“Moore’s Law has transcended computing expectations; however, its promise will eventually reach scalability limitations due to extraordinary consumer demands. Future technology encompasses breakthroughs capable of interaction with the outside world, which the “More than Moore” movement achieves. Through integrating functionalities that do not scale to deliver cost-optimized and value-added system solutions, this trend holds significant potential for the industry. This event will explore the business and technical factors defining the More than Moore movement, and address how it will yield revolutionary electronic devices.”
■Kaivan Karimi, Executive Director, Global Strategy & Business Development, Microcontroller Group, Freescale
■Mark Miscione, VP, RF Technology Solutions, Peregrine
■Dr. Naveed Sherwani, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Open-Silicon
■Dr. Ely Tsern, VP & Chief Technologist, Memory and Interfaces Division, Rambus
Moderator: Edward Sperling, Editor in Chief, System-Level Design and Editorial Director, Low-Power Engineering
■Dr. John Heinlein, VP, Marketing, Physical IP Division, ARM
■Kamran Izadi, Director, Advanced Semiconductor Sourcing, Cisco
■Oleg Logvinov, Director of Market Development, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics
- Many of the functions that have to be integrated into devices are analog/RF where Moore’s Law does NOT apply!
- Mixed signal technologies (combining analog and digital circuits in a single chip/module) need to continue to advance to include those functions along with typical baseband and DSP on the same chip/module.
- Packaging technology will be critically important- both at the component/module and systems level. Innovation and “out of the box thinking” here are very much needed.
- Testing at the package and system level will also be important.
- For the IoTs, the following I/O improvements are needed for devices/networked sensors: short reach, very low power, variable bit rate (low to high), support of multiple wireless standards (e.g. Blue Tooth, Zigbee, Low Power WiFi, etc)
- A new way of designing analog ICs needs to be considered for the IoT to be a mass market.
- A key question here is “how much further can the industry convert (inherently) analog functions to digital and then use DSPs to implement them?”
- Many of the mobile computing functions will be implemented by servers in a cloud resident Data Center. For those servers, interconnects on the circuit board could be the limiting factor in reducing cost and power.
“It’s natural for MEMS and mixed-signal devices, or MEMS and logic devices, to live in a side-by-side (2.5D) world.”
“Organic substrates for 2.5D interposers show great promise for reducing 2.5D interposer costs – look particularly to the work being done by Georgia Tech.”
“If you don’t follow scientific change then what you practice reverts to witchcraft.” (The Rabinovitsi Paradigm.)
“Innovation in packaging may be more relevant than Moore’s Law moving forward.”
“3D packaging is becoming a very exciting technology, with as much relevance as a process node shift.”
“The IoT needs packaging innovations – not Moore’s Law technology progression.”
“FinFET or packaging – where’s the smart money playing? The problem is one of die / device performance versus system performance – and packaging drives system performance.”
“That being said, 3D packaging is not a panacea – basic economics still rule.”
“Seven years from now it will be IoT applications driving the industry – and Moore’s Law progress doesn’t apply to the analog world, hence the need to work on heterogeneous integration / 2.5D / 3D IC.”
“New generations of network-side IC products are only 15% innovation – the other 85% is composed of standard I/O and memory IP. Moving some of that 85% from the board to the interposer or to a 3D stack will be a huge performance improvement – 3D memory integration, for example, is positively disruptive.”
“But doesn’t CMOS integration always win? Monolithic integration, or heterogeneous integration using 2.5D / 3D IC; either way it comes together, no one size fits all.”
“The 28nm process node has a lot to like about it: speed, cost, High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) capability, and IP portability all look good compared to 14nm FinFET.”
“Challenges that need addressing in 2.5D / 3D IC are supply chain related. The current cost structure for 2.5D / 3D is leveraged by materials and processing equipment.”
“Do we currently even have a functioning 3D IC ecosystem?”
“Thermal challenges have kept 3D IC from coming to the mainstream. 2.5D is much better than 3D from a thermal perspective.”
Level 3 Communications (NYS: LVLT) reported earnings on April 25. For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Level 3 Communications missed slightly on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share. Margins expanded across the board. Level 3 Communications tallied revenue of $1.58 billion. The 14 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for revenue of $1.61 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter’s.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly
Level 3 Communications’ (NYSE: LVLT) first-quarter revenues declined sequentially and year-over-year to $1.58 billion due to the expected termination of various North America and UK government contracts.
