Thursday, December 21, 2023

Luna acquires Silixa for fiber optic sensing

Luna Innovations announced a $50 million investment by White Hat Capital Partners as well as the acquisition of Silixa, a UK-based supplier of distributed fiber optic sensing solutions. 

Silixa Ltd is a company specializing in fiber optic-powered data services, primarily serving sectors like alternative energy, mining, and others. They provide distributed fiber optic sensing solutions, which are used to measure temperature, strain, and acoustics, even in hostile environments. These solutions are particularly significant for their high fidelity and real-time, high-resolution data collection, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of various environments and assets.

Founded in 2007, Silixa is based in both London, UK, and the US. It was established by Mahmoud Farhadiroushan and Tom Parker. The company is privately held and has been supported by major investors such as Lime Rock Partners, Chevron Technology Ventures, and Equinor Technology Ventures.

Silixa is expected to achieve approximately $30 million in 2023 revenue, representing approximately 15% annual growth on a constant currency basis. The purchase price consists of $21.5 million in upfront cash consideration and up to an additional $16.5 million in earnouts payable in 2025 upon the achievement of certain 2024 financial performance milestones. The transaction was funded with a portion of the proceeds from White Hat Capital Partners’ strategic investment in Luna. Inclusive of modest cost synergies, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings in the first year.

Luna Innovations, which was founded in 1991 and is based in Roanoke, Virginia, is known for its fiber optic sensing products (like ODiSI), fiber optic test and measurement products (including OVA, OBR, and tunable lasers), and terahertz test and measurement devices (such as T-Ray and T-Gauge).

Luna Innovations reported a revenue of $109.5 million in the fiscal year 2022. 

Under the investment deal, White Hat has initially purchased 52,500 shares of Series B convertible preferred stock at a purchase price of $50.0 million, to be used for the Silixa acquisition and other corporate purposes.

Luna said the acquisition advances its position in the fiber optic sensing market, adding capabilities in distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), distributed temperature sensing (DTS) and distributed strain sensing (DSS) that offer enhanced performance for applications in energy, natural environments, mining and defense.

“The addition of Silixa not only elevates the portfolio of solutions we already offer in our key end markets, but also further strengthens our position as an enabler of energy transition by extending our reach into exciting new growth sectors, such as carbon capture and storage, as well as into monitoring processes that will help sustain ecosystems and safeguard fragile environments,” said Scott Graeff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Luna. “Silixa brings important technology capabilities and strong talent that we expect to leverage across our EMEA footprint, which we expect will drive profitable growth across our European enterprise.”

“Today’s announcement is a pivotal milestone in the history of Silixa and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees,” said Co-Founders Mahmoud Farhadiroushan and Tom Parker, who are both continuing with Luna. “We’re thrilled to be joining a company that shares our focus on innovation and our passion to provide solutions to some of the world’s most critical challenges,” added Glynn Williams, CEO at Silixa, who will remain as an advisor to Luna through 2024.

Cisco to acquire Isovalent for eBPF-based open source security

Cisco agreed to acquire Isovalent, a start-up focused on open source cloud native networking and security. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Isovalent holds leadership positions in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and eBPF Foundation, in addition to upstream software contributions, and has led the development of Cilium, the leading cloud native solution for networking and security. 

eBPF, which stands for extended Berkeley Packet Filter,” provides a lightweight, efficient, and secure framework for running bytecode in the Linux kernel without changing kernel source code or loading kernel modules. Originally designed for network packet filtering, eBPF has evolved to offer more generalized functionality, including:

  • Network Functionality: eBPF is widely used for networking tasks, such as filtering, monitoring, and routing of network packets.
  • Observability: It allows for detailed monitoring and tracing of system and application behaviors. eBPF can be used to trace kernel and user-space functions, making it a powerful tool for performance analysis and debugging.

Cilium provides IT and platform engineering teams with networking capabilities and visibility into the behavior and communication of cloud native applications, enabling seamless policy definition of software-defined networks. Isovalent has also recently introduced:

  • Cilium Mesh:  allows for the easy connection of Kubernetes clusters with existing infrastructure across hybrid clouds,
  • Tetragon: an eBPF-based open source security solution that provides visibility to and enforces runtime behavior within an application and on the network.  
  • Isovalent Enterprise: an enterprise distribution of Cilium and Tetragon

Cisco said the acquisition will bolster its secure networking capabilities across public clouds, building on its Cisco Security Cloud vision for an AI-driven, cloud delivered, integrated security platform. The Cisco Security Cloud enables customers to abstract security controls from multicloud infrastructure to provide advanced protection against emerging threats across any cloud, application or workload.

“Together with Isovalent, Cisco will build on the open source power of Cilium to create a truly unique multicloud security and networking capability to help customers simplify and accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of Security and Collaboration at Cisco. "Imagine in today's distributed environment - of applications, virtual machines, containers and cloud assets - having security controls with total visibility, without hindering networking and application performance. The combination of Cisco and Isovalent will make this a reality.”

“Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in, and contributing to the eBPF and Cilium open source communities,” said Stephen Augustus, Head of Open Source at Cisco. “Isovalent’s team will join Cisco's deep bench of open source governance and technical leadership to solve complex cloud native, security, and networking challenges. Their knowledge will accelerate innovation across the business and help further strengthen the Cisco Security Cloud platform to meet the growing demands of our customers.”

  • Isovalent, which is based in Cupertino, California, was founded in 2017 by Dan Wendlandt and Thomas Graf. In terms of funding, Isovalent has successfully raised a total of $69 million over two rounds of funding. The latest funding round was a Series B, which took place on September 7, 2022. The company has attracted a notable group of investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Mango Capital, Mirae Asset Capital, Thomvest Ventures, M12, Grafana Labs, Google, Cisco, and SV Angel.

Equinix allocates $4.9B in green bonds to support 172 projects

Equinix completed the allocation of $4.9 billion in investment-grade green bonds, marking a significant step towards its science-based target of achieving climate neutrality by 2030 and enhancing operational eco-efficiency. Since 2020, the company has issued six bond offerings, with full allocation achieved by June 2023. These bonds have financed 172 green building projects at 105 sites, 33 energy efficiency projects, and two Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) projects over the past five years. The PPAs contribute to 225 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, expected to reduce or avoid 383,300 metric tons of CO2e annually, which is equivalent to the emissions from over 85,296 gasoline-powered vehicles driven for a year.

