Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Ariane 6 blasts off on inaugural launch

Ariane 6, Europe’s new heavy lift rocket, was successfully launched for the first time from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. 

During its 3rd phase of its orbital flight, the upper stage of the Ariane 6 experienced an anomaly, leading to a cancellation of the planned release of  experimental capsules.

Ariane 6 features a reignitable upper stage allowing it to launch multiple missions on different orbits on a single flight.

The Ariane 6  is designed to be more efficient and cost-effective than its predecessor, Ariane 5, with a lower production cost of approximately $200 million per launch. Ariane 6 has a payload capacity of 21.5 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and 10.7 metric tons to low Earth orbit (LEO). The Ariane 6 has a external diameter of 5.4 meters and a height of 63 meters. The fairing is 20 meters. The vehicle uses a combination of liquid (first and second stages) and solid propellants (side boosters).

For the development of Ariane 6, ESA is the Launch System Architect working with prime contractor ArianeGroup for the development of the launch vehicle and with CNES for the development of the ground segment. ESA is the operator responsible for the inaugural flight while for subsequent flights Arianespace is the launch service provider that markets and operates the Ariane 6 launcher for institutional and commercial customers to launch a variety of missions into orbit.

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said: “Ariane 6 marks a new era of autonomous, versatile European space travel. This powerful rocket is the culmination of many years of dedication and ingenuity from thousands across Europe and, as it launches, it will re-establish Europe’s independent access to space. Ariane 6 is Europe’s rocket for the needs of today, adaptable to our future ambitions.”


The customer manifest for Ariane 6 includes

• European Space Agency (ESA)

• Eutelsat

• Qualsat

• Hellas-Sat

• KTsat

• OneWeb

• Project Kuiper

Tech Update: IOWN Mid-2024 Progress Report

 The Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Forum (IOWN), which was founded in 2020 by NTT to accelerate the transition to next-generation networks, has grown into an international collaboration with big ambitions. Gonzalo Camarillo, Head of Implementation Components at Ericsson and Chair of the Marketing Steering Committee for IOWN, provides a mid-2024 progress report:

  • The forum is developing proof-of-concept prototypes in areas like financial institutions, video production, remote GPUs/AI, and 6G networks
  • Early deployments of photonics technology are expected as soon as 2025, with showcases planned for Mobile World Congress and Osaka Expo
  • Photonics offers advantages over electronics in power consumption, latency, and capacity, enabling new use cases and applications

Have a tech update that you want to brief us on? Contact info@nextgeninfra.io!

Samsung's 2nm node and advanced packaging to power AI accelerators

Samsung Electronics has announced a significant partnership with Preferred Networks, a leading Japanese AI company, to provide cutting-edge semiconductor solutions. The collaboration will utilize Samsung's 2-nanometer (nm) foundry process and advanced 2.5D packaging technology, Interposer-Cube S (I-Cube S), to develop powerful AI accelerators.

This partnership marks a pivotal moment for Samsung, validating its 2nm Gate-All-Around (GAA) process technology and Advanced Package technology as ideal solutions for next-generation AI accelerators. Since initiating mass production of the industry's first 3nm process node with GAA transistor architecture, Samsung has continued to strengthen its technological leadership in this field. The collaboration with Preferred Networks also represents a significant achievement in large-sized heterogeneous integrated package technologies for Japanese companies.

Preferred Networks, headquartered in Tokyo, is known for its vertical integration of the AI value chain, from chips to supercomputers and generative AI foundation models. The company has achieved notable success in the global AI market, securing the top position three times in the past five years on the Green500 list of supercomputers. By leveraging Samsung's advanced foundry and packaging technologies, Preferred Networks aims to meet the increasing demand for computing power driven by generative AI applications.

Key Points:

  • Samsung to provide 2nm foundry process and I-Cube S packaging technology to Preferred Networks
  • Collaboration validates Samsung's advanced technologies for next-generation AI accelerators
  • Partnership marks first achievement for Japanese companies in large-sized heterogeneous integrated package technologies
  • Preferred Networks aims to develop powerful AI accelerators to meet growing demand in generative AI
  • Both companies plan to showcase groundbreaking AI chiplet solutions for data centers and generative AI computing in the future

GIX activates NYC-NJ dark fiber route via PATH tunnel

Global InterXchange (GIX), in partnership with the Port Authority of NY and NJ, activated a new dark fiber route linking key integration hubs 60 Hudson Street in New York and 165 Halsey Street in New Jersey through the PATH tunnel.

This is the first privately owned, carrier-neutral installation across the Hudson River in two decades.

