Thursday, April 20, 2023

Broadcom delivers Jericho3-AI switching fabric

Broadcom began shipping its Jericho3-AI switching silicon chip for delivering high-performance Ethernet for GPU clusters supporting AI workloads.

The Jericho3-AI fabric offers 26 petabits per second of Ethernet bandwidth, almost four times the bandwidth of the previous generation, while simultaneously delivering 40 percent lower power per gigabit. The chip boasts advanced capabilities such as load balancing, congestion-free operation, ultra-high radix, and zero-impact failover.

Broadcom said it optimized the chip to handle the unique characteristics of AI workloads such as a low number of large, long-lived flows, all starting concurrently upon completion of an AI computation cycle. 

“The benchmark for AI networking is reducing the time and effort it takes to complete the training and inference of large-scale AI models,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Core Switching Group, Broadcom. “Jericho3-AI delivers significant reduction in job completion time compared to any other alternative in the market.”


  • "Perfect load balancing" equally sprays traffic over all links of the fabric, ensuring maximum network utilization under the highest network loads.
  • Congestion-free operation with end-to-end traffic scheduling ensures no flow collisions and no jitter.
  • Ultra-high radix uniquely allows the Jericho3-AI fabric to scale connectivity to 32,000 GPUs, each with 800Gbps, in a single cluster.
  • Zero-Impact Failover functionality ensures sub-10ns automatic path convergence, resulting in no impact to job completion time.
  • Long-reach SerDes, distributed buffering, and advanced telemetry, all provided using industry-standard Ethernet. 

“Cloud operators will upgrade their AI infrastructure to address the massive growth in bandwidth, driven by a new generation of high-capacity GPUs and the emergence of large language models,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at Wheeler’s Network. “Jericho3-AI offers a high-bandwidth, low-latency and low-power choice for networks connecting tens of thousands of GPUs, revolutionizing the economics of building and maintaining AI clusters for this exciting new era.”

OCP releases chiplet interconnect link layer spec and BoW 2.0

The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) released of a new chiplet interconnect link layer specification and an evolution of its previously-released Bunch of Wires (BoW) PHY specification. 

  • The development of the OCP ODSA (Open Domain-Specific Architecture) Link Layer specification is focused on the silicon die disaggregation use case maintaining simplicity to serve as many markets as possible, with key features, such as: (1) extensibility defining interface profiles allowing the addition of new link layer features, customization to bus protocols and enabling Chiplet interconnect interoperability, (2) portability across different die implementation methodologies and process nodes, (3) ability to scale with support for multiple PHY slices and different data rates, (4) while keeping latency low, especially with use of Forward Error Correction (FEC) eliminating where possible serialization due to Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC).
  • BoW 2.0 includes significant advancements on top of doubling top speed to 512 Gbps per 16 lane slice, including: (1) new energy efficient operations with gated clock and data line inactive modes that can save up to 90% of power consumed for interconnect, (2) half-width slices for dies with smaller absolute beachfront requirements, (3) sideband slices for channel management, (4) bidirectional slices with  direction configurable across channel, and (5) and bump redundancy for improved reliability on failure.

“The OCP recognized several years ago that innovation in silicon needed to be amplified, just as the constraints of larger silicon dies were beginning to impede progress. The OCP created its vision for an open Chiplet economy with the intent of being a catalyst for change by establishing a strong community to deliver on the new standardizations, tools and best practices around technical and business workflows that would be required for a truly open economy, where vendors would sell Chiplets embodying their IP to integrators that would build specialized System in Package (SiP)s. Moving forward the OCP intends to become the front door to an open Chiplet marketplace, providing standardizations allowing Chiplet vendors to self-certify, or 3rd party organizations to independently verify, Chiplet Known Good Die (KGD) characteristics," said Cliff Grossner Ph.D., VP Market Intelligence and Innovation at the Open Compute Project Foundation.