The cited a number of examples of its green projects, including:

  • Equinix's Co-Innovation Facility (CIF) in Ashburn, VA, which provides a platform for trialing and showcasing advanced power, cooling and control methodologies—such as fuel cells and liquid cooling—for use in its future data centers. The facility, located in Equinix's DC15 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, allows the company to work with key innovative suppliers to develop prototype approaches, such as direct-to-chip liquid cooling. Last week the company announced plans to expand support for advanced liquid cooling technologies—such as direct-to-chip—to more than 100 of its IBX data centers in more than 45 metros around the world.
  • Equinix's MU4 IBX data center, located in Aschheim, Germany, is designed for optimal efficiency and includes technologies for hybrid cooling and an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system for efficient storage and recovery of thermal energy. The building also has a green façade and partially planted roof aimed at enhancing biodiversity while acting as additional natural insulation and cooling. Equinix is also exploring options to share the site's waste heat with external consumers.
  • Entering PPAs with developers to help build new renewable energy resources on the grids where Equinix operates, can enable the company to grow its business responsibly. This includes projects like the Rush Springs wind farm, a 125-megawatt wind farm in Grady and Stephens Counties, OK, where Equinix made a 15-year commitment. The projects are expected to deliver average annual avoidance of more than 218,600 metric tons of CO2e relative to the energy grid in the region.
  • The redesign of the chilled water production system at LD5, located in Slough near London. The new system enables the site to harness low outside temperatures during colder months and lowers energy consumption. This project has the potential to result in an average annual avoidance of more than 2,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) due to reduced electricity demand.

"Equinix considers green bonds a valuable tool to raise capital and finance large projects that can increase the sustainability of our business. Our green bonds demonstrate Equinix's continued commitment to design, build and deliver the most reliable, secure and sustainable data center and digital infrastructure possible in order to benefit our customers, the communities in which we operate, our investors, and the planet," said Katrina Rymill, SVP Corporate Finance & Sustainability, Equinix. "Through the allocation of our green bonds, we continue to be able to directly align our financing needs with our sustainability strategy."

KT deploys 600G transmission route with Ciena

KT completed the construction of South Korea's first nationwide 600G transmission network.

The transmission network, operational since September 2023, spans over 1,000 km and is capable of transmitting 600G per wavelength in long-distance segments, connecting major cities nationwide from Seoul to Busan, Gwangju, and even Jeju Island.

The deployment uses Ciena’s 6500 flexible grid Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) with WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optics, and Ciena's Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller.

Henry Kim, Regional Managing Director of Ciena North Asia, stated: “As pioneers in coherent optical technology, Ciena has been supplying optical transmission equipment capable of delivering 100G and 400G services to domestic telecom operators. The 600G transmission network introduced by KT is expected to provide a groundbreaking, cost-effective solution for transmitting high-capacity traffic throughout South Korea. This, in turn, is anticipated to enhance dedicated circuit services significantly.”

EIB awards €300m loan to iliad for 5G rollouts in France

The European Investment Bank issued a €300m loan to iliad SA to expand its 5G network rollout in France. This is iliad SA’s seventh loan from EIB, bringing its total amount of EIB financing granted since 2009 to more than €1.7 billion.

The iliad Group is now Europe’s sixth-largest mobile operator with some 38 million mobile subscribers. the Group’s 5G coverage rate in France is now over 94.4% of the population, and it has almost 15 million mobile subscribers across the country, of which 11 million are on the 4G/5G Free Mobile Plan.

“This financing transaction – the seventh loan granted to iliad SA by the EIB since 2009 – reaffirms the strength of the long-standing relations that unite our two groups, not only in France, but also in Poland via our subsidiary Play since the beginning of 2022. We’re delighted to be furthering our partnership with the EIB, which will enable us to pursue our ambitious objectives of rolling out and densifying our mobile networks in France so we can provide the best connectivity to our subscribers,” said Thomas Reynaud, CEO of the iliad Group.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

NTT partners with TEPCO Power Grid for Tokyo data centers

NTT Global Data Centers Japan (NTT GDCJ), a subsidiary of NTT DATA Group Corporation, and TEPCO Power Grid will establish a new company to jointly develop and operate data centers in the Inzai-Shiroi area, of Greater Tokyo, Japan. The forthcoming enterprise, set to be launched in the spring of 2024, anticipates making its initial capacity available in the latter half of the 2026 fiscal year.

The inaugural endeavor of this collaboration involves purchasing land in the Inzai-Shiroi zone, a key location for substantial data centers in the Asia-Pacific area. The initial objective is to construct data centers in Inzai-Shiroi, aiming for a total IT capacity of 50MW. 

NTT Global Data Centers is investing 1.5 trillion yen (approx. US$12 billion) over the next five years to expand and upgrade its data center business globally.

TEPCO Group said it is aiming to improve the efficiency and sustainability of power generation/transmission by fostering the development of data centers and other facilities with local communities, making the most of its expertise in construction and operation of power facilities and utilizing its existing assets including land, in accordance with its fourth comprehensive special business plan.

AWS launches Canada West (Calgary) Region

Amazon Web Services (AWS) activated its second AWS infrastructure Region in Canada—the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region. 

With this launch, AWS has 105 Availability Zones across 33 geographic regions, with announced plans to launch 12 more Availability Zones and four more AWS Regions in Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.

The AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region consists of three Availability Zones and joins the existing AWS Canada (Central) Region, which opened in December 2016. 

AWS also released a new economic impact study highlighting that the company is planning to invest an estimated $17.9 billion (approximately CA $24.8 billion) in Canada through 2037 via the new AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region and the existing AWS Canada (Central) Region in Quebec. 

The company also noted the following investments in Canada:

  • AWS has launched eight total Amazon CloudFront (CDN) locations in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. 
  • AWS has announced AWS Local Zones in Toronto and Vancouver. AWS Local Zones are a type of AWS infrastructure deployment that places compute, storage, database, and other select services closer to customers for applications that require single-digit millisecond latency to end users.

“With the launch of the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region, customers and partners across Canada now have additional infrastructure to deploy applications with greater resilience, availability, and lower latency, while enabling more customers to innovate with advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to help fuel economic development across the country,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS. “AWS is committed to helping organizations of all sizes and across all industries increase agility and drive innovation. We are proud to deepen our investment by driving local job creation, building cloud skills, and creating opportunities for growth and collaboration with our local customers and AWS Partners.”

  • AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations. Availability Zones are located far enough from each other to support customers’ business continuity, but near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance.

Dell'Oro: AI boosts the server semiconductor and component market

Accelerators, mainly used for AI applications, drove the server semiconductor and component market to 29 percent year-over-year in 3Q 2023, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The report observes that the accelerator market is on track to surpass the CPU market in revenues by nearly two-fold in 2023.

"The server and storage system component market is poised for an 11 percent growth for full-year 2023, primarily propelled by accelerators. Excluding accelerators, a 27 percent decline in revenue is forecasted, attributed to reduced demand resulting from inventory adjustments by system vendors and hyperscale cloud service providers for general-purpose computing," stated Baron Fung, Senior Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. "Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate strong double-digit growth in accelerator revenue. Moreover, our forecasts indicate a comprehensive recovery in the market across various categories, including CPU, memory, storage drives, and network interface cards (NICs), as vendors increase their inventories in anticipation of healthier server demand. Alongside the unit growth of these component categories, we expect pricing to improve in tandem with higher demand and the transition to the next-generation server platforms," explained Fung.

