Monday, April 15, 2024

Samsung to receive up to $6.4B of CHIPs Act funding for Texas fabs

Samsung Electronics will receive up to $6.4 billion in direct funding under the CHIPS and Science Act.

The proposed investment is expected to boost Samsung’s existing presence in Texas. This incluses two new leading-edge logic fabs, an R&D fab, and an advanced packaging facility in Taylor, as well as an expansion to their existing Austin facility. Samsung is expected to invest more than $40 billion dollars in the region in the coming years, and the proposed investment would support the creation of over 20,000 jobs.


  • Taylor, Texas: Construct a comprehensive advanced manufacturing ecosystem, ranging from leading-edge logic to advanced packaging to R&D, transforming the small municipality of Taylor into an expansive hub of leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing. This ecosystem would include two leading-edge logic foundry fabs focused on mass production of 4nm and 2nm process technologies, an R&D fab dedicated to development and research on technology generations ahead of nodes currently in production, and an advanced packaging facility producing 3D High Bandwidth Memory and 2.5D packaging, both of which have critical artificial intelligence applications. The semiconductors that are designed and manufactured in this ecosystem would serve a wide variety of end markets – from communications, automotive, and defense industries to high-performance computing and artificial intelligence.
  • Austin, Texas: Expand a facility that has been an economic engine for Central Texas for nearly 30 years. This proposed investment would expand the existing facilities to support the production of leading fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) process technologies for critical U.S. industries, including aerospace, defense, and automotive. This proposed investment also includes commitments to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Samsung has been manufacturing chips in the United States since 1996. The company said it is committed to strengthening U.S. economic and national security and increasing the resilience of both the U.S. and global semiconductor supply chains. 

Samsung also notes that it has ongoing partnerships with Austin Community College, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas State Technical College, Temple College, Manor High School and Taylor High School — to train its future semiconductor workforce. The proposed CHIPS investment also includes up to $40 million in dedicated workforce funding. 

“Semiconductor research and development is critical to building a robust and thriving semiconductor manufacturing industry in the United States,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Laurie E. Locascio. “Samsung’s plans to build a cutting-edge R&D and advanced packaging facilities in Texas are shining examples of the types of R&D projects that will help build, and heavily contribute to, America’s chip manufacturing industry.”

“We’re not just expanding production facilities; we’re strengthening the local semiconductor ecosystem and positioning the U.S. as a global semiconductor manufacturing destination," said Kye Hyun Kyung, President and CEO of the Device Solutions (DS) Division at Samsung Electronics. "To meet the expected surge in demand from U.S. customers, for future products like AI chips, our fabs will be equipped for cutting-edge process technologies and help advance the security of the U.S. semiconductor supply chain.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce has received more than 630 statements of interest, more than 180 pre-applications and full applications for NOFO 1, and more than 160 small supplier concept plans for NOFO 2. The Department is continuing to conduct rigorous evaluation of applications to determine which projects will advance U.S. national and economic security, attract more private capital, and deliver other economic benefits to the country. The announcement with Samsung is the sixth PMT announcement the Department of Commerce has made under the CHIPS and Science Act, with additional PMT announcements expected to follow throughout 2024.

Qunnect's Polarization Qubit Distribution on NYC's GothamQ Network

 Qunnect, a start-up specializing in quantum-secure networking, announced a major technical achievement with its GothamQ quantum network in New York City. Utilizing existing commercial fiber optic cables, GothamQ has exceeded previous performance benchmarks by effectively distributing polarization-based quantum entanglement. The network demonstrated exceptionally high rates of preservation and fidelity, underscoring the capability of Qunnect's quantum networking components to support entanglement-based protocols over extended periods in real-world conditions. This advancement marks a significant step in validating the practical application of Qunnect's quantum network technologies.

Unlike most quantum networks, Qunnect uses atoms at room temperature to generate polarization entangled photons, since these qubits are native to other quantum devices such as sensors and computers. By constructing a stable network to distribute polarization qubits, Qunnect has demonstrated a path forward for other quantum networks to host applications beyond secure communications. 

For this demonstration, the Qunnect team used its hardware instruments to generate, distribute, and preserve entangled photons over 34 kilometers of fiber within the GothamQ network. Its QU-SRC maintained generation rates between one to ten million polarization-entangled photon pairs per second. Meanwhile, the QU-APC preserved the fidelity of the transmitted photons through an automated protocol, minimizing the quantum bit error rate. The result was a record-breaking 99.84% network uptime over 15 days of continuous operation. During that time, the team:

  • Distributed and preserved 500,000 polarization-entangled pairs per second in commercial-grade fiber channels with 17dB of transmission loss
  • Maintained a quantum bit error rate below 2.5%

"GothamQ's performance as a stable, automated network that can support high-quality entanglement distribution networking protocols represents a major step forward in unlocking future applications like distributed quantum sensing and computing," said Noel Goddard, CEO of Qunnect. "As we celebrate World Quantum Day, we are proud to showcase Qunnect's first-in-class hardware as an example of the progress made in turning experimental innovations into commercial products."

