Thursday, July 23, 2020

Blueprint for the Quantum Internet

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) outlined a blueprint strategy for the development of a national Quantum Internet.

The DoE's 17 national laboratories will serve as the first nodes on the Quantum Internet. Also participating will be the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the National Security Agency, and NASA. The academic community and industry will also be invited.

At a launch event hosted by the University of Chicago, officals described the initiative as "bringing the United States to the forefront of the global quantum race and ushering in a new era of communications."

“The Department of Energy is proud to play an instrumental role in the development of the national quantum internet,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “By constructing this new and emerging technology, the United States continues with its commitment to maintain and expand our quantum capabilities.”

In February, scientists from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, and the University of Chicago entangled photons across a 52-mile “quantum loop” in the Chicago suburbs, successfully establishing one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the nation. That network will soon be connected to DOE’s Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, establishing a three-node, 80-mile testbed.

“The combined intellectual and technological leadership of the University of Chicago, Argonne, and Fermilab has given Chicago a central role in the global competition to develop quantum information technologies,” said Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago. “This work entails defining and building entirely new fields of study, and with them, new frontiers for technological applications that can improve the quality of life for many around the world and support the long-term competitiveness of our city, state, and nation.”

 “Argonne, Fermilab, and the University of Chicago have a long history of working together to accelerate technology that drives U.S. prosperity and security,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. “We continue that tradition by tackling the challenges of establishing a national quantum internet, expanding our collaboration to tap into the vast power of American scientists and engineers around the country.”

Video of the event

Technical report: From Long-distance Entanglement to Building a Nationwide Quantum Internet

AT&T announces nationwide coverage for 5G

AT&T announced nationwide coverage status for its 5G network, which now covers a population footprint of 179 million people.

AT&T has enabled dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology in numerous markets.  DSS allows carriers to share the same channel between both 4G and 5G users simultaneously, based on demand.

"Our strategy of deploying 5G in both sub-6  (5G) and mmWave (5G+) spectrum bands will provide the best mix of speeds, latency and coverage that are needed to enable revolutionary new capabilities to fuel 5G experiences for consumers and businesses,” said Chris Sambar, EVP of Technology Operations. “Our competitors are still working to provide that same mix, which for them could take months or even years. What we offer is available to consumers and businesses today, and we’re not slowing down. As we have throughout our 144-year history, we’ll continue to innovate and invest in our network to expand our 5G coverage to more consumers and businesses across the country.”

AT&T: COVID-19 impacted revenues

Citing the impact of COVID-19 across all its business segments, AT&T reported Q2 revenues of $41.0 billion versus $45.0 billion in the year-ago quarter.

The COVID-19 impact included 338,000 mobile accounts which ceased paying their monthly bill and for which the company continues to provide service under the Keep America Connected programs but which are now considered "disconnects" for accounting. AT&T also saw lower content and advertising revenues at WarnerMedia, drops in domestic video and legacy wireline services, and currency exchange pressure in Latin America.

“Our solid execution and focus in a challenging environment delivered significant progress in the quarter, most notably the successful launch of HBO Max, resilient free cash flow and a strengthened balance sheet,” said John Stankey, AT&T chief executive officer. “Our resilient cash from operations continues to support investments in growth areas, dividend payments and debt retirement. We are aggressively working opportunities to sharpen our focus, transform our operations and continue investing in growth areas, with the customer at the center of everything we do.”


  • Mobile service revenues were down 1.1% due to decline in international roaming; equipment revenues up year over year.
  • 17.7 million premium TV subscribers – 886,000 net loss; 91,000 attributed to Keep America Connected programs.
  • 225,000 AT&T Fiber net adds
  • Operating expenses were $37.4 billion versus $37.5 billion in the year-ago quarter, essentially flat. 
  • Operating income was $3.5 billion versus $7.5 billion in the year-ago quarter

Marvell intros a customizable ASIC program in 5nm

Marvell debuted a cutomizable ASIC targetting applications ranging from next generation 5G carriers, cloud data centers, enterprise and automotive.

Marvell’s new ASIC solution enables a multitude of customization options and a differentiated approach with best-in-class standard product IP including Arm-based processors, embedded memories, high-speed SerDes, networking, security and a wide range of storage controller and accelerators in 5nm and below.

With its legacy as part of IBM, GlobalFoundries and AveraSemi, the Marvell ASIC team brings decades of expertise with the custom ASIC model across 14 leading-process nodes and has produced over 2,000 custom ASICs.

