Wednesday, October 28, 2020

FCC's Ajit Pai proposes to open 5.9 GHz band for Wi-Fi and C-V2X

 FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed new rules to open the 5.9 GHz band (5.850-5.925 GHz) for unlicensed services including Wi-Fi and automotive services. The Commission will vote on these new rules at its November 18 meeting.

The new rules would make the lower 45 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band (5.850-5.895 GHz) available for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi. In addition, unlicensed use of 5.9 GHz band spectrum would also help improve and expand broadband access in rural America.  For example, during the pandemic, the FCC has granted temporary access to over 100 wireless Internet service providers, or WISPs, to use this spectrum, which has helped them increase speeds, decrease congestion, and extend coverage areas.  The new rules would create a path for WISPs to use this spectrum permanently.

The new rules would also improve automotive safety by transitioning the upper 30 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band (5.895 GHz-5.925 GHz) from the long-stalled Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) service to the modern Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.  While 5.9 GHz band spectrum has been designated for DSRC for over twenty years, deployment has been painfully slow, and as a result, DSRC has done virtually nothing to improve automotive safety.  By contrast, C-V2X, is a newer technology that shows great promise, which is why automakers here and around the globe are turning the page on DSRC and moving to implement C-V2X.  C-V2X uses cellular protocols to provide direct communications between vehicles and, as the name suggests, everything—including other vehicles on the road, infrastructure like light poles and cell towers as well as cyclists, pedestrians, and road workers.     

The Chairman is also proposing rules to implement the new 5.9 GHz band plan.  This includes a proposed timeline and technical parameters for transitioning the limited number of incumbent Intelligent Transportation Systems licensees to the upper 30 megahertz portion of the band (and then to C-V2X-based technology), as well as adopting technical rules to enable full-power outdoor unlicensed operations in the lower 45 megahertz portion of the band.

“5.9 GHz spectrum has lain fallow for far too long.  For the last two decades, the American people have waited for this prime mid-band spectrum to be put to use, and the time for waiting is over,” said Chairman Pai.  “We should move on from DSRC and unlock forward-looking automotive safety technology.  Under my approach, the FCC would for the first time authorize C-V2X in the 5.9 GHz band.  At the same time, we would make available the spectrum needed for a 160 megahertz-wide channel for Wi-Fi, which would enable a new level of gigabit connectivity for schools, hospitals, small businesses, and other consumers.  I hope my colleagues will—once again—join me in offering the American people a new chance for automotive safety communications in the 5.9 GHz band that will actually be deployed while meeting the ever-growing demand for Wi-Fi capacity.” 

Lightmatter unveils wafer-scale photonic interconnect

Lightmatter, a start-up based in Boston, unveiled a wafer-scale, programmable photonic interconnect that allows arrays of heterogeneous chips (CPUs, GPUs, memory, accelerators) to communicate with each other optically.

Lightmatter says its photonic interconnect offers a fully-reconfigurable connection topology between chips, reducing the cost and complexity of building heterogeneous computing systems.

The Lightmatter Passage packs forty switchable integrated photonic lanes into the same space that traditionally supports just one optical fiber. This could be used to enable a 1Tbps dynamically reconfigurable interconnect across an array of 48 chips spanning 8 inches by 8 inches, with a maximum communication latency of 5 nanoseconds. The company says it has a multi-year roadmap for its interconnects to deliver chip-to-chip communications with 100Tbps bandwidth.

“Lightmatter is leading a necessary paradigm shift in computer architecture needed to power the next giant leaps in compute technology, while also reducing the negative impact on our planet of rapidly-growing state of the art, yet inefficient, compute and communications solutions,” said Nick Harris, co-founder and CEO at Lightmatter. “Modern compute workloads call for system-level performance. With Passage, we’ve created a photonic rack-on-chip solution capable of supporting the future of computing by enabling ultra-high bandwidth interconnection between different kinds of chips, and simultaneously reducing cost, complexity, and energy consumption.”

