Monday, December 4, 2023

AT&T sets course to Open RAN with Ericsson

In what it describes as the largest deal financially in its 147 year history, Ericsson confirmed that it has been selected by AT&T to supply 5G Open Radio Access Networks products and solutions to support AT&T’s nationwide Open RAN ambitions in the U.S.

The deal is valued at approximately US$14 billion over five years.

AT&T’s Open RAN plan is for 70% of its wireless network traffic to flow across open-capable platforms by late 2026. 

AT&T said it is motivated to accelerate the commercial introduction of Open RAN equipment and open network management solutions from multiple vendors, utilizing purpose-built hardware and virtualized commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware.

Under the contract, Ericsson will supply:

  • The latest generation Ericsson Massive MIMO and remote radios that are hardware-ready for the next generation of open fronthaul technologies.
  • Next generation, Ericsson RAN Compute, which was recently launched.
  • Ericsson Cloud RAN solutions that will introduce the shift to Open RAN architecture with open interfaces and disaggregation to enable new partnerships in new areas of the Radio Access Networks. It will also allow us to build RAN SW in a modular way truly building a horizontal connectivity platform.
  • Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform (EIAP) will provide comprehensive multi-vendor, multi technology service management and automation for the AT&T network. AT&T and Ericsson will jointly promote and utilize the open EIAP rApp Ecosystem with its marketplace and Software Development Toolkit (SDK) to accelerate rApp development and innovation for AT&T and third party software providers globally. Ericsson will utilize its leading position in Open RAN standardization to provide comprehensive support within the AT&T network for O-RAN Alliance SMO interfaces including: O1, O2 and A1 interfaces (in the non-Real-time RIC) and encapsulates the R1 interface between the non-Real-Time RIC and the rApps.

The gear will be produced at Ericsson’s recently expanded 5G Smart Factory in Lewisville, Texas, in compliance with the Build America, Buy America infrastructure laws Act.

AT&T said it is working with other suppliers, including Fujitsu, Corning, Dell Technologies, and Intel.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “High-performance and differentiated networks will be the foundation for the next step in digitalization. I am excited about this future and happy to see our long-term customer, AT&T, choosing Ericsson for this strategic industry shift – moving to open, cloud-based and programmable networks. Through this shift, and with open interfaces and open APIs, the industry will see new performance-based business models, creating new ways for operators to optimise and monetize the network. We are truly proud to be collaborating with AT&T in the industrialization of Open RAN and help accelerate digital transformation in the U.S.”

Chris Sambar, Executive Vice President, AT&T Network, says: “AT&T is taking the lead in open platform sourcing in our wireless network. With this collaboration, we will open up radio access networks, drive innovation, spur competition and connect more Americans with 5G and fiber. We are pleased that Ericsson shares our support for Open RAN and the possibilities this creates for American digital infrastructure.”

Fujitsu and KDDI cite gains with multiband wavelength multiplexing

Fujitsu Limited and KDDI Research have developed a large-capacity multiband wavelength multiplexing transmission technology using installed optical fibers.

The companies say the new technology enables wavelength transmission at 5.2 times the wavelength multiplicity of current commercial optical transmission technology. To increase the transmission capacity per fiber, the two companies aimed to increase the wavelength band used from the C band to the L band (1,565 nm to 1,625 nm), the S band (1,460 nm to 1,530 nm), the U band (1,625 nm to 1,675 nm), and the O band (1,260 nm to 1,360 nm), with the aim of making it multi-band.

As part of the project, Fujitsu built a simulation model that accounts for the degradation factors of transmission performance in multiband transmission, enabling the transmission design of multiband wavelength multiplexing systems.

The development was undertaken as part of the ”Research and Development Project of the Enhanced Infrastructures for Post-5G Information and Communication Systems” commissioned by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

IBM intros Quantum Heron processor

IBM introduced its 133-qubit "Quantum Heron", the first in a new series of utility-scale quantum processors, offering up to five-fold improvement in error reduction over its previous generation quantum designs.

The new processor powers the IBM Quantum System Two, which combines scalable cryogenic infrastructure and classical runtime servers with modular qubit control electronics. IBM's architecture combines quantum communication and computation, assisted by classical computing resources, and leverages a middleware layer to appropriately integrate quantum and classical workflows.

IBM also outlined a ten-year Quantum Development Roadmap, wherein future generations of quantum processors will gradually improve the quality of operations they can run.

By 2033, IBM expects its "Blue Jay" generation of processors will power systems capable of executing 1 billion gates across 2,000 qubits.  If achieved, this would represent a nine order-of-magnitude increase in performed gates since IBM put our first device on the cloud in 2016.

