Wednesday, February 9, 2022

EU Chips Act promises €43 billion in semiconductor investments

The European Commission is calling for €43 billion euros of public and private investments to spur the design, manufacturing and packaging of advanced semiconductors in Europe.

The EU Chips Act aims to bring about a thriving semiconductor sector from research to production and a resilient supply chain. The ambition is for the EU to double its current market share in semiconductors to 20% in 2030. Key elements of the proposal:

The main components are:

  • The Chips for Europe Initiative will pool resources from the Union, Member States and third countries associated with the existing Union programmes, as well as the private sector, through the enhanced “Chips Joint Undertaking” resulting from the strategic reorientation of the existing Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking. €11 billion will be made available to strengthen existing research, development and innovation, to ensure the deployment of advanced semi-conductor tools, pilot lines for prototyping, testing and experimentation of new devices for innovative real-life applications, to train staff and to develop an in-depth understanding of the semi-conductor ecosystem and value chain.
  • A new framework to ensure security of supply by attracting investments and enhanced production capacities, much needed in order for innovation in advanced nodes, innovative and energy efficient chips to flourish. In addition, a Chips Fund will facilitate access to finance for start-ups to help them mature their innovations and attract investors. It will also include a dedicated semiconductor equity investment facility under InvestEU to support scale-ups and SMEs to ease their market expansion.
  • A coordination mechanism between the Member States and the Commission for monitoring the supply of semiconductors, estimating demand and anticipating the shortages. It will monitor the semiconductor value chain by gathering key intelligence from companies to map primary weaknesses and bottlenecks. It will draw together common crisis assessment and coordinate actions to be taken from a new emergency toolbox. It will also react swiftly and decisively together by making full use of national and EU instruments.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The European Chips Act will be a game changer for the global competitiveness of Europe's single market. In the short term, it will increase our resilience to future crises, by enabling us to anticipate and avoid supply chain disruptions. And in the mid-term, it will help make Europe an industrial leader in this strategic branch. With the European Chips Act, we are putting out the investments and the strategy. But the key to our success lies in Europe's innovators, our world-class researchers, in the people who have made our continent prosper through the decades.”

  • Earlier, the government of Netherlands committed 230 million euros for participation in a so-called Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in the field of microelectronics. This project is expected to support the objectives of the Chips Act and the European tech industry.

Arelion brings 800G capacity to 1623 Farnam data center in Omaha

Arelion, the newly rebranded Telia Carrier, has upgraded its network capacity and capabilities at 1623 Farnam's interconnected edge data center in Omaha, Nebraska. 

The network expansion also enables access to Arelion's new multi-terabit optical fiber route, which delivers high-capacity bandwidth from Chicago to Denver and leverages Infinera's ICE6 800G coherent transponder technology. 

The new route utilizes transponder systems with coherent lasers and detectors capable of transmitting 800G waves across the system, which can be broken down into smaller bandwidth interfaces such as 400G, 100G, and 10G according to customer capacity requirements. 

1623 Farnam said its robust connectivity ecosystem, strategically centralized location in Omaha, and an array of trusted data center services, helps tenants in the data center utilize the latest technologies with competitive commercial costs and a greater availability by avoiding supply chain challenges using multiple supplier options on the open line system.

"Customers that are looking to digitally transform need ample network capacity for their applications and systems to thrive — and it's clear we have a tremendous amount of capacity in Omaha. At 1623 Farnam, we're proud to offer access to Arelion's leading global backbone," comments Todd Cushing, President, for 1623 Farnam. "Many vendors are dealing with 25-30 week lead times, and people don't have that kind of time anymore. We have the capacity available and ready to go. As an edge expert and a connectivity connoisseur, we're glad that we can continue to improve our ecosystem with wonderful partners and tenants, creating a rising tide that lifts all boats."

WD and Kioxia suffer disruption at flash memory fab

Western Digital and Kioxia, its joint venture partner, announced that contamination of certain material used in its manufacturing processes has occurred and is affecting production operations at both its Yokkaichi and Kitakami flash fabrication facilities in Japan.

The anomoly concerns production of  three-dimensional (3D) flash memory BiCS FLASH at both plants. Kioxia does not anticipate that shipment of its conventional 2D NAND flash memory will be affected. 

Western Digital said its current assessment of the impact is a reduction of its flash availability of at least 6.5 exabytes.

Western Digital investor presentation

Ericsson supplies triple-band 4G/5G radio to Optus in Australia

Optus is the first operator to deploy Ericsson's triple-band 4G/5G Radio in the Asia Pacific region. The first triple-band radio unit has been commercially deployed at Macquarie Park in Sydney with rollout continuing over the coming months.

Ericsson's triple-band Radio 4466 allows Optus to concurrently enable 5G and 4G services across 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz spectrum layers with a single unit, reducing the equipment normally required. Ericsson says its solution reduces the site equipment footprint, overall power consumption and time to deployment.

“This is yet another example of our continued commitment to deliver a flexible network that meets the growing needs of our customers,” said Lambo Kanagaratnam, Vice President Networks, Optus. “The use of these triple-band radio units as part of our site deployment will alleviate challenges where existing site structures and lease areas are unable to cater for multiple radio units, which then impacts the amount of radio equipment that can be installed at each site.

