Monday, July 22, 2024

Network configuration error blamed for AT&T wireless outage

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a comprehensive report detailing the causes and impacts of a nationwide AT&T wireless service outage on February 22, 2024. The outage, which lasted over 12 hours, prevented customers from using voice and data services, blocking more than 92 million phone calls and over 25,000 attempts to reach 911. The report also includes recommendations to prevent similar incidents in the future.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “When you sign up for wireless service, you expect it to be available when you need it – especially for emergencies.” The outage not only disrupted consumer communications but also affected public safety personnel using FirstNet. The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau promptly launched an investigation, revealing several key findings about the outage’s extensive impact and the subsequent corrective actions taken by AT&T.

The outage affected users in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, impacting over 125 million devices. During the critical early hours of the outage, all 4G voice and 5G data services were unavailable to AT&T customers, including FirstNet subscribers. This disruption particularly impacted FirstNet, as device registrations approached normal only after the restoration of the dedicated network elements connected to AT&T’s broader network.

The FCC report highlights the technical cause of the outage, pinpointing two key steps that led to the network configuration error. An incorrect configuration was first made by an AT&T employee, followed by another employee loading this erroneous network change. This sequence revealed insufficient oversight and controls within AT&T’s processes, allowing the misconfiguration to propagate. Additionally, the network’s inability to handle the sudden influx of re-registration requests once the error was corrected prolonged the outage significantly.

Key Points:

  • The outage blocked over 92 million voice calls and prevented more than 25,000 calls to 911.
  • AT&T prioritized restoring FirstNet services but delayed notifying FirstNet users about the outage.
  • The outage was caused by a network configuration error due to insufficient oversight and controls.
  • The downstream network element lacked controls to mitigate the error, triggering Protection Mode and disconnecting all users.
  • System limitations caused registration congestion, prolonging the outage even after the initial error was corrected.
  • AT&T has since implemented additional technical controls, forensic work, and peer review procedures to prevent similar issues.

Corrective Actions by AT&T:

  • Implemented additional technical controls within 48 hours of the outage.
  • Scanned and updated network elements to prevent similar errors.
  • Enhanced network robustness and resilience through ongoing forensic work.
  • Adopted new procedures ensuring maintenance work requires completed peer reviews.
  • Improved registration systems to handle higher capacity and quicker recovery from Protection Mode.

The full FCC report can be accessed here..

Samsung Electro-Mechanics partners with AMD for substrates

Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEMCO) has announced a collaboration with AMD to supply high-performance substrates designed for hyperscale data center compute applications. These advanced substrates are produced at SEMCO’s technology hub in Busan and a newly constructed state-of-the-art factory in Vietnam. SEMCO has invested 1.9 trillion KRW (approximately $1.6 billion USD) in the new FCBGA factory, highlighting its dedication to enhancing substrate technology and manufacturing capabilities to meet the highest industry standards and future technological needs.

The partnership with AMD aims to address the challenges of integrating multiple semiconductor chips (chiplets) on a single large substrate. These substrates, crucial for CPU and GPU applications, provide larger surface areas and higher layer counts necessary for dense interconnections in advanced data centers. Compared to standard computer substrates, those used in data centers are ten times larger and feature three times more layers, ensuring efficient power delivery and signal integrity. SEMCO’s innovative manufacturing processes minimize warpage, ensuring high yields during chip mounting. The FCBGA factory is equipped with real-time data collection and modeling capabilities, allowing SEMCO to develop predictive manufacturing models that ensure the integrity of signal, power, and mechanical components, positioning SEMCO as a leader in next-generation data center substrates.

Key Points:

Collaboration with AMD focuses on hyperscale data center compute applications.

Substrates are produced in Busan, South Korea, and a new factory in Vietnam.

SEMCO invested 1.9 trillion KRW (approximately $1.6 billion USD) in the FCBGA factory.

Substrates support CPU/GPU applications with larger surface areas and higher layer counts.

Data center substrates are ten times larger and have three times more layers than standard substrates.

Advanced manufacturing processes ensure efficient power delivery and signal integrity.

The new factory features real-time data collection and predictive modeling capabilities.

SEMCO leads in producing substrates with passive and active components for next-gen data centers.

Equinix acquires 3 data centers in the Philippines

 Equinix has announced its planned entry into the Philippines through the acquisition of three data centers from Total Information Management (TIM), a prominent technology solutions provider. This strategic move, following recent expansions in Malaysia and Indonesia, aims to help businesses leverage the digital opportunities in the rapidly growing Southeast Asia region. The all-cash transaction, valued at approximately 15 times the projected EBITDA at full utilization, is expected to close in the second half of 2024, pending customary closing conditions.

