Monday, January 24, 2022

CableLabs cites 10G milestones

CableLabs cited a number of 10G milestones achieved in 2021:

  • CableLabs recently published its first set of specifications for a new device, called the Coherent Termination Device, that enables operators to take advantage of coherent optics technologies in fiber-limited access networks. Typically used for long-haul, metro and submarine networks, coherent optics technologies enable operators to use their existing fiber assets more efficiently when teamed with wavelength-division multiplexing in the optical access network. 
  • CableLabs has released a set of Best Common Practices (BCP) to protect increasingly complex home and business networks. The BCP document was written, with input and support from CableLabs members and vendors, to ensure a globally consistent and robust baseline for gateway device security and an ontology for simplified communication and procurement between network operators and device manufacturers. 
  • Comcast has successfully transmitted 4 Gbps upload and download speeds simultaneously in a live lab test, effectively proving out the superior performance offered by the DOCSIS 4.0 specifications. The first-of-its-kind test demonstrated the potential for DOCSIS technology to deliver the next generation of ultra-fast speeds. Comcast also completed a successful test of a complete 10G connection using a virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS) powered by DOCSIS 4.0 technology.
  • Charter Communications, recently demonstrated greater than 8.5 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream on hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) cable plant. The lab demonstration shows the massive capacity available through incremental upgrades to an existing HFC plant.
  • Armstrong recently launched a 10-gigabit fiber-optic network in Medina, Ohio, providing 10G access to more than 3000 businesses and residences in the area. With this deployment, Armstrong is the first operator bringing the faster speeds, lower latency, enhanced reliability and improved security that 10G enables to residential customers. 
  • CableLabs recently launched the 10G Challenge to accelerate the work of innovators, startups, students and entrepreneurs in their development of applications for the 10G network. With total prize monies of more than $300,000, the 10G Challenge is designed to inspire innovators to leverage the emerging 10G network. The 10G Challenge is powered by CableLabs and will be judged in part by industry experts Mayo Clinic, Corning and Zoom to support developing technologies, services and applications that rely on the network of the future. Six winners will be chosen, and the Grand Prize Winner and category winners will have the opportunity to present their technologies at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2022.

"With faster symmetrical speeds, lower latency, enhanced reliability and improved security, the emerging 10G network will truly power the next generation of innovation,” said Phil McKinney, CableLabs president and CEO. “Alongside our members and other industry leaders, we are proud of the advancements we’ve made, and we look forward to continued industry collaboration on our path to bringing the network of the future to life.”

DOCOMO demos Drop-n-Prop Antenna for 6G

NTT DOCOMO has developed an antenna system capable of creating a high-frequency mobile communication cell when a small (roughly one cubic centimeter) piece of plastic is placed on top of a dielectric waveguide. 

The solid plastic cube serves as an antenna by creating a "leak" from the cable to propagate signals up to several tens of meters. DOCOMO successfully tested the system with an ultra-high-frequency 60 GHz radio signal, similar to those expected to be used in future 6G networks.

DOCOMO envisions its "Drop-n-Prop Antenna" as simple, low-cost solution being used to create instant mobile environments in indoor areas not reachable with highly directional high-frequency signals propagated by outdoor base stations.

In the trial, DOCOMO constructed a communication area by running a rod-shaped dielectric waveguide made of polytetrafluoroethylene into an indoor area that was inaccessible to external mobile signals. The waveguide was embedded in a length of polystyrene-foam board with one side barely exposed to allow contact with antennas. Multiple communication cells were created simultaneously by placing antennas along various parts of the waveguide. Signal coverage and direction were controlled by changing the material, shape and positioning of the antennas.

Both millimeter waves (28 GHz) for 5G and higher frequencies (60 GHz, etc.) expected to be used for 6G travel in very straight (rectilinear) lines. It is difficult for such waves to reach devices not in a base station's direct line of sight, or if the signals are blocked by surrounding obstacles (walls, equipment, etc.). DOCOMO's simple, low-cost antenna system being announced today merely requires a rod-shaped dielectric waveguide to be run into an area and then embedded in the floors, walls, ceilings, furniture or work surfaces. Communication areas can be constructed easily and unobtrusively in offices, factories, etc. and reconfigured quickly and flexibly just by moving the antenna(s) as required.

