Thursday, March 24, 2022

Havhingsten Cable System links Ireland, UK and the Nordics

Construction has completed on the Havhingsten cable system linking Ireland, the UK and the Nordics. Partners in the project include Aqua Comms, Bulk Fiber Networks, a leading builder and operator of fiber network infrastructure, and Meta. The subsea cable was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).

The Havhingsten cable system runs across the Irish Sea from north of Dublin, Ireland to south of Blackpool on the west coast of the UK, with a section also linking into the Isle of Man, and from Seaton Sluice in Northumberland to Denmark. Notably, the route avoids congested paths across the English Channel and ensures lower latency between Dublin and the Nordic region.

The partners are highlighting several key innovations and technological milestones:

  • Havhingsten is the world’s first aluminum conductor powered subsea cable system. As a material, aluminum allows for a much lower cable conductor voltage drop, which ultimately allows for a higher number of fiber pairs per cable. Using aluminum instead of copper reduces cost and weight, allowing more cable to be loaded onto an installation vessel. It also offer improved resistance to hydrogen penetration.
  • The end-to-end system combines data transmission seamlessly across both an unrepeatered subsea segment in the Irish Sea, a terrestrial segment in the UK and a repeatered segment in the North Sea. Typical systems have one or two of these elements, but not all three.
  • The system utilized a new enhanced, jet-assisted burial plough in both the North and Irish Sea segments, allowing the installers of the system to bury the cable to our specific demanding level of protection in very challenging seabed conditions along the route.

Intel and Microsoft contribute Scalable I/O Virtualization spec to OCP

 Intel and Microsoft have contributed a Scalable I/O Virtualization (SIOV) specification to the Open Compute Project (OCP), enabling virtualization of PCI Express and Compute Express Link devices in cloud servers. 

SIOV is hardware-assisted I/O virtualization with the potential to support thousands of virtualized workloads per server. SIOV moves the non-performance-critical virtualization and management logic off the PCIe device and into the virtualization stack. It also uses a new scalable identifier on the device, called the PCIe Process Address Space ID, to address the workloads’ memory.

SIOV technology is supported in the upcoming Intel Xeon® Scalable processor, code-named Sapphire Rapids, as well as Intel Ethernet 800-series network controllers and future PCIe and Compute Express Link (CXL) devices and accelerators. Linux kernel upstreaming is underway with anticipated integration later in 2022.

“Microsoft has long collaborated with silicon partners on standards as system architecture and ecosystems evolve. The Scalable I/O Virtualization specification represents the latest of our hardware open standards contributions together with Intel, such as PCI Express, Compute Express Link and UEFI,” said Zaid Kahn, GM for Cloud and AI Advanced Architectures at Microsoft. “Through this collaboration with Intel and OCP, we hope to promote wide adoption of SIOV among silicon vendors, device vendors, and IP providers, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate more broadly across the ecosystem to evolve this standard as cloud infrastructure requirements grow and change.”

The first I/O virtualization specification, Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), was released more than a decade ago and conceived for the virtualized environments of that era, generally fewer than 20 virtualized workloads per server.

Australia's NBN pushes for FTTP upgrades

NBN Co is on track to enable up to 8 million premises across Australia to access nbn Home Ultrafast, offering peak download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps, by the end of next year. 

More than 4.4 million premises connected to the network can already access nbn Home Ultrafast, with 2.4 million premises able to access wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps via Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and around 2 million premises able to access wholesale download speeds of close to 1 Gbps via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). 

From today, NBN Co is inviting more than 50,000 customers currently served by Fibre to the Node (FTTN) to upgrade to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). 

To trigger a full fibre upgrade, eligible customers will need to place an order with a participating retailer for a plan based on an eligible wholesale speed tier. These include nbn’s three highest speed tiers: nbn® Home Fast, which offers wholesale download speeds of up to 100 Mbps; nbn® Home Superfast, which offers wholesale download speeds of up to 250 Mbps, or nbn® Home Ultrafast (FTTP)1,2, which offers wholesale download speeds of close to 1 Gbps3,4. 