The acquisition will enable Equinix to meet the digital needs of local and international businesses in the Philippines. Enterprises, cloud and IT service providers, and network service providers worldwide can use Platform Equinix® to interconnect and exchange data securely within a vibrant ecosystem of business partners and customers. TIM’s existing customers, including network and financial services companies, will also gain access to Equinix’s global ecosystem of over 10,000 companies, including more than 2,000 networks and 3,000 cloud and IT service providers. With the Philippines’ digital economy expected to grow to $35 billion by 2025, driven by a highly engaged digital population and government initiatives, this acquisition positions Equinix to support the country’s surging demand for digital infrastructure services.

Key Points:

  • Acquisition includes three carrier-neutral data centers with over 1,000 cabinets and land for expansion.
  • Equinix’s expansion in Southeast Asia supports digital transformation for local and global customers.
  • Equinix is also expanding into Jakarta, Indonesia, and Chennai, India, and increasing its footprint in Singapore.
  • Platform Equinix spans 260 data centers across 71 metros in 33 countries, including 56 data centers in 14 key metros in Asia-Pacific.
  • The Philippines’ digital economy is projected to reach $35 billion by 2025, growing at a 20% CAGR.

SECOM deploys Infinera in southeastern Colorado

SECOM, a subsidiary of Southeast Colorado Power Association (SECPA), is modernizing its middle-mile and business Ethernet access network using Infinera’s XTM Series optical transport solution. The network upgrade is set to support the bandwidth growth of large enterprises and industrial parks while providing the flexibility, reliability, and reach needed to close the digital divide in the region.

Algar Telecom upgrades subsea infrastructure with Infinera

Key Points:

  • The fiber network spans around 2,000 miles throughout southeastern Colorado.
  • Infinera’s XTM Series will enable multi-gigabit Ethernet services and 100G/400G broadband transport.
  • The upgrade enhances connectivity for homes, schools, libraries, government entities, telecoms, and businesses.
  • The modernization aims to close the digital divide and maximize economic and social development opportunities.
  • The XTM Series provides a temperature-hardened and low-latency packet optical middle-mile network suitable for various traffic types and demanding environments. 
  • Infinera worked with its partner World Wide Technology (WWT) on the network design and deployment for SECOM.

Converge ICT picks Ribbon's Apollo for optical backbone in Philippines

Converge ICT Solutions, a leading fixed broadband service provider in the Philippines, has selected Ribbon Communications’ Apollo optical networking system to optimize data transmission across its backbone network. Ribbon’s advanced 5-nanometer (nm) 140Gbaud transmission chipset will expand Converge’s fiber network capacity from 800 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 1.2 Terabits per second (Tbps) per channel. This upgrade will offer three times the required capacity for hyperscale applications, which typically demand around 400 Gbps.

In addition to the Apollo system, Converge is leveraging Ribbon’s Muse SDN Domain Orchestration, providing the necessary toolsets for maximizing network capabilities. This includes automation, planning, node design, and real-time control, ensuring peak efficiency. “We’re thrilled to deepen our relationship with Converge ICT with this major new deployment. Coupled with our technology, our local presence and proven round-the-clock after-sales support are key factors in our ability to support Converge ICT as they ramp their network to meet increasing demands for capacity,” said Ribbon COO and EVP Sam Bucci.

Key Points:

  • Converge ICT Solutions is enhancing its network with Ribbon Communications’ Apollo optical networking system.
  • Ribbon’s 5nm 140Gbaud chipset will increase Converge’s network capacity from 800 Gbps to 1.2 Tbps per channel.
  • The upgrade will provide three times the capacity needed for hyperscale applications.
  • Converge is also using Ribbon’s Muse SDN Domain Orchestration for automation and real-time control.
  • Ribbon Communications, based in Texas, offers real-time communications and IP optical networking solutions globally.
  • Converge has been investing in its network infrastructure, doubling its metro backbone capacity to 800 Gbps in 2021.
  • Recently, Converge signed an MOU with Super Micro Computer Inc. to establish AI-powered, green data centers in the Philippines.

Sivers Semiconductors appoints Vickram Vathulya as CEO

Sivers Semiconductors AB (Sivers), a  supplier of integrated chips and photonics modules for the most advanced communications and sensor solutions, appointed Vickram Vathulya as its new President & CEO, succeeding Anders Storm, effective August 19, 2024.