Lightmatter is developing a photonic processor

Lightmatter, a start-up based in Boston, will unveil plans for an artificial intelligence (AI) photonic processor.

Lightmatter said its general-purpose AI inference accelerator will use light to compute and transport data. The 3D-stacked chip package contains over a billion FinFET transistors, tens of thousands of photonic arithmetic units, and hundreds of record-setting data converters. Lightmatter’s photonic processor runs standard machine learning frameworks including PyTorch and TensorFlow, enabling state-of-the-art AI algorithms.

“The Department of Energy estimates that by 2030, computing and communications technology will consume more than 8 percent of the world’s power. Transistors, the workhorse of traditional processors, aren’t improving; they’re simply too hot. Building larger and larger datacenters is a dead end path along the road of computational progress,” said Nicholas Harris, PhD, founder and CEO at Lightmatter. “We need a new computing paradigm. Lightmatter’s optical processors are dramatically faster and more energy efficient than traditional processors. We’re simultaneously enabling the growth of computing and reducing its impact on our planet.”

On August 18th, Lightmatter’s VP of Engineering, Carl Ramey, will present their photonic processor architecture at HotChips32.

Windstream picks Ciena for next-gen Fiber-to-the-Tower deployment

 Windstream has selected Ciena to modernize its Fiber-to-the-Tower (FTTT) infrastructure. The deployment will use Ciena’s 3928 and 5170 Platforms to scale bandwidth for wireless backhaul services while also expanding its wholesale product service offerings. Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller will provide Windstream with comprehensive network management and interactive interfaces for its Software-Defined Network (SDN) network orchestration platforms. 


“Network reliability is paramount to our wireless backhaul customers. Ciena’s next-generation SAOS software and Packet Networking portfolio, along with our topology and protocol designs, are enabling us to provide a world class, state-of-the-art mobile backhaul infrastructure with tightly integrated service orchestration,” stated Buddy Bayer, Chief Network Officer, Windstream.

“Our unique approach in building networks that are automated, adaptive and open is a key-enabler in Windstream’s ability to deliver reliable, high-bandwidth, and high-capacity services to meet the current needs of its customers, while also preparing for the next-generation of innovative, 5G applications,” said Kevin Sheehan, Chief Technology Officer of the Americas, Ciena.

BT picks Ericsson for 5G in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff

Ericsson has been selected as BT’s 5G RAN provider in the UK capitals London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and other major cities.

The announcement builds on BT’s selection of Ericsson to provide the company’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core earlier this year, making Ericsson the end-to-end 5G partner for BT. Once the deployment is completed, Ericsson will manage around 50 percent of BT’s 5G traffic.

Philip Jansen, CEO, BT, says: “Our customers deserve the best network and we are delivering. We’re the UK leader in 5G and are excited to be working with Ericsson as a key partner to maintain that market leadership. Through this deal, we will continue to drive the best mobile experiences for our customers. The lightning-fast speeds of 5G will help them to develop their businesses, stream a growing choice of content over our network, and stay in touch with colleagues and friends all over the world.”

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that. Having already been selected to partner in 5G Core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to their customers across the UK’s major cities. By deploying 5G in these key areas, we are yet again demonstrating our technology leadership in population-dense and high traffic locations.“

BT confirms Ericsson for 5G core

BT signed a deal to deploy Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core (Evolved Packet Core and 5G Core), a fully container-based, cloud native Mobile Packet Core for 4G, 5G Non-standalone and 5G Standalone services as a single fully integrated core. The solution, delivered on BT’s Network Cloud, will form a key component in BT’s move to a single converged IP network. It will incorporate network orchestration and automation, including continuous delivery and integration processes (CI/CD), and be integrated into BT’s existing customer experience management platforms using Ericsson Expert Analytics together with Ericsson’s built-in software probes. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Howard Watson, CTIO of BT, says: “Having evaluated different 5G Core vendors, we have selected Ericsson as the best option on the basis of both lab performance and future roadmap. We are looking forward to working together as we build out our converged 4G and 5G core network across the UK. An agile, cloud-native core infrastructure is at the heart of our ambition to enable the next generation of exciting 5G services for our customers and give the UK the world-class digital infrastructure it needs to win in the future global economy.”

