Monday, January 8, 2024

WSJ: HPE nears deal to acquire Juniper for $13B

 The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday afternoon that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is nearing a deal to acquire Juniper Networks in a deal valued at approximately $13 billion.  

Neither company has commented publicly on the article as of Monday evening.

As of last Friday, the market capitalization of Juniper Networks was approximately $9.6 billion, so the offer would represent a 35% premium. (paywall)

Windstream Wholesale adds wavelength Route Creator tool

Windstream Wholesale introduced a Route Creator tool that empowers customers to design their own wavelength routes. The tool, which is available via the customer portal, provides a clear view of accessible wave routes on the Windstream Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON). Customers can evaluate up to five wavelength route options, enhancing their network management capabilities.

Customers can view information on mileage, latency, and number of network hops aligned to each route option. Additionally, the route tool enables the user to customize the route options by selectively adding route diversity as necessary. The self-service tool also seamlessly integrates into the iconnect customer portal turning the desired design into a quote, making the process faster and more efficient than ever before.

Windstream says that one of the most noteworthy and valuable features for customers is the capability to export available route options to KMZ files. This empowers network planners to download their route designs for operational review and business coordination. The Route Creator will be available to Windstream Wholesale customers at the end of January.

“Windstream Wholesale is dedicated to shaping the future of technology and network intelligence,” said Joe Scattareggia, president of Windstream Wholesale. “Equally important is our commitment to eliminating barriers and service obstacles for our customers. We ensure complete network visibility and expedite connections based on our customers’ needs.”

Lumen is first with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 device

 Lumen Technologies is the first company in the industry to receive Wi-Fi 7 certifications for its custom-developed wireless solution. Lumen designed its devices for its Quantum Fiber residential and small business customers to deliver faster speeds and better coverage than Wi-Fi 6/6E.

Wi-Fi Alliance certified two Lumen Wi-Fi 7 devices:

  • The W1700K is a desk or wall mount device that covers 90% of homes with higher data capacity than Wi-Fi 6/6E. It provides reliable and secure Wi-Fi 7 connectivity throughout the home or office.
  • The W1701K is a fully compliant wall plug-in device that extends the Wi-Fi 7 coverage throughout larger areas of the home or business to reduce dead zones.

Lumen's solution includes MediaTek's Smart Link-Dispatch technology, an advanced QOS/QOE feature built into the Wi-Fi radio, enhancing application performance with high-bandwidth and low-latency traffic in real-world settings.

Lumen's Quantum Fiber Wi-Fi 7 solution is an FCC 6GHz Standard Power (6SD) class device. The 6SD equipment class enables higher transmit power for increased data throughput or twice the range as compared to the theoretical indoor standard (6ID). With the 6GHz channel and the higher power setting, these devices wirelessly unlock the full power of the Quantum Fiber high speed product up to 8 Gbps, helping to enable higher data rates throughout a home or business.

Both devices also support cloud-based Digital Twin technology and use the carrier grade OpenWRT standard with Wi-Fi EasyMesh  and prplMesh enabling real time orchestration and advanced device management capabilities. 

"We are proud that our Wi-Fi 7 devices are the first certified by Wi-Fi Alliance," said Maxine Moreau, Lumen president of Mass Markets. "This demonstrates our commitment to deliver the best Wi-Fi solutions to our customers as we continue to innovate for growth. Our Wi-Fi 7 devices offer faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6/6E, low latency, and amazing coverage allowing users to enjoy the next generation of Wi-Fi applications and services."

Quantum Fiber installed its first customer Wi-Fi 7 device in December. Wi-Fi 7 will be available to new Quantum Fiber customers later this month. Quantum Fiber is available to homes and small businesses in parts of 16 states.

Intel shows its latest mobile and desktop processors

Intel introduced its 14th Gen mobile and desktop processor lineup for edge AI and compute-intensive workloads. Additionally, Intel introduced its new Intel Core mobile processor Series 1 family, led by the Intel Core 7 processor 150U, for performant mainstream thin-and-light mobile systems.

“Our Intel Core 14th Gen processor family is built to bring top-notch performance and platform features to enthusiast and mainstream PC users alike,” said Roger Chandler, Intel vice president and general manager, Enthusiast PC and Workstations​, Client Computing Group. “Enthusiasts on-the-go can now enjoy the best mobile experience available today with our HX-series processors. And mainstream desktop users can now experience the efficient performance and robust platform features available in our latest-gen 65-watt and 35-watt desktop processors.”

The new mobile processor family includes:

  • Up to 5.8 GHz turbo frequency delivering up to 17% better gaming performance and up to 51% faster multitasking performance gen-over-gen2.
  • Up to 24 cores (eight P-cores, 16 E-cores) and 32 threads in its i9-14900HX processors.
  • 50% more E-cores in its i7-14700HX processors, bringing those to 20 cores (eight P-cores, 12 E-cores) and 28 threads.
  • Support for up to 192 gigabytes (GB) of total DDR5-5600 megatransfers/second (MT/S) memory.
  • Overclocking capabilities on HX series processors, including Intel® Extreme Utility (XTU) and Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) support3.
  • New Intel Application Optimization (APO) support on HX series, with six new gaming titles (eight total) supported since the initial Intel Core 14th Gen desktop launch in October 2023.
  • Thunderbolt 5, delivering 80 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bi-directional bandwidth, and bandwidth boost providing up to 120 Gbps, 3x the capability of today’s fastest solutions, for the best display and data experiences – in addition to Thunderbolt 4 delivering bandwidth of 40 Gbps for PC connectivity to multiple 4K monitors and accessories.
  • Leading wireless features, including integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+) and available new discrete Intel Wi-Fi 7 (5 Gig) for multi-gigabit speeds in more locations, wired-like responsiveness and extreme reliability.
  • The latest in Bluetooth connectivity with support for both Bluetooth 5.4 and Bluetooth 5.3, providing exceptional performance for multiple simultaneous Bluetooth-enabled device connections.