“We can see the first visible seedlings of the open Chiplet economy sprout with the release of LL 1.0 and BoW 2.0 complementing the recent release of CDXML and establishing an alliance with JEDEC and work on standardized Chiplet test benches and interconnect benchmarks. We are at an inflection point where Chiplet vendors have a fairly complete set of standards and tools available to derisk building Chiplet product sets. The market leaders developing Chiplets are still playing a very important role filling gaps that they identify in current standards and we expect to see these additional learnings materialize as updates to existing standards as the open Chiplet economy matures,” said Bapi Vinnakota Ph.D., ODSA Project lead at OCP.

AWS contributes New Edge Gateway spec to OCP

AWS has contributed a new edge gateway base specification to the Open Compute Project 

The spec is targeted for deployments supporting cloud-delivered managed edge services in various market segments, including retail. The edge gateway will also support OCP’s Switch Abstraction Layer (SAI) and thus end users will have a choice of Network OS including SONiC or DENT from the Linux Foundation. 

The specification allows for gateways configured with 48 ports (32x1Gb ports and 16x2.5Gb ports) or 24 ports (24x2.5 Gb ports), both configurations include 4x25Gb SFP28 Uplink Ports. The gateway can support PoE (15.4 to 100 Watts) and optionally Cellular LTE and/or 5G and/or Wi-Fi.  The gateway CPU can be a pluggable module with extended computational performance to allow for demanding workloads of SD-WAN and SASE. Software support includes the ONIE loader and SAI providing choice of SONiC or DENT as Network OS. Hardware management leverages OCP Hardware Baseline Management Profile. For security, TPM 2.0 Module, Secure Boot, and MACSec are supported.

OCP envisions tat this gateway specification will be a catalyst for development of a new and resilient open enterprise edge computing supply chain, with participation from ODM and OEM network equipment vendors including Edgecore, Celestica, Delta Networks, Extreme Networks, Ragile Networks, Delta Electronics and Wistron. The expectation is that production prototypes will be available for display at the OCP Global Summit in October 2023, and that volume shipments will begin in 1Q 2024.

“Collaboration across open ecosystems is key to digital transformation,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “Integrating with other thought leaders like OCP has helped the development of our open source NOSes, DENT and SONiC, especially in scaling and securing enterprise edge deployments across use cases. We are especially eager for new developments and specifications harmonizing SwitchDev and SAI for more intuitive deployment.”

Zayo expands LH dark fiber and 400G routes, upgrades IP core with Juniper

Zayo announced a series of expansions and enhancements to its network and services, including significant growth of its long-haul dark fiber and 400G-enabled routes and modernization of its IP core network. Juniper was selected for the IP core upgrade.

“The only way to stay ahead of the digital curve is to continuously transform. Transformative ideas need a reliable, resilient and on-demand network,” said Bill Long, Chief Product Officer at Zayo. “Zayo is leading the industry with network automation and self-service options, ensuring customers have unprecedented speed and resilience with more flexibility and elasticity, while enhancing security and value, so our customers can focus on making progress toward their business goals instead of worrying about their network.”

Zayo is launching Waves on Demand to enable same-day turn-up on the most in-demand routes, with significantly shortened delivery times. Customers can quickly provision “Wavelength on Demand” between key data center locations across its market-leading network footprint, including its highest-demand routes. In 2023, Zayo launched 8 new Waves on Demand routes, with 5 additional routes planned for the future.

Zayo’s Completed Waves on Demand routes include:

  • Newark, NJ - New York, NY (up to 400G)
  • Ashburn, VA - New York, NY
  • Hillsboro, OR - Seattle, WA
  • Ashburn, VA - Newark, NJ
  • Atlanta, GA - Dallas, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA - San Jose, CA
  • Inter-Los Angeles, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA - San Jose, CA (alt)

Zayo’s Planned Waves on Demand Routes include:

  • Toronto, ON - Chicago, IL
  • San Jose, CA - Seattle, WA
  • Newark, NJ - Chicago, IL
  • Chicago, IL - Secaucus, NJ
  • Englewood, FL - Chicago, IL

This year Zayo began IP Core upgrades to support 400G connectivity. 