Additional highlights from the 3Q 2023 Data Center IT Semiconductors and Components Quarterly Report:

  • NVIDIA led in server and storage system component revenues in 3Q 2023, driven by GPU accelerators, followed by Intel and Samsung. Accelerator revenues are on track to surpass CPU revenues for the first time in 2023, reflecting a shift towards accelerated computing.
  • NIC shipments declined briefly in 1H 2023 but returned to growth in 3Q 2023, driven by increased adoption of higher-speed ports and Smart NICs, especially for accelerated computing.
  • GPU revenue is forecasted to achieve a 70 percent growth in 2024. Although NVIDIA currently dominates this market, potential challenges arise from new competitive offerings by AMD and Intel, coupled with the emergence of custom accelerators by the hyperscale cloud service providers.

stc expands global ambitions with acquisition of CMC Networks

center3, a wholly owned subsidiary of the stc Group, agreed to acquire CMC Networks, a global service provider across Africa and the Middle East, from the Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CMC Networks boasts a pan-African Layer 2/Layer 3 MPLS network, with significant presence across Africa and the Middle East. It operates more than 110 service locations, servicing 51 out of 54 countries in Africa and 12 countries in the Middle East. The company also has regional hubs in key interconnected locations across Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific, enhancing its global reach. 

Fahad AlHajeri, CEO at center3, said: "This acquisition is a landmark moment for center3. CMC's enviable global footprint, high value customer base and portfolio of capabilities is very complementary to center3's digital infrastructure and connectivity assets. This acquisition exemplifies our strategic commitment to enter key markets with significant growth potential. Our previous investment in 2Africa Cable, coupled with this acquisition, underscores our conviction in Africa's essential role in center3's future growth. We are excited about the possibilities that CMC Networks will bring including its wealth of knowledge, capability in the African region and promising growth in the Middle East."

  • In October 2022, Saudi Arabia’s stc Group launched Center3 Company, a new company that will be the owner of the digital infrastructure assets owned by stc Group, including data centers, submarine cables, international points of presence, and internet exchange points. Center3 Company aims to be the digital regional center for the Middle East and North Africa, operating a group of carrier-neutral data centers and a provider of international communication for the telecommunications sector through a submarine fiber-optic network. It aims to develop digital businesses and enhance investment opportunities in international communication services and data centers by providing the latest communication, hosting technologies and raising the capacity of data centers to meet the needs of the Asian, European, and African markets, and the rest of the world.
  • Earlier this year, center3 completed a 9.6MW expansion of its hyperscaler-grade data center Khurais in Riyadh. The state-of-the-art facility is built to meet global hyperscalers requirements. This expansion follows center3’s plan to build new data centers across Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, and other strategic locations in the Kingdom to address its customers’ requirements for high availability, disaster recovery, and scalability. The new facilities will feature operational standards that support service-level agreements and key performance indicators aligned with best-in-class international standards.

Nokia divests Device Management and Service Management unit

Lumine Group Inc. will buy Nokia’s Device Management (DM) and Service Management Platform (SMP) businesses FOR EUR 185 million, which includes a contingent consideration of up to EUR 35 million based on the performance of the business during the first year following close. 

Nokia Device Management software capabilities help communication service providers remotely manage home broadband access devices, as well as IoT sensors and devices from a variety of different vendors; while the company’s Service Management Platform improves customer care service, with coverage spanning more than 150 deployments worldwide and more than 1 billion devices under management.

Lumine Group acquires, manages, and builds industry-specific software, focused in the telecom and media space. The company intends to operate the acquired business as a standalone entity called "Motive". Approximately 500 Nokia Device Management and Service Management Platform employees are expected to transfer to Lumine Group as part of the deal.

Nokia says the divestiture reflects its strategy to focus resources on its core business. 

Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services, at Nokia said: “Nokia is pleased to enter this agreement with Lumine as another sign of progress in our strategy to focus investment in those areas most important to our business. Lumine Group has the telecom industry expertise as well as the strategic focus and resourcing to drive the Device Management and Service Management Platform businesses forward to a stronger future.”

David Sharpley, Group President at Lumine Group said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Device Management and Service Management Platform customers and employees to Lumine. Consistent with our autonomous operating model, we will be reviving the heritage Motive brand for this new stand-alone Lumine company and we look forward to partnering with Nokia to ensure operational continuity with all customers.”

  • Earlier this year, Nokia announced plans to sell its VitalQIP products to Cygna Labs Corp and to make Red Hat the primary infrastructure platform for Nokia Core Network applications.

Arelion activates new PoP at LightEdge in San Diego

Arelion announced a new Point-of-Presence (PoP) in San Diego at the Lightwave Data Center (LWDC) operated by LightEdge Solutions, a provider of secure cloud and colocation services. LightEdge Solutions’ Lightave carrier-neutral data center site is strategically located in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego, offering colocation, cloud services and direct connectivity to AWS and Microsoft Azure. The PoP provides enhanced access to Arelion’s number one ranked Internet backbone, AS1299, as well as Arelion’s portfolio of connectivity services, including high-speed IP Transit, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Cloud Connect, Global 40G Ethernet Virtual Circuit (VC), IPX and DDoS Mitigation services for service providers, content providers and enterprises. 

This will be Arelion’s second fully diverse PoP in the emerging tech hub, providing wholesale and enterprise customers with high-speed connectivity to the carrier’s global IP backbone and access to its ecosystem of cloud and content services.


“Arelion’s new PoP at LightEdge’s Lightwave data center in San Diego extends our network to provide wholesale and enterprise customers with direct connectivity to our ecosystem of cloud and content services, allowing them to support end users in San Diego, Tijuana, Mexicali and surrounding regions,” said Art Kazmierczak, Arelion Director Strategic Sales & Network Development. “LightEdge’s facility provides the added power, security and scale our customers require, helping us deliver business-critical applications to meet the needs of these emerging technology markets.” 

 “We're thrilled about adding Arelion as a customer, a pivotal step in delivering advanced connectivity solutions. This strengthens our commitment to advanced, secure services, offering clients expanded connectivity options for improved user experiences. Together, Arelion and LightEdge are well-equipped to meet the evolving needs of our customers in emerging technology markets,” said Rob Carter, LightEdge Solutions Chief Growth Officer.


Extreme Networks names Monica Kumar as CMO

Extreme Networks named Monica Kumar as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). 

Prior to Extreme, Kumar served as CMO at Hitachi Vantara, where she  drove a product simplification strategy that brought the company’s portfolio of data storage products together into one easy-to-consume, scalable, and resilient platform. Previously, she served as SVP of Marketing and Cloud go-to-market at Nutanix and spent more than 20 years at Oracle in a variety of marketing roles. 

At both Nutanix and Oracle, Kumar was instrumental in evolving both organizations from traditional hardware companies to thriving software subscription businesses. Kumar is an active board member for UPWARD Women and City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, and a founding member of Neythri Futures Fund, a historic first fund with a mission to increase the diversity quotient in the venture capital ecosystem.

