Thursday, May 23, 2024

Google's Umoja cable to link Africa with Australia

Google unveiled plans for a high-capacity terrestrial and subsea cable system passing through Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, including the Google Cloud region, before crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia.

The Umoja cable, which is named for the Swahili word for unity, form a highly scalable route through Africa. Umoja’s terrestrial path was built in collaboration with Liquid Technologies.

“Africa’s major cities including Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, and Harare will no longer be hard-to-reach endpoints remote from the coastal landing sites that connect Africa to the world. They are now stations on a data superhighway that can carry thousands of times more traffic than currently reaches here. I am proud that this project helps us deliver a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind, regardless of how far they are from the technology centers of the world.” - Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and founder of Liquid Intelligent Technologies  

In addition, Google will sign a Statement of Collaboration with Kenya’s Ministry of Information Communications and The Digital Economy to accelerate joint efforts in cybersecurity,

Google’s Submarine Cable Projects Update

New Central Pacific Cables

Google recently announced the construction of two new central Pacific submarine cables, named Honomoana and Tabua. These cables are part of an initiative to enhance connectivity between Pacific islands and the mainland, including connections to key locations such as Guam and Chile. This project aims to bolster internet infrastructure across the region and provide more reliable and faster internet services.

Completion of Curie Subsea Cable

In 2023, the Curie subsea cable, which spans 10,500 kilometers from California to Valparaiso, Chile, was completed. This cable enhances the connectivity along the west coast of the Americas, significantly improving data transfer capabilities. 

Upcoming Humboldt Cable

In 2023, Google announced the Humboldt subsea cable project, which will connect Chile, Fiji, and Australia.

Key Dates:

Honomoana and Tabua Cables Announcement: April 2024

Curie Subsea Cable Completion: 2023

Humboldt Cable Announcement: 2023

For more detailed information, you can visit Converge Digest       .

NTT uses Telemetry + AI to Elevate the INDYCAR Fan Experience

 NTT and NTT DATA are revolutionizing the fan experience at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, including the iconic Indianapolis 500, through the innovative use of racing data. Each race car is equipped with over 140 sensors, capturing more than 8 billion data points during the race. This data is transmitted with low latency through a robust network to the NTT Smart Solutions Platform, where it is analyzed in near-real-time. Advanced AI and predictive analytics turn these data points into valuable insights and visualizations, enhancing the storytelling of key race moments like head-to-head overtakes, strategic moves, and race winner predictions.

Fans both at the event and remotely benefit from these technological advancements. The 300,000-plus attendees at the Indianapolis 500 gain insights on wait times and crowd flow, updated every 30 seconds, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience across the vast 600-acre venue. NTT DATA’s Smart Venue technology combines AI-enabled optical detection and digital ticketing to manage security and traffic flow, allowing fans to move through the event safely and efficiently. This integration of real-time data enhances the overall spectator experience at the world’s largest single-day sporting event.

The INDYCAR App, powered by NTT DATA, provides fans with real-time updates and advanced analytics, including live scoring and in-car camera views. Engaging more than 70,000 users on race days, the app delivers a comprehensive viewing experience, making fans feel closer to the action. Furthermore, NTT DATA’s efforts extend to social media, web, television, and streaming broadcasts, using reliable technology to deliver deeper data insights and increase fan engagement across all platforms.


  • Over 140 sensors on each race car capture more than 8 billion data points.
  • Data is analyzed in real-time using AI and predictive analytics.
  • Fans receive insights on race strategies, winner predictions, and key moments.
  • The 300,000-plus attendees at the Indianapolis 500 benefit from real-time data on wait times and crowd flow.
  • AI-enabled optical detection and digital ticketing improve security and traffic flow.
  • The INDYCAR App provides live scoring, in-car camera views, and real-time updates.
  • NTT DATA enhances fan engagement through social media, web, television, and streaming.
  • NTT’s Embodied Knowledge technology offers a realistic racing simulator experience and has potential future applications in various industries.

