Thursday, December 9, 2021

Verizon tops 14,000 5G Ultra Wideband cells sites

Verizon exceeded its 2021 year-end target of 14,000 new 5G Ultra Wideband cells sites, providing phone service to parts of 87 U.S. cities, 5G Home to parts of 65 cities and 5G Business Internet to parts of 62 cities.

Verizon said its aggressive expansion has supported an increase in 5G Ultra Wideband data use of more than 750% year to date.

“We’re continuing to see 5G usage accelerate, as our customers experience benefits, like incredible boosts in speed, the ability to stream video and audio in HD and the ability to get console-quality gaming on the go,” said Kyle Malady, CTO of Verizon. “This year our team has nearly doubled its 5G deployment versus the past two years and exceeded the aggressive targets we set at the beginning of the year, even in the face of global supply chain issues, and we’re not stopping. We are on track to deliver our 5G Ultra Wideband service using C-Band spectrum to more than 100 million people in the first quarter of 2022.”

Some additional notes:

  • Verizon now has 5G Home available in five times the number of markets compared to 2020, and 5G Business Internet in nearly three times the number of cities originally projected for 2021. 
  • Verizon’s network team has already deployed 5G Ultra Wideband equipment to thousands of cell sites and will continue aggressive expansion into the new year to meet its market promise of providing 5G Ultra Wideband service to 100 million people by the end of the first quarter of 2022 using C-Band spectrum.
  • The massive 5G Ultra Wideband expansion will initially involve deploying new C-Band equipment on macro cell towers, leveraging Verizon’s LTE network infrastructure. This rapid expansion will also involve deploying the new 5G Ultra Wideband service using small cells, enhancing both access to and the capacity of 5G using C-band spectrum. Just this week, Verizon engineers completed and approved plans for small cell equipment which will be deployed in the network in 2022 after the initial expansion.
  • In addition to rapid expansion using C-Band spectrum, Verizon will continue to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband service with the addition of a significant number of mmWave sites and private network solutions in the coming months.
  • In recent field tests, using 100MHz and 200Mhz of C-band spectrum, the company has seen speeds of 1.5 Gbps and 3 Gbps, respectively. And in a recent lab test using carrier aggregation (800 MHz of mmWave and 100 MHz of C-band) and a test device powered by Snapdragon  X65 5G Modem-RF System, Verizon and Qualcomm reached download speeds of 7.92 Gbps.

Video: How TIP's Private Mobile Framework can Transform 5G Use Cases

In this engineering discussion, David Martín Lambás, Senior Manager – Connectivity Innovation at Telefónica & Chair of TIP’s 5G Private Networks Solution Group and Sriram Subramanian, Global System Integrator Ecosystem Manager at Facebook & Technical Lead of TIP’s 5G Private Networks Solution Group, discuss how TIP’s diverse set of ecosystem partners provide an immersive end-to-end user experience for private network deployments.

ADVA-led 5G DU-Volution project wins funding from UK government

ADVA's UK 5G DU-Volution consortium has won British government funding to promote integration of new technology suppliers for open RAN solutions and develop innovation that enhances spectral efficiency and reduces power, footprint and latency in mobile networks. The ADVA-led consortium includes BT, the University of York, the Scotland 5G Centre and UK-based software companies AccelerComm and CommAgility.

ADVA and its partners were awarded the funding as one of the winning teams in the UK’s Future Radio Access Network Competition (FRANC), which is focused on supporting rapid nationwide rollout of 5G and attracting new home-grown telecommunication vendors to the mobile network supply chain. As well as promoting diversification and interoperability in 5G architectures, the project offers a boost to the UK government’s “levelling up” agenda. Significant investment in the north of England will include ADVA’s new open RAN systems integration center.

“This project will help the UK unlock the true potential of 5G. Together with our partners, we’re solving key challenges for disaggregated, vendor-neutral RAN infrastructure and enabling a new generation of mobile services,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO at ADVA. “As well as supporting interoperability and bolstering supply chains, 5G DU-Volution will create a springboard for British software innovation. By spearheading this project, we’re developing relationships between education institutions and employers and helping to transform the UK into a center of open RAN excellence.”