During the first quarter, the company’s net loss was $0.36 per share, including $0.11 in foreign exchange losses in EMEA and Latin America.
“In the first quarter, we saw the effects of the near-term revenue pressures we cited last quarter, due to the typical reversal in seasonally strong fourth quarter revenue and some known contract disconnects in North America and UK Government,” said Sunit Patel, CFO of Level 3. Patel said that “our gross margin is now back above 60 percent for the first time since acquiring Global Crossing.”
Despite these initial revenue challenges, Level 3′s total Enterprise Core Network Services (CNS) revenue grew 2.2 percent year-over-year to $1.37 billion. Taking out the impact of UK government revenue, Enterprise CNS revenue grew 6.8 percent year-over year. Wholesale revenue, meanwhile, declined to $501 million, while wholesale voice and other revenue declined to $205 million.
On a regional basis, North America was the clear leader with $967 million in revenue, while EMEA and Latin America posted revenues of $223 and $182 million, respectively.
David Dixon of FBR wrote:
“While Level 3 continues to generate benefits from the Global Crossing merger, and we welcome incoming CEO Jeff Storey, our concerns about weak top-line trends and cost structure continue to be borne out. In the retail enterprise segment, a tough macro environment is coupled with a challenging pricing environment for connectivity services, which are largely commoditized. Furthermore, generationally challenged Ethernet equipment is an issue. Level 3 has avoided significant capex over the past two years by using Huawei engineers under contract to tune lasers on older fiber on a hop-by-hop basis to increase capacity and avoid network upgrades; however, excess capacity is unclear. In the wholesale segment, wireless backhaul demand is a potential bright spot, as demand for backhaul is increasing.
Cable companies are focused on offering lit fiber versus dark fiber to maintain owner economics. For Level 3, it is unclear to what extent the company would sell metro dark fiber circuits to wireless companies seeking fiber-based backhaul and feeder fiber from IXC hubs. While Level 3 gives up owner economics in this case, it may be the preferred approach, as wireless carriers are reluctant to use Level 3 to source lit fiber because of concerns regarding a lack of a capacity upgrade path —i.e., Level 3 can provide 100 Mbps today, but carriers need substantially higher capacity going forward. And our checks confirm that customer confidence is low regarding the company’s ability to increase investment levels to meet growing capacity requirements (particularly in a virtualized network context), primarily due to balance sheet concerns.
■ CNS* revenues weaker than expected, but EBITDA beat expectations as margins rebound—a flip from results last quarter. CNS revenue of $1,372M in 4Q12, up 1.6% YOY, was below our $1,418M estimate and consensus of $1,390M. One of the primary growth drivers was Latin America (13% of CNS revenues). Adjusted EBITDA were $386M, above our $378M estimate and consensus of $378M. The 24.5% EBITDA margin was ahead of consensus and our estimate of 23.5%, the first margin above 24% since the merger closed in 4Q11.
* Editors Note: We don’t know if Core Network Services (CNS) also includes Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which Level 3 provides to other service providers. Their CDN is said to “support some of the largest video, software and web properties. The Level 3® Network is connected with direct, private connections to almost every major ISP and Telco, which allows traffic to flow directly to end users without traversing public peering points.”
■ Reiteration of weak EBITDA guidance. For the second-largest ISP after Google, modest revenue growth, low-double-digit EBITDA guidance, and what we interpret as modestly positive FCF growth (i.e., positive FCF, excluding $56M
in interest rate swap liabilities) are weak. Capex spending remains moderate, tracking below expectations, and a 4% head-count reduction taken late in the fourth quarter may provide a boost to EBITDA by $40M but will likely challenge
top-line growth in FY13.”
by David Dixon and Neil Macker, CFA
FBR Technology, Media & Telecom
The Feb 2013 ITU-T SG 13 Plenary meeting report lists Question 13 as having primary responsibility for investigating Software Defined Networking and Network Virtualization.
Here is a cut and paste of the pertinent ITU-T SG13 Plenary report:
TD 26 (PLEN/13)
Software Defined Networking (SDN) and network virtualization are among promising technologies because they enable network operators to divide networks into partitions to make problem size smaller, and to control their networks in unified, programmable manner. This realizes multiple isolated and flexible networks in order to support a broad range of network architectures, services, and users that do not interfere with others. It is considered as one of the key technologies for FNs, and various SDOs have started to study these technologies in intensive manner, but overall framework that covers all telecom industry has not yet been defined. And there are other approaches to mitigate the diversity and complexity by e.g., introducing easily-manageable network architecture such as carefully-designed decentralization and autonomicity.
