Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Crehan: 100GbE shipments surpass 10GbE

Total shipments of 100 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) data center switch ports increased more than 20% during full-year 2020, according to a recent report from Crehan Research Inc. The robust increase, combined with a continuing decline in 10GbE shipments, resulted in 100GbE surpassing 10GbE to become the most widely deployed data center Ethernet switch connection speed.

Crehan’s data center Ethernet switch report further shows that this speed transition has occurred very rapidly, with 100GbE becoming a majority of shipments approximately just five years after initial 32*100GbE port (3.2Tbps) switch deployments. The hyperscale cloud service provider customer segment has been a key driver of the transition, accounting for the majority of cumulative 100GbE data center switch shipments to date.

“The data center Ethernet switch market’s transition to 100GbE as the most popular network connection speed is a reflection of the strong customer adoption of public data center networking: statistics analysis insights cloud services,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “100GbE has been the de facto switch port speed in some of the largest hyperscale cloud service provider data center networks for over four years. Furthermore, this rapid migration to 100GbE has brought some significant market share shifts within the data center switch supplier ecosystem, and these shares are now in play again as the transition to 200GbE and 400GbE gains traction.”

Other noteworthy results from Crehan’s data center switch report include:

  • Arista accounted for close to 40% of cumulative 100GbE branded data center switch shipments.
  • Cisco accounted for over 40% of cumulative 100GbE branded data center switch revenue.
  • H3C, Huawei, and Juniper each shipped more than two million cumulative 100GbE data center switch ports since product introductions.
  • Nvidia’s 100GbE data center switch shipments more than doubled in 2020.
  • 25GbE data center switching also had very strong annual growth in 2020, with shipments increasing more than 30%.
  • Although data center Ethernet switch revenues declined slightly for the full year, there was a general progression of improvement from a steep year-over-year decrease in 1Q20 to moderate year-over-year growth by 4Q20.

"The robust 2020 growth for 100GbE shipments was impressive, given that two of the largest data center switch customers – Amazon and Google – have been ramping 400GbE deployments strongly," Crehan said.


Nokia confirms major job cuts

Nokia announced plans to reduce its employee headcount from 90,000 today to 80,000 to 85,000 range over an 18–24-month period.  This is expected to lower the company’s cost base by approximately EUR 600 million by the end of 2023.

Nokia said the action was necessary to offset increased investments in R&D, future capabilities and costs related to salary inflation. 

“Nokia now has four fully accountable business groups. Each of them has identified a clear path to sustainable, profitable growth and they are resetting their cost bases to invest in their future,” said Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO.

“Each business group will aim for technology leadership. In those areas where we choose to compete, we will play to win. We are therefore enhancing product quality and cost competitiveness, and investing in the right skills and capabilities,” Lundmark continued.

More details:

  • Mobile Networks will further invest in 5G R&D and accelerate efforts to digitalize processes and tools across the value chain. It will streamline its portfolio and reduce investment levels in mature or declining parts of the portfolio; continue to reduce site fragmentation; reduce overlapping activities and drive further cost efficiencies.
  • Cloud and Network Services’ customers are shifting away from owning products to consuming outcomes, delivered as-a-service from the cloud. The business group’s priorities and how it operates must align with this shift. The group will align portfolios and streamline service models; strengthen technology leadership by refocusing R&D resources to emerging growth opportunities; streamline operations and support functions and increase productivity through reduced site fragmentation.
  • Network Infrastructure will remain largely unchanged although it will increase its R&D investments and plan for new capabilities in order to meet customer demand and support portfolio innovation. Additionally, by fully realizing the cost efficiencies offered by Nokia’s new operating model it anticipates streamlining SG&A costs as a percentage of sales.

Nokia Technologies will remain largely unchanged.


Rockley employs Synopsys for its silicon photonics designs

Rockley Photonics has adopted Synopsys solutions to accelerate the design and verification of silicon photonics for sensing and datacom applications. 

Specifically, Rockley is using tools from Synopsys' Photonic Solutions platform, including OptoCompiler, OptoDesigner, OptSim Circuit, RSoft Photonic Device Tools and IC Validator. Rockley plans to use Synopsys solutions to design and optimize photonic devices, create process design kits (PDKs) and tape out photonic ICs.

