Monday, March 21, 2022

Arelion completes 750 km route from Oslo to Esbjerg, Denmark

Arelion completed a new 750 km fiber route from Oslo, Norway to Esbjerg, Denmark where it joins the wider Arelion pan-European network. It also includes two new PoP locations, in Bulk Fiber Networks' OS-IX DC in Oslo and Bulks Fiber Networks' N01 DC in Kristiansand. The new route doubles available capacity in the region, and will support new data center infrastructure, ensuring future traffic needs can be met for years to come. 

Arelion (then Telia Carrier) was awarded the contract to build a new subterranean Internet route for Norway by the Norwegian Communications Authority in July 2020. The project goal was to provide greater resilience in the event a serious incident impacting connectivity, and ensuring the future connectivity needs of the region could be met.

Elise K. Lindeberg, Director, Security Department at the Norwegian Communications Authority, said, "This new secure route for electronic communications, which was awarded to Arelion, will help Norway address its growing and diverse traffic needs to Europe and provide increased connection security for our nation, in the event of serious incidents occurring."

Services available through Arelion on the new route include IP, Wavelength and Ethernet offerings, making sure that customers can access state-of-the-art secure connectivity to the European continent that will meet the needs of all cloud providers, data centers and enterprises.  One section of the new route employs the HAVSIL subsea cable, that was built by Bulk Fiber Networks.

Staffan Göjeryd, CEO at Arelion said, "Resilient and secure connectivity across the globe has never been more important. Ensuring Norway's access to Internet through this new, diverse route to the European continent really embodies our company mission, to keep the world connected."

Windstream receives RDOF authorization for gigabit expansions

Windstream received all of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund long-form authorizations from the FCC to support network upgrades to bring broadband to unserved rural areas that would have been cost-prohibitive without a public-private partnership. 

Windstream will receive $523 million over 10 years to help bring its Kinetic fiber-to-the-home internet service to approximately 193,000 locations in 18 states.

Windstream has already announced public-private partnerships in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Additional expansions are planned. 

RDOF Phase I targets wholly unserved census blocks, defined as those blocks where no location receives 25/3 Mbps broadband. Windstream has begun construction in 16 of the 18 states where it received RDOF support.

“As the pandemic demonstrated, robust broadband has become an essential service as more and more of the nation’s economy moves online, and public-private partnerships are essential to making it available in the most rural areas of America,” said Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream. “That’s why Windstream is participating in network expansion partnerships at the federal, state and local levels to deliver future-proof fiber broadband connectivity to our customers, and we have a strong track record of meeting our commitments.”

  • Separately, Windstream has begun its own $2 billion initiative to continue expanding its fiber footprint and gigabit services to over 2 million homes and businesses in areas where there is an economically feasible business case.

OneWeb reaches launch agreement with SpaceX

 OneWeb and SpaceX entered into an agreement that will enable OneWeb to resume satellite launches this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The first launch with SpaceX is anticipated in 2022 and will add to OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation that currently stands at 428 satellites, or 66 percent of the fleet. 

OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson said: “We thank SpaceX for their support, which reflects our shared vision for the boundless potential of space. With these launch plans in place, we’re on track to finish building out our full fleet of satellites and deliver robust, fast, secure connectivity around the globe.”

OneWeb also confirmed that it has activated service with its network at the 50th parallel and above, and early partners are initiating service.

OneWeb suspends all launches from Baikonur.

The Board of OneWeb has voted to suspend all launches from Baikonur. This follows a standoff with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.OneWeb's next launch had been expected this week from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. OneWeb launches 34 satellites, bringing constellation to 428Sunday, February 13, 2022  OneWeb, Satellite  OneWeb confirmed the successful deployment of 34 satellites by Arianespace from the Guiana...

Jio Platforms and SES to partner on satellite broadband for India

Jio Platforms Limited and SES agreed to establish a joint venture – Jio Space Technology Limited – to deliver the next generation scalable and affordable broadband services in India leveraging satellite technology.  JPL and SES will own 51% and 49% equity stake in the joint venture respectively. The JV, which will use SES-12, SES’s high-throughput GEO satellite serving India, and O3b mPOWER, SES’s next-generation MEO constellation, will...