The Recommendations that specifies framework, service scenarios, requirements, and architecture of service-aware networking, in particular network virtualization and SDN technologies, fall under the responsibility of this question. As for SDN, the focus is on common part of SDN that is applicable to various networks, and its application to future networks.
Study items to be considered, but not limited to:
• Requirements for the architecture to manage and to operate exploding and diversifying services and supporting functions in particular SDN and network virtualization
• Analysis of gaps between SDN, service-aware networking and existing standards and/or technologies
• Approaches, architectures and mechanisms for highly-scalable and distributed SDN and service-aware networking easy to control, operate and manage
• Issues and solutions for migrating from current IP-based network to SDN and service aware networking.
Tasks include, but are not limited to:
• Produce new Recommendations on requirements, functional architecture and mechanisms of generic SDN, its application to future networks, and service aware networking.
• Produce Recommendations on general overview of service aware networking
• Y.3011, Y-series Recommendations
• All SDN and FN related Questions
• ITU-T Study Groups involved in SDN and FN studies
Standardization bodies, fora and consortia:
• ISO/IEC JTC1 SC 6
• ETSI ISG Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
• Open Networking Foundation
And that’s “all she wrote” about ITU-T standardization of SDN and Network Virtualization
Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services, today announced results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ended March 31, 2013.
“We delivered another strong quarter as the worldwide adoption of smartphones continues,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “Looking forward, we are seeing strong traction with our new Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors, and we continue to expect healthy growth in 3G and 3G/4G multimode devices around the world. We are pleased to be raising our calendar 2013 3G/4G device shipment estimates and our revenue and earnings guidance for fiscal 2013.”
Second Quarter Results (GAAP)
- Revenues: 1 $6.12 billion, up 24 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) and 2 percent sequentially.
- Operating income: 1 $1.88 billion, up 24 percent y-o-y and down 10 percent sequentially.
- Net income: 2 $1.87 billion, down 16 percent y-o-y* and 2 percent sequentially.
- Diluted earnings per share: 2 $1.06, down 17 percent y-o-y* and 3 percent sequentially.
- Effective tax rate: 1 13 percent for the quarter.
- Operating cash flow: $2.22 billion, up 17 percent y-o-y; 36 percent of revenues.
- Return of capital to stockholders: $431 million, or $0.25 per share, of cash dividends paid.
Forbes: Qualcomm Cheap Phone Warning is Ominous
Qualcomm owns intellectual property related to code division multiple access (CDMA). This technology is behind many of today’s wireless networks. Qualcomm also provides chip sets for mobile devices. Since Qualcomm licenses the technology or provides the guts of a wide base of wireless devices and networks, there are serious implications for smartphone manufacturers in Qualcomm’s results.
martphone prices are falling much faster than expectations. Of further concern is the number of new entrants in the smartphone market. Somewhat shocking was a statement by Qualcomm that some of its customers are able to launch their devices in as little as 60 days from start to launch. These customers are using Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD).
As of January 2013, 170 QRD based devices have been commercialized by more than 40 manufacturers. The irony here is that based on the large number of emails I receive, investors tend to extrapolate from their experiences in the United States and Europe and do not realize that there are more than 40 manufacturers of smartphones. The 60-day time to launch is in stark contrast with the traditional time of nine months to a year.
This is real bad news for Apple. Growth is in emerging markets as the developed markets are mostly saturated. In emerging markets, disposable incomes are not high enough for the masses to afford existing Apple products. Apple has already ruled out a $99 iPhone. The indications are that Apple is hard at work on a low end phone. Nobody knows the price of the future low-end iPhone. Most of the informed speculation centers around a price in the range of $300 to $400 in contrast to the $613 average selling price of the present iPhone.
The strong inference from Qualcomm’s earnings report is that smartphone prices are falling so fast that the new low end Apple iPhone is not likely to be competitive.
BlackBerry has been touting its success in emerging markets with Z10, but Z10 is simply too expensive for these markets. BlackBerry’s CEO is on record saying that BlackBerry is working on a low end phone. However considering how fast smartphone prices are falling, even if BlackBerry is able to introduce a new device at 50% of the current price of Z10, it is not likely to become competitive.
