Sunday, May 21, 2023

Meta contributes Terragraph, Open M-Plane and Maveric to LF Connectivity

 The Linux Foundation, in collaboration with Meta, announced LF Connectivity, a new open source project focused on advancing technologies to accelerate emerging network and connectivity applications.

Meta is contributing three initial sub-projects:

  • Terragraph is a wireless technology solution for delivering gigabit speed last-mile access
  • Open M-Plane - a software component of Meta's Evenstar hardware design for the configuration and management of the RAN. It is interoperable, hardware-independent, and aligned with O-RAN specifications to help enable mobile wireless connectivity by providing flexibility to operators looking to source hardware from different vendors as they deploy their own RAN solutions.
  • Maveric enables the development and evaluation of cellular network optimization algorithms before their deployment on the network. It is a developer platform that leverages AI/ML approaches to provide realistic cellular network representations and examples that demonstrate its use. 

Supporting organizations include AMD, Cambium Networks, Capgemini, Edgecore Networks, Siklu Communications, University of Delhi, VIAVI, and Virginia Tech. 

“Meta is pleased to contribute our Terragraph, Open M-Plane, and Maveric technologies to the Linux Foundation’s Connectivity project,” said Shah Rahman, engineering director, Meta. “By sharing these technologies, we hope to further improve global connectivity by enabling other companies to participate and contribute to those projects.”

“With 5G becoming more pervasive and NextG on the horizon, bandwidth and latency requirements will be higher than ever, with more applications leveraging augmented reality and immersive experiences that need to traverse networks,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, IoT, the Linux Foundation. “We are pleased to bring new open source tools to more organizations across the globe and welcome LF Connectivity to our growing number of networking projects working to improve digital transformation.”

Meta unveils first in-house ASIC — a video processor

Meta unveiled a highly optimized device for processing video for live-streaming, video on demand (VOD), AR/VR, and AI-generated content across the Meta family of applications.

The Meta Scalable Video Processor (MSVP) is the company’s first in-house-developed ASIC solution. 

The company said it intends to “eventually offload the majority of our stable and mature video processing workloads to MSVP and use software only for workloads that require specific customization and significantly higher quality.”

Some highlights

Each MSVP ASIC can offer a peak transcoding performance of 4K at 15fps at the highest quality configuration with 1-in, 5-out streams and can scale up to 4K at 60fps at the standard quality configuration

  • Performance scales linearly with resolution. 
  • Performance is achieved at ~10W of PCIe module power. 
  • Throughput gain of ~9x for H.264 when compared against libx264 SW encoding. 
  • For VP9, throughput gain of ~50x when compared with libVPX speed 2 preset.
  • ~9x faster throughput for H.264 compared to libx264 SW
  • ~50x faster throughput for VP9 compared to libVPX speed 2

Blovelight develops WDM lens array with SABIC’s resin

China-based Blovelight has partnered with SABIC on an integrated, single-mode fiber optic lens array for optical transmission applications. 

The design uses SABIC’s ULTEM resin to mold an integrated connector and receiving lens array and provide a housing for the WDM component. 

Compared to aspherical glass lenses, SABIC says its resin provides greater design freedom and high-volume, high-speed production without the need for secondary grinding and polishing. From a performance standpoint, ULTEM resin delivers high near-IR transmission (>88% at 850-1550nm), a high refractive Index, and excellent dimensional stability over a wide temperature range (-40℃ to 85℃) to help ensure consistent alignment with single-mode fibers.

ULTEM resin also met the demands of the assembly process for Blovelight’s WDM application by providing high mechanical strength, dimensional stability, and the ability to build miniaturized, multichannel parts.

Liquid Dataport activates terrestrial fiber from Mombasa to Johannesburg

Liquid Dataport activated the first terrestrial fibre route connecting Mombasa to Johannesburg. 

This new route is the first fibre link across DRC between Goma and Kananga, providing multiple landlocked countries with extra redundancy, resilience, connectivity to numerous data centres and cloud resources, and, most significantly, an alternative option in the event of a subsea cable outage between Kenya and South Africa.

Liquid Dataport, which is a unit of Cassava Technologies, noted that this route offers hyperscalers, enterprises and wholesale carriers direct connectivity to data centres in Johannesburg and Nairobi. Investments on the Equiano sea cable and significant capacity on the PEACE and 2Africa undersea fibre cables together with its extensive terrestrial cross-border fibre broadband network ensures that Liquid’s customers benefit from low-cost international capacity landing on both the Kenyan and South African shores wherever they need it on the continent.

Commenting on the launch of this new route, David Eurin, CEO of Liquid Dataport, said, “This is the first terrestrial-only cable connecting Mombasa to Johannesburg via DRC. It is the result of our significant fibre infrastructure investments in several countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. With this new route, we are able to provide our existing and future customers access to an intelligent network with increased resilience and low latency. It not only provides redundancy but was designed to provide additional capacity to the landlocked countries on the route with direct access to cloud resources on the African continent and beyond”.

New Broadband Forum spec targets virtualized ONU authentication

The Broadband Forum will develop a new specification for ONU authentication in virtualized services.

Conventionally, ONU authentication is carried out solely by the operator’s Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), however, as more network functions become disaggregated from physical equipment, it can also be carried out by functions on the network management plane.

ONU authentication also determines whether the ONU is managed by an ONU Management Control Interface (OMCI) function embedded in the OLT (eOMCI) or virtualized in the Management Plane (vOMCI). But if both the OLT and Management Plane engage management with the same ONU, it can have unpredictable results.