“We’re proud to be playing a leading role in this project. 5G DU-Volution will provide a platform for a new wave of open RAN software innovators as well as introducing UK-based technology and talent to the global telecoms market,” commented Anthony Magee, senior director of global business development at ADVA. “By working closely together, our consortium will overcome key hurdles to develop and integrate open RAN software and hardware that meet the needs of 5G. We’ll also be testing our early-stage solutions in real-world mobile network settings, including BT’s Adastral Park. What’s more, alongside our research and education partners, we’ll be working towards the next generation of mobile connectivity by evolving the test facilities towards a 6G future.”

Ciena reports quarterly revenue of $1.04 billion, up 25.7% yoy

Ciena reported revenue of $1.04 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter ended October 30, 2021, an increase of 25.7% year over year. Q4 net income per share was $0.66 GAAP; $0.85 adjusted (non-GAAP), increasing 41.7% year over year.

“Our strong financial results exceeded our expectations in the fourth quarter and for the full fiscal year, driven by continued execution of our strategy and our demonstrated ability to manage supply chain challenges,” said Gary Smith, President and CEO, Ciena. “Looking ahead, we intend to continue driving growth in our business by leveraging our market leadership and investing to capitalize on robust demand dynamics. In addition, our strong balance sheet and cash generation expectations allow us to increase return of capital to our shareholders.”

For fiscal year 2021, Ciena reported revenue of $3.62 billion, as compared to $3.53 billion for fiscal year 2020.

On December 1, 2021, Ciena's Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $1.0 billion of the company's stock, replacing the previous share repurchase authorization. In connection with this new authorization, the company intends to enter into an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) arrangement under which it will repurchase $250 million of its common stock. 

Some highlights:

  • WL5 Extreme (WL5e) total number of customers has reached 140 including 75 in 2021
  • 43 wins in the Routing and Switching portfolio
  • Blue Planet revenue grew 23% YoY
  • Commercially shipped its first 400 ZR pluggables, WL5 Nano
  • Non-telco represented 39% of total revenue
  • Direct web-scale contributed 18% of total revenue
  • APAC contributed 12% of total revenue

HyperLight demos Hybrid Transmitter with DFB Laser on Thin-Film Lithium Niobate

HyperLight, in collaboration with Harvard University and Freedom Photonics, has demonstrated a breakthrough process of integrating high-power lasers on thin-film lithium niobate platform. 

The hybrid platform enabled the first high optical power transmitter chip consisting of an electrically pumped DFB laser integrated with HyperLight’s high-speed thin-film lithium niobate intensity modulator capable of operating at 60 mW output power and beyond 50 GHz electro-optic bandwidth.

The demonstration used DFB lasers for integration with thin-film lithium niobate because of their low cost, small footprint, and large output powers exceeding 100 mW. Using only passive-alignment and flip-chip thermo-compressive bonding, the DFB lasers emitted approximately 60 mW (17.8 dBm) of optical power into the thin-film lithium niobate waveguides. This will enable new architecture such as large arrays of high-power transmitters as well as unprecedented performance in optical links.

“We are very excited to be a part of this remarkable demonstration of the hybrid integration capability of the thin-film lithium niobate platform with other critical optical components,” said Mian Zhang, co-author, CEO of HyperLight. “The traditional bulk lithium niobate solutions are widely deployed but are limited in performance and applications due to the lack of integration. Our miniaturized thin film integrated solution combines the superior proven material property of lithium niobate with scalable silicon semiconductor processes at low cost. Hybrid integration of key active high-performance components such as DFB lasers with thin film lithium niobate results in best in class performance combined with low cost which opens up a lot of possibilities for those innovators who are looking into lower power consumption and lower cost solutions for optical networks beyond 800G and 1.6Tb/s.”

The results of the above demonstration are described in a manuscript by Amirhassan Shams-Ansari, et. al. entitled, “Electrically pumped high power laser transmitter integrated on thin-film lithium niobate,” ( This effort is part of a DARPA funded program Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems (LUMOS) which aims to bring high performance lasers and amplifiers to manufacturable photonics platforms through heterogeneous integration of diverse materials.