Martin Wiktorin, Head of Ericsson Global Customer Unit, Singtel said: “The first deployment of the triple-band 4G/5G radio demonstrates Ericsson’s commitment to working with partners to deliver technological innovation on a global scale. With increased dependencies on digital connectivity, our triple-band Radio 4466 (1800/2100/2600) allows for greater speeds and capacity in a more energy-efficient way, enabling operators like Optus to service customers with evolving needs. Optus customers will reap the rewards of a flexible network as the next generation of exciting 5G use cases in gaming and immersive media emerge.”

SpaceX loses up to date on 40 Starlink satellites to geomagnetic storm

SpaceX confirmed the loss of up to 40 Starlink satellites launched on February 3 due to the effects of a geomagnetic storm.

The Falcon 9’s second stage deployed the satellites into their intended orbit, however most of the satellites deployed on that mission failed to pass initial system checkouts and have de-orbited.

SpaceX said the lost satellites, part of a batch of 49 launched that day, experienced increased drag at the low altitudes due to the geomagnetic storm, preventing the satellites from leaving safe-mode to begin orbit raising maneuvers.

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...

Finnish internet exchange provider to deploy Nokia

TREX Regional Exchanges Oy, which is based in Tampere, Finland, will deploy the Nokia 7220 Interconnect Router platforms running on the Nokia SR Linux network operating system (NOS) to upgrade its network. 

The Nokia SR Linux allows the collection of operations data – such as fine-grained system state, configuration settings and real-time network analytics – using push-based streaming telemetry. TREX can enhance its automation capabilities for current and future network services by leveraging the extensive automation framework provided with the Nokia SR Linux.

Aleksi Suhonen, Chairman of TREX, said: “We chose the Nokia 7220 IXR platform running SR Linux because it meets our current and future requirements for a scalable, cost-effective interconnection platform with advanced network operations capabilities. The new platform will allow us to meet increasing customer traffic needs while ensuring operations efficiency through network automation.”

Manuel Ortiz Fernandez, Senior Vice President of EMEA Webscale business at Nokia, said: “TREX is expanding its regional interconnection capabilities to meet the needs of its customers as they embrace new digital and cloud technologies. We are pleased that TREX has chosen Nokia IP routing technology to enhance its interconnection capabilities to support the needs of its consumers in the region.”

Nokia's Fabric Service Platform was co-developed with Apple

Nokia introduced a new Network Operating System (NOS) and a declarative, intent-based automation and operations toolkit that were co-developed with leading global webscale companies, including Apple, who is deploying the technology at its data centers. Nokia SR Linux is a microservices-based NOS. It inherits Nokia’s time-proven Internet protocols from the service router operating system (SROS) currently in use by the huge installed base of Nokia...

Iceland's Síminn awards 5-year contract to Ericsson

Icelandic telecommunications company Síminn awarded a 5-year network infrastructure contract to Ericsson.  The goal is for 90% 5G coverage across Iceland by the first half of 2025.

Orri Hauksson, CEO, Síminn says: "Our customers will see increasing data speeds, our companies will see new business opportunities, and the Icelandic industry will become increasingly competitive on an international level as we take one more step into the fourth industrial revolution. We look forward to further integrate our services with Ericsson's fast and stable network, a symbiosis that will build the backbone of Iceland as an IT nation.”

Niclas Backlund, Country Manager at Ericsson, comments on the collaboration: "Our relationship with Síminn stretches back more than a hundred years. Together, we have built great mutual trust and a willingness and capacity to lead the market. Our history is the primary key to our success. We will now implement our latest 5G technology, which brings better energy efficiency and flexibility than ever to Síminn’s mission-critical network.”

Ribbon delivers IP Optical to power utility in Namibia

NamPower, Namibia's largest power utility, has deployed Ribbon's IP Optical portfolio for its "The GridOnline" project. The GridOnline provides a comprehensive backbone for operators across the country to leverage high-capacity bandwidth reliably, both domestically and internationally.

NamPower's deployment combines Ribbon's 400G ZR+ and 200G coherent Apollo Optical Transport solutions with Neptune IP over DWDM. The Muse interactive network planning tool enables NamPower to carry out offline network planning and simulations to optimize use of resources.

"This is a significant project, not just for us, but more so for Namibia as a whole, providing expanded access to fast, reliable bandwidth to carriers and wholesale providers," said Helgo Müller, NamPower's Head of Telecom and Control. "Strategically, when it comes to communications infrastructure, NamPower, and therefore Namibia as a country, plays an important role for the entire southern African region, having direct backbone reach across the nation, to submarine optic cables and to neighboring land-locked countries. "

"NamPower is a flagship customer for us on the African continent and we have long considered them a partner for growth," said Lior Tourgeman, Ribbon's VP Sales, Africa. "I am delighted to see that the network we have nurtured over the past decade has now evolved into a multi-terabit network equipped with rich capabilities of DWDM, IP, OTN and intuitive management. This significant step toward network modernization is helping to usher NamPower into the era of IP Optical networking and establish it as a key player for bandwidth delivery services."