Dr. Vathulya most recently served as President of Nuvotronics, spearheading a strategic, operational, and cultural transformation for long-term growth and value creation. Prior to that, he revitalized the standard products business at Maxim Semiconductors, the largest and most profitable business in the company portfolio. His experience also includes other executive leadership roles, such as successfully growing a variety of RF and wireless businesses at Maxim Integrated and NXP Semiconductors. Vathulya has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of California.

Dr. Bami Bastani, recently appointed Chairman of the Board for the Sivers Semiconductors AB, said: "Vickram's leadership qualities and industry expertise are exactly what Sivers was looking for in this CEO appointment in order to accelerate our aggressive growth strategy in the US and worldwide. His proven ability to deliver profitable growth and build high-performance teams will be invaluable as we aim to cement our position as a leader in advanced semiconductor and photonic solutions."

Sunday, July 21, 2024

PhotonDelta extends from Netherlands to Silicon Valley

PhotonDelta, a photonic chip accelerator based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, has announced the opening of a new office in Silicon Valley. This move is part of PhotonDelta’s strategy to foster collaboration between European and North American organizations, both of which are leaders in the emerging field of photonic chip technology. The expansion aims to boost the photonic chip industry by leveraging the strengths of both regions to overcome the limitations of traditional semiconductor technology, thereby accelerating innovation in AI and other advanced applications.

Photonic chips are crucial for developing smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient devices, which are essential for sustainable advancements in AI. These chips not only enhance data center performance and reduce energy consumption but also hold significant potential for quantum computing and sensing solutions in various sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and automotive. To support these innovations, PhotonDelta has secured $1.2 billion in funding to run numerous R&D programs, lead international roadmapping activities, and invest in pioneering startups that utilize photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology.

PhotonDelta’s new North American hub will bring the Netherlands’ world-class photonic chip capabilities to North American organizations. The PhotonDelta ecosystem includes over 70 organizations, forming a complete value chain from design services to multiple foundries for photonic chip fabrication, packaging, assembly, and testing. This ecosystem also comprises an increasing number of fabless companies that use PIC technology for innovative solutions. Jorn Smeets, Managing Director North America at PhotonDelta, emphasized the importance of this expansion in connecting know-how, expertise, networks, and funding between North America and the Netherlands.

Key Points about PhotonDelta:

• Founded: Based in the Netherlands

• Funding: $1.2 billion to support R&D programs and invest in startups

• Platforms: Indium Phosphide (InP), Silicon Nitride (SiN), and a pilot line for Silicon Photonics (SiPh)

• InP PICs: Ideal for communication and sensing applications

• SiN PICs: Suited for detectors, spectrometers, biosensors, and quantum computers

• SiPh PICs: Used in photonic circuits compatible with CMOS fabrication

• Packaging Partner: PHIX

Keysight automates PCIe and UCIe chiplet design

Keysight Technologies introduced PCIe Designer, a new addition to its Advanced Design System (ADS) suite, designed to support simulation workflows for high-speed, high-frequency digital designs. This intelligent design environment is tailored for modeling and simulating the latest Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) Gen5 and Gen6 systems. Additionally, Keysight has enhanced its electronic design automation (EDA) platform by upgrading the Chiplet PHY Designer tool to estimate chiplet die-to-die link margin performance and Voltage Transfer Function (VTF) compliance.

PCIe is a critical interface standard in the electronics industry, known for its high-speed data transfer, scalability, and adaptability. Its applications range from consumer electronics to high-performance computing and critical infrastructure systems. Keysight’s new PCIe Designer and enhanced Chiplet PHY Designer aim to simplify complex design processes and ensure compliance, thereby improving productivity and reducing time-to-market.

Key Features and Enhancements:

  • PCIe Designer:
  • Automates setup for multi-link, multi-lane, and multi-level (PAM4) PCIe systems.
  • Simplifies simulation setup, reducing time-to-first-insight.
  • Facilitates quick AMI model generation for system analysis.
  • Supports NRZ and PAM4 modulations with wizard-driven AMI model generation for transmitters (Tx) and receivers (Rx).
  • Streamlined, simulation-driven virtual compliance testing to ensure design quality and reduce design costs.
  • Chiplet PHY Designer Enhancements:
  • First simulation solution for Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) standards.
  • Predicts die-to-die link margin, VTF for channel compliance, and forwarded clock capability.
  • New design exploration and report generation features for accelerated signal integrity analysis and compliance verification.

Global IT Outage: Crowdstrike Root Cause Analysis still Pending

A faulty update from Crowdstrike on Friday morning impacted IT systems worldwide dependent on Microsoft Windows machines. The outage, which has been described at the largest global IT outage to worldwide, led to the severe disruption of businesses, government functions,  and health services.