Key highlights of the newly activated dark fiber network:

  •  Two unique routes throughout Lower Manhattan for reduced latency and enhanced reliability between 60 Hudson and 165 Halsey.
  • A Southernmost Hudson River Dark Fiber crossing, offering dependable high-speed connectivity for regional growth and innovation.
  • 1.4 miles of fiber cables through PATH tunnels linking Lower Manhattan and Jersey City.
  • 8,000 feet of buried greenfield fiber that spans across Jersey City, Kearny and Newark.
  • State-of-the-art manhole systems with dual-locking lids for superior physical security.
  • 16-ton flood gates on both sides of the Hudson River secure PATH Tunnel infrastructure. 
  • Advanced glass technology at the rack level minimizes potential lag issues.
  • A reduced number of high-capacity fiber splice points enhances operational efficiency.
  • Capabilities for network augmentation to existing structures, balancing CapEx and OpEx expenditures.
  • The end-to-end buried fiber cable was designed to withstand extreme weather and meet federal security standards post-9/11. 

"The activation of our historic dark fiber route not only sets a new standard for connectivity across the Hudson River," said Joe Falco, President of GIX, "but also delivers reliable, high-speed connectivity that empowers local businesses, communities and global companies through enhanced infrastructure, fostering growth and innovation."


Qumulo names Doug Gourlay as CEO

Qumulo, a start-up focused on the management of exabyte-scale data. appointed Douglas Gourlay as President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing retiring CEO Bill Richter. Gourlay will also join Qumulo’s Board of Directors.

Gourlay previously served as Vice President and General Manager of Software at Arista Networks. Joining Arista in 2009, Gourlay held various executive leadership roles across product, systems engineering, marketing, and sales, contributing to Arista’s transformation into the leader in Cloud Networking. Prior to Arista, he held executive leadership positions at Cisco Systems, where he developed several multi-billion-dollar product lines. Earlier in his career, Gourlay served as an infantry officer in the United States Army. Gourlay has filed or holds over seventy patents in systems and networking technologies.

“I am delighted to join Qumulo. The combination of an outstanding culture and team, innovative on-premises and cloud software, opportunity in Applied AI, and the Scale Anywhere® vision drew me here. I look forward to executing our unique vision and strategy for our customers, partners, and channels,” stated Gourlay. “To quote America’s first astronaut just before launch: ‘Let’s light this candle!’” 


  • Qumulo's core technology is a scalable, distributed file system designed for high-performance computing, data analytics, and cloud-based applications. The company's solution is built on top of a distributed architecture that allows it to scale horizontally, making it suitable for large-scale data sets and complex workflows.
  • Qumulo has received significant funding from prominent investors, including Highland Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Kleiner Perkins, and Amity Ventures.    The company has raised over $351 million in funding from various rounds, including a $125 million Series E funding round in 2020.

Lightbit Labs supplies NVMe over TCP data platform

Lightbits Labs, a start-up specializing in NVMe over TCP and software-defined cloud data platforms, announced that Nebul has selected its storage solutions to build advanced AI cloud services. Nebul, known for helping companies across the EU unify their data and deploy NVIDIA-based Private AI, will leverage Lightbits to offer 16x better performance at lower costs, aligning with its sustainability mission. Lightbits’ high performance and low latency, along with compatibility with environments like Kubernetes and VMware, make it an ideal choice for diverse, performance-sensitive workloads.

Nebul’s decision to integrate Lightbits stems from the latter’s performance, resilience, and comprehensive data services, including three-way replication and QoS. Lightbits said its solution enables Nebul to deliver AI services at half the cost of hyperscalers, significantly enhancing large language model performance and handling latency-sensitive workloads without compromising on cost or reliability.

  • Nebul focuses on unifying data and deploying NVIDIA-based Private AI for companies across the EU.
  • Lightbits supports diverse workloads with up to 75 million IOPS and sub-millisecond tail latency for real-time AI applications and NoSQL databases.
  • Lightbits Labs is based in San Jose, California

Sivers Semi partners with Blu Wireless for 5G train connectivity

 Sivers Semiconductors announced a new contract with Blu Wireless to develop advanced 5G long-range antenna modules operating within the 57-71 GHz license-exempt band. These modules aim to provide high-speed broadband communication links for track-to-train applications, with the contract revenue fully recognized in 2024.

Railway operators have long struggled to provide reliable Wi-Fi to passengers due to significant technical and cost challenges. This new partnership allows Sivers Semiconductors to deliver extended communication links supporting multi-gigabit speeds. These advanced solutions are designed to ensure seamless and high-speed internet access for modern high-speed rail systems, even at speeds exceeding 300 km/h. This development marks a significant step towards enhancing passenger experience and operational efficiency in the rail industry.

“The contract between Blu Wireless and our UK business unit underscores our longstanding partnership,” said Anders Storm, CEO of Sivers Semiconductors. “Combining our cutting-edge RF technology with Blu Wireless’s advanced baseband processing, we are transforming high-speed connectivity for transportation. The new solution offers gigabit data throughput, increased security, and cost-effective deployment, and is already in use on the South Western Railway and the CALTRAIN commuter rail line in the USA.” Blu Wireless, backed by Innovate UK funding and recent investment from Maven Capital Partners, is leading advancements in rail telecommunication technologies to drive sustainable economic growth and support innovation.