Monica Kumar, CMO at Extreme, said, “Extreme has made its mark in the industry by reducing complexity and creating an innovative, flexible, and simple approach for customers to deploy and manage their networks through the cloud. I’m thrilled to join at a time where we have a significant opportunity to further elevate our story, our brand and market leadership position – and it starts with customer-centricity and a vibrant partner ecosystem. I am looking forward to making an impact as part of Extreme’s incredible customer, partner, and people-centric leadership team.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Lightmatter pulls in additional $155M for photonic interconnects / processors

Lightmatter, a start-up based in Boston that is developing photonic interconnect and compute products, annouced $155 million in a Series C-2 funding round. The company has raised over $420 million to date and is now valued at over $1.2 billion. The latest funding round was led by GV (Google Ventures) and Viking Global Investors, with participation from others. 

Lightmatter said its full stack of photonics-enabled hardware and software solutions will reduce power consumption and increase performance.

“Lightmatter is positioned to be a key driver in powering the next generation of computing systems that will further enable AI innovation. Through photonic technologies, Lightmatter is ensuring the steady progress in computing performance continues, despite growing power consumption challenges and slowing progress with transistor scaling,” said Lightmatter co-founder and CEO, Nick Harris. “We are thankful for the support of our investors, each of whom share our vision of Lightmatter playing an integral role in the future of computing. By increasing speed, lowering cost, and reducing environmental impact, our technologies can continue to push the limits of what’s possible, fueling greater AI adoption and innovation.”

Some additional notes:

  • Since May 2023, Lightmatter has grown its headcount more than 50% to meet client demand and product milestones. 
  • Lightmatter plans to open a Toronto office in 2024. 
  • Danner Stodolsky has been appointed Vice President of Data Center Architecture.  Danner was previously Senior Vice President of Cloud at SambaNova and a Vice President of Engineering at Google.
  • Colin Sturt has been appointed General Counsel. He brings over 20 years of semiconductor industry experience to Lightmatter and was most recently Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Dialog Semiconductor.

OpenZR+ MSA tests multi-vendor interoperability

 The OpenZR+ Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group announced the results of two successful interoperability test events at LightRiver and featuring coherent optical transceivers from Cisco, Coherent, Fujitsu, Juniper Networks, and Lumentum operating on Cisco and Juniper routers. 

The testing demonstrated compatibility to the OpenZR+ specification and interoperability between optical transceiver modules from different vendors in two different routers by transporting 400 Gbps traffic over various optical links. 


  • Phase 1 (August 2023): Verification that optical transceiver QSFP-DD-DCO modules comply to the OpenZR+ multi-source agreement in router platforms through the OIF CMIS compliant interface in loopback mode. Also verify that optical transceiver QSFP-DD-DCO modules from different vendors interoperate over a Single-Span link with 75 km of fiber.
  • Phase 2 (September 2023): Multi-vendor Interoperability and performance testing over multi-span optical line system (OLS).

The OpenZR+ MSA Group also published a whitepaper that notes:

  • 400G OpenZR+ optical transceiver modules from multiple vendors operated in different routers
  • All 400G OpenZR+ optical transceiver modules transported traffic with no post-FEC bit errors at receiver OSNR of 24 dB or less
  • 400G OpenZR+ optical transceiver modules from five different vendors interoperated with each other
  • 400G traffic was transported over a typical DCI use case with 75 km of fiber and a typical metro use case with multi-spans over 430 km of fiber.

"The results of this multi-vendor interoperability testing validate the readiness of network operators to take advantage of 400G pluggables in order to cost-effectively scale their networks to meet growing bandwidth demands," said Tom Williams, Co-chair of the OpenZR+ MSA Group.

"Not only does interoperability enable a more robust supply chain in the industry by allowing network operators to mix and match equipment and services from different providers, but it can also accelerate the adoption of new technology," said Atul Srivastava, Co-chair of the OpenZR+ MSA Group.

The whitepaper can be downloaded from the OpenZR+ MSA Group website.

  • in September 2023, the OpenZR+ Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group published the OpenZR+ Rev 3.0 specification which defines a higher performing 400G 8QAM mode as well as a higher transmit power mode.The new specification is designed to further expand the application space for a coherent solution in small form factor pluggable modules, such as form factors defined by the QSFP-DD MSA and OSFP MSA.

Data Center Architecture Spanning Edge to Cloud with AI & 5G

Check out AI and Cloud Data Center Networking videos here:

AI is making a transformative impact on data center architecture. Yet developers know that applications must flow seamlessly from core to edge. How can these forces be resolved? Sanjay Kumar, VP of Products and Marketing from Arrcus, explains:

  • How Arrcus' solutions optimize and maximize the utilization of GPUs in data centers, minimizing latency and loss in running AI/ML workloads. They offer two architectures: traditional IP CLOS leaf and spine, and a distributed architecture for massive scale,
  • The role of FlexMCN, a network fabric overlay, in stitching together workloads from the edge through the core and into multicloud or public cloud environments. This robust, secure, and flexible solution allows network operators to run workloads wherever they reside and deliver applications wherever they're required.
  • The introduction of an innovative technology, SRv6 mobile user plane, developed in collaboration with SoftBank Mobile. This technology simplifies the delivery of network slicing, lowers the total cost of ownership, and helps network operators monetize their infrastructure.

Additionally, Arrcus' ArcIQ solution provides end-to-end network visibility, streaming real-time telemetry from the underlying infrastructure to give operators a comprehensive view of their network.

Join Sanjay as he takes you through Arrcus' vision for a distributed AI and 5G world, and how their solutions are helping network operators deliver on this vision.

Want to be involved our video series? Contact

Arrcus joins the Ultra Ethernet Consortium

Arrcus has joined the Ultra Ethernet Consortium (UEC), a Linux Foundation initiative dedicated to developing next-generation Ethernet technologies for AI and HPC applications.

The UEC is a collaborative effort among industry leaders to address the growing demands of AI and HPC workloads on data center networks. These workloads require high performance, low latency, and scalable interconnects to efficiently move massive datasets and rapidly process complex algorithms.

Arrcus said it is joining the UEC to contribute its expertise in advanced networking technologies, including its Leaf-Spine Fabric Architecture and its support for high-speed Ethernet interfaces, such as 400GE and 800GE. The company is also committed to working with other UEC members to develop and standardize new Ethernet technologies that meet the specific needs of AI and HPC applications.

“We are thrilled to join the UEC and contribute to the development of next-generation Ethernet technologies for AI and HPC,” said Shekar Ayyar, chairman and CEO at Arrcus. “The UEC’s mission to create an open, interoperable, and high-performance Ethernet ecosystem aligns perfectly with our own goals at Arrcus, and we are confident that our participation will help to accelerate innovation in this critical area.”

