Tuesday, August 8, 2023

OIF's External Laser Small Form-Factor Pluggable (ELSFP) Implementation Agreement

OIF announced an implementation agreement for external lasers delivering continuous wave (CW) light to optical transceivers co-packaged within a system.

The External Laser Small Form-Factor Pluggable (ELSFP) Implementation Agreement (IA) specifies a front panel pluggable form factor tailored to co-packaged optical systems and other multiple laser external laser source applications.

OIF says this is the first multi-sourced, front panel pluggable external laser source form factor to address the evolving needs of the industry. By placing the laser sources at the front panel, which is the coolest section of the system, the design improves system reliability and allows for efficient “hot-swap” field replacement when necessary.

The ELSFP uses a multi-fiber blind-mate optical connector positioned at the rear of the module. This strategic design mitigates potential eye-safety risks, particularly in applications where high optical powers are involved. Each ELSFP can supply optical power to one or more optical engines, all seamlessly managed by OIF’s Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS).

This IA also defines interoperability for mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical parameters as well as establishing standard power ranges and fiber configurations to focus the industry’s development. 

The final feature unique to ELSFP is the pass-through option which allows systems architects to maximize face plate real estate, solidifying ELSFP’s position as a versatile and adaptable solution for various optical networking applications.

“The ELSFP IA represents a significant milestone for the optical networking industry,” said Jeff Hutchins, OIF Board Member and Physical & Link Layer (PLL) Working Group Co-Packaging Vice Chair and Ranovus. “By providing a front panel pluggable external laser source form factor, we’re empowering network operators and equipment manufacturers with a cutting-edge solution that not only improves reliability but also paves the way for future innovations. The ELSFP’s flexible design accommodates the ever-changing needs of the industry, enabling seamless integration with OIF’s 3.2T co-packaged optical module project and beyond.”

OIF also notes that while the ELSFP project was originally envisioned to complement the 3.2T co-packaged optical module, its forward-looking design makes it easily extensible to address future requirements.

“The ELSFP has already garnered a favorable industry reception through its potential to propel external laser source applications forward, as evidenced by strong collaboration among OIF member both in writing the IA and the substantial engagement in numerous interoperability demonstrations facilitated by OIF,” said Jock Bovington, Cisco, and editor of the OIF ELSFP IA.


Nephio R1 brings Kubernetes-based automation to carrier clouds

Project Nephio, an open source initiative of partners across the telecommunications industry working towards true cloud-native automation under the Linux Foundation, announced the availability of its Release 1 (R1). 

Nephio delivers carrier-grade, Kubernetes-based cloud native intent automation and common automation templates. The goal is to simplify the deployment and management of multi-vendor cloud infrastructure and network functions across large-scale edge deployments. 

Project Nephio launched in April 2022 with seed code provided by Google Cloud.  

Nephio R1 highlights: 

  • A framework to orchestrate cloud native network functions (CNF), infrastructure, and cross-domain lifecycle management
  • Core Nephio principles and Kubernetes integration with custom resource definitions (CRDs).
  • Enhanced user experience and sandbox environment.

New feature details:

  • Common configuration templates to provision and life-cycle management of cloud infrastructure, Kubernetes clusters, 5G network functions and network configurations
  • Gitops- based package management and scaled deployment using Kubernetes Resource Model (KRM) and Configuration as data (CaD)
  • Uniform Kubernetes CRD and operator-based deployment of multi-cloud infrastructure and multi-vendor network functions
  • Kubernetes- based Nephio control-plane which supports single pane of management of large scale deployments
  • Common set of user interface and APIs for integration with service orchestration layers
  • Multiple personas- based management and approval of configurations

"We are thrilled to see the high-demand release of Nephio R1,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “By simplifying the complexity of orchestrating interconnected workloads across large-scale edge deployments, R1 represents significant progress managing  large systems within the cloud-native ecosystem.”

“The telecommunications industry is in much need for open, standard, efficient cloud-native automation solutions to keep up with connectivity demands,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, senior director, Product Management, Google Cloud. “The release of Nephio R1 simplifies cloud based deployments and network management, while also demonstrating the importance of telecom and technology companies working together to develop open cloud native automation solutions that are scalable, reliable, and secure.”

“Nephio is a game-changer for the telecom industry. It can help telecoms to automate their entire network efficiently and reliably, while achieving true zero-touch provisioning. The speed in which the community has embraced Kubernetes principles and further evolved Google Cloud’s seed code to deliver Nephio R1 is truly phenomenal. It's clear that there is a great need for intent based automation to simplify the telecom deployments, and Nephio is well-positioned to meet that demand.” said Kandan Kathirvel, Technical Steering Committee chair, Nephio.


Lightelligence intros CXL card with optical interconnect

Lightelligence, a start-up based in Boston with offices in Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Nanjing, introduced optical communications hardware designed for PCIe and Compute Express Link (CXL) connectivity.