By the weekend, most systems appeared to have been restored, however a technical root cause analysis as to how the faulty release made it past QA points, had yet to be published by the company.

Statement from George Kurtz, CEO of CrowdStrike

“CrowdStrike is actively assisting customers affected by a defect identified in a recent content update for Windows hosts. This issue does not impact Mac or Linux hosts and is not related to a security incident or cyberattack. We have identified and isolated the problem, and a fix has been deployed. We advise customers to check the support portal for the latest updates and to continue monitoring our website for comprehensive and ongoing information. We also recommend that organizations communicate with CrowdStrike representatives through official channels to ensure they receive accurate information. Our team is fully mobilized to guarantee the security and stability of our customers’ systems.”

Tech Update page from CrowdStrike:

About CrowdStrike

CrowdStrike was founded in 2011 by George Kurtz, Dimitri Aliev, and Glenn Gerber, with headquarters in Austin, Texas and major office in Sunnyvale, California.

Major Revenue-Producing Services

CrowdStrike's major revenue-producing services include:

1. Falcon endpoint protection: A cloud-native endpoint security solution that provides real-time threat detection and response.

2. Falcon Intelligence: A threat intelligence platform that provides customers with insights into emerging threats and attack trends.

3. CrowdStrike Services: A team of security experts who provide incident response, threat hunting, and security consulting services to customers.

4. Cloud Security: A cloud-based security solution that provides customers with secure access to cloud-based applications and data.

CEO and Background

George Kurtz is the CEO of CrowdStrike. He has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry, with a focus on cybersecurity. Prior to founding CrowdStrike, Kurtz was the CEO of Foundstone, a leading provider of security services, which was acquired by McAfee in 2006.

Financial Performance

CrowdStrike has experienced rapid growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for advanced cybersecurity solutions. Here are some highlights from their financial performance:

  • In 2023, Crowdstrike's revenue was $3.1B.
  • In 2022, Crowdstrike's revenue was $2.2B.

Major Clients and Partners:

  • CrowdStrike has a diverse customer base across various industries, including:
  • Government agencies: The US Department of Defense, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Uber, and Netflix.
  • Healthcare providers: Organizations such as the Stanford Health Care System and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center.

Some of CrowdStrike's notable partnerships include:

  • Microsoft: A strategic partnership to integrate CrowdStrike's Falcon endpoint protection with Microsoft's Azure Active Directory.
  • IBM: A partnership to integrate CrowdStrike's Falcon endpoint protection with IBM's Watson for Cybersecurity platform.
  • NVIDIA: A partnership to combine CrowdStrike's threat intelligence with NVIDIA's graphics processing unit (GPU) technology for AI-powered threat detection.

Aire Networks picks Nokia Mobile Core in Spain

Aire Networks has partnered with Nokia to modernize its network in Spain, aiming to improve customer experience through expanded coverage, faster data speeds, and enhanced reliability. The deal includes Nokia’s voice core, packet core, subscriber data management, policy control, and signaling solutions, which will increase network capacity and support Aire’s network evolution to unlock new services and business models.

Key Points:

  • Network Enhancement: Expanded coverage, faster data speeds, and improved reliability.
  • Comprehensive Solutions: Includes Nokia’s voice core, packet core, subscriber data management, policy control, and signaling.
  • Increased Capacity: Solutions designed to boost network capacity.
  • New Services: Enables faster time to value and new revenue streams.
  • Network Management: Aire Networks will use Nokia’s MantaRay NM for optimized network monitoring and management.
  • Existing Infrastructure: Integration with current Nokia products like Switching Fabric.

Brightspeed picks Ribbon for Network Upgrade

Brightspeed, one of the nation’s largest fiber builders, selected Ribbon Communications' network infrastructure while ensuring uninterrupted services for existing customers. The deployment includes Ribbon’s C20 Call Controller, Application Server, SBC, PSX centralized policy and routing server, and Ribbon Application Management Platform (RAMP).

  •  Infrastructure Upgrade: Replacement of power-hungry legacy equipment with efficient, next-generation technology.
  •   Operational Efficiency: The new infrastructure will use less power, HVAC, and real estate while offering enhanced capabilities.
  •   Long-term Reliability: Ensures Brightspeed’s network remains reliable without impacting operational or billing systems.
  •   Professional Services: Ribbon’s top-tier services make the deployment seamless for customers and regulatory bodies.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Ericsson and OPPO sign multi-year global patent agreement

 Ericsson and OPPO have inked a multi-year global patent cross-license agreement, covering essential patents for cellular technologies, including 5G. This deal involves OPPO, a leading smartphone vendor, making royalty payments to Ericsson, with additional cooperation on 5G projects such as device testing, customer engagements, and marketing activities.

