Tuesday, April 18, 2023

European Chips Act promises billions for semiconductor fabs

The European Parliament and the Council reached agreement to proceed with a European Chips Act aimed at strengthening European competitiveness and resilience in this strategic sector.

The European Union aims to to double its current global market share of semiconductor manufacturing to 20% in 2030.

There are three pillars to the European Chips Act.

  1. A Chips for Europe Initiative will combine investments from the Union, Member States and the private sector. The Initiative will be supported by €6.2 billion of public funds, of which €3.3 billion from the EU budget agreed today for the period until 2027, the end of the current multi-annual financial framework. This support will come in addition to €2.6 billion public funding already foreseen for semiconductor technologies. The €6.2 billion will support activities, such as the development of a design platform and setting up of pilot lines to accelerate innovation and production. The Initiative will also help the establishment of competence centres, located across Europe, which will provide access to technical expertise and experimentation, helping companies, SMEs in particular, to improve design capabilities and developing skills.
  2. Spur an estimated €43 billion in public and private investments in manufacturing facilities for chipmakers and their suppliers. European Chips Act createsframework for Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries that are “first-of-a-kind” in the Union and contribute to the security of supply and to a resilient ecosystem in the Union interest.
  3. Establish a coordination mechanism between the Member States and the Commission for strengthening collaboration with and across Member States, monitoring the supply of semiconductors, estimating demand, anticipating shortages, and, if necessary, triggering the activation of a crisis stage. To address such situations, the European Chips Act establishes a dedicated toolbox of measures that can be undertaken.


Vodafone offers preferential supply chain financing rates for ESG goals

Vodafone will offer preferential supply chain financing rates to telecom equipment suppliers that score highly against environmental performance criteria.

CDP, a global not-for-profit organisation that runs the global environmental disclosure system helping financial institutions, companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impact, has joined forces with Vodafone by developing a framework to encourage suppliers to reduce their own carbon emissions.  

Vodafone already asks suppliers to agree to achieving various environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets across areas like health and safety, diversity and the environment as part of its responsible supply chain commitments. In addition, some suppliers also complete an annual CDP survey that scores them on environmental performance. 

CDP and Vodafone have jointly developed a framework consisting of 12 criteria from that survey – relating specifically to greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain – as the basis for a new environmentally-linked supply chain finance programme. 


France joins Quantum Communication Infrastructure project

FranceQCI, which is part of the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) initiative, is garnering support from industry, quantum startups, academic and institutional players, including Airbus, CNRS, Cryptonext Security, Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile, Orange, Sorbonne Université, Telecom Paris, Thales, Thales Alenia Space, Université Côte d’Azur, Veriqloud and Welinq. he French civil aviation authority that provides air traffic control service (Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne - DSNA), joins the project as a public institution to allow the consortium to test realistic use-cases. Orange has been appointed coordinator of FranceQCI consortium.

FranceQCI’s will test quantum communication technologies and integrate them into existing communication networks in France. FranceQCI will capitalize on existing infrastructures in the Paris (ParisRegionQCI) and Nice (Quantum@UCA/Nice) areas to progress towards operational Quantum Key Distribution (so called QKD) services and contribute to the development of the European technological autonomy.  A quantum network will also be implemented in Toulouse (in DGAC/DSNA/DTI lab) to test a real end-user service for the French Civil Aviation Authority. It will consist of exchanging simulated operational air traffic control data secured by QKD. 

"The FranceQCI consortium’s objective is to drive a significant impulse towards a European quantum communication infrastructure that will be able to safeguard sensitive data and critical communications for governmental institutions, data centers, hospitals, energy grids, and more. We are delighted to benefit from fundings from the European Union through the Digital Europe Program to contribute to one of the main pillars of the EU’s cybersecurity strategy.” says Michaël Trabbia, EVP, CEO Orange Wholesale, and interim Orange Group Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, representing all members of the France QCI consortium.


Microsoft adds Azure Container Networking Interface overlays

Microsoft has developed a new networking solution called "Azure CNI Overlay" to push beyond the scale and performance boundaries of the existing networking solutions in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). 

Azure Container Networking Interface (CNI) Overlay assigns IP addresses from the user-defined overlay address space instead of using IP addresses from the VNET. It uses the routing of these private address spaces as a native virtual network feature. This means that cluster nodes do not need to perform any extra encapsulation to make the overlay container network work. 


CoreSite offers direct-to-cloud to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

CoreSite has enhanced its Open Cloud Exchange (OCX) with automated provisioning functionality within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and direct cloud-to-cloud communication capabilities on CoreSite’s fully managed virtual routers. OCX enables secure, low latency connectivity among the company’s data centers, cloud providers and digital ecosystem needed to reach new markets, rapidly scale on-demand, reduce total cost of operation (TCO) and accelerate IT modernization.

The new Layer 3 connection to OCI, available through the OCX, provides 1 Gbps bandwidth for customers, with 10 Gbps to follow in future releases. 