Arrcus also brings its recently announced ACE-AI solution for distributed AI workloads. This networking solution based on ArcOS, delivers a modern, unified network fabric for optimizing distributed GPU and other compute resources with maximum performance for AI/ML workloads, and positions Arrcus as a significant contributor to the consortium's mission. This solution encompasses next-generation datacenter networking architectures, as well as innovations in hybrid/multi-cloud connectivity and 5G transport to seamless connect GPU resources where ever they may reside.

Comcast confirms massive breach impacting nearly 36m customers

Comcast confirmed a data security breaching involving nearly 36 million of its Xfinity broadband customers across the U.S.

Comcast blamed the cyber intrusion on a zero-day vulnerability in Citrix software. Comcast claims to have patched the software promptly after Citrix issued in mitigation

guidance on October 23, 2023, however, it discovered unauthorized access to its systems between October 16 and October 19, 2023.

It is believed that compromised data included usernames, hashed passwords, contact information, last four digits of social security numbers, dates of birth and/or secret questions and answers.

Comcast's statement is posted here:

Canada's Western James Bay Telecom Network selects Infinera

Western James Bay Telecom Network (WJBTN) selected Infinera to expand connectivity services to rural communities in northern Ontario, Canada. 

The deployment will use the Infinera XTM Series to deliver flexible, reliable, and cost-effective high-bandwidth solutions to its residential, business, and government customers. FONEX Data Systems is Infinera's integration partner.

WJBTN has been bringing telecommunications services to rural communities in Canada from Moosonee along the western James Bay coast through Fort Albany, Kashechewan, and Attawapiskat since 2010. With the selection of Infinera, WJBTN will be able to cost-effectively deliver critical next-generation high-capacity network services to support the region’s economic development and access to education and telehealth.

“FONEX’s unwavering support, coupled with Infinera’s excellent XTM solution, has greatly improved our network design, enabling us to substantially boost bandwidth, expand our service network footprint, and significantly enhance service quality and bandwidth speeds for our valued customers,“ said David Coté, General Manager, Western James Bay Telecom Network.

“We are pleased to support Western James Bay Telecom Network’s upgrade, helping them expand their broadband networking infrastructure with Infinera’s leading technology to deliver robust connectivity services to rural Ontario communities,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Infinera.

University of Stuttgart picks HPE for supercomputers

The High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart selected Hewlett Packard Enterprise to build two new supercomputers. The total combined cost of the project is €115 million and funding will be provided through the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), the alliance of Germany's three national supercomputing centers. Half of this funding will be provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and the second half by the State of Baden-Württemberg's Ministry of Science, Research, and Arts.

In the first stage, a transitional supercomputer, called Hunter, will begin operation in 2025. This will be followed in 2027 with the installation of Herder, an exascale system that will provide a significant expansion of Germany’s high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities. 

Hunter will raise HLRS’s peak performance to 39 petaFLOPS (39*1015 floating point operations per second), an increase from the 26 petaFLOPS possible with its current supercomputer, Hawk. It will use the AMD Instinct MI300A accelerated processing unit (APU), which combines CPU and GPU processors and high-bandwidth memory into a single package.

Monday, December 18, 2023

AI's impact on data center traffic and ZR/ZR+ optics

 How is AI impacting data center traffic and what effect will this have on inter data center links? Josef Berger, AVP Marketing from Marvell explains:

  • The increasing demand for data center interconnect bandwidth due to upgrades in GPU clusters and the construction of new data centers. This demand is driving the need for ZR connectivity.
  • The benefits and growing demand for their 400 ZR and upcoming 800 gig ZR and ZR plus products. These products offer more modes, longer reaches, and larger network coverage with low-cost and low-power plugables.
  • The company's ongoing engagement with customers and end users who are excited about the additional capabilities of these products. They are currently ramping up 400 ZR and are looking forward to making more announcements around the 800 gig ZR product line.

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The Arms Race for AI Clusters

Check out AI and Cloud Data Center Networking videos here:

Has the demand for AI data center spurred a new arms race in advanced semiconductors and optics? Brad Booth, Ethernet and Optical Technology Advisor, explains:

  • The exponential growth of AI data centers in the past five years, driven by the increasing capabilities of AI and the demand from both hyperscale and cloud markets.
  • The challenges faced in meeting the demand for GPUs and optical modules, and the subsequent surge in bandwidth requirements for these devices.
  • The innovation spurred by this growth, including the rise of startups bringing new technologies to the market, the exploration of new materials, and the need for faster bandwidth and memory elements to handle the increasing demands.

Join Brad as he delves into the exciting world of AI data centers, discussing the challenges, innovations, and future predictions in this rapidly evolving industry.

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Multi-Color Lasers and Micro Ring Resonators for DCI

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Scaling data center interconnect bandwidth is a daunting challenge. John Jost, Co-founder and Co-CEO from Enlightra, proposes an innovative developmental path:

  • The traditional method of moving information with a single color laser is reaching its practical limits. Enlightra's technology allows us to use many colors to scale bandwidth.
  • Enlightra's unique approach involves taking a single laser and converting it into many colors, capable of high-capacity data transfer. This is a more efficient solution than trying to put hundreds of lasers on a single chip.
  • Enlightra's core technology, a micro ring resonator, uses special physics properties to convert a single color laser into many stable, coherent, and low-noise colors.

Join John as he explains how this Swiss-based startup, founded in 2022, is targeting data transfer and AI capacities with their multicolor lasers.

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HellasQCI and Nokia target quantum-safe networks

Nokia completed a proof of concept (PoC) of Quantum-Safe Networks (QSN) in a complex optical network ring topology across three locations in Greece with HellasQCI, the Greek National Quantum Communication Infrastructure Consortium. 

The tests demonstrated hybrid key generation using both classic and quantum physics to generate and distribute Quantum-Safe keys for encrypted optical services. The goal of the PoC was to run use cases with the HellasQCI consortium members from government, research and education, defense, law enforcement and private sector critical infrastructure owners to ensure Quantum-Safe connectivity infrastructure.

The Nokia QSN solution showcased the value added by the Nokia Security Management Server (SMS) to orchestrate Quantum-Safe keys and provide continuous monitoring and management of quantum secured connectivity. This particular SMS is the Quantum-Safe Key orchestrator, managing key requests and assuring Quantum-Safe services for the given crypto period. Upon continuous monitoring of Quantum-Safe connectivity service, the system’s SMS can increase secured connectivity resiliency automatically by reverting to classic physics-based keys in case of issues on the QKD layer.

The PoC was performed on a ring connecting three nodes in GRNET’s Data Center, the National Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) Network Operations Center (NOC), and the NKUA Department of Informatics and Telecommunications (DIT), Optics Communications and Photonic Technology Laboratory (OPTCOMMS-PTL).