In 2022, Zayo added 5,200 route miles to its network, resulting in more than 1.35M fiber miles.

Zayo now has 224 400G-enabled wavelength points of presence (PoPs) and 145 100G-enabled PoPs.

Zayo deployed 24 long-haul waves routes in 2022 with 926TB of wavelength capacity, enabling 400G services across these routes, spanning more than 20,000 route miles. In 2023, Zayo will exceed the number of new Long Haul Dark Fiber routes deployed in 2022.

Zayo will complete 8 long-haul construction projects in 2023, totaling 2,951 route miles and 708,000 fiber miles.

Zayo is estimated to complete 32 400G routes in 2023 with 14 completed in the first half of the year.

Zayo’s 2023 planned new and augmented dark fiber routes:

  • New - St. Louis, MO to Indianapolis, IN
  • Overbuild - Denver, CO to Dallas, TX
  • Overbuild - Chicago, IL to Omaha, NE
  • Overbuild - Omaha, NE to Denver, CO
  • Overbuild - Seattle, WA to Vancouver, WA
  • New - Columbus, OH to Pittsburgh, PA
  • Overbuild - St. Louis, MO to Memphis, TN
  • New - Columbus, OH to Ashburn, VA

Zayo’s New Tier 1 400G Routes:

  • Albany, NY - Newark, NJ
  • Bend, OR - Umatilla, OR
  • Chicago, IL - Cleveland, OH
  • Albany, NY - Boston, MA
  • Atlanta, GA - Washington, DC
  • Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
  • Denver, CO - Dallas, TX
  • Kansas City, MO - Indianapolis, IN
  • Las Vegas, NV - Phoenix, AZ
  • Montreal, QC (Canada) - Quebec City, QC (Canada)
  • Columbus, OH - Ashburn, VA
  • Columbus, OH - Cleveland, OH
  • Columbus, OH - Pittsburg, PA
  • Chicago, IL - Clinton, KY
  • Clinton, KY - Ponchatoula, LA
  • Toronto, ON (Canada) - Waterloo, ON (Canada) (Crosslake)
  • Toronto, ON (Canada) - Montreal, QC (South) (Canada)
  • Toronto, ON (Canada) - Montreal, QC (North) (Canada)
  • Indianapolis, IN - Columbus, OH
  • Ashburn, VA - Baltimore, MD
  • Salt Lake City, UT - Seattle, WA
  • Los Angeles, CA - San Jose, CA

On the security front, Zayo is deploying Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) filtering - a component of Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) compliance designed to secure the internet’s routing infrastructure - Zayo now requires two-factor authentication process for Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) route management.

stc's TAWAL acquires telecom towers in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia

stc Group's infrastructure subsidiary, TAWAL, agreed to acquire United Group’s telecommunications tower assets fir EUR 1.22 billion.

Following completion of the acquisition, TAWAL will own and operate more than 4,800 sites across Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia (all European Union member states, two of which are already members of the Eurozone), providing the full range of passive infrastructure services ranging from ground-based towers, rooftops small cells to in-building-solutions. As part of the 20-year master services agreement with United Group, TAWAL will deploy over 2,000 additional sharable sites, while co-location relationships with other mobile network operators will be maintained and expanded, enabling stc Group to drive digital transformation through providing world-class connectivity.

This marks the Saudi Arabian telecoms group's first investment in the European market. The company says the step marks a major milestone in its international expansion journey. TAWAL currently owns a portfolio of over 16,000 telecom towers. The company is actively supporting digital transformation plans in Saudi Arabia, expanding its reach across new cities and rural areas in the Kingdom and actively rolling out smart-city-ready technologies such as camouflage telecom towers, smart poles capable of hosting 5G and IoT applications, in-building solutions, and small cells.

