Thursday, February 3, 2022

AWS hits a $71 billion annual revenue run rate

AWS net revenue for Q4 2021 reached $17.780 billion, up from $12.742 billion a year earlier. Operating income for the quarter reached $5.293 billion. For full year 2021, AWS net revenue amounted to $62.202 billion, with operating income of $18.532 billion. The company said AWS is now on a $71 billion per year revenue run rate.

During Q4, AWS continued to expand its infrastructure footprint, opening the AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region and announcing plans to launch the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region in late 2023 or early 2024. Newly released AWS economic impact studies estimate that the AWS Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region will create 24,700 direct and indirect jobs through a planned investment of $5 billion (IDR$71 trillion) in Indonesia over the next 15 years, and AWS will invest over $17 billion (CA$21 billion) in Canada by 2037 on the construction and operation of its two Canadian infrastructure Regions. 

Globally, AWS has 84 Availability Zones across 26 geographic Regions, with announced plans to launch 24 more Availability Zones and eight more AWS Regions.

Next G Alliance outlines North America's roadmap for 6G

by Benedict Chua, Associate Editor

ATIS’ Next G Alliance published a Roadmap to 6G report that presents the first 6G vision for North America and describes major steps that industry, government and academia should take to ensure North American wireless leadership for the next decade.

ATIS said more than 600 experts from 80 Next G Alliance members representing industry, government and academia came together to create the 43-page report.

The following topics are listed in the Table of Contents:

  • Partnering with the Government
  • North American 6G Vision
  • North American 6G Roadmap Lifecycle and Timeline
  • Societal and Economic Needs
  • Applications and Use Cases
  • Technology Enablers: component technologies (semiconductors, circuit/subsystems, antennas/packaging), radio technology, systems and network architecture, network operations, administration, management
  • Trustworthiness
  • Spectrum
  • Environmental Impacts

“This report will ensure North America proactively aligns all critical sectors vital to 6G success to create a foundation for North American global leadership,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “Beyond its technical contributions, the Roadmap shows how 6G can benefit society and industries in a variety of sectors – as well as how North America will become an epicenter of innovation-driven economic growth in a new era of wireless.”

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...

Ericsson inks R&D partnership with MIT

by Benedict Chua, Associate EditorMIT and Ericsson are collaborating on two research projects:Cognitive networks and lithionic silicon - Ericsson Research and the MIT Materials Research Laboratory are collaborating to research new designs in lithionic chips enabling neuromorphic computing, offering exponentially more energy efficient AI processing. This could enable fully cognitive networks with reduced operation complexity and energy consumption...

Samsung and UC Santa Barbara demo 6G Terahertz prototype

by Benedict Chua, Associate EditorSamsung Electronics, in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), demonstrated a 6G Terahertz (THz) wireless communication prototype which consists of a 16-channel phased-array transmitter and receiver modules. These were driven by CMOS RFICs (Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits), and a baseband unit to process signals with 2GHz bandwidth and fast adaptive beamforming. In the over-the-air...

Japanese researchers develop CMOS transceiver for 300 GHz

by Benedict Chua, Associate EditorResearchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and NTT have developed a novel CMOS-based transceiver for wireless communications at the 300 GHz band -- the first wideband CMOS phased-array system to operate at such elevated frequencies.NTT said the breakthrough opens possibilities "beyond 5G".One of the key features of the proposed design is that it is bidirectional; a great portion of the circuit, including the...

European Commission plans €900 million for 6G research

 The European Commission is backing a public R&I investment of €900 million over its new long-term budget period 2021-2027 to coordinate research activities on 6G technology under Horizon Europe as well as 5G deployment initiatives under the Connecting Europe Facility Digital and other programmes.A first set of 6G projects worth €60 million launched last month under the 5G-PPP with the Hexa-X flagship developing a first 6G system concept...

Fraunhofer launches 6G SENTINEL project

The Fraunhofer Institute has launched a 6G SENTINEL project to develop the novel technologies that will be required for the future 6G mobile communications standard.The lighthouse project, which is led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, will focus on terahertz technologies and solutions for flexible networks. The participating institutes are Fraunhofer IIS, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications HHI, the Fraunhofer...

Europe's Hexa-X project aims to set 6G groundwork

The Hexa-X project, which is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, will begin on January 1, 2021 with a focus on developing the vision for future 6G systems.  The project will bring together a consortium of major ICT, industry and academic stakeholders. Ericsson and Nokia have been selected to lead the effort.Magnus Frodigh, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Research says: “We are proud to be the technical...

Keysight expands 800G test solutions with multimode interfaces

Keysight Technologies expanded its portfolio of 800G test solutions for the optical transceiver ecosystem. The latest addition to Keysight’s existing portfolio of 800G test solutions are new design and validation solutions that support multimode interfaces, which are critical for an energy efficient data center infrastructure. The 800G multimode test solutions uniquely support high-speed data interconnect speeds of up to 100 Gbps.