The HellasQCI consortium consists of 14 public organizations and private corporations, and is led by GRNET as project coordinator and NKUA as its technical coordinator. GRNET operates under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance, providing networking, cloud computing, high-performance computing, and e-Infrastructures. It connects more than 150 organizations across 50 cities and serves hundreds of thousands of users daily in public administration, education, research, health and culture.

Dr. Ognjen Prnjat, Director for European Infrastructures and Projects Directorate at GRNET, said: “We are very pleased with the successful completion of the PoC with Nokia, which is one of the key milestones for the HellasQCI project that establishes the National Quantum Communication Infrastructure in Greece. GRNET plays a crucial role in various European infrastructures for research and education, including EOSC, EUDAT, EGI, GÉANT, PRACE, and EuroHPC, and we are honored to have been given the responsibility by the Ministry of Digital Governance to lead the implementation of this innovative quantum network infrastructure as part of the pan-European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) initiative. The PoC demonstrated the feasibility and the benefits of Quantum-Safe Networks for securing critical communications in Greece and in Europe and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia and other partners to develop and deploy an operational and secure EuroQCI.”

James Watt, Head of the Optical Networks Division at Nokia, said: “We are proud to partner with HellasQCI and its consortium members to demonstrate our QSN solution in this challenging and innovative PoC. Test environments like this are crucial to ensure networks are ready for quantum-level cybersecurity attacks, which are inevitable as quantum computing becomes more accessible around the world. Nokia brings a structured framework and a collaborative partner-based approach combined with our world-leading networking expertise with extensive experience managing large-scale and complex deployments with multi-connectivity domain and multi QKD vendor technologies.”

Lockheed Martin, Verizon demo 5G streaming for DoD

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and Verizon demonstrated 5G streaming for real-time visualization content on edge computing devices to advance Department of Defense (DOD) sustainment missions.

The demonstration validated three things:

  • 5G at the edge for latency critical interactions of complex visualization applications such as augmented, virtual, or extended reality experiences
  • Streaming of real-time, complex, 3D visualization content
  • Streaming to edge compute devices including tablets, mobile, Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), and more

These technologies enable Lockheed Martin's "Maintainer as a Node" concept, by which a connected maintainer receives all the information where, when and how it is needed in a latency-critical environment.

The companies said their collaboration enables sustainment use cases where advanced visualization capabilities are critical to supporting the maintainer with Resilient Logistics in a Contested Environment (RLCE). Examples of these use cases include:

  • 3D step-based work instructions
  • Augmented/virtual/extended reality content deployment
  • Remote desktop of high-end, real-time, 3D applications scenarios
  • Remote assistance and other 3D graphically intensive applications

"Streaming is the future, and through our strategic collaboration with Verizon, together we're advancing crucial 21st Century Security technologies that drive speed, efficiency, quality and reliability where our customers need it most," said Marc O'Brien, senior manager of Virtual Prototyping at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. 

Armada raises $55M for edge data center in containers

Armada, a start-up based in San Francisco specializing in edge computing, AI, and connectivity, recently emerged from stealth with a notable capital raise exceeding $55M. The funding round was led by prominent investors including Founders Fund, Lux Capital, Shield Capital, and 8090 Industries. 

The company is developing dge computing solutions that are designed to be deployable on both on-premise and cloud infrastructures. The edge computing technology enables data processing closer to the source of data generation, which is particularly crucial for real-time processing and decision-making in remote regions and in various industries. The solutions will offer edge satellite internet connectivity to the world’s most remote regions. 

“Today, AI — including large language models, multimodal AI and predictive models — is revolutionizing every facet of our lives and work, but not everyone has the same opportunity. What’s truly astounding is that vast swaths of the world still lack basic internet access, much less the ability to derive tangible value from their data,” said Armada co-founder and CEO Dan Wright. “Armada’s mission is to bridge the digital divide once and for all, giving our customers the ability to solve their biggest problems.”

Lumen appoints Satish Lakshmanan as CPO

Lumen Technologies named Dr. Satish Lakshmanan as its new Chief Product Officer, reporting to Lumen CEO Kate Johnson.

Dr. Lakshmanan comes to Lumen from Amazon Web Services (AWS) where he was the global leader for Artificial Intelligence Services. At AWS, he generated and delivered new revenue streams across major industries and segments improving existing revenue channels and setting global revenue targets aligned with goals and objectives. He also held various product leadership roles at NetApp, Western Digital, QLogic, and Texas Instruments and has a doctorate in chemical engineering.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Democratizing Networking with SONiC

What key learnings from hyperscalers can be applied to enterprise data centers? Kamran Naqvi, Principal Network Architect from Broadcom, explains how they are democratizing networking for everyone:

- Broadcom has taken the benefits and advantages previously only available to hyperscalers and made them accessible to all. They've done this by enabling features in SONiC, an open-source network operating system initially developed by Microsoft for their Azure Cloud.

- They've transformed SONiC into an enterprise-class system by enabling features like CXL, EVPN, telemetry, and time synchronization. This has led to many enterprise customers adopting SONiC.

- Broadcom has also enabled silicon telemetry features in their silicon, which were previously only available to mega scalers. These features allow customers to quickly get to the root cause analysis and understand if an application performance issue is caused by the network or not.

Join Kamran as he discusses how Broadcom is taking SONiC to next gen switching silicon.

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Chiplet Architecture for Next Gen Infrastructure

What's driving the deep interest in chiplet architecture? How does it scale, and is there a role for open interfaces?

Bapi Vinnakota, ODSA Project Lead from Open Compute Project explains:

- Chiplets are currently the fastest and most efficient way to build heterogenous systems, integrating different types of compute into one package. This is essential for accommodating the ever-changing AI workloads.

- The IO bandwidth, both into memory and in terms of raw network, needs to increase dramatically to keep up with the growing demands of data centers. Companies associated with the ODSA are working on solutions to this challenge.

- Open interfaces are believed to be the best way to integrate systems, creating composable systems that integrate chiplet devices from multiple vendors into one usable whole. This is a fundamental belief at the OCP and is key to meeting the requirements of future data centers, especially those with AI-intensive workloads.

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Deutsche Telekom expands fiber reach

Deutsche Telekom added 2.5 million new fiber connections in 2023, reaching a total of eight million households will be able to book a fiber optic connection by the end of the year. The company is on track to reach more than ten million fiber households in 2024 

"Fiber is and remains the hot topic in our industry. The fiber optic boom is really taking off in Germany right now. We are building super-fast Internet for more and more people. There has never been as much fiber as in 2023," said Srini Gopalan, responsible for Germany on Deutsche Telekom's Board of Management, at the company's Network Day in Bonn. 

"We will reach the one millionth contract at the beginning of 2024. We also have more than 700,000 households and companies in the pipeline that have already booked a connection in the pre-marketing phase," Gopalan continued. "We build without any ifs and buts. Our business model is very long-term. We can see that the demand for bandwidth is continuing to grow. With FTTH, we are already building the infrastructure for the future today." This year, Deutsche Telekom has invested more than 2.5 billion euros in pure fiber optic expansion - far more than any other competitor. By 2030, a total of 30 billion euros will flow into the fiber optic rollout. 