“The future of compute requires scalable and highly optimized solutions that can power the data center all the way to the network edge,” said Mohamed Awad, vice president of Marketing, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Marvell brings a fresh and differentiated approach to addressing these requirements by uniquely utilizing Arm platforms to improve power, performance, and time-to-market for our mutual partners.”

“Marvell custom ASIC has a rich history in significant customization, advanced interfaces and memory solutions. Our ability to pull optimized components, like the Arm processor subsystem, from across Marvell’s product portfolio adds a whole new dimension to what we can deliver,” said Kevin O’Buckley, general manager of the ASIC BU at Marvell. “The breadth of Marvell’s infrastructure technology portfolio is unique in the industry – and is available in one comprehensive offering. We see this as an opportunity to deliver greater value to our existing customers while opening up possibilities for custom silicon implementations that had not previously been viable.”

Key features of Marvell’s 5nm and beyond ASIC:

  • Leading Arm-based processor technologies
  • Pre-optimized processor IP to improve power, performance, and time-to-market
  • Multiple power-optimized SerDes solutions at 112G and beyond
  • Ability to solve demanding system topologies at reduced system cost
  • Advanced packaging solutions for chiplets, integrated memory and optics
  • Lower board and ASIC costs
  • Simpler system integration
  • Bandwidth scaling and power reduction enabled with world-class SerDes
  • Enhanced security, networking and memory IP for the most demanding applications

Intel hits Q2 revenue of $19.7B, Data Center Group up 43% yoy

Citing strong demand for cloud services and work-from-home and study-from-home upgrades, Intel reported Q2 revenue of $19.7 billion, up 20 percent year-over-year (YoY). GAAP earnings-per-share (EPS) was $1.19, up 29 percent YoY. However, the company warned of slower growth in the second half of the year and production delays with its next-gen 7-nm CPU manufacturing, which will be delayed by six months.

“It was an excellent quarter, well above our expectations on the continued strong demand for computing performance to support cloud-delivered services, a work- and learn-at-home environment, and the build-out of 5G networks,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “In our increasingly digital world, Intel technology is essential to nearly every industry on this planet. We have an incredible opportunity to enrich lives and grow this company with a continued focus on innovation and execution."

Data-centric revenue grew 34 percent, accounting for 52 percent of total revenue; PC-centric revenue grew 7 percent YoY.

Some highlights:

  • Data Center Group (DCG) revenue was up 43 percent YoY driven by broad strength including 47 percent YoY growth in cloud service provider revenue. 
  • In Q2, the company introduced its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and new additions to its hardware and software AI portfolio for data center, network and intelligent-edge environments. 
  • Intel's memory business (NSG) set a new revenue record in the quarter. 
  • Intel's portfolio for 5G network infrastructure gained customer momentum, most notably the 10nm-based Intel Atom P5900 for wireless base stations. 
  • Mobileye continued to win new ADAS designs in a challenging economic environment for automotive, and Intel acquired Moovit, a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions company.
  • The PC-centric business (CCG) was up 7 percent YoY in the second quarter on notebook strength driven by the continued work- and learn at home dynamics of COVID-19, which also contributed to a volume decline in desktop form factors as demand shifted to notebooks. 
  • Intel's first 10nm-based server CPU “Ice Lake,” which remains planned for the end of this year. In the second half of 2021, Intel expects to deliver a new line of client CPU’s (code-named “Alder Lake”), which willinclude its first 10nm-based desktop CPU, and a new 10nm-based server CPU (code-named “Sapphire Rapids”).
  • Intel said its 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations due to the yield of its 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind the company's internal target. 

HPE, Orange and Casa demonstrate 5G slicing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Orange, and Casa Systems conducted a technical demonstration of automated 5G network slice orchestration.

The demo, which was illustrated using a kit robot, showed use cases and service agility needed to support 5G business applications, including location-based, telemetry, IoT, and edge computing.

“Our robot demo underscores how a cloud-native, software-defined 5G network will support latency-sensitive business use cases with automatic detection and migration to a dedicated network slice to meet the strictest SLAs for mission-critical applications,” said Emmanuel Bidet, VP, Convergent Networks Control, Orange. “This is a new step forward marking the emergence of the real-time enterprise as companies now expect to use data as soon as it is produced from sensors, cameras, robots and other devices and services to power digital transformation strategies. We are proud to have achieved this project with HPE and Casa Systems, two leading companies in the open 5G solutions market.”