Marielle Lindgren, Head of Ericsson UK and Ireland, says: “Ericsson and BT have a long history of working together and we are delighted to continue that relationship with this new dual-mode 5G Core deal. We, at Ericsson, have been in the UK for over a century and delivering the next generation of connectivity here is yet another proud part of our story”.

Microsoft's commercial cloud revenue up 31% YoY, Azure up 48%

Microsoft reported revenue of $37.2 billion for the quarter ended September 30, up 12% compared to a year earlier. Net income was $13.9 billion and increased 30%.

“The next decade of economic performance for every business will be defined by the speed of their digital transformation,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “We are innovating across our full modern tech stack to help our customers in every industry improve time to value, increase agility, and reduce costs." 

"Demand for our cloud offerings drove a strong start to the fiscal year with our commercial cloud revenue generating $15.2 billion, up 31% year over year,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft. “We continue to invest against the significant opportunity ahead of us to drive long-term growth.”

Commercial cloud includes Office 365 commercial, Azure, the commercial portion of LinkedIn, Dynamics 365, and other cloud properties.


  • Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $12.3 billion and increased 11%, with the following business highlights:
  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 9% driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 21% (up 20% in constant currency)
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 13% and Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 45.3 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 16%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 19% (up 18% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 38% (up 37% in constant currency)
  • Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $13.0 billion and increased 20% (up 19% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:
  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 22% (up 21% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 48% (up 47% in constant currency)
  • Revenue in More Personal Computing was $11.8 billion and increased 6%, with the following business highlights:
  • Windows OEM revenue declined 5%
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 12% in constant currency)
  • Xbox content and services revenue increased 30%
  • Surface revenue increased 37% (up 36% in constant currency)
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs decreased 10% (down 11% in constant currency)
  • Microsoft returned $9.5 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, an increase of 21% compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

ZTE's Q3 revenue rises 37.2% to RMB 26.93 billion

 ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 74.13 billion (approximately US$11.05 billion) for the nine months ended 30 September 2020, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.4%. Net profit attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company reached RMB 2.71 billion, and net profit after extraordinary items attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company amounted to RMB 1.45 billion. Basic earnings per share was RMB 0.59.   

For the three months ended 30 September 2020, ZTE’s operating revenue reached RMB 26.93 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 37.2%. Net profit attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company amounted to RMB 0.85 billion, and net profit after extraordinary items attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company amounted to RMB 0.54 billion.  

For the first nine months, the company’s R&D expense reached RMB 10.79 billion, making up 14.6% of 9-month revenue, a year-on-year increase of 15.3 %. The company has proposed its fourth A-share option incentive scheme, covering over 6100 employees, in a bid to strengthen the incentives to the top key talents.

As of the end of September 2020, ZTE had secured 55 5G commercial contracts across the globe, in partnerships with over 90 operators worldwide in 5G arena and covering over 500 industry partners.

SiTime intros ApexMEMS resonators

SiTime introduced its ApexMEMS family of resonators in a variety of MHz frequencies for high volume electronics.

The new devices, which mark SiTime's entrance into the $2 billion precision resonator market, are based on the company's third-generation of silicon MEMS technology.

SiTime said its new ApexMEMS resonators target mobile and IoT applications such as Bluetooth hearables and wearables, high-speed connectivity interfaces, asset-tracking, as well as microcontrollers. MEMS resonators offer an 85% space savings compared to quartz resonators. MEMS also offers advantages in terms of integration into standard IC packages and modules. The ApexMEMS resonators will be available as silicon die. Co-packaging these resonators with high performance semiconductors such as Bluetooth chips and microcontrollers gives customers a significant system and development advantage. ApexMEMS resonators offer similar advantages in standalone applications. Integrated load capacitors help reduce the system size through elimination of discrete passive components. Board layout and routing is simplified considerably, especially in space-constrained mobile-IoT applications.