Rockley was an early adopter of Synopsys' OptoCompiler tool following its commercial launch in September 2020. OptoCompiler is the industry's first unified electronic and photonic design platform, combining mature and dedicated photonic technology with Synopsys' industry-proven custom and analog-mixed signal tools to enable engineers to produce and verify complex photonic IC designs quickly and accurately.

"Rockley's unique photonic chipset technology with silicon photonics at its core is driving the growth of integrated optical components in healthcare, machine vision and data communications," said Andrew Rickman, chief executive at Rockley. "The PDA platform Rockley has created by utilizing OptoCompiler allows our engineers to define, simulate, lay out and verify Photonic ICs quickly and efficiently to meet our quality and schedule goals. Synopsys' technical support has been instrumental in ensuring Rockley met its tape-out goals. We look forward to additional efficiency gains by expanding our use of Synopsys' Photonic Solutions tools."


Rockley Photonics secures $50 million in funding

 Rockley Photonics, a start-up specializing in integrated optical chips and modules, has closed an additional $50 million of growth funding from leading deep-tech VCs, strategic investors, and institutional funds including Credit Suisse backed SIG-i Capital and Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, as well as existing shareholders. To date, Rockley has raised over $225 million of financing to develop its unique silicon photonics platform.

“It is testament to the strength of our technology and emerging market opportunities that we have attracted such a preeminent list of new investors to join many of our existing shareholders in this funding round,” said Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer, Rockley Photonics. “This round provides the funding for Rockley as it moves into the next exciting growth phase and develops next generation disruptive silicon photonics powered healthcare and wellness sensors and communications products for its Tier-1 customers.”

Rockley Photonics was founded by Dr. Andrew Rickman in 2013. The company has offices in Pasadena, San Jose, Oxford, Cardiff, Cork, and Helsinki.

Huawei looks to license its 5G patents

Huawei announced plans to license its patent portfolio especially in the area of 5G, where it is looking for a royalty rate of US$2.50 per multi-mode 5G handset.

Huawei currently holds over 100,000 active patents in more than 40,000 patent families worldwide.

Jason Ding, Head of Huawei's Intellectual Property Rights Department, said, "Innovation has been at the core of Huawei's business since the company was founded. Our 2020 white paper lists the number of patent applications Huawei filed, or our R&D and innovation activities, in the late 90s and early 2000s." He also stated, "Huawei's worldwide patent applications were on par with other industry leaders in the early 2000s, and Huawei's success today is a result of its long-term investment in innovation and R&D."

Huawei estimates it will receive about US$1.2 to 1.3 billion from patent licensing between 2019 and 2021. 

"Huawei has been the largest technical contributor to 5G standards, and follows fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) principles when it comes to patent licensing," added Ding, "we hope that the royalty rate we announced today will increase 5G adoption by giving 5G implementers a more transparent cost structure that will inform their investment decisions moving forward."

Huawei also launched a new patent mini-site on its website, with patents organized into different portfolios. 

Huawei's patent mini-site here: https://patents.huawei.com

Teramount raises $8 million for silicon photonics

Teramount, a start-up based in Jerusalem announced $8 million in series A funding. 

Teramount is developing a Photonic-Plug for connecting optics to silicon using standard semiconductor manufacturing processes and packaging. The company says its technology offers high assembly tolerances that allow for passive alignment processes and enables high volume packaging through standard CMOS assembly lines.

The funding was led by Grove Ventures with participation from Amelia Investments and former executive VP of Intel and company Chairman, David (Dadi) Perlmutter, along with additional private investors. 


ZTE posts 11.8% growth as infrastructure investments in China surge

 ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB101.45 billion (about US$15.6 billion) for 2020, representing a year-on-year increase of 11.8%. Net profit amounted to RMB4.26 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 17.3%, attributable mainly to the relatively substantial growth in net profit for 2019 comprising a one-off income before taxation of RMB2.66 billion from asset disposal during the third quarter of 2019. Basic earnings per share was RMB0.92.

In 2020, ZTE's operating revenue in both domestic and international markets increased year-on-year, with operating revenue in domestic and international markets increased by 16.9% to RMB68.05 billion and 2.7% to RMB33.40 billion respectively.  