AT&T Fiber turns on symmetrical 2-Gig and 5-Gig tiers

AT&T Fiber had begun offering symmetrical 2-Gig and 5-Gig speed tiers to its 5.2 million customer locations in parts of more than 70 metro areas across the U.S., including parts of L.A., Atlanta and Dallas. AT&T Fiber 2 GIG is priced at $110/month + taxes. AT&T Business Fiber 2 GIG is priced at $225/month + taxes.

AT&T said it plans to deploy multi-gig-capable technology across its current fiber footprint throughout 2022 with the aim to cover 30 million customer locations by year-end 2025.

AT&T also confirmed that it has 10-Gig speeds running in its labs.

“As we set out to become America’s best connectivity provider, we’re doubling down on fiber in our broadband infrastructure,” said Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications. “With true multi-gig speeds, and symmetrical upload and download, AT&T Fiber will redefine how we experience the internet and drive innovation, from education, to work, to entertainment.”

Meta's next AI supercomputer to use NVIDIA 200 Gb/s InfiniBand fabric

Meta is building an AI research supercomputer that will leverage NVIDIA systems, InfiniBand networking and AI software to enable optimization across thousands of GPUs.

The AI Research SuperCluster (RSC), which will be the largest NVIDIA DGX A100 customer system to date when fully deployed later this year, will deliver 5 exaflops of AI performance.

RSC is powered by 760 NVIDIA DGX A100 systems linked with NVIDIA Quantum 200 Gb/s InfiniBand fabric, delivering 1,896 petaflops of TF32 performance.

Penguin Computing provided managed services and AI-optimized infrastructure for Meta comprised of 46 petabytes of cache storage with its Altus systems. Pure Storage FlashBlade and FlashArray//C provide the highly performant and scalable all-flash storage capabilities needed to power RSC.


Verizon signs 7 more renewable energy purchase agreements

Verizon announced seven new Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements (REPAs) for an aggregate of approximately 910 megawatts (MW) of projected renewable energy capacity. This brings the cumulative number of REPAs, signed since December 2019, to 20, and the cumulative aggregate amount of contracted renewable energy capacity to approximately 2.6 gigawatts (GW).

“We are proud to achieve this key milestone in the transition to renewable energy,” said Matt Ellis, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Verizon. “These new agreements will be funded by our third $1 billion green bond, which we issued in September 2021, and are fundamental to the company’s ongoing efforts to be net zero in its operational emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 2035.”

Overview of Verizon’s new REPAs:

  • Four 15-year REPAs with Leeward Renewable Energy for an aggregate of up to 640 MW of anticipated renewable energy capacity. The projects include a facility in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regional market that is expected to be fully operational in late 2023; two facilities in the Pennsylvania Jersey Maryland (PJM) Interconnection regional market that are expected to be fully operational in late 2023; and a facility in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) regional market that is expected to be fully operational in mid-2024.
  • A 15-year REPA with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions for an aggregate of 180 MW of capacity. The facility, located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) regional market, is expected to be fully operational in late 2022.
  • Two 15-year REPAs with Lightsource bp for an aggregate of 89.9 MW of capacity. The facilities, both located in the PJM Interconnection regional market, are expected to be fully operational by late 2023.
  • The renewable energy projects associated with Verizon's 20 REPAs, which span 11 states, have a projected capacity of approximately 2.6 GW, and are anticipated to enable the avoidance of over 4.8 million metric tons (MT) of CO2 annually.

Ceremorphic unveils 5nm ThreadArch based RISC –V processor

Ceremorphic, a start-up based in San Jose, California, unveiled its chipset designed in advanced silicon geometry (TSMC 5nm node) and targeted at applications such as AI model training, HPC, automotive processing, drug discovery, and metaverse processing. 