"We are firmly within the era in which quantum computers are being used as a tool to explore new frontiers of science," said Dario Gil, IBM SVP and Director of Research. "As we continue to advance how quantum systems can scale and deliver value through modular architectures, we will further increase the quality of a utility-scale quantum technology stack – and put it into the hands of our users and partners who will push the boundaries of more complex problems.",-Extends-Roadmap-to-Advance-Era-of-Quantum-Utility

Rambus debuts Quantum Safe IP for ASICs, SoCs, FPGAs

Rambus introduced a Quantum Safe Engine (QSE) for integration into hardware security elements in ASICs, SoCs and FPGAs. 

The Rambus QSE IP core uses NIST-selected quantum-resistant algorithms to protect valuable data center and government hardware against attacks emerging in the post quantum computing era.

The Rambus QSE IP is available as a standalone cryptographic core or integrated in the Rambus Quantum Safe Root of Trust IP as a comprehensive hardware security solution. It supports the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) draft standards for quantum-resistant algorithms (FIPS 203 ML-KEM and FIPS 204 ML-DSA), and provides SHA-3, SHAKE-128 and SHAKE-256 acceleration. 

“From AI, to streaming video, to email, the applications we rely on daily depend on the integrity of data and must be guarded against the growing risk of attacks enabled by quantum computers,” said Neeraj Paliwal, general manager of Silicon IP at Rambus. “The Rambus Quantum Safe Engine is another important addition to our security IP portfolio helping customers transition to Quantum Safe Cryptography starting today.”

“Quantum computers will provide individuals and organizations the exponential speed-up and compute power needed to solve some of today’s most complex problems, including the ability to decrypt current data encryption algorithms,” said Heather West, PhD, research manager of Quantum Computing Research at IDC. “Implementing quantum-resistant cryptography now is key for organizations to protect their past, current and future data from quantum computing enabled attacks.”

Liberty Networks and Gold Data to combine subsea cables

Liberty Networks and Gold Data agreed to combine their subsea systems, GD-1 and LN-1 into a new subsea system.

The subsea cable system is designed to offer two diverse routes with the shortest latency from Mexico to the US, providing additional connectivity between the data hubs in Mexico City, Queretaro, and onward to the US as new routes. It will further connect new data hubs in Colombia and Panama to these critical data hubs.

The subsea system will be split into two segments, with the northern segment called GD-1. Liberty Networks and Gold Data will invest in and operate GD-1 together. Meanwhile, Liberty Networks will fully own the southern leg of the system. The system is expected to be up and running by the second half of 2026.

Liberty Networks operates nearly 50,000 kilometers of submarine fiber optic cable and 17,000 kilometers of terrestrial networks across Latin America.

Gold Data operates 156 PoPs, 76 data centers with a presence in 35 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"We are excited about collaborating with Gold Data on this groundbreaking project," said Ray Collins, Liberty Latin America's SVP of Infrastructure and Corporate Strategy. "The combination of GD-1 and LN-1 will deliver a subsea cable system with unparalleled capabilities. The new system will seamlessly integrate into our existing subsea meshed platform, adding new routes and materially expanding our capacity. The LN-1 system can be further expanded to complement our capacity and diversity throughout the Caribbean. This investment shows our commitment to enabling connectivity across the region and cements our position as a leading wholesale provider.”

“We are thrilled to combine forces with Liberty Networks to create a new subsea system that extends the previously announced GD-1,” said Renato A. Tradardi, Gold Data’s Chief Executive Officer. “Combined with our terrestrial investment in Mexico and offering the lowest latency route, we are setting a new standard for connectivity between Mexico and the US."

Buddy Bayer steps down from Windstream

Buddy Bayer is stepping down and Windstream Wholesale and Enterprise President at the end of the year to pursue another opportunity.

Windstream Chairman and CEO Paul Sunu announced the following appointments:

  • Joe Scattareggia has been named president of Windstream Wholesale.   
  • Mike Flannery has been named president of Windstream Enterprise.

Scattareggia and Flannery previously served as the chief revenue officers of their respective business units.vScattareggia, who joined Windstream in 2013, and Flannery, who joined in 2017, will be responsible for all sales, marketing, service delivery and customer care for their respective business units. Scattareggia will also have responsibility for field operations. Flannery will continue to oversee the Windstream Enterprise Channel Program.

Chiplet Summit scheduled for Feb 6-8 in Santa Clara

The Chiplet Summit 2024 will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center on February 6-8. 

The Tuesday superpanel features leading experts expressing their views on “How Can Chiplets Accelerate Generative AI?”. The Wednesday plenary has Palo Alto Electron CEO Jawad Nasrullah presenting “Developing Chips for Tomorrow: You, Me, and ChatGPT”. A Thursday session offers an annual update on generative AI applications.

The Summit also offers major company keynotes, tutorials, panels, and paper sessions on subjects ranging from optimization to industry trends. An exhibit hall has key products from industry leaders.

“Chiplet Summit will help designers meet Generative AI’s challenges,” said Chuck Sobey, Summit General Chair. “We invite everyone in the ecosystem to come learn about new technologies, discuss issues face-to-face, and set the direction for the industry.”