This agreement, which aligns with global practices for licensing cellular 3GPP standards, reflects in Ericsson's Q2 2024 financial results. Ericsson, a major contributor to global mobile standards and a leader in 5G technology, has a patent portfolio of over 60,000 granted patents and invests more than SEK 45 billion annually in R&D.

- Multi-year global patent cross-license agreement

- Covers essential patents for cellular technologies, including 5G

- OPPO to make royalty payments to Ericsson

- Cooperation on 5G projects: device testing, customer engagements, and marketing

- Agreement aligns with global 3GPP standards practices

- Financial impact reflected in Ericsson's Q2 2024 results

- Ericsson holds over 60,000 granted patents and invests SEK 45 billion annually in R&D

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Amphenol to acquire CommScope’s Mobile Business for $2.1B

Amphenol agreed to acquire CommScope’s mobile networks businesses for $2.1 billion in cash, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. The acquisition includes CommScope’s Outdoor Wireless Networks (OWN) segment and the Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) business from CommScope’s Networking, Intelligent Cellular, and Security Solutions (NICS) segment. These businesses are projected to generate full-year 2024 sales of approximately $1.2 billion with EBITDA margins around 25%.

CommScope's Mobile Business offers a wide range of products and solutions, including:

  • Antennas and active antennas: Designed for Base Stations (BS), Remote Radio Units (RRUs), and Massive MIMO applications.
  • Active and passive DAS (Distributed Antenna System) components: For indoor and outdoor distributed antenna systems.
  • Fiber and coaxial cables: For backhaul and fronthaul networks.
  • Networking and switching products: For LTE and 5G networks, including baseband units, router switches, and network management systems.
  • Small Cells: For indoor and outdoor small cell deployments.
  • IoT solutions: For IoT connectivity and management.

In addition, CommScope's Mobile Business provides a range of services, including network planning, installation, commissioning, and maintenance/support. It's customers include:

  • Mobile Network Operators (MNOs): such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Vodafone.
  • Mobile Network Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs): such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia.
  • Tower Cos.: such as American Tower, Crown Castle, and SBA Communications.

Amphenol plans to finance the acquisition using a combination of cash on hand and debt. The deal is expected to be accretive to Amphenol’s Diluted Earnings Per Share in the first full year after closing, excluding acquisition-related costs. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first half of 2025, pending customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Key Points:

  • Acquisition Cost: $2.1 billion in cash.
  • Business Segments: Outdoor Wireless Networks (OWN) and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS).
  • Financial Impact: Expected 2024 sales of $1.2 billion and EBITDA margins of 25%.
  • Financing: Combination of cash on hand and debt.
  • Closing Timeline: Expected in the first half of 2025.
  • Earnings Impact: Accretive to Amphenol’s Diluted EPS in the first full year post-closing.

“We are excited by the prospect of adding CommScope’s mobile networks businesses and their approximately 4,000 talented employees to the Amphenol family,” said Amphenol President and Chief Executive Officer, R. Adam Norwitt. “CommScope provides mobile networks solutions, with advanced technologies in the areas of base station antennas and related interconnect solutions, as well as distributed antenna systems. In particular, we are encouraged that the businesses we are acquiring make up the former Andrew Corporation portfolio of products, a company with a rich history of innovation and technology leadership in the wireless industry. We look forward to supporting customers who are developing next-generation wireless networks around the world with these advanced solutions as well as our own existing complementary products. Finally, this acquisition further supports Amphenol’s long-term growth and balanced end market exposure across all areas of the electronics market.”

Over the years, CommScope's mobile business has grown through a series of strategic acquisitions over the yearss:

  • Andrew Corporation (2011): CommScope acquired Andrew Corporation, a leading provider of wireless network infrastructure solutions, for $2.6 billion. This acquisition expanded CommScope's portfolio of products and solutions for wireless network operators.
  • IBA GmbH (2013): CommScope acquired IBA GmbH, a German-based provider of passive wireless network infrastructure products, for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition strengthened CommScope's presence in the European market.
  • RFMD (2015): CommScope acquired RFMD, a leading provider of radio frequency (RF) and microwave components, for $2.7 billion. This acquisition expanded CommScope's portfolio of RF and microwave products, which are used in wireless network infrastructure.
  • Telxon Corporation (2015): CommScope acquired Telxon Corporation, a leading provider of wireless network infrastructure solutions, for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition expanded CommScope's portfolio of wireless network infrastructure products and solutions.