Ceremorphic was founded in April 2020 by Dr. Venkat Mattela, the founding CEO of Redpine Signals, which sold its wireless assets to Silicon Labs, Inc. in March 2020 for $308 million. Ceremorphic leverages a patented, multi-thread processor technology called ThreadArch. 

Key features of the QS 1 include the following:

  • Custom Machine Learning Processor (MLP) running at 2GHz
  • Custom FPU running at 2GHz
  • Patented Multi-thread processing macro-architecture, ThreadArch based RISC –V processor for proxy processing (1GHz)
  • Custom video engines for Metaverse Processing (1GHz) along with M55 v1 core from ARM
  • Custom designed X16 PCIe 6. 0 / CXL 3.0 connectivity interface
  • Open AI framework software support with optimized compiler and application libraries
  • Soft error rate: (100,000)-1

“Having developed many innovations in multi-thread processing, algorithm driven VLSI, reliable performance circuits, low-energy interface circuits, quantum resistant security microarchitecture, and new device architectures beyond CMOS, Ceremorphic is well on its way to accomplish our goals,” said Venkat Mattela, Founder and CEO of Ceremorphic. “The challenges this market faces with ‘reliable performance computing’ cannot be solved with existing architectures, but rather needs a completely new architecture built specifically to provide reliability, security, energy efficiency, and scalability.”

“I am very impressed with the Ceremorphic approach to solving some of the key challenges in the reliability and performance computing space today,” said Subhasish Mitra, Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Computer Science at Stanford University. “Reliable performance computing is absolutely something this industry needs and the approach that Ceremorphic is pursuing is a significant step in the right direction.”

SK Telecom tests 5G 64TRX vRAN with Nokia

Nokia and SK Telecom have successfully completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) and demonstration of the world's first 5G 64TRX wireless-based cloud Radio Access Network (vRAN) in Korea. The companies plan to start field testing a vRAN in 2022.

The demonstration included the process of virtualizing the baseband based on Nokia's design, including its comprehensive infrastructure solutions such as NADCM (Nokia AirFrame Data Center Manager), separating hardware and software, and operating each independently. In particular, the network flexibility and performance were tested at the same time by dividing the infrastructure into two separate functions: a cloudified virtual distributed unit (vDU) and a virtual central unit (vCU).

Jongkwan Park, Vice President and Head of Infra Technology Office, SK Telecom, said: “Through the verification of 5G cloud RAN technology provided by Nokia, SK Telecom, as a leader of the evolution of 5G wireless network architecture, was able to confirm its technological prowess once again. Based on the resilient and flexible 5G network infrastructure and vRAN that can maximize efficiency, we will continue to lead the next-generation communication network services.”

Kevin Ahn, Head of Korea, Nokia, said: “This demonstration once again confirms the leadership of both companies in 5G technology, and serves as an opportunity for full-scale commercialization of 5G vRAN. We will continue to actively cooperate with SK Telecom to quickly introduce market-leading services based on the best 5G network.”

Rosenberger spins out antenna business as PROSE

The Rosenberger Group has spun off its antenna and coverage solution product portfolio under a new brand entity, PROSE. The strategic focus of PROSE will be towards the development of base station antennas, microwave antennas, indoor and outdoor coverage solutions, Open RAN sub-systems and related services.

PROSE will be headed by Mrs. Aili Liu, the co-founder and former president of Rosenberger Asia Pacific and Rosenberger Technologies. 

PROSE will operate as an independent entity, serving global customers and managing growth by bringing new technologies and solutions at a rapid rate, aligned with the increasing needs of customers. The company consists of 3500+ people, with 25 subsidiaries sales/service offices, 3 factories and 4 R&D centers across the globe. It will continue to serve more than 90 operators/service providers worldwide in all wireless customers’ needs and will include a special solution for 5G deployments.

