Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Nokia and NTT develop AI air interface and sub-THz spectrum for 6G

Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, and NTT achieved two milestones on the path to 6G:

  • Implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into the radio air interface. By pairing a AI-based learned waveform in a transmitter with a deep-learning receiver, Nresearchers were able to design and implement a learning air interface that transmits data efficiently under many different scenarios. This AI/ML-based implementation significantly reduces signaling overhead, producing up to a 30% improvement in throughput.
  • Utilization of new sub-terahertz (sub-THz) spectrum to dramatically boost network capacity. The sub-THz bands (100GHz and above) have never been designated for cellular use because of their propagation characteristics, but new techniques such as beamforming could open up those frequencies to future 6G networks. These higher frequencies are well suited for high-accuracy radio sensing, which will likely be another key feature of 6G. In their proof-of-concept, Nokia, DOCOMO and NTT were able to demonstrate a 25 Gbps connection on a single 256QAM stream over a carrier frequency of 144 GHz using beamforming. Accessing the sub-THz bands would inject enormous capacity into 6G networks. The sub-THz bands won’t just improve overall capacity, they will allow 6G networks to support the most bandwidth intensive future use cases requiring multi-gigabit average connections.

Both technologies have been demonstrated as proofs of concept at Nokia Bell Labs in Stuttgart, Germany.

Nokia said these technologies could pave the way for new immersive metaverse and extended reality (XR) experiences and a new generation of mobile applications. 

Takehiro Nakamura, Chief Technology Architect, DOCOMO, said: “We are delighted to announce the steady progress of two key technologies toward 6G as achievements of the collaboration with NTT and Nokia started in June 2022. Through the collaboration, we continue to establish innovative 6G technologies and contribute to the global standardization and commercialization of 6G.”

Peter Vetter, President of Bell Labs Core Research, Nokia, said: “For the 6G era, we are using communication as a starting point. Networks will think, sense and act, and they will become the nexus point that bridges our digital and physical realities. DOCOMO and NTT share our 6G vision, and together we’re doing the fundamental research that will breathe life into that future.”

Qualcomm debuts 5G Advanced-ready modem-RF system

Qualcomm introduced the first 5G Advanced-ready Modem-RF System designed for 3GPP Release 17 and Release 18 and offering AI-powered optimizations to achieve better speeds, coverage, mobility, link robustness and location accuracy.

Key specs for the Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF System 

  • Peak Download Speed: 10 Gbps
  • Peak Upload Speed: 3.5 Gbps
  • Cellular Modem-RF Specs: 10CC aggregation in mmWave, 5CC aggregation in 5G sub 6GHz
  • Performance Enhancement Technologies: Qualcomm Smart Transmit Gen 4 technology, Qualcomm 5G AI Processor Gen 2 with dedicated tensor accelerator, Qualcomm 5G AI Suite Gen2, Qualcomm Advanced Modem-RF Software Suite, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave Gen 4, Qualcomm® Power RF Efficiency Suite, Qualcomm RF Downlink Boost
  • Cellular Technology: 5G NR, sub-6 GHz, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), LTE, WCDMA, LAA, TD-SCDMA, GSM/EDGE, CBRS, mmWave, 5G FDD, 5G TDD, 5G SA (standalone), 5G NSA (non-standalone), F + F ULCA, FDD UL MIMO, Switched Uplink

Sampling is underway.

“5G Advanced will take connectivity to a whole new level, fueling the new reality of the Connected Intelligent Edge,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon X75 Modem-RF System demonstrates the full breadth of our global 5G leadership, with innovations such as hardware accelerated AI and the support for upcoming 5G Advanced capabilities, which unlock a whole new level of 5G performance and a new phase in cellular communications.”

Qualcomm is also announcing the Snapdragon X72 5G Modem-RF System – a 5G modem-to-antenna solution optimized for mainstream adoption of mobile broadband applications, supporting multi-Gigabit download and upload speeds.

Cisco fueled by cloud networking and easing supply chain issues

Fueled by demand for cloud-driven networking and an improving supply chain, Cisco reported revenue of $13.6 billion for the second quarter of its fiscal 2023, up 7% year over year. GAAP net income was $2.8 billion or $0.67 per share, and non-GAAP net income was $3.6 billion or $0.88 per share.

“With Cisco’s strong Q2 performance, our fiscal 2023 is shaping up to be a great year,” said Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco. “The modern, highly secure networks we are building serve as the backbone of our customers’ technology strategy. This, combined with the success of our ongoing business transformation and operational discipline gives me confidence in our future.”