  • Deutsche Telekom also continued its extensive expansion in mobile communications: 96 percent of the population can now use Deutsche Telekom's 5G network - in other words, over 80 million people, ensured by a total of over 80,000 5G antennas. 
  • Deutsche Telekom reached a new milestone on 3.6 gigahertz spectrum: over 10,000 antennas are now transmitting in more than 800 cities and municipalities. And with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
  • Deutsche Telekom is planning more than 3,000 ORAN-compatible antenna sites by the end of 2026.
  • Next year, private customers will also be able to use 5G Standalone (SA). 

“We will continue with the same concentration and focus in the coming years and keep up the pace," emphasized Gopalan. "We are the reliable partner for Germany. We build what we promise. We want to turn people in Germany into fiber fans and 5G fans." 

Nokia and Deutsche Telekom deploy multi-vendor Open RAN

Nokia and Deutsche Telekom have begun to deploy a multi-vendor Open RAN network with Fujitsu in Germany. 

The technology is fully integrated into DT’s live commercial network and the initial cluster will provide 2G, 4G, and 5G commercial services to customers in the Neubrandenburg area of Northern Germany. The deal marks a significant return for Nokia into DT’s commercial network and is the realization of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by both companies at MWC 2023. Nokia will replace the incumbent vendor in the deal. The project is already underway and will be extended from Q1 2024 onwards.

Nokia will deploy its commercial Open RAN compliant, high-performance, energy efficient 5G AirScale baseband solution in DT’s commercial network including Fujitsu Radio Units. Nokia’s O-RAN solution will ensure DT has full feature, service, and performance parity with classic purpose-built RAN. Both companies have also agreed to explore O-RAN technology around Cloud RAN, 3rd party CaaS, RIC, SMO, and energy efficiency.   

Claudia Nemat, Board Member of Deutsche Telekom AG for Technology and Innovation commented: “Open RAN is crucial to Deutsche Telekom’s strategy to promote greater supplier diversity and accelerate customer-oriented innovation in the radio access network. Our commercial deployment with Nokia and Fujitsu is an important step to prepare multi-vendor Open RAN as the technology of choice for future networks.” 

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “We are proud to partner with Deutsche Telekom, the largest mobile network operator in Europe, to start deploying a commercial multi-vendor Open RAN network in Germany with Fujitsu. Together, we are making Open RAN a commercial reality. Nokia’s industry-leading radio access portfolio and baseband software ensures that multi-supplier O-RAN systems can be deployed without any compromises in terms of performance, energy efficiency, or security. Together with our ecosystem of partners, we are providing more choice and a higher performance in Open RAN solutions to our customers than they will see from other RAN suppliers. This is another step highlighting Nokia’s commitment to Open RAN.” 

Swisscom deploys Netcracker’s Network Domain Orchestration

Swisscom has deployed Netcracker’s Network Domain Orchestration (NDO) solution to modernize the IT landscape of the operator’s new terabit IP transport aggregation network (TITAN). 

This initiative is part of a large-scale OSS transformation program at Swisscom to create a more flexible, future-proof and automated modern digital architecture with lower operational costs.

Netcracker NDO provides a unifying automation solution incorporating real-time and federated inventory for end-to-end visibility and a single source of truth. It also provides efficient network planning and design that speeds up network rollouts and a DevOps-based design studio to rapidly onboard new devices using vendor-agnostic resource modelling. The solution enables highly automated processes, from device onboarding to rollout planning, physical and logical discovery and reconciliation, and works with any mix of transport network vendors. The cloud-native solution allows Swisscom to share TITAN inventory data in real-time – using open APIs – with multiple external systems using state-of-the-art communication techniques.

“Swisscom is one of the most innovative operators in Europe, and we are very proud of the confidence they have placed in us to be part of their new IP transport network,” said Benedetto Spaziani, GM at Netcracker. “With our NDO solution, we look forward to helping Swisscom deliver positive outcomes for the business as it continues to revolutionize the market.”

Bluebird Network closes $285M in financing


Bluebird Network, a U.S. communications infrastructure provider and operator of more than 11,000 miles of fiber and two data centers,received $285 million of five-year Senior Secured Credit Facilities. 

The company said it has used the credit facilities to refinance its existing indebtedness and to fund ongoing capital expenditures including network upgrades, expansion into new markets, and an awarded Middle Mile grant build. 

TD Securities acted as Lead Left Arranger on the financing and is the Administrative Agent for the Credit Facilities.

“We’re thrilled to announce the closing of this refinancing,” says Michael Morey, President and CEO of Bluebird Network. “It’s a point of pride that we’re viewed by lenders as a trustworthy company to work with.”

 Over the past year, Bluebird has built more than 360 new route miles of fiber and expanded into several additional markets throughout Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. This new financing provides Bluebird with the capital to execute development plans in accordance with the company’s strategic vision to have a fiber presence in 80 percent of cities with a population of 10,000 people or more across its 11-state footprint in the Midwest. Beyond market densification projects, in 2024, Bluebird is planning additional long-haul fiber routes and recently completed an underground river crossing in St. Louis, traversing the Mississippi River and adding a new, diverse route to its network offerings. In 2023, the company was awarded a grant as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program. The grant will be used to build a highly desirable route connecting St. Louis and Tulsa, which is expected to be completed over the next four years. 


Thailand’s Interlink Telecom Selects Ribbon for DCI

Interlink Telecom Public Company Ltd, (ITEL) a leading Thai network services provider, has selected Ribbon Communications to provide  a Data Center Interconnect solution using its Apollo optical networking platform.

"We're extremely proud to be working with ITEL and of our ability to deliver fast project execution, from delivery to service activation," added Drazen Lukic, Ribbon's SVP Global Product Management and Operations IP Optical Networks. "We look forward to building on this relationship with ITEL over the coming years."

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Amazon's Project Kuiper will be an optical mesh in orbit

Following successful tests of 100 Gbps optical links between its prototype satellites, Amazon confirmed that its is now confident in the optical inter-satellite link (OISL) capabilities of Project Kuiper.

These tests validated Project Kuiper’s advanced communications architecture by maintaining 100 Gbps optical links between prototype satellites, KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2, over nearly 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) for the entire test window. 

The plan now is for each Project Kuiper satellite to be equipped with multiple optical terminals to connect many satellites at a time, establishing high-speed laser cross-links that form a secure, resilient mesh network in space. 

Manufacturing of Kuiper satellites is now beginning. Large-scale launches are set for later in 2024.

“With optical inter-satellite links across our satellite constellation, Project Kuiper will effectively operate as a mesh network in space,” said Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper's vice president of technology. “This system is designed fully in-house to optimize for speed, cost, and reliability, and the entire architecture has worked flawlessly from the very start. These immediate results are only possible because we approached our OISL architecture as one part of a fully integrated system design, and it’s a testament to this team’s willingness to invent on behalf of customers. We’re excited to be able to support these next-generation OISL capabilities on every Kuiper satellite from day one.”

