Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Linux Foundation kicks off Open Programmable Infrastructure Project

The Linux Foundation has launched a new Open Programmable Infrastructure (OPI) Project aimed at establishing an open ecosystem for next-generation architectures and frameworks based on DPU and IPU technologies.

The OPI Project aims to define the architecture and frameworks for the DPU and IPU software stacks that can be applied to any vendor’s hardware offerings. The OPI Project also aims to foster a rich open source application ecosystem, leveraging existing open source projects, such as DPDK, SPDK, OvS, P4, etc., as appropriate.  

The project intends to:

  • Define DPU and IPU, 
  • Delineate vendor-agnostic frameworks and architectures for DPU- and IPU-based software stacks applicable to any hardware solutions, 
  • Enable the creation of a rich open source application ecosystem,
  • Integrate with existing open source projects aligned to the same vision such as the Linux kernel, and, 
  • Create new APIs for interaction with, and between, the elements of the DPU and IPU ecosystem, including hardware, hosted applications, host node, and the remote provisioning and orchestration of software

With several working groups already active, the initial technology contributions will come in the form of the Infrastructure Programmer Development Kit (IPDK) that is now an official sub-project of OPI governed by the Linux Foundation. IPDK is an open source framework of drivers and APIs for infrastructure offload and management that runs on a CPU, IPU, DPU or switch. 

In addition, NVIDIA DOCA , an open source software development framework for NVIDIA’s BlueField DPU, will be contributed to OPI to help developers create applications that can be offloaded, accelerated, and isolated across DPUs, IPUs, and other hardware platforms. 

Founding members of OPI include Dell Technologies, F5, Intel, Keysight Technologies, Marvell, NVIDIA and Red Hat with a growing number of contributors representing a broad range of leading companies in their fields ranging from silicon and device manufactures, ISVs, test and measurement partners, OEMs to end users. 

“When new technologies emerge, there is so much opportunity for both technical and business innovation but barriers often include a lack of open standards and a thriving community to support them,” said Mike Dolan, senior vice president of Projects at the Linux Foundation. “DPUs and IPUs are great examples of some of the most promising technologies emerging today for cloud and datacenter, and OPI is poised to accelerate adoption and opportunity by supporting an ecosystem for DPU and IPU technologies."

Edgecore intros 400G disaggregated cell site gateway (DCSG)

Edgecore Networks announced a new flagship 400G disaggregated cell site gateway (DCSG).  

The Edgecore CSR440 offers an open and disaggregated platform that hosts software components from different NOS vendors, such as RtBrick, ADVA, IP Infusion, and Capgemini, which enable the device to act as an access or aggregation router in the network, or also fit a role in Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) applications.

The CSR440 provides a combination of 1/10/25Gbps, 50/100Gbps, and 100/400Gbps interfaces, utilizing a  server-grade, 8-core, hyper-threading Intel Xeon processor and a Broadcom Qumran2a chipset to deliver 800Gbps switching capacity and advanced features with powerful processing power. 

The CSR440 supports IEEE 1588v2 full timing features with Class C accuracy and is capable of providing an 802.1CM Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) interface, supporting SRv6 technology and eCPRI encapsulation for upcoming xHaul applications and deployments. In addition, the CSR440 400G ports support high-powered optics, allowing operators to extend their service range and expand their market size.

“Edgecore's flagship 400G Cell Site Router CSR440 brings high-bandwidth connectivity to the access edge of our customer networks. Customers who are upgrading their network infrastructure using the temperature-hardened CSR440 can meet 5G backhaul and xHaul requirements at remote cell sites. Together with Edgecore’s software partners supporting the CSR440, we are accelerating the adoption of open networking for 5G and BNG applications,” said Nanda Ravindran, VP of Product Management, Edgecore Networks.

“The introduction of Edgecore's 400G Cell Site Router offers higher bandwidth to wireless and wireline Service Providers,” said Atsushi Ogata, President and CEO, IP Infusion. “Edgecore and IP Infusion together provide cost-effective, higher performance solutions that enable new applications for innovative services.”

“Edgecore’s new 400G DCSG is a key milestone in disaggregated 5G networking. With our feature-rich Ensemble Activator NOS running on the Edgecore CSR440, carriers can deploy an agile, scalable multi-vendor mobile architecture built on best-in-class components and capable of unprecedented capacity,” said Mike Heffner, SVP and GM of Edge Cloud, ADVA. “Edgecore is a company that shares our commitment to openness and collaboration. Now it’s offering a way to escape the constraints of closed proprietary systems while also addressing soaring data demand.”