Photowave, which is is being demonstrated at this week’s Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California,  enables CXL 2.0/PCIe Gen 5 connectivity over optics with support for x16, x8, x4 and x2 bifurcation modes of operation, allowing for a wide variety of deployment scenarios. In addition to high-speed electrical-to-optical conversion for the data signals, Photowave also supports sideband signals over optics making it possible to implement more efficient and reliable disaggregation architectures.

This follows Lightelligence’s introduction of Hummingbird, an Optical Network-on-Chip (oNOC) processor for domain-specific artificial intelligence (AI) workloads in June, and PACE, the world’s first integrated photonic computing system for Optical Multiply Accumulate (oMAC) in late 2021.

“We are more than excited to unveil the next piece of our product portfolio,” comments Yichen Shen, CEO of Lightelligence. “Photowave will soon set the standard for workload efficiency. It makes it possible to build scalable computing and accelerator pods with just the right amount of resources.”


DISH + EchoStar merger seeks synergy in 5G and satellite services

DISH Network and EchoStar agreed to an all-stock merger that combines DISH Network's satellite technology, streaming services and nationwide 5G network with EchoStar's premier satellite communications solutions.

DISH's 5G wireless network now covers more than 70 percent of the U.S. with full commercialization underway.  The recent, successful launch of EchoStar's JUPITER 3 satellite brings significant available capacity for converged terrestrial and non-terrestrial services. The combined company will be well-positioned to deliver a broad set of communication and content distribution capabilities.

The combined company will be headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. Its brands will include DISH Wireless, Boost Wireless, Sling TV and DISH TV, as well as EchoStar, Hughes and JUPITER satellite services, HughesON managed services and HughesNet satellite internet.

Under the deal, EchoStar Corporation stockholders will receive 2.85 shares of DISH Network Class A common stock for each share of EchoStar Corporation Class A, Class C or Class D common stock and 2.85 shares of DISH Network Class B common stock for each share of EchoStar Corporation Class B common stock they own. The exchange ratio represents a premium of 12.9% to EchoStar stockholders as implied by the unaffected 30-day volume weighted average closing stock prices of the two companies on July 5, 2023, the last full trading day prior to media speculation regarding a potential transaction.

"This is a strategically and financially compelling combination that is all about growth and building a long-term sustainable business," said Charles Ergen, Chairman of the Board of both DISH Network and EchoStar. "DISH's substantial past investments in spectrum and its wireless buildout, combined with EchoStar's recent launch of JUPITER 3, are expected to significantly reduce near-term CAPEX requirements. The transaction is expected to generate significant cost and revenue synergies, and the strong asset portfolio of the combined company paired with its enhanced free cash flow generation capability and strengthened capital structure are expected to drive long-term value creation for our shareholders and other stakeholders."

"From unconnected individuals in the most rural and remote regions of the world to the constantly evolving networks of private enterprises and government institutions, the connectivity landscape is rapidly changing," said Hamid Akhavan, President and Chief Executive Officer of EchoStar. "As a combined company, we will offer a broad suite of robust connectivity services, using a superior portfolio of technology, spectrum, engineering, manufacturing and network management expertise. DISH shares our customer-first culture, and together we will be well positioned to further scale and accelerate our strategy."

"The combination of DISH and EchoStar brings together two trailblazers with complementary portfolios and a shared commitment to change the way the world communicates," said Erik Carlson, President and Chief Executive Officer, DISH Network. "DISH is transforming America's wireless infrastructure with its 5G technology. With EchoStar's engineering capabilities, managed network services delivery and worldwide S-band spectrum rights, the combined company will have greater resources and the financial flexibility to deliver connectivity to consumers, enterprises and governments around the world."


Keysight collaborates with University of Stuttgart of 6G IC research

 Keysight Technologies announced a collaboration with the University of Stuttgart focused on the development of new integrated circuits (ICs) for 6G.

The research will use the new Keysight 6G Vector Component Analysis (VCA) solution. 

The collaboration has supported the University of Stuttgart in establishing Crosslink, a versatile multiplexing platform for synchronous time- and frequency-domain analyses of ultra-broadband communication channels. The Keysight VCA solution supports Crosslink by integrating sub-terahertz (sub-THz) vector network analysis with wideband modulation capabilities. This combined capability enables unprecedented radio frequency (RF) component characterization under full complex modulated conditions. The result is industry-first, best-in-class noise and linearity performance for analysis of wideband, high-frequency modulated performance of components, circuits, and transceivers. By using VCA, researchers can make significant leaps in the development of the next-generation amplifiers, filters, antenna systems, components, and the channel modeling and sounding needed for 6G networks.

The Keysight VCA measurement solution used for Crosslink integrates an N5245B PNA-X Microwave Network Analyzer, an M8199A Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG), broadband modulation distortion vector network analyzer (VNA) application software, and vector signal analysis (VSA) software with Virginia Diodes (VDI) frequency extenders up to 330 GHz.