“SiTime continues to lead the timing industry with our unique expertise in MEMS, mixed-signal, analog and systems,” said Rajesh Vashist, CEO of SiTime. “By shipping almost 2 billion oscillators to date to thousands of customers, we have learned to manufacture MEMS resonators in high volume, while continuously delivering excellent quality, reliability, and performance. Our knowledge and experience enables us to deliver better MEMS resonators that customers can depend on.”

“ApexMEMS resonators were developed to deliver breakthrough system performance and integration as shown by their usage in the SiT9501 oscillator and the Cascade ClockSoC™,” continued Vashist. “The SiT9501 is a game-changer for the 100-800G optical module market as it delivers the highest performance at the lowest power in the smallest package. Our combined understanding of the resonator, analog, materials, and thermal challenges both solves difficult system problems and benefits our resonator customers. These groundbreaking ApexMEMS resonators are available for integration or as standalone devices, and customers are now designing with them. With ApexMEMS, SiTime is the only company to offer MEMS resonators, oscillators, and clocks for the $8 billion timing market.”

Key Specifications and Availability

  • ApexMEMS-based timing solutions deliver up to seven times better phase noise performance at half the power than SiTime's previous generation. 
  • ApexMEMS resonators measure 0.42 mm x 0.42 mm size,  85% smaller than a typical quartz resonator, and also integrate the load capacitors. 
  • Resonators provide stability as good as ±20 ppm while delivering superior reliability and best-in-class environmental resilience, like other SiTime devices. 
  • ApexMEMS resonators operate reliably at temperatures as high as 125oC, a useful feature when integrated inside plastic packages.

ApexMEMS resonators are sampling now to select high-volume customers.

Bluebird expands its underground data center in Missouri

Bluebird Network completed an $11.5 million expansion of the Bluebird Underground Data Center in Springfield, Missouri. The project delivers more than 11,500 square feet of additional white space, increased power capacity, and efficiencies to enhance the facility’s value, reliability and capabilities.

The expanded Bluebird Underground Data Center now offers more than 29,000 square feet of white space, with significantly increased mechanical, electrical and power generation capabilities—operating at full Tier 3 data center standards. 

The expansion includes: upgraded underground generating capabilities totaling 6MW of power, the latest lithium-ion Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), a third primary metered electrical grid connection – now totaling three diversified power utility feeds – and new intelligent management systems to improve overall facility efficiency.

“Being 85 feet below ground, a unique data center like Bluebird Underground requires a unique expansion strategy to empower dynamic and growing requirements, and that’s exactly what this addition has accomplished for our customers,” said Michael Morey, President and CEO of Bluebird Network. “Our tenants have everything they need, including colocation services, remote hands, high-bandwidth internet access, and multiple data transport options—all from the highly secure and highly reliable location that is the Bluebird Underground. We’re thrilled to bring these enhanced capabilities to market, building on our trusted partnerships with our customers and further establishing ourselves as a major provider in the Midwest.”

Bluebird recently unveiled the Springfield Internet Exchange (SpringIX) – the first exchange of its kind to support the region – hosted in the Bluebird Underground. 

CyrusOne reports revenue up 5% to $262.8 million - lumpy leasing

CyrusOne reported revenue of $262.8 million for the third quarter, compared to $250.9 million for the same period in 2019, an increase of 5%. The increase in revenue was driven primarily by a 7% increase in occupied CSF and additional interconnection services, partially offset by the impact of rent churn.

Net loss was $(37.3) million for the third quarter, compared to net income of $12.6 million in the same period in 2019. Net loss for the third quarter included a $(22.9) million loss associated with a change in fair value on the undesignated portion of the Company’s net investment hedge compared to a $5.5 million gain in the third quarter of 2019.