OneWeb launches 34 satellites, bringing constellation to 428

OneWeb confirmed the successful deployment of 34 satellites by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch marks OneWeb's first in 2022 and 13th overall, bringing its total in-orbit constellation to 428 satellites. It represents 66 percent of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.OneWeb notes that it has signed new distribution partnership agreements...

FCC's next 5G mid-band spectrum auction starts on July 29

The FCC will start the auction of 2.5 GHz band licenses (2496-2690 MHz) for 5G wireless services on July 29, 2022.  

The auction will use an ascending clock format to offer approximately 8,000 new flexible-use, county-based overlay licenses.  These licenses are in areas with unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum—mostly rural parts of the country—following disposition of applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window, which has to date resulted in the grant of 335 licenses to serve Tribal communities. 

“Today we are readying the launch of the next 5G mid-band spectrum auction, following close on the heels of the recent, successful 3.45 GHz auction,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.  “The 2.5 GHz band auction can help deliver on the promise of 5G services and ensure that it reaches as many people as possible.  The 2.5 GHz band spectrum provides an opportunity to fill in some of the critical 5G gaps in rural America.  I look forward to the launch of this important auction.”

Additionally, the FCC released a mapping tool that can be used to help assess whether and to what extent there is unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum available in any county nationwide.

AMD intros first data center CPU using 3D die stacking

AMD announced the general availability of its 3rd Gen AMD EPYC data center processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology, formerly codenamed “Milan-X.” 

The new processors feature the industry’s largest L3 cache,3 delivering the same socket, software compatibility and security capabilities as 3rd Gen EPYC CPUs. AMD said its 3D V-Cache technology solves physical layout challenges by bonding the AMD “Zen 3” core to the cache module, increasing the amount of L3 while minimizing latency and increasing throughput. 

“Building upon our momentum in the data center as well as our history of industry-firsts, 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology showcase our leadership design and packaging technology enabling us to offer the industry’s first workload-tailored server processor with 3D die stacking technology,” said Dan McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit, AMD. “Our latest processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology provide breakthrough performance for mission-critical technical computing workloads leading to better designed products and faster time to market.”

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...

Nokia to power cloud servers using 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors

 Exapnding its choice of processors, Nokia confirmed that its Core Networks business will 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors to power the servers that deliver Nokia Core cloud-native software products for communication service providers. Servers powered by the 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors are expected in the first half of this year. Nokia will continue to offer existing servers with other processor choices.Nokia said it is targeting up to a 40% reduction...

Luminar to acquire Freedom Photonics for laser manufacturing

Luminar, a leading global automotive technology company, agreed to acquire Freedom Photonics, a high-performance laser manufacturer based in Santa Barbara, California. Terms of the all stock transaction were not disclosed but the companies said the deal will not have a material impact on Luminar’s cash position or share count. 

The transaction follows a multi-year collaboration and brings fundamental next-generation chip-scale laser technology, IP, and production expertise in-house for Luminar lidar systems.

Freedom Photonics' portfolio includes photonic components, modules and subsystems. 

Luminar said its vertical integration across core lidar components will enable low costs, supply chain security and improved performance. 

This transaction follows the acquisition of subsidiaries Black Forest Engineering for custom signal processing chips in 2017 and Optogration Inc. in 2021 for receiver chips. This integration extends Luminar’s industry leadership on its path towards democratizing safety and autonomy for the automotive industry.

“Component-level innovation and integration is critical to our performance, cost and continued automotive technology leadership. Bringing Freedom Photonics into Luminar enables a new level of economies of scale, deepens our competitive moat and strengthens our future technology roadmap,” said Jason Eichenholz, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Luminar. “We’ve worked closely with the Freedom team for the past several years. They have proven to be the best in the world for breakthrough semiconductor laser chip technology, where both power and beam quality are needed simultaneously for true high resolution at long range.”