TR-489 defines the global architecture and requirements and identifies the interfaces (including YANG modules) necessary to perform ONU authentication including the selection of whether the OMCI function is performed by the OLT or by a management entity in the operator’s network. Whichever is selected controls, configures, and monitors the ONU to identify potential faults, collect and analyze performance data, and encrypt data.

A variety of credentials and procedures can be used to authenticate an ONU, including matching serial number, registration ID or LOID. Which ONU authentication procedure that needs to be considered depends on operational procedures at the discretion of the operator.

“If the authentication process – and which part of the network is responsible for it – is not defined, it can result in inconsistent or even faulty network behavior,” said Ken Ko, Managing Director at Broadband Forum. “TR-489 will benefit all Broadband Forum Work Areas concerned with ONU authentication and management selection and continue to help the industry transition to open, virtualized networks.”

Samsung begins mass production of 16Gb DDR5


Samsung Electronics started mass production of 16-gigabit (Gb) DDR5 DRAM designed for data center servers, HPC clusters, etc.

The new chips are based on the most advanced 12 nanometer (nm)-class process technology and boast a maximum speed of 7.2 gigabits per second (Gbps).

Compared to the previous generation, Samsung’s new 12nm-class DDR5 DRAM reduces power consumption by up to 23% while enhancing wafer productivity by up to 20%.

“Using differentiated process technology, Samsung's industry-leading 12nm-class DDR5 DRAM delivers outstanding performance and power efficiency,” said Jooyoung Lee, Executive Vice President of DRAM Product & Technology at Samsung Electronics. “Our latest DRAM reflects our continued commitment to leading the DRAM market, not only with high-performance and high-capacity products that meet computing market demand for large-scale processing, but also by commercializing next-generation solutions that support greater productivity."

Dell’Oro: Microwave Transmission Equipment market forecasted at +5% in 2023

The microwave transmission equipment market is forecast to grow 5 percent in 2023, according to a new report from Dell’Oro Group, thanks to demand for E-band systems, which are capable of transmitting data at rates up to 20 Gbps. E/V Band shipment volumes are predicted to grow 35 percent year-over-year.

“Microwave Transmission equipment demand is in a growth cycle due to 5G,” stated Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “This growth cycle began in 2021 and is expected to drive increasing demand for microwave equipment for many more years. Among the wireless backhaul technologies, E-band systems are positioned to benefit the most since these products can easily meet the requirements for 5G backhaul,” added Yu.

Highlights from the 1Q 2023 Microwave Transmission & Mobile Backhaul Quarterly Report:

  • Microwave Transmission market growth in 2023 will be driven by higher demand in both mobile backhaul and the Vertical markets.
  • Huawei held the highest share in the quarter and trailing four-quarter period. The manufacturers with the next highest shares were Ericsson, Nokia, and Ceragon.
  • Aviat Networks announced the intent to acquire NEC’s wireless backhaul business. The addition of NEC’s microwave business could improve Aviat’s share rank from top-six to top-three.
  • Microwave transmission equipment demand significantly increased in the Indian region. Compared to the same period a year ago, microwave revenue nearly doubled in 1Q 2023.

Tokyo Tech builds supercomputer with HPE Cray XD6500

Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) Global Scientific Information and Computing Center (GSIC) selected Hewlett Packard Enterprise to build its next-generation supercomputer, TSUBAME4.0.

TSUBAME4.0, which was procured under the Japanese government procurement rules, will be based in a newly constructed facility in Tokyo Tech’s Suzukakedai campus and is expected to be fully operational in spring of 2024.

TSUBAME4.0 will be built with HPE Cray XD6500 supercomputers, consisting of 240 nodes, and equipped with two 4th Gen AMD EPYC processors, four NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs, and 768 GiB of main memory. It will achieve a theoretical peak performance of 66.8 petaflops at 64-bit double precision. Additionally, the system will reach 952 petaflops at 16-bit half-precision, delivering 20 times more accelerated compute performance than TSUBAME3.0, its predecessor.

“TSUBAME has been supporting our research on cyclic peptide drug discovery, which is anticipated to become the next-generation medicine,” said Professor Yutaka Akiyama, School of Computing, Tokyo Tech. “TSUBAME has always been our partner in the daring challenges of achieving world’s first. It has been supporting reproduction of biophysical phenomena with hundred-fold larger simulations, and through exhaustive calculation on hundreds of cases has generated quantitative proof of predictive ability. With the significantly accelerated TSUBAME4.0, we look forward to its support in realizing intelligent drug discovery through large-scale molecular simulation and fusing it with deep learning technology in generating predictive models.”

Airspan secures $25m, appoints Glenn Laxdal as CEO

Airspan Networks announced a new $25 million financing agreement with affiliates of Fortress Investment Group (“Fortress”). Airspan agreed to issue the lenders new common stock warrants to purchase 5,912,040 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $0.01 per share. 

Airspan also modified the terms of its senior secured convertible notes to increase the principal amount to $52.5 million and increase the interest rate to 10%.

In addition, Airspan’s Board appointed Glenn Laxdal, previously Airspan’s President and COO, to serve as Chief Executive Officer.

Eric Stonestrom, Executive Chairman of Airspan said, “We are continuing to make necessary changes to our operating model to focus the company and position it for the future. The Mimosa divestiture and debt restructuring provides the funding and sets the company up for its next phase of growth. We are excited to welcome Glenn to the Board and as Airspan’s new CEO.”

Glenn Laxdal, President and Chief Executive Officer has served as Airspan’s President and COO since January of 2022. Prior to Airspan he has held senior leadership positions at Infinera, Ericsson, Blackberry, and Nortel.