HyperLight and Nokia Bell Labs demonstrate 300 GBd for PAM-4 

HyperLight, a start-up based in Cambridge, MA developing thin-film lithium niobate (LN) photonic integrated circuits (PICs), and Nokia Bell Labs demonstrated a new record-breaking high-speed data transmission using its ultrahigh bandwidth, linear, and low noise thin-film lithium niobate Mach Zehnder (MZM) modulator.Using a HyperLight photonic chip, Nokia Bell Labs demonstrated a low complexity faster than Nyquist scheme without transmitter pre-processing...

HyperLight advances its thin-film lithium niobate PICs

HyperLight, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., cited progress in its development of thin-film lithium niobate photonic integrated circuits for next-generation 800 Gbps and beyond 1.6 Tbps optical networking systems.HyperLight claims its thin-film lithium niobate integrated photonics solution combines the proven superior material property of lithium niobate with an established and scalable integration process. The company has developed a thin-film...

HyperLight claims breakthrough with its lithium niobate optical modulator 

HyperLight, a start-up based in Cambridge, MA developing thin-film lithium niobate (LN) photonic integrated circuits (PICs), announced breakthrough voltage-bandwidth performances in integrated electro-optic modulators. HyperLight says its electro-optic PIC could lead to orders of magnitude energy consumption reduction for next generation optical networking.Current electro-optic modulators require extremely high radio-frequency (RF) driving voltages...

Analog Devices intros RadioVerse chip for 5G RUs

Analog Devices introduced its RadioVerse System-on-Chip (SoC) series for energy efficient 5G RUs.

The ADRV9040 is the first in the new RadioVerse SoC series. It offers eight transmit and receive channels of 400MHz bandwidth and integrates advanced digital signal processing functions, including carrier digital up-converters (CDUC), carrier digital down-converters (CDDC), crest factor reduction (CFR) and digital pre-distortion (DPD). This expanded signal processing can eliminate the need for a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), thereby reducing thermal footprint, and total system size, weight, power, and cost. The SoC’s DPD algorithms were developed using advanced machine learning techniques and are optimized in close collaboration with major power amplifier (PA) vendors to ease the design burden and deliver best-in-class wide bandwidth performance. The algorithms are fully tested and validated across 4G and 5G use cases, including various PA technology types such as gallium nitride (GaN). In addition, the ZiF radio architecture simplifies RF filtering and signal chain components, reducing RU cost and development time for band and power variants designs.

ADI said its new SoC series provides advanced RF signal processing with expanded digital functionality and RF capacity that greatly improves 5G RU performance and energy efficiency. 

“Samsung and ADI have long worked together to support the swift deployment of 5G in the global market,” said Dong Geun Lee, Vice President and Head of Hardware R&D Group, Network Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are excited for the successful launch of ADI’s new SoC, as we expect this cutting-edge technology will bring better 5G experience to consumers. We look forward to expanding our engagement with ADI.”

“RadioVerse SoCs are designed to optimize the full radio solution rather than just a single component or interface,” said Joe Barry, Vice President of Wireless Communications at Analog Devices. “Each successive generation has provided expanded capabilities, bandwidth and performance, while improving overall RU efficiency. This new RadioVerse SoC series takes a big step forward by delivering multiple advancements in signal processing to meet the demanding needs of 5G.”

Aruba debuts EdgeConnect Microbranch for home/small offices

Aruba introduced its new EdgeConnect Microbranch solution for providing remote personnel with all of the traditional services they receive in-office via a single Wi-Fi access point (AP) – with no gateway, agent or additional hardware required at the remote site. 

Aruba's EdgeConnect Microbranch, which essentially extends on-campus Zero Trust and Secure Access Services Edge (SASE) security frameworks to the home office/small office, comprises APs and a new suite of SD-WAN services and builds upon the company’s Remote Access Points (RAPs).

Aruba said its EdgeConnect Microbranch helps IT teams ensure that remote employee experience is consistent by optimizing the performance of latency-sensitive applications like unified communication and collaboration while ensuring proper security and contending with a higher density of bandwidth-hungry devices that may be on the network. New EdgeConnect Microbranch services such as policy-based routing, which enables IT to optimize how application traffic is routed to a destination, complement existing services such as Air Slice, which dynamically allocates AP radio resources to specific applications. 