In 2020, ZTE's operating revenue in both domestic and international markets increased year-on-year, with operating revenue in domestic and international markets increased by 16.9% to RMB68.05 billion and 2.7% to RMB33.40 billion respectively.  

Some highlights for 2020:

  • Year-on-year growth in all its three major businesses:  operator networks, government and enterprise services and consumer services grew by 11.2% to RMB74.02 billion, 23.1% to RMB11.27 billion and 7.8% to RMB16.16 billion respectively. 
  • Net cash flows from operating activities for 2020 rose to RMB10.23 billion, a year-on-year increase of 37.4%, setting a new record again. 
  • R&D spending amounted to RMB14.80 billion with a year-on-year growth of 17.9%, which was 14.6% as a percentage of operating revenue, 0.8 percentage point higher than that in 2019. 


Qualcomm completes $1.4 billion acquisition of NUVIA

Qualcomm completed its previously announced acquisition of NUVIA for $1.4 billion before working capital and other adjustments.

“The world-class NUVIA team enhances our CPU roadmap, extending Qualcomm’s leading technology position with the Windows, Android and Chrome ecosystems,” said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO-Elect, Qualcomm Incorporated. “The broad support of this acquisition from across industries validates the opportunity we have to provide differentiated products with leading CPU performance and power efficiency, as on-demand computing increases in the 5G era.”

Qualcomm Technologies expects to integrate next generation CPUs across a wide portfolio of products, including powering flagship smartphones, laptops, and digital cockpits, as well as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, extended reality, and infrastructure networking solutions. The first Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms to feature the new internally designed CPUs are expected to sample in the second half of 2022 and will be designed for high performance ultraportable laptops.  

“We are excited to join the leading wireless innovator in the industry, driven by a common mission of inventing breakthrough technologies. Together, we will create a new class of high-performance computing platforms that set the bar for the industry,” said Gerard Williams former CEO of NUVIA, who now is SVP of Engineering at Qualcomm Technologies.


  • In September 2020, NUVIA, which is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, announced a $240 million funding round led by Mithril Capital in partnership with Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai (founders of Marvell Technology Group), funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC., and Temasek, with additional participation from Atlantic Bridge, Redline Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, Dell Technologies Capital, Mayfield, Nepenthe LLC and WRVI Capital. The closure of NUVIA’s Series B round builds on a $53M Series A round, raised in November 2019. 
  •  NUVIA was founded in February 2019 by John Bruno, Manu Gulati and Gerard Williams, with the vision to create the world’s leading server processor in terms of performance per watt.

AMD sees wide partner support for new EPYC server chips

AMD unveiled its EPYC 7003 Series CPUs, claiming the highest performance benchmark for a server processor with up to 19% more instructions per clock. 

The AMD EPYC 7003 Series Processors have up to 64 “Zen 3” cores per processor and introduce new levels of per-core cache memory, while continuing to offer the PCIe 4 connectivity and class-leading memory bandwidth. 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors also include modern security features through AMD Infinity Guard, supporting a new feature called Secure Encrypted Virtualization-Secure Nested Paging (SEV-SNP). SEV-SNP expands the existing SEV features on EPYC processors, adding strong memory integrity protection capabilities to help prevent malicious hypervisor-based attacks by creating an isolated execution environment. 

“With the launch of our 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors, we are incredibly excited to deliver the fastest server CPU in the world. These processors extend our data center leadership and help customers solve today’s most complex IT challenges, while substantially growing our ecosystem,” said Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center and Embedded Solutions Business Group. “We not only double the performance over the competition in HPC, cloud and enterprise workloads with our newest server CPUs, but together with the AMD Instinct GPUs, we are breaking the exascale barrier in supercomputing and helping to tackle problems that have previously been beyond humanity’s reach.”

