from 4G to 5G, L2/L3/VNF Business Services, and Next-Generation Cable MSO Access.

  • Service-Aware Operating System (SAOS) enhanced with IP capabilities targeted at specific high-growth applications. Ciena says its highly programmable IP architecture empowers an “Adaptive IP” approach that improves service velocity, shortens time-to-revenue, and enables highly differentiated quality of service.
  • Ciena’s new 5162 Service Aggregation Platform as well as the 5170 Service Aggregation Platform will be the first to offer enhanced SAOS, enabling providers to address L3 VPN business services. 
  • Coherent Optics – This allows for rapid, cost-effective scaling to address ongoing bandwidth growth, specifically toward the network edge. Supporting coherent optics simplifies network designs with notable reductions in power, space, cost, and overall operational complexity.
  • 6500 Packet Transport System (PTS) – The 6500 PTS converts legacy TDM business services (SONET/SDH/PDH) into packet flows to be carried over a more efficient and scalable packet network. This allows network operators to continue supporting existing TDM customers while also addressing new, high-growth applications – all over a single, converged packet-based transport network.
  • Blue Planet Management Portfolio – Added to Ciena’s existing Blue Planet Management portfolio are new Layer 3-aware Route Optimization & Assurance capabilities obtained from the recent acquisition of Packet Design for improved IP network designs, operation, and management, from end-to-end.

“5G, IoT, Next-Generation Cable MSO Access, and L2/L3/VNF Business Services require that operators redefine what they need from their existing packet networks. Ciena’s new Adaptive IP capabilities provide a graceful migration path from legacy TDM (SONET/SDH/PDH) networks and traditional, closed IP-based architectures to more open, disaggregated, and programmable IP-based SDN architecture. This gives our customers greater control of their own destiny and lays the foundation of the ultimate end state – the Adaptive Network, which responds in real-time to changing demands,” stated Scott McFeely, Senior Vice President, Global Products and Services, Ciena.

Aquantia delivers 10GbE laptop docking station

10GbE to the laptop is coming.

Akitio, a supplier of premium laptop accessories based in Orange County, California, is using Aquantia's AQtion AQC107 Ethernet controller for their new Thunder3 Dock Pro with 10GbE.

The new docking station will support both Windows and macOS. A single cable connected to the Akitio Thunder3 Dock Pro provides a 10GbE port, as well as a variety of other connections including an SD 4.0 card reader, a CFAST 2.0 card reader, an eSATA port, a DisplayPort, an additional Thunderbolt 3 port and three USB 3.1 ports.

LK Bhupathi, Vice President of Marketing at Aquantia: “Akitio is changing the mobility game. The possibilities are endless for users – there’s more network speed, more pixels, more performance and zero compromise. Finally, slim light laptops can offer the same versatility as traditional tower designs. The Thunder3 Dock Pro with the AQC107 controller offers a fresh approach to delivering Multi-Gig capabilities to an underserved market.”

Samsung previews FPGA-powered SSDs for accelerated data

At a Tech Day event in San Jose, Samsung Electronics previewed a FPGA-powered SSD featured accelerated data processing and the ability to bypass current generation server CPU limits.

Samsung's forthcoming SmartSSD leverages quad-level cell (QLC)-SSD technology and an FPGA accelerator in the SSD unit for higher processing performance, improved time-to-insight, more virtual machines (VM), scalable performance, better de-duplication and compression, lower power usage and fewer CPUs per system.

At the event, Samsung also highlighted 7nm EUV process node technology from it foundry business unit.  This promises significant improvements in power, performance and area. Initial wafer production of Samsung’s 7nm LPP (Low Power Plus) EUV process node is expected to deliver a respective maximum of 40-percent area reduction, 50-percent dynamic power reduction and 20-percent performance increase over 10nm processes. EUV uses 13.5nm wavelength light to expose silicon wafers as opposed to conventional argon fluoride (ArF) immersion technologies that are only able to achieve 193nm wavelengths and require expensive multi-patterning mask sets.

Samsung said the advancement of its 7LPP process also puts it forward  on a direct path forward to 3nm.

