Sunday, February 4, 2024

Meta to spend big on data centers and AI infrastructure in 2024

Meta has outlined its financial strategy for 2024, emphasizing substantial investments in data centers, artificial intelligence (AI) hardware, and broader infrastructure enhancements. In its quarterly financial report, Meta projects its total expenses to remain steady, within the range of $94 billion to $99 billion, mirroring previous forecasts.

A key focus for the upcoming year is the expansion of Meta's infrastructure. The company anticipates increased depreciation expenses due to its recent capital investments, alongside higher operating costs from enlarging its infrastructure footprint. This expansion reflects Meta's efforts to bolster its operational capabilities to support advanced technological developments.

Particularly noteworthy is Meta's adjusted capital expenditure forecast, now set at $30 billion to $37 billion for 2024, incorporating a $2 billion increase at the higher end from earlier estimates. This revision is propelled by Meta's commitment to scaling its data center operations with a new architecture and enhancing its server capacity for both AI and non-AI functionalities. These investments are essential for supporting Meta's next-generation AI research and product development initiatives.

While Meta has not provided long-term guidance beyond 2024, it signals that its ambitious AI research and development endeavors will require ongoing infrastructure investment. This strategic focus underlines the company's dedication to leading in AI and technology infrastructure, setting the stage for future growth and innovation in the tech industry.

Dell'Oro: Data center physical infrastructure market to hit $46B in 2028

The Data Center Physical Infrastructure (DCPI) market is set to grow at an 11 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2028, to over $46 billion, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The proliferation of accelerated computing to support AI and ML workloads has emerged as a major DCPI market driver which is significantly increasing data center power and thermal management requirements.

“The AI opportunity for the DCPI market is getting closer, and bigger,” said Lucas Beran, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “DCPI vendors are increasing manufacturing capacity to support the expected scale of orders for purpose-built AI facilities. Meanwhile, end users continue to plan, design and develop operational readiness for these facilities. However, we still remain a few quarters away from this materializing in a meaningful way, which is why I characterize 2024, or at the least the first half of the year, as the calm before the storm.

“One of the primary characteristics that will distinguish these purpose-built AI facilities apart from general purpose computing is the rack power density. The average rack power density today is around 15 kW/rack, but AI workloads will dictate 60 – 120 kW/rack to support accelerated servers in close proximity. While this requires innovation and product development on the power distribution side, a bigger change is unfolding in thermal management – The transition from air to liquid cooling. The emergence of accelerated computing is propelling liquid cooling to become a mainstream technology, with its presence likely in most greenfield facilities.  In response, we have raised our liquid cooling forecast which is now surpassing $3 billion in 2028,” added Beran.

Additional highlights from the Data Center Physical Infrastructure 5-Year January 2024 Forecast Report:

  • DCPI revenue growth is forecast to slow to a high single-digit rate in 2024, before accelerating to higher growth in 2025 through 2028.
  • Asia Pacific (excluding China), North America and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are forecast to grow at the fastest CAGRs during the forecast period. China and the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) are forecast to grow at slower rates.
  • Data Center Cabinet Power Distribution and Busway, Rack Power Distribution and Thermal Management are forecast to grow at the fastest rates during the forecast period.
  • Cloud and Colocation service providers are expected to account for the majority of growth during the forecast period, with the Enterprise customer segment growth forecast to be modest.

Sivers Semi expands chipset deal with Thorium Space

Sivers Semiconductors AB has announced an expansion of its existing chipset agreement with Thorium Space, valued at $2.9 million. This second phase of the partnership will focus on further development and validation of chipsets, aiming to prepare for future large-scale manufacturing. Sivers anticipates recognizing $2.1 million in revenue from this contract in 2024.

The agreement extends the collaboration between Sivers Wireless, a unit of Sivers Semiconductors, and Thorium Space, a Polish company specializing in satellite communication systems. This phase is critical for Thorium Space's upcoming space deployments.

Thorium Space is also collaborating with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the HummingSAT project to develop telecommunications satellites for geostationary orbit, with significant funding from ESA supporting the project.

Central to the collaboration is Sivers' Ka-band technology, which enhances the efficiency of satellite communication systems by reducing the size and weight of satellite transceivers. This technology is crucial for the success of future space missions, indicating the strategic importance of the partnership between Sivers Semiconductors and Thorium Space in the satellite communications industry.

Charter sees Q4 drop in residential and business broadband customers

 Charter Communications reported Q4 2023 revenue of $13.7 billion, up by 0.3% year-over-year, driven by residential Internet revenue growth of 3.0%, residential mobile service revenue growth of 35.7% and other revenue growth of 24.4%, primarily driven by higher mobile device sales. Net income attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter. For the year ended December 31, 2023, net income attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $4.6 billion.

Some highlights

  • Fourth quarter total residential and small and medium business ("SMB") Internet customers decreased by 61,000. 
  • As of December 31, 2023, Charter served a total of 30.6 million residential and SMB Internet customers, with 155,000 total Internet customers added in 2023.
  • Fourth quarter total residential and SMB mobile lines increased by 546,000. 
  • As of December 31, 2023, Charter served a total of 7.8 million mobile lines, with 2.5 million mobile lines added in 2023.

  • For the year ended December 31, 2023, capital expenditures totaled $11.1 billion and included $4.0 billion of line extensions.

"Our rural footprint expansion is exceeding our deployment and penetration targets," said Chris Winfrey, President and CEO of Charter. "Our network evolution and convergence efforts remain on course. And we are beginning to see the benefits of investments in our employees and digital service to improve the customer experience. We are executing on a clear strategy to ensure we offer consumers the best products and services, all while saving them money. Not only now, but in the future."

EUTELSAT 113 West A satellite suffers anomaly

The EUTELSAT 113 West A satellite suffered an anomaly on 31st January and has ceased operations.

Launched in 2006 and operating in inclined orbit at the 113° West position, EUTELSAT 113 West A (ex-Satmex 6) provided coverage of the Americas in C- and Ku-bands serving customers in video, data, and Government services on 18 operational transponders.

Eutelsat said mitigation actions are underway to minimize the disruption to customers. The company notes that the satellite was pproaching its end-of-life and thus was no longer insured. The loss does not alter Eutelsat's financial objectives for FY 2024.