In addition to these acquisitions, CommScope has also invested in developing its own products and solutions for the mobile market, including:

  • Small cells and femtocells: CommScope offers a range of small cell and femtocell products that enable wireless network operators to deploy dense networks and improve indoor coverage.
  • Active antennas: CommScope's active antennas are used to amplify and direct wireless signals, improving network performance and efficiency.
  • Microwave backhaul: CommScope's microwave backhaul solutions enable wireless network operators to transmit large amounts of data between cell sites, reducing latency and improving network performance.

Here are some key metrics from CommScope's recent annual reports:


2020: $1.35 billion ( Mobile segment revenue accounted for approximately 33% of the company's total revenue)

2019: $1.33 billion (Mobile segment revenue accounted for approximately 35% of the company's total revenue)

2018: $1.23 billion (Mobile segment revenue accounted for approximately 38% of the company's total revenue)

Operating Profit

2020: $274 million (Mobile segment operating profit accounted for approximately 20% of the company's total operating profit)

2019: $284 million (Mobile segment operating profit accounted for approximately 21% of the company's total operating profit)

2018: $275 million (Mobile segment operating profit accounted for approximately 22% of the company's total operating profit)

Taiwan's GlobalWafer lands $400M in CHIPs Act funding for Texas fab

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced a proposed investment of up to $400 million in direct funding under the CHIPS and Science Act to support GlobalWafers in constructing new wafer manufacturing facilities. This investment is expected to create 1,700 construction jobs and 880 manufacturing jobs, with total capital expenditures projected to be around $4 billion across Texas and Missouri.

Key Points

  • Sherman, Texas: GlobalWafers will establish the first 300mm silicon wafer manufacturing facility in the U.S. for advanced chips, crucial for leading-edge, mature-node, and memory chips production.
  • St. Peters, Missouri: A new facility will produce 300mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, enhancing performance in harsh environments and serving the defense and aerospace sectors.
  • Sherman, Texas Expansion: Conversion of part of the existing silicon epitaxy wafer manufacturing facility to produce 150mm and 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxy wafers, essential for high-voltage applications like electric vehicles and clean energy infrastructure.

The funding will also support the following workforce development initiatives:

  • Texas: GlobalWafers is involved with the Southern Methodist University-led Texoma Tech Hub and the North Texas Semiconductor Workforce Development Consortium. They are also partnering with local schools to establish an electronics lab for targeted training.
  • Missouri: MEMC is developing an apprenticeship program with the National Institute for Industry and Career Advancement (NIICA) and collaborating with St. Charles Community College on the MegaTech program for dual-enrolled high school students.

Overview of GlobalWafers

GlobalWafers is a Taiwan-based company that specializes in the production of silicon wafers, a critical component in the manufacturing of semiconductors and solar panels. Headquartered in Tainan, Taiwan, the company was founded in 1991 and has since grown to become one of the largest silicon wafer manufacturers in the world. GlobalWafers' major products include high-purity silicon wafers, epitaxial wafers, and solar wafers, which are used in a wide range of applications, including electronics, automotive, and renewable energy. The company operates a global network of manufacturing facilities, including those in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. In terms of financial performance, GlobalWafers has reported consistent growth in revenue and profitability in recent years, with revenue reaching NT$44.3 billion (approximately USD $1.5 billion) in 2020 and net income reaching NT$10.3 billion (approximately USD $350 million).

Update on CHIPs for America

With this funding, CHIPS for America has announced up to $30.1 billion in proposed funding across thirteen preliminary memoranda of terms aimed at revitalizing the U.S. semiconductor industry. These investments are expected to unlock more than $300 billion in public and private investment by the end of the decade, marking the largest investment in new production in the history of the U.S. semiconductor sector.

Earlier this year, Secretary Raimondo projected that the U.S. will produce 20% of the world’s leading-edge chips by the end of the decade, reducing vulnerability to supply chain disruptions. The Semiconductor Industry Association reported that America is on track to triple its domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity from 2022 to 2032, reflecting the impact of the CHIPS and Science Act.

Key milestones:

  • Four of the world’s five leading-edge semiconductor companies are expanding in the U.S., a unique position globally.
  • The Department of Commerce has received over 670 statements of interest and more than 230 pre-applications and full applications for NOFO 1, along with 160 small supplier concept plans for NOFO Ongoing rigorous evaluation of applications aims to advance U.S. national and economic security, attract private capital, and deliver economic benefits.
  • The recent announcement with GlobalWafers marks the thirteenth PMT announcement under the CHIPS and Science Act, with more expected throughout 2024.

These efforts underscore America’s commitment to bolstering its semiconductor industry and securing its innovation capacity against future disruptions. 