EdgeConneX raises $1.7 billion for its data centers

EdgeConneX has secured a series of sustainability-linked financings totaling $1.7 billion for its data center business worldwide. 

The financings include EdgeConneX first-ever securitization and multi-currency term loan to further the company’s global growth. 

“The investment-grade rating for the asset-backed securities demonstrates the financial strength of EdgeConneX and confirms the confidence and quality of the EdgeConneX edge business model,” states Joe Harar, CFO at EdgeConneX.  “This new financing affords the company high flexibility to not only invest in our core infrastructure in a sustainability-minded way but also to support our high growth customers that need green, sustainability-linked solutions hyper-locally and at hyperscale globally.”

The international multi-currency term loan issuance forms an integral part of EdgeConneX sustainability strategy to fund the development of more energy-efficient data centers across the globe in new and existing markets, reducing carbon emissions, and providing green energy solutions to its customers. EdgeConneX goal is to be a carbon-, waste- and water-neutral data center provider by 2030 and develop and operate a data center platform powered by 100% renewable energy.

Vodafone to deploy Oracle Dedicated Region in its own data centers

Vodafone has awarded a multi-year agreement to Oracle to modernize the operator’s European IT infrastructure and accelerate its transition to the cloud. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vodafone will modernize and migrate a large number of its systems to OCI Dedicated Region, a fully managed cloud region that brings all of Oracle’s public cloud services into Vodafone’s own network and data centers. This will provide a dedicated cloud platform for Vodafone to modernize its thousands of Oracle databases as well as to support and scale its mission-critical OSS and BSS systems, including CRM and order management.

Oracle will deploy OCI Dedicated Region in Vodafone’s main data centers that manage its European IT and network operations. The deployment of public cloud services directly inside Vodafone’s own network and data centers will enable the operator to flexibly modernize, manage and automate its critical systems using new technologies such as autonomous services, and more easily meet the latency and performance requirements of these applications.

Vodafone will also have close access to compute resources that enable it to dynamically augment and scale services in multiple geographies according to changing business requirements, while reducing operational costs and meeting data residency regulations.

“Telecom companies are reimagining their business models to innovate and monetize new opportunities at speed and at scale,” said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “Vodafone is at the forefront of this thinking, and we are excited to bring the power of OCI to Vodafone’s data centers to support the company and its partners as they fast-track this vision and deliver the next generation of connected services.”

“Now more than ever, telecom companies need to quickly adopt new technologies to deliver new innovative products at speed while continuing to meet evolving regulatory requirements. Our partnership with Vodafone is based on achieving this balance, providing a cloud platform that enables Vodafone to modernize and consolidate its existing infrastructure while also building a foundation for a digital future. We are looking forward to partnering with one of the telecom sector’s digital trailblazers as we help shape the next generation of communication services and business models,” said Jonathan Tikochinsky, executive vice president, global strategic clients, Oracle.

Cerebras sets a new record for largest AI model

Cerebras Systems announced an ability to train models with up to 20 billion parameters on a single CS-2 system.

The Cerebras WSE-2 is the largest processor ever built, boasting 2.55 trillion more transistors and 100 times as many compute cores as the largest GPU. 

By enabling a single CS-2 to train these models, Cerebras reduces the system engineering time necessary to run large natural language processing (NLP) models from months to minutes. It also eliminates one of the most painful aspects of NLP — namely the partitioning of the model across hundreds or thousands of small graphics processing units (GPU).

“In NLP, bigger models are shown to be more accurate. But traditionally, only a very select few companies had the resources and expertise necessary to do the painstaking work of breaking up these large models and spreading them across hundreds or thousands of graphics processing units,” said Andrew Feldman, CEO and Co-Founder of Cerebras Systems. “As a result, only very few companies could train large NLP models – it was too expensive, time-consuming and inaccessible for the rest of the industry. Today we are proud to democratize access to GPT-3XL 1.3B, GPT-J 6B, GPT-3 13B and GPT-NeoX 20B, enabling the entire AI ecosystem to set up large models in minutes and train them on a single CS-2.”

SoftBank tests Altaeros' autonomous aerostat for base station

SoftBank has completed initial testing of Altaeros' ST-Flex autonomous aerostat with a base station as the payload. 