Rosenberger’s CEO Mr. Eric Kueppers said, “Today is a defining moment for the entire Rosenberger Group. The two powerful, customer focused and independent companies are perfectly positioned to achieve sustainable future growth. As stand alone companies, each entity is better prepared to realize value add for our customers with tailored capital allocation and strategic flexibility to drive innovation and customer satisfaction.”

PROSE’s President Mrs. Aili Liu said “We look forward to making PROSE a unique brand with great quality products and the most advanced wireless technologies. With an expanded focus on research and development of base station antennas, In-Building Solutions, and O-RAN sub-systems, I believe that the new company will grow and expand its global reach, with fast delivery of tailored solutions to ever-changing customer requirements and needs.”

The transaction is planned to be completed by the first half of 2022.

IHS Towers to acquire 2,115 towers in Brazil for US$315M

IHS Towers agreed to acquire 2,115 telecommunication towers across Brazil from São Paulo Cinco Locação de Torres Ltda. (SP5), a Grupo Torresur (“GTS”) portfolio company. The acquisition is expected to deliver Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately US$38 million and US$36 million, respectively, in the first full year following closing (based on a current exchange rate). The purchase price of the transaction, on a cash and debt free basis, is US$315 million.

Proforma for closing this portfolio, IHS Towers will own approximately 7,000 towers in Brazil, in addition to the secondary fiber network covering approximately 6.4 million homes passed that it currently operates.

Sam Darwish, IHS Towers Chairman and CEO, commented “The acquisition of GTS’ SP5 portfolio will be our fifth transaction since we entered the region two years ago and is a testament to our continued commitment to serving the connectivity demands of Latin America. In the SP5 portfolio there are 2,115 sites strategically located across Brazil, increasing the attractiveness of IHS’ portfolio to our customers whether in Brazil or across our Latam operations.”

Jimmy Eisenstein, GTS Chairman and CEO, said “The sale of our SP5 portfolio represents the culmination of our strategy to create an important infrastructure business focusing on historically under-served regions of Brazil.  Since our acquisition, our team has driven strong organic revenue growth, proving the critical role of SP5 to the market and resulting in an excellent return for our investors.”

ADTRAN/ADVA clears CFIUS review

ADTRAN confirmed that it has received notice from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) stating that the pending business combination with ADVA is not a “covered transaction” subject to CFIUS’ jurisdiction. Accordingly, ADTRAN and ADVA have met the requirement under the Business Combination Agreement related to CFIUS notification. 

Cooperative proceedings continue with the foreign direct investment authorities in Germany and the UK.

ADTRAN + ADVA merger targets fiber broadband opportunities

ADTRAN and ADVA announced a merger focused on end-to-end fiber networking solutions for communications service provider, enterprise and government customers. The deal combines ADTRAN’s market presence in fiber access, fiber extension and subscriber connectivity solutions with ADVA’s position in metro wavelength division multiplexing, data center interconnect, business ethernet and network synchronization solutions. The new company, which will...

Ray Stata, co-founder of Analog Devices, to step down as chairman

Ray Stata, who co-founded Analog Devices (ADI) with his Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) fellow graduate in 1965, will step down as chair of the company's board of directors. Stata served as President of ADI from 1971 to 1991 and as CEO of the Company from 1973 to 1996. He has served as chair of the board since 1973. Stata will stand for reelection as a director at ADI’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. 

ADI's Board of Directors has appointed President and CEO Vincent Roche as Chair of the Board, effective as of the date of ADI’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

“Vince has shown remarkable leadership of ADI as our President and CEO. We are certain that this appointment strengthens his ability to continue his leadership of ADI, as the Company continues to develop even more complete, high-performance solutions for our customers,” Stata said. “Since its inception in 1965, ADI has remained at the forefront of breakthrough innovation and technological advancements, and I am confident that the Company will continue on this trajectory with Vince as our Chair.”

“ADI has grown exponentially over the five decades that Ray has served as Chair, and I am honored to be appointed as his successor,” said Roche. “I personally thank him for his many years of service as our Chair and his significant contributions to ADI’s considerable success. I look forward to Ray’s continued involvement in ADI as a member of the Board.”