As part of the company’s $4.5 billion network upgrade program, nbn has so far announced the suburbs and towns across Australia where up to 1.6 million premises currently served by FTTN will become eligible to upgrade to FTTP. 

In addition, The Australian Government will invest $480 million in the nbn® Fixed Wireless network. NBN Co will commit an additional $270 million to the program designed to deliver faster wholesale speeds2 for regional Australia, benefiting thousands of homes and businesses. 

 NBN Co will use the funding to 5G-enable its network of more than 2,200 Fixed Wireless infrastructure sites and more than 22,000 cells in semi-rural areas and across regional and remote Australia.

Nokia to supply optical transport for TIME in Malaysia

Nokia has been selected by TIME dotCom (TIME) to deploy an optical network linking data centers and cable landing stations in Malaysia. 

The deployment leverages Nokia’s 1830 PSS platform, PSE-V chipset and 400G multi-haul pluggable optics. The solutions will also offer Nokia next generation iROADM line system capabilities with flexible grid, contentionless, directionless and colorless (CDC-F) optical add-drop and restoration features, which eliminates the need for on-site visits to change wavelength connectivity and simplifies network planning. Built-in Layer 0 GMPLS capability, combined with CDC-F, enables automated traffic restoration and network re-optimization for maximum network uptime and capacity utilization.

Intel updates power supply specs for PCIe 5.0

Intel has published updated ATX 3.0 power supply specifications for next-generation hardware and upcoming components built for technologies like PCIe Gen 5.0.  

The initial ATX 2.0 specs were introduced in 2003. 

Intel said a new 12VHPWR connector will power most, if not all, future PCIe 5.0 desktop Add-in cards (e.g., graphics cards). This new connector provides up to 600 watts directly to any PCIe 5.0 Add-in/graphics card. It also includes sideband signals that will allow the power supply to communicate the power limit it can provide to any PCIe 5.0 graphic card.

New guidelines reflect the PCIe CEM Gen 5 power excursion limit for PCIe 5.0 add-in cards that was published in November 2021. Updated specifications include new DC output voltage regulation that will be necessary for managing new power excursion requirements.

Intel has also revised its ATX12VO spec to provide an updated blueprint for designing power supply units (PSUs) and motherboards that reduce power draw at idle

“Power supplies based on ATX 3.0 and ATX12VO 2.0 will ensure anyone looking to get the most stable and cost optimized performance possible with highest power efficiency out of their desktop PCs will be able to do so – both now and in the future,”states Stephen Eastman, Intel platform power specialist.

Canada's TELUS ships ZTE's Connect-Hub 5G Gateway

TELUS has begun offering ZTE's Connect-Hub 5G Internet gateway for residential fixed wireless service in Canada.

The Connect-Hub 5G Indoor and Outdoor Units support 4G LTE, 5G SA and NSA modes, as well as Sub-6GHz. Advanced antenna technology and algorithms independently select the strongest network signal. The Indoor Unit supports up-to-30 simultaneous Wi-Fi connections and features an innovative antenna that creates a 360-degree dual-band Wi-Fi coverage area.

“Wireless 5G will provide next level speed and connectivity for our wireless high-speed internet customer segments, especially those in rural areas,” said Dwayne Benefield, Senior Vice President, Connected Home & Entertainment at TELUS. “TELUS selected the Connect-Hub 5G™ for its ability to deliver reliable high-speed internet with a simple install for our customers. It supports all our current spectrum bands, in particular our newly acquired 3500 MHz, ensuring customers will be able to reliably stream, conference and game at higher speeds than ever before.”

Deutsche Telekom ends software development in Russia

Deutsche Telekom confirmed that it is closing it software development activities.

In a follow-up to its press conference on February 24, the German carrier issued the following statement:

"Deutsche Telekom does not operate any networks in Russia. We have no business relationships with companies in Russia. However, we have a team of software developers, mainly in St. Petersburg, who provide services to customers outside Russia.

In recent weeks, we have given these employees the opportunity to work outside Russia. Many employees have taken that opportunity and have left the country. We have also ensured that we maintain services for our international customers as best we can without the Russia site."