A robot was fitted with a 5G radio and connected to the robot’s management software over an open 5G core network, comprising cloud-native Network Functions from both HPE and Casa Systems.

HPE’s Service Director orchestration software created, configured and deployed network slices for the robot’s service to connect at low latency. The demo shows the service set up and the robot operating normally until additional data traffic and latency are introduced and the robot’s performance is visibly impacted. This triggers an alarm and Service Director works with the 5G core network within seconds to create and deploy a new dedicated network slice with the proper QoS restoring the robot to normal operation.

“This demonstration with Orange and Casa underscores our ability to automate and orchestrate the complete lifecycle of 5G services in cloud-native, multi-vendor environments,” said Domenico Convertino, Vice President Product Management, Communications & Media Solutions, HPE. “An open 5G Core is key for operators to break out of the single vendor lock-in of previous generation networks. The HPE 5G Core Stack, as well as our newly announced HPE 5G Lab, enable an accelerated evolution to 5G networking that is open and interoperable.”

MaxLinear sees Q2 sales rise 5% sequentially but down 21% yoy

MaxLinear, which supplies RF, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for the connected home, wired and wireless infrastructure, reported Q2 revenue of $65.2 million, up 5% sequentially, and down 21% year-on-year. GAAP gross margin was 50.2%. GAAP diluted loss per share was $0.30, compared to diluted loss per share of $0.21 in the prior quarter, and diluted loss per share of $0.03 in the year-ago quarter.

“In the second quarter, revenue results were in line with our recent preliminary revenue guidance, gross margin was strong, and operating expenses were tightly managed to below the mid-point of our guidance. Our business showed solid improvements due to stronger-than-expected revenues in broadband driven by demand uptick, as well as analog product sales recovery. The work-from-home environment has strongly benefited our connected home business owing to noticeable inflection in bandwidth demand at home. The infrastructure business also saw meaningful quarterly improvements over previous results, supporting our positive outlook on the new product ramps. Finally, the high-performance analog products selling into our industrial, multi-market segment recovered extremely well in the quarter with impressive results,” commented Kishore Seendripu, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO.

Filtronic ships 50k E-band transceivers for 5G backhaul

UK-based Filtronic plc announced a company milestoneL a total of 50,000 high-performance E-band transceiver modules shipped for the growing 5G backhaul market.

E-band spectrum (in the mmWave frequency ranges 71 – 76GHz and 81 – 86GHz) offers OEMs wide bandwidth, enabling them to provide 5G mobile network operators with high-capacity and high data rate backhaul, midhaul and front-haul (collectively known as XHaul). E-band has been identified as one of the critical wireless technologies required to address the demanding XHaul capacity requirements of 5G networks, and is now experiencing significant growth. Systems containing Filtronic’s core E-band technology have been successfully demonstrated at data rates up to 40Gbps.

“There has been a record demand this year for our flagship E-band transceiver module, Orpheus, which has been delivered in volume to a number of customers for integration into high-capacity mobile backhaul radio solutions,” said Reg Gott, Executive Chairman of Filtronic. “Earlier this year we added the new-generation Morpheus II to our product range, and demand for this module is beginning to take off as well, in particular for the high power option that is desirable for implementing carrier aggregation.”

Sierra Wireless to sell its Automotive Embedded Module business

Sierra Wireless will divest its Shenzhen, China-based automotive embedded module product line for US$165 million in cash. The purchaser, Rolling Wireless (H.K.) Limited, is a consortium led by Fibocom Wireless Inc. of Shenzhen.

The divested product line is part of the company’s Embedded Broadband reporting segment. Sierra Wireless will exit automotive applications but will continue to invest in other product lines in its Embedded Broadband segment, specifically high-speed cellular modules typically used in Enterprise applications.

These retained products include 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced cellular embedded modules that are ordered in large volumes, as well as new industry-leading 5G modules that will be made available to customers from its retained business. Sierra Wireless’s 5G modules and gateways are expected to be available in Q4 2020, extending its broad portfolio of IoT solutions.

“This divestiture enables Sierra Wireless to strengthen our focus and investment in our fully integrated IoT solutions that deliver high-value recurring revenue,” said Kent Thexton, President and CEO of Sierra Wireless. “This transaction will improve our balance sheet and allow us to expand our R&D centre in Richmond, British Columbia to accelerate our innovation in integrated IoT solutions and 5G modules, gateways and routers.”