CoreSite customers can now access Oracle Cloud Regions in Chicago, Ashburn and Phoenix from all CoreSite data centers. In addition, CoreSite’s Chicago campus serves as a key interconnection point for the Oracle Cloud Chicago Region with FastConnect.

“Since introducing the Open Cloud Exchange® over a decade ago, CoreSite has continually invested in building out the platform to support modern use cases in the age of digitization,” said Matt Senderhauf, VP of Interconnection Strategy at CoreSite. “The OCX makes it easy for customers to deploy a high-performance hybrid architecture and meet their ever-changing, critical IT infrastructure requirements.”


Deutsche Telekom teams with AWS on Private 5G

Deutsche Telekom is launching a new program called Integrated Private Wireless on AWS. 

Enterprise customers from Germany and Austria can select Telekom Campus Network packages from an AWS portal. After a customer makes their selection from the portal, Deutsche Telekom is responsible for planning, deploying, and operating the customized private wireless solution. Additionally, with just a few clicks, customers can combine their campus network with AWS services, as well as AWS’s dynamic community of more than 100,000 partners from over 150 countries, offering additional validated solutions that run on AWS.

"Deutsche Telekom is focused on driving innovation and developing new solutions to better serve our enterprise customers. Working with AWS gives us the opportunity to further scale our campus network solutions and deliver even more value to business customers", says Antje Williams, Senior Vice President, 5G Campus Networks, Deutsche Telekom. "We see the cooperation as a promising sales approach where we combine AWS services and our campus networks for the benefit of our customers."

Combination of campus network solutions and digital AWS services.


TOTEM deploys 5G DAS at Orange Vélodrome

TOTEM, which is Orange’s European TowerCo with over 27,000 sites in France and Spain, has deployed a DAS (Distributed Antenna System) infrastructure with next-generation antennas at Orange Vélodrome, a multi-purpose stadium in Marseille with a capacity of 67,000.

The four French operators, Bouygues Télécom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR, connected today their equipment to the antenna infrastructure deployed by TOTEM and can now offer 5G to their end customers within the Orange Vélodrome. As a Tower Company, TOTEM ensures that all its operator customers have access to the infrastructure, allowing them to operate their respective networks in the best conditions.

“Connecting an indoor environment to the latest generation of 5G, which can be used by almost 68,000 people at the same time, is a real technical challenge. To connect the Orange Vélodrome, TOTEM has built the first network of its kind in France, capable of meeting the connectivity needs of the biggest sports events. The equipment deployed by TOTEM is the same successfully deployed solution at major competitions in the US and will make the Orange Vélodrome the first stadium in France to have such advanced 5G connectivity,” says Thierry Papin, CEO of TOTEM France.

stc expands coverage in Makkah for pilgrimage

stc provided the King Abdulaziz Endowment with seven communication towers covering an area of 1.5 million square meters – one of the largest coverage areas in Saudi Arabia, more than 18,600 antennas, more than 800 small picocells to cover nearby frequencies, and 92 broadcast stations with 4 LTE network operators. The upgrade includes 92 broadcast stations installed in the Masjid Al Haram (the Holy Mosque) to serve millions of Umrah performers and visitors during the Umrah season.. 

stc said it also installed the first CDD digitally distributed antenna system in the Middle East in preparation for deploying the fifth-generation network service in the coming months. It will also develop an endowment fund to establish a sustainable digital infrastructure and promote the development of digital products and solutions in Saudi Arabia to strengthen the nation’s position as a digital hub in the Middle East and North Africa region.


Rapid Silicon develops CXL 3.0 dual mode controller IP with Elastics.cloud

Rapid Silicon is collaborating with Elastics.cloud on CXL 3.0 dual mode controller IP. The companies will offer an IP ecosystem for FPGA customers by providing access to specialized IP blocks that can be used to build more complex systems.

CXL 3.0 also supports CXL 2.0, 1.1, and 1.0 specifications and is compliant with PCIe 6.0, offering backward compatibility with PCIe 5.0, 4.0, 3.1, 2.0, and 1.1. It features a highly configurable and scalable architecture that can be tailored to the specific needs of customers, such as the number of lanes, datapath width, and power consumption.

The CXL 3.0 dual mode IP is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2023.

“CXL 3.0 technology provides significantly enhanced functionality which will revolutionize system architectures and performance while enabling greater flexibility and utilization of resources,” said George Apostol, Founder and CEO of Elastics.cloud. “As the ecosystem expands, compatibility is essential, and it is strategically important to collaborate with industry partners, such as Rapid Silicon, to deliver leading-edge solutions to our customers.”

"We are excited to partner with Elastics.cloud, the world leader in CXL switch technology, and proud to be at the forefront of cutting-edge solutions that address customer needs in the FPGA market,” said Naveed Sherwani, CEO of Rapid Silicon. “We are committed to providing our customers a world-class custom FPGA solution with CXL 3.0 as one of the peripheral interface protocols. Our in-house fabric and IP portfolio reduces the overall design cost for our FPGAs, accelerates customer designs, and enhances design compatibility for an unparalleled level of performance and flexibility.”