Operational and telecom tests were performed at Hokkaido Spaceport, Taiki Town, Hokkaido, Japan. Learn more about ST-Flex: 

SoftBank and Altaeros first launched the ST-Flex on May 2, 2022 and performed evaluation tests through May. ST-Flex carried SoftBank's base station system, which was equipped with its proprietary cylindrical antenna that realizes communication area footprint fixation, to a height of 816 feet (249m), where it was connected to their ground equipment via optical fiber and power conductors embedded in the tethers. F

"We are incredibly excited to have completed the first international launch of the ST-Flex," said Altaeros CEO, Ben Glass. "Successful testing of SoftBank's Footprint Fixation Technology on the ST-Flex is a huge milestone which will further the development and effectiveness of many aerial telecommunications platforms to help bring critical services around the world." 

Dell'Oro: Small cell demand remains strong

Small cell radio access network (RAN) revenues advanced 15 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, growing at a faster pace than the broader small cell plus macro RAN market, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

“The fact that small cell investments are still advancing at a rapid pace even as the operators are intensifying their 5G macro roll out efforts show that small cells are now an essential part of the broader RAN toolkit,” said Stefan Pongratz, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Helping to explain this output acceleration is the shift towards 5G and the shrinking gap between macro and small cell deployments, especially with upper mid-band 5G,” continued Pongratz.

Additional small cell highlights from the 1Q 2022 RAN report:

  • Top 5 suppliers in the quarter include Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE, and Samsung.
  • Nearly all the small cell growth is driven by public 5G – small cell LTE revenues declined in the quarter and private 5G small cell investments are still negligible.
  • Global small cell RAN revenues remain on track to surpass $5 B in 2022.

New subsea cable planned between Egypt and Greece

Telecom Egypt and Grid Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) of Greece, signed an agreement to connect Greece and Egypt by extending a branch from a major subsea cable system, which is currently being laid across the Mediterranean Sea. 

Earlier this year, on the 9th of February, Telecom Egypt and Grid Telecom signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Athens which had set the ground for the exploration of different connectivity options between Greece and Egypt, as well as the optimal utilization of Telecom Egypt’s and Grid Telecom’s state-of-the-art networks and international reach, through their existing and future optical fiber links to neighboring countries.

The Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt, Adel Hamed, commented “With the increasing demand for connectivity regionally and around the globe, Telecom Egypt is working on improving and extending its international network and continuously investing in new cables. Our collaboration with Grid Telecom will increase our network's resiliency and reach.”

The Chairman and CEO of IPTO, Manos Manousakis, stated "The Southeast Mediterranean incubates major synergies that will contribute to the wider region's emergence as a significant hub for both data and energy. In this context, with the fact that Egypt is a key hub location for all subsea cables from East to West, we are very pleased that the cooperation between IPTO's subsidiary Grid Telecom and Telecom Egypt, will bring a new international route that will enhance the strategic role of Crete island as a neutral open-access node on the intersection of three continents."συνεργασία-αδμηε-grid-telecom-και-telecom-egypt-για-νέο-τηλ/

Cinturion's Trans Europe Asia System signs landing partner in India

Cinturion's TEAS – Trans Europe Asia System project announced an agreement with Lightstorm as its landing partner in India.As part of the agreement, Cinturion's TEAS, which will be an open-access submarine and terrestrial network, will be hosted by Lightstorm to strengthen connectivity between India, the Middle East and Europe. Lightstorm will use its carrier-neutral and open CLS to herald a new era in the landing of submarine cable systems in India.TEAS...

Nokia launches 5G Innov Lab in France

Nokia launched a 5G Innov Lab platform with the objective of testing and integrating 5G industrial uses, using an open and transversal approach; and brings together various entities, including Airbus Secure Land Communications, Augmented Acoustics, Digital Immersion, IMT, SNEF Lab, Nokia Bell Labs, and Paris-Saclay Hardware Accelerator.

The 5G Innov Lab platform will rely on a 5G private network comprised of  different frequencies  (2.6GHz TDD, 26GHz, and the 3.8 – 4.2GHz band, with three major focus areas:

  • Research and innovation
  • Industrial and vertical use cases
  • 5G experiments on the 26GHz band

The 5G Innov Lab platform is part of the France Recovery plan. 

Pierre-Gaël Chantereau, President of Nokia in France, said: "5G will play a critical role in the transformation of the industry and verticals and this Nokia-led platform will enable the development in France of new use cases, with the support of all partners. France has many assets, supported by both historical and new players, and the cooperation of these actors is essential to accelerate developments and guarantee our competitiveness at the European and global levels.”