Amazon also notes that becauseight travels faster in space than it does through glass, Kuiper's orbital laser mesh network can move data approximately 30% faster than if it traveled the equivalent distance via terrestrial fiber optic cables.

Intel launches its Next-Gen AI processors

Intel introduced its latest processors for the data center, cloud, network, edge and PCs, and featuring AI optimizations. 

Some highlights:

5th Gen Intel Xeon processors (code-named Emerald Rapids) optimized for networking workloads including specialized AI and virtualized workloads.

Xeon for the network

  • 1.51x higher throughput with 5G core user plane functions (UPF) vs. prior generation.
  • 1.37x performance per watt improvement with Intel Infrastructure Power Manager software for 5G UPF applications vs. prior generation.
  • • 3.73x higher throughput on VPP IPSec (1420B) with integrated Intel QAT accelerator (as compared to without Intel QAT).
  • 1.69x higher connections per second on NGINX TLS 1.3 Webserver Handshake with integrated Intel QAT accelerator vs. prior generation.

Xeon for the edge

  • 1.29x average performance-per-watt gain vs. 3rd Gen Intel Xeon® Gold 6348 processor.
  • 1.59x average performance gain vs. 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Gold 6348 processor
  • 3.13x higher real-time inference performance for image classification vs. AMD EPYC 9334
  • 5.28x higher real-time inference performance for object detection vs. 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Gold 6348 processor

Intel expects to deliver its Gaudi3 AI accelerator for deep learning and large-scale generative AI models.

Intel Core Ultra processors for the edge

  • 1.5x the AI performance
  • • 1.81x the Graphics performance
  • • 2.56x the AI Performance per Watt

Nokia's Cloud RAN trial with In-Line acceleration with Arm and HPE

Nokia conducted a collaborative laboratory trial of Cloud RAN featuring In-Line acceleration in partnership with Arm and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). 

The successful trial, which saw the completion of an end-to-end Cloud RAN L3 data call, demonstrated the flexibility of Nokia’s Cloud RAN solution using In-Line accelerator architecture which works seamlessly on multiple silicon architectures. The test was held at Nokia’s Open Cloud RAN Innovation Center in Dallas, Texas.

The trial saw the completion of a Cloud RAN L3 data call utilizing Ampere Computing’s Arm®-based general-purpose processor, the HPE ProLiant RL series server as well as Nokia’s Cloud RAN In-Line Layer 1 accelerator and Cloud RAN software. It took place over-the-air utilizing Nokia’s AirScale massive MIMO radios utilizing 100MHz cells on the n78 spectrum band (3.5 GHz band), which is the most common 5G capacity band worldwide. Data calls were successfully performed with a selection of both test and commercial user devices. The trial successfully proved the performance of the In-Line acceleration architecture chosen by Nokia.

Nokia said the trial highlights the openness offered by its anyRAN approach. In-Line acceleration in servers with Arm processors works in Nokia’s Cloud RAN architecture. The approach ensures the same performance and interoperability as purpose-built RAN and Cloud RAN with other server designs. It is this flexibility that provides network operators with a smooth evolution path in hybrid networks, as well as ensuring that Cloud RAN with Nokia is open to server processor design choices.

Mohamed Awad, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm said: “Network operators are being challenged with increasing energy costs and looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their networks. Our collaboration with Nokia and HPE is enabling innovative CloudRAN solutions, powered by energy-efficient and high-performance Arm Neoverse-based servers and In-Line accelerators, to deliver the flexibility and scalability the 5G era demands.”

Mark Atkinson, Head of RAN at Nokia, said: “We have once again proven the effectiveness and maturity of Nokia’s anyRAN approach by demonstrating how our Cloud RAN solution using In-Line accelerator architecture works seamlessly on multiple silicon architectures, and harnesses the power of Arm-based servers to enable 5G at scale. Nokia’s approach to Cloud RAN means we can deliver performance consistency between Cloud RAN and purpose-built RAN ensuring our customers have choice and flexibility.”

ONF projects move under Linux Foundation

The following Open Networking Foundation (ONF) projects become independent projects under the Linux Foundation (LF):

  • LF Broadband Directed Fund - supports a collection of projects that transformed broadband networks and the Passive Optical Network (PON) industry. The portfolio includes the SEBA reference design for building open broadband networks, and the VOLTHA open source project for virtualizing multi-vendor PON systems. These projects are in deployment with Deutsche Telekom, Jio, Türk Telekom and elsewhere around the world.

  • Aether Directed Fund - supports the portfolio of 5G mobile networking projects, including Aether (private 5G and edge computing), SD-Core (open 5G mobile core) and SD-RAN (open RAN). Telco, commercial and research deployments rely on these projects, and a $2M US government research grant was just awarded to the project to advance energy savings and sustainability of 5G networks.

  • P4 Directed Fund - supporting a body of work enabling programmability of the networking dataplane, including P4 Architecture, Language, APIs, Applications and Platforms. This includes open source compilers and stack implementations of programmable network fabrics (SD-Fabric, Stratum), with diverse deployments from cloud to data centers and operator edge networks (e.g. Comcast, Google, SKT, Tencent, and Brazil's air traffic control system).

Additionally, a new Open Network Models and Interfaces (ONMI) project is hosting ONF's network modeling and interface projects (OIMT, OTCC, T-API, Wireless xHaul), the output of which various standards organizations continue to rely upon today.

The ONF's current Technical Steering Teams (TSTs) will remain at the helm of each project, ensuring the continuity of their technical guidance. The significant shift lies in the creation of fresh Governing Boards for each of the newly established directed funds. This move grants the community full control over project direction and the allocation of the approximately $5 million in funding provided by ONF to initiate these directed funds.

"ONF is pleased to transition our robust portfolio of open source platforms into a set of LF-hosted community-led projects," said Timon Sloane, general manager, ONF. "With this merger, the ONF's amazing portfolio of work that has been incubated and advanced over the last decade will naturally graduate into a community-driven open source model leveraging the best practices of the Linux Foundation."

"Linux Foundation is merging ONF's marquee portfolio of broadband, mobile, edge and cloud networking projects under the LF umbrella to help usher in the next phase of community growth," said Jim Zemlin, executive director, Linux Foundation. "Open source has already achieved a dramatic impact on networking, and by bringing together ONF's body of work with the broader LF portfolio we're creating more opportunity for collaboration, synergy and reuse to further fuel the open networking movement."

Intel acquires the Open Networking Foundation's team

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which was established in 2011 with a mission of transforming networking by championing software-defined networking (SDN), disaggregation and open source, has released all of its projects to open source with permissive software licenses as it transitions away from code development by an internal team. To this end, ONF has open sourced the entirety of its portfolio of production-ready platforms, including solutions...