“EdgeConnect Microbranch gives organizations a modern, scalable approach for enabling remote work and making the home office experience equivalent to being in-office,” said Larry Lunetta, VP of Solutions Portfolio Marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “While some may believe that the only network service that can be extended to the home office AP/router is security – and even that requires an extra box, EdgeConnect Microbranch demonstrates that, with a cloud-based approach, all critical network services can be extended to the home office solely through an access point.”

Key features:

  • Policy-based routing: Allows IT to deliver application performance and security based on automated rules to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) for specific applications, websites or types of users
  • Tunnel and route orchestration: Optimizes network performance by orchestrating VPN tunnels on demand and automatically rerouting traffic to the network path that will provide the best performance
  • SASE integration: Provides secure connectivity to cloud security services such as Zscaler directly via the AP and with Aruba Central providing orchestration of tunnels and unified configuration management
  • Enhanced WAN visibility: Accelerates troubleshooting and improves the user experience by providing near real-time updates on WAN availability, utilization, and throughput by detecting latency, jitter, and other connectivity issues impacting the ISP that have traditionally been hidden from IT teams
  • Traffic prioritization: Assigns radio resources to an application and dynamically changes assignments as application sessions begin or end
  • Massive scalability: Supports zero touch deployment and consolidated management for tens of thousands of remote workers via Aruba Central’s cloud-based services and AOS 10
  • Improved uptime and reliability: Provides for LTE backup via a USB interface should the home or small office lose ISP connectivity

The Aruba EdgeConnect Microbranch solution is available in Early Access and will be generally available in March 2022 for any AP running ArubaOS 10 with a Foundation AP License (including qualified APs customers already own and manage in Central.) Aruba Central Foundation Licenses are available for $145 per AP. AP pricing varies per model and starts at $575.00 US for the Aruba 303H Series.

Dell'Oro: SD-WAN market surges ahead 45% in Q3

The worldwide SD-WAN market grew 45 percent in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Cisco maintained the top position for the revenue share for the quarter and was followed by Fortinet and VMware in the second and third spots.

“Enterprises are upgrading network infrastructures at accelerated rates compared to pre-pandemic times, and our research finds that the SD-WAN market is growing at strong double-digit rates in all regions of the world,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Because SD-WAN is software-based technology, the global supply chain disruptions have had less of an effect compared to hardware-based networking products,” added Umeda.

Additional highlights from the 3Q 2021 SD-WAN Report:

  • The SD-WAN market continues to consolidate around a small number of vendors with the top six vendors accounting for 69 percent market share in 3Q 2021.
  • Cisco’s quarterly SD-WAN revenue nearly doubled in 3Q 2021 with especially strong growth in the North America region.
  • The market for hardware-based Access Routers grew quarterly revenues for the first time in almost two years.

Expedera raises $18M for deep learning accelerator from founders of Marvell

Expedera, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California announced a $18 million Series A funding round led by Dr. Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai (founders of Marvell Technology Group) and other prominent semiconductor industry investors. 

Expedera is developing a deep learning accelerator IP that is scalable up to 128 TOPS with a single core and to PetaOps with multi-core. The company says it will achieve the highest performance per watt. The solution is aimed at a wide range of AI inference applications, particularly at the edge. Expedera’s Origin IP and software platform supports popular AI frontends including TensorFlow, ONNX, Keras, Mxnet, Darknet, CoreML and Caffe2 through Apache TVM. By licensing its technology as a semiconductor IP, Expedera enables any chip designer to add state-of-the-art AI functionality to their product.

The latest funding brings the total amount raised to over $27 million.

“This financing underscores the success that Expedera has had so far and will enable us to expand our portfolio and team to meet the market needs,” said Da Chuang, CEO of Expedera. “We are incredibly happy to have Weili Dai and Sehat Sutardja lead this round. As highly respected veterans of the semiconductor industry, they have a unique understanding of the market and customer needs. I look forward to a long partnership.”

“Device makers have typically needed to build their own chips and usually, only the largest companies could afford to do so,” said Mr. Gwennap. “Expedera’s IP model provides a more cost effective way to address the sprawling edge AI market. A single IP supplier can license to any or all of the numerous chip vendors that supply a multitude of device makers in the edge market.”