"This work demonstrates that the field of entanglement distribution networking is ready to transition from proof-of-concept experiments to the era of reliable, 24/7 operation." Said Mehdi Namazi. "Important to note, we used polarization qubits, which are highly practical for transactions at the end nodes, yet notoriously hard to preserve in long, deployed fiber optic channels."

The full test results are published in a manuscript posted on ArXiv today (, in celebration of World Quantum Day 2024.

SURF readies 800G for CERN's Large Hadron Collider update

SURF, the collaborative organisation for IT in Dutch education and research,  successfully reached a single carrier 800Gb/s optical transmission using Nokia’s photonic service engine technology.

The trial was conducted over a 1648 km point-to-point fiber link connecting Amsterdam and Geneva, crossing Belgium and France. The fiber link is part of the SURF-network, which connects national research and education institutes in the Netherlands, such as Nikhef. Furthermore, the SURF-network boasts robust connections with various research networks and experiments globally, notably the LHC Optical Private Network (LHCOPN). This network facilitates access to data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, renowned as the largest and most potent particle accelerator worldwide. In a collaborative effort involving CERN, Nikhef, SURF, and the ATLAS LHC experiment, real production workflows pertinent to the forthcoming operation of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) have been incorporated for trial purposes.

Nokia’s sixth-generation super-coherent Photonic Service Engine (PSE-6s) was deployed on the Amsterdam-Geneva link, in combination with SURF's line system with equipment from a third-party on an older fiber link. It showed that the partners were able to achieve 800 Gbps transmission using 16QAM-shaped PCS modulation. 

SURF is gearing up its network infrastructure in anticipation of CERN's LHC transition to the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), set to be operational by 2029. The original LHC's role in discovering the Higgs boson has already transformed our understanding of the universe. The upcoming HL-LHC is poised to provide even more profound insights into the universe's fundamental components. This enhancement will not only yield richer research outcomes and heighten the chances for pivotal discoveries but will also handle a vast increase in scientific data. The HL-LHC is expected to produce data at a rate five times that of the current LHC. 

Ron Augustus, Chief Innovation Officer, member of the Board at SURF, said: “We are proud to collaborate with Nokia and Nikhef in this successful innovative trial that pushes the limits of our existing fiber and shows us what is possible. This trial is an important milestone for us as we prepare our network for the future demands of scientific research and education, including the upgrade of CERN’s particle accelerator. By emphasizing testing and the adoption of advanced technology, SURF ensures optimal service and support for its research partners' innovative, data-heavy projects and applications.”

James Watt, Vice President and General Manager, Optical Networks at Nokia, said: “Groundbreaking test events like this show how networks can play an essential role in initiatives that help unlock the secrets of the universe, and the role they play enhances our ability to learn and grow as a civilization. This trial is a testament to the innovation, collaborative spirit and leadership of both Nokia and SURF in the optical networking space. We are committed to helping SURF prepare its network for the upgrade of CERN’s particle accelerator, and look forward to working with other research and education networks around the world to advance their missions and enable cutting-edge discoveries.”

Ericsson commends Trade and Technology Council 6G Vision

Ericsson’s Chief Technology Officer, Erik Ekudden, has welcomed a new joint 6G Vision between the United States and the European Union.

A recent transatlantic intergovernmental Trade and Technology Council (TTC) session, comprising senior representatives of the U.S Government and the European Union and industry experts, officially adopted a 6G Vision statement that focuses on technology challenges and research collaboration including microelectronics; AI and cloud solutions for 6G; security and resilience; affordability and inclusiveness, sustainability and energy efficiency; openness and interoperability; efficient radio spectrum usage; and standardization.

The joint vision states: “As the European Union and the United States embark on the journey towards 6G, collaboration is not only desirable but essential. By leveraging each region's strengths and expertise, transatlantic cooperation can accelerate the development and deployment of 6G technology while upholding shared principles and values. We intend to strengthen cooperation between our Research and Innovation funding agencies in the range of 6G areas and will increase cooperation in the global standardization process through standardization organizations such as ETSI/3GPP. We also intend to develop an outreach plan with likeminded partners to advance the development and commercialization of 6G networks.”

Ekudden said it was important that the U.S. and Europe was aligned on future tech such as 6G, with a shared vision and common goals.

“As a global technology leader, Ericsson is ready to play our role to achieve the aims of the Trade and Technology Council so that the U.S. and Europe can catalyze the development of future technologies, not just for their own innovation and digital economy benefits, but to also drive digitalization with global scale using mobile technologies.”

He adds: “We know from previous generations of mobile technology that getting things right from the outset is crucial to seamless global technology experiences and benefits. That’s why early collaboration, such as the Trade and Technology Council work, is vital to ensuring the future success of 6G and those emerging technologies that it will enable.