“With the introduction of its EUV process node, Samsung has led a quiet revolution in the semiconductor industry,” said Charlie Bae, executive vice president of foundry sales and marketing team at Samsung Electronics. “This fundamental shift in how wafers are manufactured gives our customers the opportunity to significantly improve their products’ time to market with superior throughput, reduced layers, and better yields. We’re confident that 7LPP will be an optimal choice not only for mobile and HPC, but also for a wide range of cutting-edge applications.”
Samsung also previewed a 256-gigabyte (GB) 3DS (3-dimensional stacking) RDIMM (registered dual in-line memory module), based on 10nm-class 16-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 DRAM.  This will double current maximum DRAM capacity to deliver higher performance and lower power consumption.

Orange and EXFO deliver on-demand monitoring with ONAP Beijing

Orange has integrated EXFO's passive virtual probes (vProbes) into the Beijing Release of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).

The companies said this industry-first integration of a passive probing virtual network function (VNF) into the ONAP release delivers service assurance for SDN/NFV commercial deployments provides monitoring and troubleshooting of the service quality actually experienced by end customers. The unique on-demand monitoring function dynamically instantiates end-to-end troubleshooting resources based on multiple criteria like service degradation and customer complaints, or in association with the provisioning of a new service. It also opens the way to the elasticity of virtual network function's monitoring in order to cope with sporadic traffic increases or relocation of a network function. ONAP is seen as the global framework to orchestrate and automate the deployment and the lifecycle of the vProbes.

"As we transform our network, we are partnering with innovative and disruptive vendors to support our move to Open Source technologies like ONAP to guarantee our software independence and openness," said Eric Debeau, Head of Orange's Network Automation Platform Team. "Orange and EXFO have successfully removed a major barrier to ONAP deployment: the lack of monitoring solutions for dynamic, orchestrated virtual networks. EXFO's unique on-demand provisioning of virtual passive probes significantly reduces the resources required to check service availability and troubleshoot issues. The solution enables service assurance for network virtualization through adaptive, permanent or on-demand monitoring solutions."

"Expectations are high for commercial networks based on SDN/NFV to deliver better quality of service and availability. We are proud of our collaboration with Orange to make sure virtualization delivers on its promise of quality for the end customer while also accelerating operators' digital network transformations," said Abdelkrim Benamar, EXFO's Vice President, Service Assurance, Systems and Services. "We are also proud to have integrated our virtual passive probes in the ONAP in just two weeks, which demonstrates the maturity of our virtual network functions and the ONAP Beijing Release."

CyrusOne builds new data centers in London and Frankfurt

CyrusOne announced new data centers in London and Frankfurt.

Construction is set to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 for the London III facility, which is located on the Slough Trading Estate, a premier data center location in the UK. CyrusOne’s London III data center will offer approximately 39,500 square feet of data center space with a critical IT load of 9 MW. Each data hall will be customized to meet client specifications and will offer industry-leading energy efficiencies including the latest adiabatic cooling technology and low PUE’s.

The Frankfurt III facility is scheduled to be completed in early 2020. It will include two connected four-story data centers offering a total of approximately 123,786 square feet of space. The facility will provide a critical IT load of 22 MW with multiple fiber providers providing carrier neutral connectivity.

These new sites are in addition to the data centers acquired through the Zenium acquisition, which closed in August 2018.

“Today marks an exciting new chapter for CyrusOne as we set the course for our continued expansion in London and Frankfurt. Part of our mission at CyrusOne is to help the world’s leading technology companies power this new exciting digital era,” said Gary Wojtaszek, president and chief executive officer of CyrusOne. “Expanding our footprint in these markets will help our customers realize their own global growth ambitions.”

Telefónica Deutschland picks Mavenir vIMS

Mavenir confirmed that Telefónica Deutschland is deploying its virtualized IMS solution (vIMS) for VoLTE and VoWiFi in their nationwide UNICA Data Centers Infrastructure, which is based on the Telefónica Group blueprint for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) architecture. The solution will support mobile and fixed services for more than 45 million customer connections. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mavenir said the NFV environment of this deployment is based on OpenStack and will include automation, life cycle management and integration with Management and Orchestration (MANO) capabilities from the Telefónica UNICA platform. The Mavenir advanced vIMS solution will enable automation from day one and will support existing voice digital services as well as the launch of new services.

“Telefónica’s UNICA NFV initiative will leverage the benefits of cloud-native software applications and enhanced automation to evolve towards future Next Generation architecture,” said Cayetano Carbajo, Chief Technology Officer at Telefónica Deutschland. “It is an important step in our transformation of the core infrastructure, and we are looking forward to going through this journey with Mavenir, a partner chosen for their advanced technology and innovation in NFV.”