Intel licenses 800G transceiver designs to Source Photonics

Source Photonics has entered into a licensing agreement with Intel to utilize Intel’s 800G transceiver designs, including its silicon photonics chipset. This collaboration will enable Source Photonics to deliver 800G OSFP transceivers, catering to large-scale data center and AI infrastructure deployments. By integrating Intel’s silicon photonics-based solutions with Source Photonics’ in-house EML-based 800G transceiver modules, customers will have access to two distinct 800G designs and manufacturing lines within one company. This partnership aims to enhance supply chain security and increase volume capacity.

“We are excited about this collaboration with Intel,” said John Wang, CEO of Source Photonics. “Our proven transceiver manufacturing expertise, combined with the highvolume, highly reliable silicon photonics technology from Intel, will create enormous value for our customers.”

“This collaboration between Intel and Source Photonics to leverage our transceiver design IP and bring to market products using Intel’s silicon photonics chipset is a validation of our new strategy,” said Amit Nagra, VP/GM, Integrated Photonics Solutions at Intel. “As we build upon our strong track record of silicon photonics shipments of over 8 million units to date and continue to develop new silicon photonics technology and products for the data center market, collaborations such as this become increasingly relevant.”

Video: $30 Million Boost for AI Networking Software

Arrcus just closed a significant new investment of $30 million from Prosperity7 Ventures, NVIDIA, Lightspeed, Hitachi Ventures, Liberty Global, Clear Ventures, and General Catalyst.  Why the interest in a networking software start-up in Silicon Valley?

Shekar Ayyar, CEO from Arrcus explains:

- Arrcus networking through ArcOS enables efficient distributed compute infrastructure for AI processing

- ArcOS combined with Nvidia's Bluefield DPUs offloads networking functions, freeing up cycles for more efficient AI

- Arrcus extends AI architecture from clustered GPUs to racks, data centers, edge, telco infrastructure, and cloud through a flexible distributed networking fabric

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Netskope Integrates with OpenAI’s ChatGPT for Security

 Netskope, a leader in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), has announced its integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise Compliance API. This collaboration aims to enhance security and compliance for enterprise organizations using generative AI (genAI) applications. Through this integration, the Netskope One platform provides advanced security features, including application visibility, robust policy enforcement, data security, and comprehensive security posture management.

Netskope raises $300 million for SASE

Netskope said it has observed a significant increase in genAI application usage, tripling since last year, prompting organizations to reassess their data protection strategies. The integration with ChatGPT Enterprise aims to ensure compliance, mitigate data policy violations, and support secure usage of genAI applications.

Netskope’s API protection leverages major vendors’ APIs to provide visibility into cloud services, enforcing policies to control access and protect data. The integration is designed to help enterprise data within ChatGPT Enterprise remain compliant and secure.

“By integrating the Netskope One platform into OpenAI’s advanced capabilities in ChatGPT Enterprise, Netskope continues to lead in providing comprehensive security solutions for enterprises adopting genAI tools,” said Andy Horwitz, SVP, Global Partner Ecosystem, Netskope.

Key Features of the Integration:

Compliance Standards: Enforces data loss prevention (DLP) and compliance policies with over 50 templates and 3,000+ data identifiers, supporting regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, and GLBA.

Data Protection: Out-of-band visibility and control to protect sensitive information, using ML and OCR techniques for real-time data leakage prevention.

Threat Protection: Advanced ML models for malware detection, complementing traditional security methods to identify threats in near real-time.

Cornelis Networks Appoints Lisa Spelman as New CEO

Cornelis Networks has announced the appointment of Lisa Spelman as its new chief executive officer (CEO), succeeding Philip Murphy, who will now serve as president and chief operating officer (COO). This leadership transition marks a significant step for Cornelis Networks, a company based in Santa Clara, California, founded in 2015.

Cornelis Networks specializes in developing high-performance, low-power network processing solutions. Their products are designed to facilitate high-speed, secure, and programmable networking across various industries, including data centers, cloud, enterprise, and service provider markets.

Key Points:

  • Leadership Transition: Lisa Spelman appointed as CEO; Philip Murphy to serve as president and COO.
  • Company Focus: Specializes in high-performance, low-power network processing solutions.
  • Strategic Partnership: Acquired Intel’s Omni-Path business in 2020, integrating FlexRAN software with Cornelis’ networking hardware.
  • Market Impact: Enhances capabilities for data centers, cloud, enterprise, and service provider markets.