“This admittedly was a disappointing leasing quarter for us, but we have consistently stated that leasing in our business can be lumpy, particularly related to timing on the execution of hyperscale deals. Given the positive demand outlook and our productive discussions with customers, we are confident that we will produce much better results in the fourth quarter,” said Bruce W. Duncan, president and chief executive officer of CyrusOne. “Year-to-date bookings have been strong, with the $82 million revenue backlog positioning us well for 2021 and beyond, and we have capacity across our markets and $1.7 billion in available liquidity to support our growth.”

Leased 4 MW and 15,000 colocation square feet (“CSF”) in the third quarter, totaling $11 million in annualized GAAP revenue

Backlog of $82 million in annualized GAAP revenue as of the end of the third quarter representing approximately $595 million in total contract value

Acquired 33 acres of land in London, with approximately 100 MW of power capacity to support continued growth in one of the leading data center markets in Europe

DartPoints acquires Metro Data Centers

DartPoints, an owner and operator of edge colocation data centers, has acquired Metro Data Centers (MDC), a full-service provider of interconnection and data center solutions in Dublin, Ohio.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

MDC is a carrier-neutral, fiber-rich, full-service data center offering over 22,000 SF of high-tier infrastructure supporting a fully redundant N+1 environment.

In August 2020, DartPoints revealed its strategy to build and acquire edge interconnection and colocation facilities in the Southwest, Southeast, Upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. 

“The acquisition of MDC is a prime example of how we are executing on our strategy for regional growth aimed at improving interconnectivity,” adds Scott Willis, CEO of DartPoints. “MDC’s solutions enable DartPoints to immediately deliver our capabilities into this exciting market and surrounding locations. The MDC team has a long history of bringing innovative solutions to their customers, and we look forward to having them continue their work as a part of the DartPoints team.”

“We are excited to join the DartPoints team to expand services to our existing customers, as well as additional customer segments which need improved network performance,” comments Rob Kopp, co-founder and president of Metro Data Centers. “Our team is fully committed to integrate our solutions with the expanding DartPoints’ portfolio of interconnection points and providing communities in Central Ohio with innovative and best-in-class solutions.”

ADVA joins O-RAN Alliance

ADVA has joined the O-RAN ALLIANCE, a global ecosystem of mobile network operators and technology suppliers driving intelligent, virtualized and fully interoperable mobile networks. 

“Our long-standing commitment to openness aligns perfectly with the O-RAN ALLIANCE’s goals. By joining the community and adding our end-to-end solution portfolio to the mix, we’re helping develop specifications for LTE, 5G and beyond and accelerating the deployment of next-generation mobile network architectures,” said Anthony Magee, senior director, global business development, mobile, ADVA. “One of the key elements we’re bringing to the table is our innovative approach to disaggregation. By working closely with our O-RAN partners, we’re helping to extend this into radio access networks, breaking down barriers and creating a disaggregated, centralized model with virtualized RAN.“

ADVA said its portfolio of open X-Haul technology will help to enhance the O-RAN ALLIANCE ecosystem. Products such as the ADVA FSP 150-XG118Pro provide 10 Gbit/s capacity at the radio base station and feature a compute shelf for hosting O-RAN capabilities. ADVA’s self-tuning G.metro solution also makes it simple to deploy architectures for low-latency 5G fronthaul. Virtualized RAN technology will be another key element of tomorrow’s mobile infrastructure. ADVA’s Ensemble NFV software enables operators to utilize VNFs on open servers that are centrally coordinated and automatically activated.

Mavenir pulls plans for IPO

Mavenir has decided to postpone its initial public offering, which was announced on October 6, 2020, amid market volatility. 

Mavenir said it will reassess the market conditions in the coming months and will keep the market informed.

Mavenir files for IPO

Mavenir publicly filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of its Class A ordinary shares. 

Mavenir intends to list its Class A ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “MVNR”.