“The Indianapolis 500 is the pinnacle of racing that leverages refined Embodied Knowledge where firsthand the movements of racers can be felt to understand what Embodied Knowledge truly means. Through various sensing technologies, we aim to technically recreate these movements and sensations,” said Kota Hidaka, Vice President, Head of NTT Human Informatics Laboratories.

VIGO Photonics secures funding for HyperPIC Project

Poland's National Center for Research and Development signed an agreement with VIGO Photonics to co-finance the HyperPIC project under the European Funds for a Modern Economy (FENG) program. This project, part of the integrated European IPCEI ME/CT initiative, aims to develop photonic integrated circuits for mid-infrared (mid-IR) applications. The European Commission approved public aid up to EUR 102.9 million for the project on June 12, 2023, with the company being listed for co-financing on February 23, 2024.

The HyperPIC project is set to revolutionize the field of mid-infrared photonic integrated circuits (MIRPIC). VIGO Photonics will develop the world’s first production line offering a complete value chain for MIRPIC systems, which have applications in various industries including biomedical equipment, industrial pollution monitoring, critical infrastructure, IoT, telecommunications, automotive, and more. The project spans from 2023 to 2029, with the R&D phase running from 2023 to 2027 and the First Industrial Deployment (FID) phase from 2024 to 2029.

MIRPIC technology enables the development of highly integrated photonic devices that operate in the mid-IR range, crucial for sensing applications. These circuits can be used in environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and industrial process control. The project involves significant investment in research, development, and commercialization, with a total eligible cost of EUR 182 million and public aid covering EUR 94 million. VIGO Photonics plans to cover additional costs through its funds, debt financing, and strategic partnerships.

Key Details:

  • Technology: Development of mid-infrared photonic integrated circuits (MIRPIC).
  • Project Funding: Approved public aid of up to EUR 102.9 million by the European Commission.
  • Project Timeline: 2023-2029 with R&D phase (2023-2027) and FID phase (2024-2029).
  • Applications: Biomedical equipment, industrial pollution monitoring, critical infrastructure, IoT, telecommunications, automotive, and more.

The successful implementation of the HyperPIC project positions VIGO Photonics as a global leader in MIRPIC technology, enhancing the EU’s technological edge and boosting Poland’s economic potential in advanced photonics.

  • VIGO Photonics is  based in Ożarów Mazowiecki, Poland. The company specializes in the development and production of high-performance infrared detectors and modules. 

Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Salesforce target Carbon Removal

 Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Salesforce have formed a coalition to identify and scale next-generation nature restoration projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The Symbiosis Coalition will function as an advance market commitment (AMC)for nature-based removal credits in the voluntary carbon market. These companies have collectively committed to contract up to 20M in nature-based carbon removal credits by 2030 that have high certainty of impact on the climate and result in equitable outcomes for the communities whose livelihoods depend on these projects.

Specifically, Symbiosis intends to serve as an independent, non-profit joint procurement vehicle for nature-based carbon removal credits guided by five quality pillars: conservative accounting, durability, social and community benefits, ecological integrity, and transparency. Members will have the opportunity to purchase carbon removal credits that count towards their pledge through a joint RFP in addition to their own efforts. The initial RFP will focus on afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation projects (ARR), inclusive of agroforestry.

“High-quality, nature-based solutions are vital to addressing climate change, and our work with the Symbiosis Coalition is a key step towards realizing our carbon negative goal by 2030 through a diversified portfolio of carbon removal. This collaboration will help build the overall market for these solutions, leading to more restoration purchases that benefit all of us. Continued investment in carbon removal is important not just to meet our goals but for the world to meet its goals,” stated Melanie Nakagawa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Microsoft.

Dell and Ericsson enter strategic partnership for RAN cloud

Dell Technologies and Ericsson have announced a strategic partnership aimed at combining their extensive industry expertise in telecom software, solutions, and support. This collaboration is designed to guide communications service providers (CSPs) through their radio access network (RAN) cloud transformation journeys, enabling them to achieve improved economics and agility while maintaining network reliability.