Freedom Photonics and Vanguard Automation develop chip-scale interconnects

Freedom Photonics has deployed Vanguard Automation’s SONATA and REPRISE 1000 systems at its facilities in Santa Barbara, CA. The two systems combined construct a fully automated photonic integration and packaging solution built upon 3D nano-print technology, and enable the fabrication of low loss optical subsystem interconnects commonly known as Photonic Wire Bonds (PWBs). Freedom Photonics added Photonic Wire Bonding to its 21,000 square foot facility...

Freedom Photonics demos 1550 nm semiconductor laser amplifier

Freedom Photonics demonstrated over 5.0 Watts of continuous wave optical power from a 1550 nm diode laser amplifier with nearly diffraction-limited beam quality. This result doubles the previous record reported just three months ago. “This achievement is a testament to the inherent scalability of our aura product line and demonstrates that this is just the beginning of a product life cycle that will see continuous improvements for years to come,”...

SiFive raises $175 million in Series F funding for RISC-V

SiFive, a start-up specializing in RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions, raised $175 million in a Series F financing round, valuing the company at over $2.5 billion. 

SiFive, which is based in San Mateo, California, develops a range of processor cores, accelerators, and SoC IP to create domain-specific architecture that will enable efficient, high-performance computing solutions. 

The Series F round was led by Coatue Management, a global technology investment firm. Coatue joins existing investors AMD (through Xilinx Ventures), Ibex Investors, Intel Capital, Osage University Partners, Prosperity7 ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Samsung Ventures, SK hynix, Spark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Western Digital Capital.

“The market has spoken and made it abundantly clear that RISC-V computing will be competing for the heart of all future computing platforms. As the founder and market leader of RISC-V computing it’s our role to lead this ecosystem forward and offer customers advanced computing alternative to Arm and others,” said Patrick Little, CEO and Chairman, SiFive. “This valuation is a validation of our strategy, our incredible team, and our singular focus on building the leading portfolio of high-performance RISC-V compute products in the market. Our customers are signaling strong demand for SiFive to deliver the highest level of performance as quickly as possible.”

“We continue to be impressed by SiFive’s growth and challenge to proprietary legacy architecture IP providers,” said Jaimin Rangwalla, Senior Managing Director at Coatue Management. “SiFive’s accomplishments in high-performance RISC-V IP enables future computing platforms to be built on an open, industry-wide base, allowing technology companies to design differentiated products for their target markets. We are proud to partner with and support the team as they create an exciting future for the company.”

“Intel believes in enabling a multi-ISA strategy, including RISC-V as the open compute base for future platforms,” said Bob Brennan, VP & GM, Customer Solutions Engineering, Intel Foundry Services. “Our IFS investment in RISC-V includes partnering with RISC-V leader SiFive to build the Horse Creek developer platform that will be broadly available in late 2022, based on Intel 4 process technology.”

  • To date, SiFive has raised over $350 million.

Taiwan's Far EasTone joins Ericsson's Startup 5G program

Far EasTone (FET), a leading operator from Taiwan, has joined the Ericsson Startup 5G program, which is designed to help communication service providers (CSPs) capture the consumer potential of 5G. 

FET is the first CSP in Northeast Asia to enroll in the program, joining a lineup of word-leading operators such as AT&T, Telstra, and Rogers, to name a few.  

With the ambition to maximize value for 5G users, FET has invested heavily in developing new value-added services within its 5G offering, including the recently announced 5G Metaverse Accelerator aiming to deepen the collaboration with local Taiwanese startups. 

“Bringing FET to the Ericsson Startup 5G program opens a new chapter in our long-term partnership,” said David Chou, President of Ericsson Taiwan. “FET has been a trailblazer in innovating 5G services on top of a superior network with our joint efforts. This constructive collaboration will further enable more promising consumer applications with differentiated services for Taiwan and to unlock the full potential of 5G. In the meantime, we look forward to connecting Taiwanese startups to an array of worldwide operators to accelerate 5G adoption within the ecosystem.”