In December 2020, Keysight launched industry-first 800G test solutions to help speed development of next generation data center technologies. The 800G multimode test solutions enable users to verify the performance of a wide range of optical transceiver modules and components, including vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), photodiodes, modulator drivers, transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) and physical layer (PHY) chips.

The extended portfolio supports 400G and 800G design validation, in accordance with standards defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), across the entire product lifecycle, from early research and development to manufacturing. Industry-leading test capabilities from Keysight include:

  • Multimode component characterization using Keysight’s N4373E lightwave component analyzer
  • Conformance and interoperability validation using Keysight’s N1077B 64Gbaud multimode optical and electrical clock recovery solutions
  • Transceiver module performance evaluation using Keysight’s A400GE-QDD and G800GE layer 1 multiport test solutions.

“An ever-increasing growth in data traffic, compounded with data centers’ need to reduce their energy footprint, has prompted Keysight to launch the new 800G multimode test solutions,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, vice president of Network and Data Center solutions at Keysight Technologies. “These new solutions will help reduce power consumption in data center equipment. Energy conservation and efficiency in data centers has a significant positive impact on the health of the planet.”

Cisco unveils Wi-Fi 6E APs, Private 5G, Catalyst campus switches

by James E. Carroll

Cisco announced a set of new wireless networking and access innovations designed to power hybrid work, including the following:

Wi-Fi 6E (Catalyst 9136 and Meraki MR57) products designed for hybrid business environments requiring capacity that exceeds gigabit performance. 

Cisco Private 5G: a managed service delivered with global service provider and technology partners, including NTT and Logicalis as the first two announced partners. Cisco will provide a full-stack solution capable of scaling to 400 million users. he cloud management leverages the Cisco IoT Control Center.  

Catalyst 9000X Switches: New Catalyst 9000X models extend the switching family and deliver the backbone that provides the speed, bandwidth capacity, and scale needed to support 100G/400G network access for transitions to hybrid work in the campus and extending the branch with zero trust security and power efficiency.

Introduction of Cisco Silicon One to the Catalyst Switching Portfolio: Cisco Silicon One, originally deployed in web scale and service provider networks, continues to prove its capabilities and programming flexibility to support networking innovation across enterprise networks. The new Catalyst 9500X and 9600X Series switches are powered by the Cisco Silicon One Q200.

“Hybrid work doesn’t work without the network,” said Todd Nightingale, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Networking and Cloud, Cisco. “The capabilities of the network empower the capabilities of the workforce. These launches, powered by Silicon One, make hybrid work possible with unprecedented power, reliability, and most importantly, the agility needed to continue to adapt and change with our teams.”

Nokia reports Q4, restores dividends, raises ambitions

Nokia reported Q4 2021 net sales of EUR 6.414 billion, a decline of 5% yoy in constant currency. The company sai strong growth in Network Infrastructure of +10% offset by Mobile Networks at -16%. Gross margin was 39.5%. Profit for the period was EUR 731 million, down 7% yoy. EPS (diluted) was EUR 0.13. The company plans to re-instate a dividend as well as a share buyback program.

Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Nokia, states: 

"All our business groups made significant progress this year to make us more competitive in all the markets in which we compete. Mobile Networks largely closed the gap to competition in 5G and improved its gross margin while continuing to step up R&D investments. Network Infrastructure extended its technology leadership with significant growth driven by Fixed Networks and Submarine Networks. Cloud and Network Services continued to rebalance its portfolio and saw encouraging growth in its key focus areas. Nokia Technologies made good progress expanding in areas such as automotive and consumer electronics."

"The progress we have made with cash generation in the business has strengthened our balance sheet to the point we can look to reinstate shareholder distributions through both a dividend and share buyback program."

"Nokia enters 2022 in a strong position with improved margins, faster than expected strategy execution and a high order backlog, although the global supply chain situation remains tight. We see opportunities in the 5G roll out and growing enterprise market. Accordingly, we expect 2022 to bring another year of sales growth and we are targeting a comparable operating margin of 11-13.5% in 2022."

"Considering how quickly we have executed on our strategy, we are now introducing new long-term targets. We still expect to deliver progress in 2023 but we want to emphasize that is not the end of our ambition. Our long-term target is to grow faster than the market and to achieve a comparable operating margin of at least 14%. The pace of delivery will depend on both the market environment and decisions we may make on R&D investments to secure our long-term competitiveness and sustainable profitability." 

Qualcomm hits record quarterly revenues/EPS

Qualcomm reported record fiscal first quarter revenues of $10.7 billion and record non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.23. 
  •  Qualcomm's chipset business had its second consecutive quarter of record performance with revenues of $8.8 billion, EBT of $3.1 billion and EBT margin of 35%. 

  • Handset revenues of $6 billion increased 42% year-over-year due to greater than 60% growth in revenues from Snapdragon chipsets for Android devices. 

  • Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E solutions now make up more than 80% of the company's WiFi access point revenues. 