Olayan Alwetaid, Chief Executive Officer, stc Group, said: “Our agreement with United Group represents an exciting new chapter for TAWAL and the wider stc Group. The agreement is a significant milestone in our ambitious growth strategy and the expansion of our international footprint"

AT&T posts flat results for Q1, up 1% yoy

AT&T reported Q1 communications revenue of $29.2 billion, up 1.0% year over year due to increases in Mobility and Consumer Wireline, which more than offset a decline in Business Wireline. Operating income was $6.7 billion, up 3.9% year over year, with operating income margin of 23.1%, compared to 22.5% in the year-ago quarter.

"Our teams take pride in connecting more people to greater possibility through 5G and fiber,” said John Stankey, AT&T CEO. “We’re winning thanks to a proven and sustainable playbook that centers on simple, customer-centric experiences. As a result, we’re adding high-value customers, and when they choose AT&T, they stay with us. The work we’re doing today is establishing a foundation for durable, long-term growth, and we remain confident in our full-year guidance.”

Some highlights:

  • Total wireless net adds were 5.1 million including:
  • 542,000 postpaid net adds with:
  • 424,000 postpaid phone net adds
  • (56,000) postpaid tablet and other branded computing device net losses
  • 174,000 other net adds
  • 40,000 prepaid phone net adds
  • Postpaid churn was 0.99% versus 0.94% in the year-ago quarter.
  • Postpaid phone churn was 0.81% versus 0.79% in the year-ago quarter.
  • Prepaid churn was 2.73%, with Cricket substantially lower, versus 2.77% in the year-ago quarter.
  • Postpaid phone ARPU was $55.05, up nearly 2.0% versus the year-ago quarter, due to prior-year pricing actions, higher international roaming and a mix shift to higher-priced unlimited plans.
  • FirstNet connections reached approximately 4.7 million across more than 25,000 agencies.
  • More than 750,000 U.S. business buildings are lit with fiber from AT&T and more than 10 million business customer locations are on or within 1,000 feet of AT&T fiber.
  • Total broadband net losses, excluding DSL, were 23,000, reflecting AT&T Fiber net adds of 272,000, more than offset by losses in non-fiber services. 
  • AT&T Fiber now has the ability to serve 19.7 million customer locations and offers symmetrical, multi-gig speeds across parts of its entire footprint of more than 100 metro areas.
  • In Mexico, total wireless net adds were 10,000, including 58,000 prepaid net losses, 49,000 postpaid net adds and 19,000 reseller net adds.

Leonardo migrates its defense IT systems to Azure

Leonardo, a defense contractor known for its helicopters and advanced electronics, has deployed the cloud-based Azure platform across its UK business.

Leonardo’s UK-based scientists and engineers will now have secure access to a remotely-accessible ‘digital backbone’ that will speed up product research, cut development costs and enable closer collaboration with customers and other partners. In the future, Leonardo will also be able to use the digital backbone to exploit the huge amount of data it collects in the form of new products and services.

Leonardo said it will invest around £100M this year in the UK in its ongoing enablers strategy, including the Future Factory transformation project. Last year the company rolled out digital electronics factories across the country, with a ‘common data environment’ putting big data at the fingertips of engineers. 

Gareth Hetheridge, Director Digital and IT, Leonardo UK, said: “With the introduction of the Leonardo digital backbone, employees, partners and customers can now securely access relevant data and applications anytime, anywhere. This will be vital as industry moves to a model of defence contracting where companies and customers work more closely together than ever before, despite being physically located around the country and internationally. Our close partnership with Microsoft UK and Accenture has allowed us to adopt this disruptive technology at pace and we’re very proud to be flying the flag for bringing the benefits of the cloud to the UK defence industry.”

Aaron Neil, Director Defence & Secure Markets, Microsoft UK, said: “Over the last year we have worked with Leonardo UK to better understand its digital transformation aspirations and priorities. We are delighted to support Leonardo's migration to Azure, enabling highly secure access to the cloud; this announcement is testament to our close partnership and an exciting milestone in delivering advanced technology to accelerate capability delivery for UK Defence.”