Moby deploys Ciena’s XGS-PON and uOLT pluggables in Calgary

Moby, an independent telecom provider and division of Western Fibre Communications Corp., is utilizing an XGS-PON solution from Ciena to provide residential connectivity services to subscribers in Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, Canada.

Through its residential arm, Moby provides internet, TV, and phone services to high-density multi-family apartment and condo buildings. The network is using XGS-PON to make possible downstream and upstream speeds of up to 10 Gbps. 

“We saw that people didn’t have a lot of choice when it came to telecom services, so we set out to offer a real alternative—a local, independent provider with a quality, super-fast all-fiber network and an intense focus on the customer,” said Nick Brewer, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Moby.

Ciena’s solution included the 3924 Platform, XGS-PON uOLTs (micro optical line terminals), and 3801 ONUs (optical network units). Unlike traditional large, chassis-based approaches that are hindered by limited flexibility and scalability, Ciena’s uOLT, a small pluggable device, can transform any port on the 3924 into an OLT, one port at a time. This makes it ideally suited for residential broadband applications, allowing Moby to adapt and evolve with user, bandwidth, and performance demands in a highly cost-effective manner. Additionally, the 3924’s high-capacity yet compact 1RU design enables Moby to reduce footprint and energy requirements, resulting in a more environmentally friendly solution.

“Ciena’s uOLT pluggables are a game changer. They've allowed us to economically scale with demand while significantly decreasing our space and power consumption. This is particularly crucial for space-constrained MDU applications and dovetails perfectly with our sustainability aspirations,” said Brewer.

Ekinops posts Q1 revenue of EUR 28.3M

 Ekinops reported Q1 2024 consolidated revenue of 28.3 m€, down as expected compared to Q1 2023 (-11%).

The quarterly revenue was in line with the Q3 and Q4 2023 trend (27.8 m€ and 30.3 m€ respectively), in an economic environment that remains slow. The company cited a mixed performance across different product lines and regions, with growth in Access solutions offset by declines in Optical Transport and challenges in international markets.

Here's a summarized overview of Ekinops' Q1 2024 financial results:

Access Solutions:

Sales grew by 3% compared to Q1 2023.

Sequentially, sales increased by 33% compared to Q4 2023.

Strong rebound in France (+19%), while EMEA (excluding France) saw a 13% decline.

Optical Transport Solutions:

Sales declined by 27% compared to Q1 2023.

Cautious investment policies and large inventories contributed to the downturn.

Launch of new 800G optical solution contributed to a wait-and-see attitude among customers.

Software & Services:

Accounted for 15% of quarterly revenue.

Slightly lower compared to Q1 2023 (14%) and FY 2023 (17%).

Regional Performance:

France: Revenue increased by 15% compared to Q1 2023, driven by Access solutions. Optical Transport solutions declined by 10%.

International: Sales decreased by 24%, with significant declines in all regions.

North America: Sales were €7.0m, accounting for 25% of total business activity, similar to FY 2023.

EMEA: Sales declined by 21%, with a more pronounced drop in Optical Transport activity.

Asia-Pacific: Accounted for 3% of total business activity, with relatively stable sales.

Revenue Distribution:

France accounted for 43% of revenue (vs. 32% in FY 2023).

International business accounted for 57% of revenue (vs. 68% in FY 2023).

As for its outlook, Ekinops said 2024 kicked off with a stabilized level of sales comparable to the 2nd half of 2023, against a backdrop of economic slowdown, with limited signs of recovery at this stage. In Access, the improved Q1 sales in France in a context of operators easing equipment inventories is an encouraging sign. The Group confirms that it is aiming for a rebound in Access equipment sales during 2024, both in France and in EMEA, as the economy recovers. In Optical Transport, the launch of the new 800G product and a new OTN (Optical Transport Network) solution should boost business momentum over the coming semesters.

Ekinops acquires "5View" software from Infovista

Ekinops announced the acquisition of the "5View" software suite from Infovista, a key player in infrastructure management software for both mobile and fixed networks. 

5View is renowned for its ability to analyze application performance across networks by collecting, storing, and aggregating real-time data. This enables detailed reporting for troubleshooting, managing service level agreements, and long-term network capacity planning. Importantly, it offers critical insights into application traffic within SD-WAN solutions, enhancing network visibility.

This acquisition will enrich Ekinops' existing Compose software suite, primarily used by telecom operators and enterprises. 5View will be integrated into Ekinops' SD-WAN solutions, though its utility extends beyond to any operator or enterprise seeking better application visibility across various network technologies.

Additionally, the acquisition will strengthen Ekinops' research and development capabilities with the addition of four seasoned engineers from France, who will continue to advance the solution under the Ekinops umbrella.

Furthermore, Ekinops and Infovista have entered into a commercial agreement that will allow Infovista to continue integrating and selling the 5View software within its network assurance service solutions, ensuring continued revenue and integration flexibility.