Qualcomm also cited strong momentum in IoT, with revenue growth of 41% year-over-year to $1.5 billion in the first quarter across consumer, edge networking and industrial. Each of the consumer, edge networking and industrial categories grew by at least 30% compared to the year ago quarter. 

“Our record quarterly results reflect the strong demand for our products and technologies, with QCT revenues exceeding those of any fabless semiconductor company,” said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.1 “We are at the beginning of one of the largest opportunities in our history, with our addressable market expanding by more than seven times to approximately $700 billion in the next decade. Our one technology roadmap positions us as the partner of choice for both mobile and the connected intelligent edge.”

Lumentum cites strong demand and supply constraints

 Lumentum reported net revenue for its fiscal second quarter of 2022 of $446.7 million, with GAAP net income of $56.7 million, or $0.75 per diluted share. This compares with net revenue for the fiscal first quarter of 2022 was $448.4 million, with GAAP net income of $81.5 million, or $1.08 per diluted share. Net revenue for the fiscal second quarter of 2021 was $478.8 million, with GAAP net income of $83.2 million, or $1.06 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal second quarter of 2022 was $120.2 million, or $1.60 per diluted share. 

The company said demand for its products is accelerating while supply hinders revenue in near term. All financial metrics exceeded Q2 guidance midpoint, despite $50 million of supply constraints.

"Second quarter demand was strong across all major product lines, and our results were above the midpoint of our guidance on all metrics," said Alan Lowe, President and CEO. "Industry-wide supply shortages have worsened with the recent surge in COVID-19 and are negatively impacting our third quarter revenue guidance by more than $65 million. These shortages come at a time when customer demand is accelerating for our differentiated communications products, which are essential to multi-year expansions in next-generation optical network capacity that are just beginning to be deployed. We continue to work to alleviate supply constraints, and expect fourth quarter revenue to be up from that of the third quarter and supply shortages to improve by the second half of this calendar year."

Some highlights from Lumentum:

  • For its Telecom & Datacom division, revenue was up Q/Q with exceptional strength in nearly all of its telecom line
  • High-speed, 400G+ coherent revenue nearly doubled Q/Q
  • Pump laser revenue grew Q/Q again to a new all-time high
  • EML revenue was up 45% Y/Y

Nokia commits $400m to new venture growth fund

Nokia has committed $400 million to NGP Capital’s Fund V, which will invest in companies developing emerging 5G use cases for industrial and business transformation. Target investments will be evaluated on product market fit, unit economics and technology leadership. In addition, companies will be assessed on key ESG metrics, to support progress from an environmental, social and governance perspective.

NGP Capital is a partner owned, independent venture firm with Nokia as its sole investor. This is the fifth fund the firm manages for Nokia and brings total committed, but uninvested capital, to more than $550 million and total commitments since inception to more than $1.6 billion.

Nishant Batra, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, said: “A commitment to innovation is an integral part of Nokia’s strategy. Sustainable technology leadership requires us to anticipate, shape, and invest in the next technology windows. Our relationship with NGP provides a powerful avenue to explore external opportunities that support the execution of Nokia’s vision of the 5G era and beyond.”

Viavi cites strength in fiber and wireless products

VIAVI reported net revenue of $314.8 million for its second fiscal quarter ended January 1, 2022. GAAP net income was $34.6 million, or $0.14 per share. Non-GAAP net income was $59.3 million, or $0.24 per share.

"In fiscal Q2, VIAVI delivered its second highest revenue quarter with a record non-GAAP operating margin at 23.3%. Business strength was led by Fiber and Wireless products while 3D Sensing product demand improved during the quarter," said Oleg Khaykin, VIAVI's President and Chief Executive Officer. "NSE's record non-GAAP operating margin at 18.7% reflects the strength of VIAVI's business model, while OSP delivered a non-GAAP operating margin at 39.2%. We are pleased to achieve a non-GAAP EPS of $0.24 which ties a quarterly record high and surpassing the guidance range of $0.18 to $0.20."

Khaykin added, "In addition to strong business performance, we also executed well on our plan to improve our capital structure. During fiscal Q2, we redeemed $45.6 million in convertible notes which brings us to approximately 47% retirement of the original convertible notes. As of February 2nd, we also repurchased approximately 10.9 million shares and exceeded the 10.6 million shares delivered during the September 2021 convertible note redemption transaction. We expect a combination of strong secular growth trends in 5G and fiber, along with our improved capital structure, to enable us to achieve our growth and shareholder return objectives."

  • Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA customers represented 39.9%, 28.9% and 31.2%, respectively, of total net revenue for the quarter ended January 1, 2022.

SpaceX launches 49 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX successfully launched 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The booster previously launched Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, and IXPE.

The Falcon 9’s first stage was recovered on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic Ocean. One fairing half previously supported five Starlink missions, and the other half previously supported Transporter-1 and two Starlink missions.

This was the 3rd Starlink launch mission of 2022.