Some highlights:

  • Product revenue up 9% and service revenue was up 2%. 
  • Software revenue was $4.2 billion, up 10% yoy. Software subscription revenue was up 15% yoy. Total subscription revenue represents 44% of overall revenue.
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas up 9%, EMEA up 5%, and APJC was up 1%. 
  • Product revenue performance was led by growth in Secure, Agile Networks up 14%, End-to-End Security up 7%, and Optimized Application Experiences up 11%. Internet for the Future was down 1% and Collaboration was down 10%. Data center switching declined slightly.
  • The company noted double-digit growth for Catalyst 9000, enterprise routing, Wireless, Meraki, DUO and ThousandEyes
  • Q2 was another consecutive quarter of rapid adoption of 400-gig Cisco 8000 and Silicon One platforms
  • In the web-scale segment, Cisco noted overall slowing due to normalizing product lead times. Two of the largest customers grew their orders with Cisco by over 40% in the first half of fiscal ‘23.
  • On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 62.0%, 60.2%, and 67.2%.

Equinix now has 245 data centers with 49 projects underway

Equinix reported 2022 revenue of $7.263 billion, a 9% increase over the previous year on an as-reported basis or 11% on a normalized and constant currency basis. Net income was $705 million, a 41% increase over the previous year, primarily due to operating performance strength and loss on debt extinguishment in 2021. For the full year of 2023, Equinix expects total revenues to range between $8.145 and $8.245 billion, a 12 - 14% increase over the previous year on an as-reported basis, or a 14 - 15% increase on a normalized and constant currency basis.

Some highlights of its ongoing data center expansion program

  • Equinix now encompasses more than 245 data centers across 71 metros in 32 countries
  • The 49 major projects currently underway across 35 metros and 23 countries represent the largest new-build pipeline in company history.
  • In Q4, Equinix announced its first builds in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Johor, Malaysia. 
  • The new Johannesburg facility will augment Equinix's current African footprint in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.

KDDI employs Wind River for 5G Open vRAN Sites in Japan

KDDI is using Wind River Studio for its O-RAN–compliant 5G virtualized base station, which began commercial deployment this January in Osaka, Japan.

The Wind River Studio Cloud Platform powers the automated configuration (zero-touch provisioning) system. Wind River Studio Analytics is used to monitor the status of geographically distributed far edge clouds. Studio addresses the complex challenges service providers face in deploying and managing geographically distributed, ultra-low latency infrastructure and enables large-scale deployment of 5G virtualized base stations.

Wind River's Studio Cloud Platform provides a fully cloud-native, Kubernetes- and container-based architecture, based on open source, for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of distributed edge networks at scale. It delivers a foundation for a geographically distributed managed solution able to simplify Day 1 and Day 2 operations by providing single-pane-of-glass, zero-touch automated management of thousands of nodes, no matter where their physical location. Studio addresses the challenges of deploying and managing a physically distributed, cloud-native infrastructure to provide traditional RAN performance in a vRAN/Open RAN deployment.

Frontier’s infrastructure to support AT&T 5G

AT&T will deploy its 5G infrastructure in Frontier central offices and connect to Frontier’s fiber network. Under a deal announced by the firms, AT&T's cell towers will be served by Frontier’s fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) infrastructure.

This deal is an extension of AT&T and Frontier’s 2021 agreement that brought the two complementary fiber networks together to power business customers nationwide.

”Fiber is central to our wireless strategy and to our overall connectivity approach,” said Cheryl Choy, Senior Vice President, Network Planning & Engineering, AT&T. “This expanded collaboration with Frontier is a win for both companies, as they can fully utilize their fiber infrastructure, and we can continue to ensure our wireless services are powered by the unparalleled capacity of fiber optic networks.”

POET to demo 800G Optical Engines and light sources

At next month's Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) in San Diego, POET Technologies will be hosting live demonstrations of its advanced optical engine and light source products:

  • 800G 2xFR4 receive optical engines with integrated DMUX, photodiodes and trans-impedance amplifier;
  • 100G LR4 transmit and receive optical engines for 10km transmission applications;
  • O-Band LightBar products with high-power CW lasers for co-packaged optics and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI-ML) GPUs;
  • Mechanical demo of 800G 2xFR4 QSFP-DD transceiver showcasing the simplicity of a transceiver design utilizing POET's optical engines.

 “We have several advanced products to demonstrate at OFC 2023 that we expect to attract substantial customer interest,” said Raju Kankipati, Senior Vice President and USA GM at POET Technologies. “All of POET’s integrated optical engines are based on POET’s Optical Interposer with hybrid integration of best of breed components and monolithic integration of passive elements, resulting in an extremely small chiplet architecture enabling the production of 800G, 1.6T and even 3.2T transceivers in standard pluggable form-factors.  We will also be demonstrating and showing mechanical samples of our innovative LightBar products, an essential component for AI-ML accelerator GPUs, an emerging but potentially huge market. As one of the optoelectronics industry’s premier events, OFC is the perfect place to highlight our newly released products and to continue growing our network of potential partners and customers.”