According to a new study by MeriTalk, sponsored by Dell Technologies, nine in ten CSPs consider network transformation critical to their organization’s survival. Despite this, 96 percent of surveyed CSPs report that their network transformation vision is lagging due to factors such as limited time, budget constraints, and concerns over reliability and security. These challenges hinder their ability to provide customers with modern network solutions. Dell and Ericsson’s partnership seeks to address these issues by offering simple and reliable Open RAN-based network cloud transformation strategies, leveraging their integrated solutions and support.

In 2023, Ericsson and Dell Technologies began collaborating on Cloud RAN solutions, combining Ericsson’s Cloud RAN software and RAN equipment with Dell Technologies’ infrastructure. Their joint efforts aim to expand the ecosystem and provide customers with greater flexibility. The new agreement further solidifies their commitment to this goal by focusing on the development of tailored network cloud transformation plans, the commercial introduction of Ericsson Cloud RAN software on Dell PowerEdge servers, and the co-development of services to simplify deployment and operational management.

Key Points:

  • Collaborative Development: Dell and Ericsson will develop tailored network cloud transformation plans, advise CSPs on network architectures and operating models, and reduce the risks associated with deploying on open, multi-vendor environments. They also plan to co-create solutions that drive energy efficiencies and innovate on Cloud RAN infrastructure operations.
  • Commercial Introduction: Ericsson Cloud RAN software will be introduced on Dell PowerEdge servers, offering continuous integration testing and lifecycle management to speed deployment and mitigate risks during updates and upgrades, with Dell acting as a solution partner.
  • Co-developed Services: The partnership will include the co-development of services that simplify the entire deployment process, from factory validation to installation and ongoing operational management. These services will be supported by Dell and Ericsson’s joint support for any integrated solution.

Prisma Photonics names Tiffany Menhorn as Head of Sales, NA

Prisma Photonics, which leverages optical fiber  to monitor large-scale power utility infrastructure, appointed Tiffany Menhorn as Head of Sales, North America. F

Most recently, Menhorn served as Vice President of Utility Solutions at Palmetto, a leading provider of energy intelligence data, where she helped utilities drive consumer adoption and commercialization of utility-sponsored third-party ownership of clean energy. Previously, Menhorn led business development for North America at LineVision, a grid-enhancing technology company, where she worked with a variety of American power utilities to integrate power line monitoring sensors while opening global markets. Tiffany also spent five years leading sales for the western United States at Enel X, where she helped change how electric utilities procure commodities, allowing them to source gigawatts of thermal and renewable power with more efficiency and transparency.

Founded in 2017, Prisma Photonics works with leading power utilities in the United States, Europe, Israel and other regions to deploy solutions that identify faults and threats like icing or wildfires on transmission assets in real time while offering hyper-accurate line ratings. Prisma Photonics also helps utilities comply with U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulations by increasing capacity on congested networks.

  • Focus: Prisma Photonics specializes in advanced optical fiber sensing technology to monitor and protect critical infrastructure. Their solutions help power utilities identify threats to transmission assets in real-time and offer hyper-accurate line ratings to comply with regulatory requirements and increase network capacity​
  • Funding: Prisma Photonics has secured over $50 million in funding to date, with the most recent $20 million Series C round.
  • Location: Prisma Photonics is headquartered in Israel and recently expanded its operations by opening its first US office in Austin, Texas. This expansion aims to strengthen their presence in the North American market​
  • Projects and Clients: Prisma Photonics is actively involved in significant projects, such as monitoring more than 1,000 km of Israel's national transmission electrical grid.

Advanced Photonics Coalition forms Silicon Photonics Working Group

The Advanced Photonics Coalition (formerly Consortium for On-board Optics) is forming a new  Silicon Photonics Working Group with the goal of establishing ecosystem-driven standards.