AMD also cited broad industry support, including:

  • AWS – will add the AMD EPYC 7003 series processors to its core Amazon EC2 instance families later this year.
  • Cisco – introduced new Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) rack server models with AMD EPYC 7003 Series Processors designed to support modern hybrid cloud workloads.   
  • Dell Technologies – announced the all new PowerEdge XE8545 server with AMD EPYC 7003 series CPUs, and the company will support the new processors within its PowerEdge server portfolio.
  • Google Cloud – announced AMD EPYC 7003 series processors will power a new compute optimized VM, C2D, and an expansion of the existing general purpose N2D VM later this year. Google Cloud Confidential Computing will be available on both C2D and N2D.
  • HPE – announced it will double the lineup of AMD EPYC processor powered solutions, using the AMD EPYC 7003 series processors in new HPE ProLiant servers, HPE Apollo systems and HPE Cray EX supercomputers.
  • Lenovo – added ten Lenovo ThinkSystem Servers and ThinkAgile HCI solutions built on 3rd Gen EPYC processors, and achieved more than 25 new world records across a broad set of industry-standard benchmarks in workload areas.
  • Microsoft Azure  – announced multiple new virtual machine offerings powered by AMD EPYC 7003 series processors. Azure HBv3 virtual machines for HPC applications are generally available today, and Confidential Computing virtual machines that utilize the full security features of the new AMD EPYC 7003 series processors are in private preview.
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – announced it is extending its flexible virtual machine and bare metal compute offerings with the new E4 platform based on 3rd Generation AMD EPYC Processors.
  • Supermicro – introduced the AMD EPYC 7003 series processor in its Supermicro A+ single and dual socket family of Ultra, Twin, SuperBlade, Storage and GPU Optimized Systems.
  • Tencent Cloud – announced the new Tencent Cloud SA3 server instance, powered by the 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors.  
  • VMware – announced its latest release of VMware vSphere 7 which is optimized to take advantage of AMD EPYC processors virtualization performance, while supporting the processors’ advanced security features, including SEV-ES for both virtual machine based and containerized applications.

Leading Internet Exchange operators seek better BGP software

AMS-IX, DE-CIX, LINX, and Netnod have joined forces to establish the Route Server Support Foundation (RSSF) with a mission to tackle the lack of open-source software suitable for high-end mission-critical route server deployments. 

The Internet Exchanges (IXs) are seeking to improve BGP software diversity and strengthen open source BGP implementations.

Job Snijders, technical lead and director at RSSF, says, “In OpenBGPD we have a strong and secure foundation to develop a robust route server. We are proud to have received the financial commitments which allow us to hire talented developers to work on open-source software for public benefit!”

Niels Raijer, chairman of RSSF, adds, “Under today’s circumstances, Internet Exchanges have become critical infrastructure. With RSSF, we offer not just a technical, but also a financial and management structure. That makes it possible for our developers to focus on what they love, which is improving open-source software, while we make sure the software is delivered according to the requirements and on schedule.”

Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX, says: “Route Servers are invaluable for Internet Exchange customers, as they allow you to get all IP routes from other peers at the IXP with only one peering session. Today, almost all route servers are based on a single recognized open-source software. Our goal with the RSSF is to create a second, comparable powerful route server implementation based on OpenBGPD. This allows more redundancy and thus stability for route server installations worldwide. DE-CIX would like to make a significant contribution to the community and is therefore one of the founding sponsors of the RSSF.”


InterDigital names Liren Chen as next CEO

InterDigital named Liren Chen as its next CEO, replacing William J. Merritt who will retire next month after 25 years at the company and nearly 16 years as President and CEO. 

“There is no question that Bill’s leadership has been outstanding and the Board thanks him for his years of great contributions as he looks forward to the next chapter in his life. After a thoughtful and thorough search process, the Board of Directors determined that Liren Chen’s proven expertise and leadership skills make him the best CEO to lead InterDigital forward,” said S. Douglas Hutcheson, Chairman of the Board. “Liren’s tenured and successful career at one of the world’s most innovative technology companies speaks for itself. His years of IP licensing, global business expertise, and technical capabilities are a unique combination that aligns perfectly with InterDigital’s opportunities. The Board is pleased that he has agreed to take the helm at a time of great opportunity for InterDigital, and we look forward to working with Liren to build on our company’s strong momentum.”

Mr. Chen joins InterDigital from Qualcomm, where he was Senior Vice President and Global Head of IP, Legal Counsel.

"I am honored to become InterDigital’s next President and CEO,” said Liren Chen. “I have tremendous respect for the InterDigital Board and management team and recognize the important role InterDigital has been playing to develop the fundamental technologies that enable 4G and 5G cellular systems and advanced multimedia systems. I am fully committed to building on InterDigital’s track record of success and innovation and continuing to deliver value for all stakeholders.”