In 2020, Cornelis Networks acquired Intel’s Omni-Path business, which included Intel’s Omni-Path and True Scale products. This acquisition was part of a strategic effort to leverage Intel’s high-performance networking technology and enhance Cornelis Networks’ capabilities in developing advanced network processing solutions for high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), and other demanding applications. The collaboration has allowed Cornelis Networks to integrate Intel’s FlexRAN software with their hardware, facilitating more efficient and flexible network processing solutions for edge computing and 5G networks.

NTT DATA unveils Ultralight Edge AI platform

NTT DATA unveiled its new Edge AI platform to accelerate IT/OT convergence by bringing AI processing to the edge. 

NTT DATA’s Edge AI is an all-inclusive managed service platform that includes all the systems, tools and capabilities required for AI at the edge. It addresses data discovery, collection, integration, computation power, seamless connectivity and AI model management. It leverages lighter, cost-effective AI models, enabling it to run within a small compute box. Edge AI will perform specific tasks, such as supporting safety or operational efficiency, by collecting data from disparate devices across a network environment, enabling instantaneous and secure data processing and analytics.

The company says that while the spotlight has been on GenAI and Large Language Models (LLMs), these technologies are impractical for industries requiring real-time and local decision-making. NTT DATA’s Edge AI solution addresses this challenge by processing massive data sets on compact computing platforms, using smaller, more efficient machine learning models to deliver real-time AI insights.

The Edge AI platform, supported by NTT DATA’s consulting data scientists, managed services and global technical resources, addresses the shadow IoT challenge and AI infrastructure requirements. It does this by auto-discovering, unifying and processing data from IoT devices and IT assets across the organization, simplifying AI deployment and management.

“Our Edge AI platform represents a significant leap forward in driving AI at the edge securely and cost-effectively,” said Shahid Ahmed, Group Executive Vice President of Edge Services at NTT DATA. “By harmonizing data from disparate sensors and devices with lightweight AI models, powering all kinds of automation use-cases, NTT DATA’s Edge AI is pioneering industrial AI adoption as the first fully managed offering, helping organizations modernize with tailored, industry-specific solutions.”

Edge AI rounds out NTT DATA’s  Edge portfolio, which includes Enterprise IoT, Edge Compute, Private 5G and Device as a Service.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Nokia Reports Q2 and Half-Year 2024 Financial Results

Nokia  announced its financial results for Q2 and the first half of 2024, maintaining its full-year outlook despite challenging market conditions. The company reported an 18% year-on-year decline in net sales, primarily due to a strong prior year quarter in India. However, order intake trends improved, especially in Network Infrastructure, which is expected to drive sales growth in the second half of the year.

The company’s comparable gross margin in Q2 increased by 450 basis points to 44.7%, benefiting from a resolution of a significant contract negotiation within Mobile Networks. Despite this, the comparable operating margin decreased to 9.5%, mainly due to lower net sales coverage of operating expenses. Nokia’s Q2 free cash flow stood at EUR 0.4 billion, with a net cash balance of EUR 5.5 billion. The company also reported a non-cash impairment charge of EUR 514 million related to its Submarine Networks, treated as a discontinued operation.

CEO Pekka Lundmark highlighted the improved order intake momentum and significant strategic transactions in Network Infrastructure, including the sale of the Submarine Networks business and the planned acquisition of Infinera. These moves aim to strengthen Nokia’s focus on Fixed Networks, IP Networks, and Optical Networks, positioning the company for mid-single digit net sales growth and improved profitability over time.

Key Financial Metrics:

Net Sales: EUR 4,466 million (Q2’24), down 18% year-on-year

Gross Margin: 44.7% (comparable), up 450 basis points

Operating Profit: EUR 423 million (comparable), down 32% year-on-year

Operating Margin: 9.5% (comparable), down 190 basis points

Free Cash Flow: EUR 0.4 billion

Net Cash Balance: EUR 5.5 billion

EPS (Diluted): EUR 0.06 (comparable), down 14%

Research & Development Expenses: EUR 1,064 million, up 5%

Business Group Performance:

Network Infrastructure: Net sales EUR 1,522 million, down 11%

Mobile Networks: Net sales EUR 1,970 million, down 25%

Cloud and Network Services: Net sales EUR 615 million, down 17%

Nokia Technologies: Net sales EUR 356 million, up 7%

Outlook for Full Year 2024:

Comparable Operating Profit: EUR 2.3 billion to EUR 2.9 billion

Free Cash Flow Conversion: 30% to 60%

Nokia continues to make significant progress on its cost savings program, aiming to achieve EUR 800 million to EUR 1.2 billion in gross cost savings by 2026. The company also plans to accelerate its EUR 600 million share buyback program, with the intention of completing it by the end of this year.