The latest Intel desktop processors include:

  • Up to 5.8 GHz turbo frequency delivering up to 37% faster multi-thread performance and up to 7% better Microsoft Office performance gen-over-gen5.
  • Up to 24 cores (eight P-cores, 16 E-cores) and 32 threads in its i9-14900 processors.
  • For the i7-14700, the addition of four E-cores for a total of 20 cores (eight P-cores, 12 E-cores) and 28 threads.
  • Support for up to 192 GB of total DDR5-5600/DDR4-3200 MT/S memory – providing backward compatibility with existing Intel 600- and 700-series-based motherboards.
  • Continued support for in-box thermal solutions, including the Intel Laminar RH1 and RM1 coolers.
  • Next-generation wireless connectivity with support for both Intel Killer Wi-Fi 7 (5 Gig) and Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+).
  • Continued support for both PCIe Gen 5.0, Gen 4.0 and Thunderbolt 4 providing 40 Gbps bandwidth, in addition to integrated USB 3.2 connectivity support providing up to 20 Gbps transfer bandwidth.

NVIDIA intros latest desktop GPUs for AI

At CES in Las Vegas, NVIDIA announced its latest GeForce RTX SUPER desktop GPUs for enhanced AI performance, a range of AI laptops from leading manufacturers, and new AI software tools accelerated by NVIDIA RTX. These developments are built upon NVIDIA's established role in the AI PC era, with over 100 million RTX GPUs already in use. The company is introducing improved AI tools such as NVIDIA TensorRT™ for the Stable Diffusion XL model, and more games will benefit from DLSS 3 technology. Additionally, AI Workbench, a toolkit for AI developers, is set to be released in beta, and NVIDIA TensorRT-LLM (TRT-LLM) is now supporting more optimized models for PCs.

To ensure that generative AI applications are efficient and private, NVIDIA emphasizes the importance of running AI locally on PCs. The new GeForce RTX 40 SUPER Series graphics cards, including models like the RTX 4080 SUPER, are designed for top-notch AI performance. These GPUs will power a new wave of AI laptops from major manufacturers, enhancing AI capabilities. NVIDIA also supports AI model development with tools like AI Workbench and TensorRT-LLM for Windows, facilitating the creation and optimization of AI models for PCs and workstations. This approach aims to make AI applications more accessible and effective for a wide range of users.

Xarxa Oberta de Catalunya deploys Infinera's XTM

Xarxa Oberta de Catalunya, also known as Xarxa Oberta or XOC, the leading network provider in Catalonia and a subsidiary of the global Cellnex Group, has deployed Infinera’s XTM packet-optical solution. This enables Xarxa Oberta to provide government networks up to 400 GbE services on its fiber optic network. Xarxa Oberta also tested Infinera’s ICE6 solution on the GX Series Compact Modular Platform, validating its ability to run optical signals up to 800G on its network to allow for scaling in the future.

As a wholesale network operator, Xarxa Oberta operates the leading optical fiber network in Catalonia, offering Ethernet services, dark fiber, and colocation services.

“Catalonia is a fast-growing region with more than 900 municipalities and almost 8 million inhabitants, requiring constant investments in our network to ensure we continually provide the most robust communications services to our customers. Infinera’s XTM solution delivers the flexible services required today, and the ability to upgrade to ICE6 will enable us to scale to meet the demands of government networks in the future,” said Joan Cervera, CEO at Xarxa Oberta.

“Infinera is pleased to partner with Xarxa Oberta to deliver cost-effective, high-speed services that meet the growing bandwidth needs of government entities in a very densely populated region,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Infinera. “Looking ahead, the successful test validating 800G services on Xarxa Oberta’s network paves the way for an ongoing partnership that will allow Xarxa Oberta to continue to scale and expand their services to meet future demand.”

Lumen Names Ashley Haynes-Gaspar Chief Revenue Officer

Lumen Technologies appointed Ashley Haynes-Gaspar as the Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. She previously served as Lumen'sExecutive Vice President for Customer Experience, Wholesale, and International.

In her new position, Haynes-Gaspar will oversee a team dedicated to accelerating Lumen's growth. This team will integrate Lumen's various commercial divisions to enhance business outcomes, cater to customer requirements, and achieve commercial excellence. Jay Barrows, who is the EVP of Enterprise Sales and Public Sector at Lumen, will report directly to Haynes-Gaspar. The focus will remain on being customer-centric, particularly in the areas of enterprise and public sector sales.

Extreme Networks trims outlook citing elongated sales cycles

 Extreme Networks updated it outlook on the financial results for its second quarter ended December 31, 2023, saying that it now expects revenues to be approximately $294 to $297 million, compared to the prior outlook of $312 to $327 million. The company expects annualized subscription and support revenue to be approximately $430 million, led by 41% year over year subscription growth, accelerating from 32% growth in Q1. The company expects recurring revenue to account for 33% of total revenue. Gross margin is expected to be toward the higher end of the prior guidance range for the quarter. The company’s ending cash balance for the quarter was $221.4 million, net of share repurchases during the quarter of $25 million.

“Our revised second fiscal quarter outlook reflects industry headwinds of channel digestion and elongated sales cycles. In late Q2, we saw multiple large deals pushing out to future quarters,” stated Ed Meyercord, President and CEO at Extreme. “We remain confident in our long-term strategy and our ability to achieve double-digit long-term revenue and EPS growth supported by competitive customer wins and the growth in our opportunity funnel. In addition, we’ve made significant progress advancing our strategic initiatives to launch our managed services commercial platform and unique subscription offering to large service providers.”