Qualcomm’s earnings report validates Nokia’s strategy for the emerging markets. Its line of low-end phones called Asha is doing well in emerging markets, but Nokia is about to face stiff competition primarily from Chinese manufacturers. Most of the phones from the new entrants are based onGoogle GOOG -0.14% Android. Further, these new entrants are shying away from Windows Phone OS.
The bottom line is that a sea change is on the horizon which is good for Google and Qualcomm but bad for almost everyone else.
Fixed line Consumer Revenues Increase
See Intel’s press release (http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2013/04/17/intel-accelerates-the-data-center-and-telecom-network-transformation-with-new-reference-architectures) for more information.
“SDN and NFV are critical elements of Intel’s vision to transform the expensive, complex networks of today to a virtualised, programmable, standards-based architecture running commercial off-the-shelf hardware. The reference designs announced today enable a new phase in the evolution of the network and represent Intel’s commitment to driving an open environment that fosters business agility and smart economics,” Ms Schooner said in the press release.
Rose invited Allwyn Sequeira, VP/CTO of Security and Networking at VMware, on the stage to talk about their ongoing collaboration. Allwyn talked about the NSX platform, and emphasized decoupling networking from the underlying hardware to “abstract, pool, and automate” network resources like virtualized servers. NSX is based on overlays and network virtualization. It doesn’t conform to the strict ONF definition of SDN, nor does it use the Open Flow protocol. Prodip Sen, Director of Network Architecture at Verizon talked about their collaboration with Intel on a cloud bursting trial with dynamic bandwidth allocation/re-allocation.
After the conference, Rose made the following comment via email to this author: “I completely agree that SDN and NFV are complimentary but different – that’s the Intel view as well. We created the 2013 ONS presentation with the assumption that the difference was understood by the audience.”
- SDN Position from Ericsson:http://www.ericsson.com/news/130221-software-defined-networking-the-service-provider-perspective_244129229_c?categoryFilter=ericsson_review_1270673222_c
- Telstra, Ericsson and SDN:http://www.ericsson.com/news/130227-ericsson-demonstrates-service-provider-sdn-vision-at-mobile-world-congress_244129229_c
- Telstra and 1 TBPS:http://www.ericsson.com/news/1685811
A NV platform consists of an intelligent edge (virtual) switch, distributed controllers, and tunnels that decouple network services from the physical infrastructure (e.g. VMware’s NSX platform.) Bruce said that “network overlays solve more problems than they create, they will enable network service innovation at software speeds, and that NV is its own thing (i.e. it delivers its own value, apart from SDN).” The Microsoft and Ebay ONS presentations certainly supported his favorable view of NV over stictly defined SDN-Open Flow.
as well as some customers looking to reap some benefits from SDN. Second, there was the approach labelled “SDN-washing” by Guru Parulkar. This was represented by some of the traditional networking vendors. The basic idea is to retain the full-featured, largely proprietary systems, but to dress them up with some sort of API, be it OpenFlow or something proprietary. As Guru said, this doesn’t really conform to the intent of SDN. Finally, there is the network
virtualization school, well represented in the session on Data Center applications. As was clear from my talk, I subscribe to this school of thought. (Microsoft’s) Albert Greenberg’s description of the Windows Azure architecture very much matches our vision of network virtualization, and JC Martin from eBay has already reaped the rewards of deploying network virtualization in his data center.”
network services from the underlying physical network. This is all done in a way that is non-disruptive and incrementally deployable.” For further comments please visit: http://cto.vmware.com/network-virtualization-in-the-software-defined-data-center/ and: http://networkheresy.com/2013/04/13/what-should-networks-do-for-applications/
presentos from Guru and Dan at:
Defined Networking (SDN) Explained — New Epoch or Passing Fad?
• Jeff Weiner – CEO, LinkedIn
• Anand Chandrasekhar – CMO, Qualcomm
• Boyd Davis – GM, Intel Datacenter Software Division
• Chris Anderson – CEO 3D Robotics and former editor in chief, Wired magazine
• Rayid Ghani – Chief Scientist, Obama campaign,
• D. J. Patil – Formerly Chief Data Scientist, LinkedIn
• Ashish Thakkar – Founder, Mara Group
• Maya Strelar-Migotti – Vice President, Ericsson SV
• Ronnie Screwvala – Director, Disney-UTV
• Manoj Bhargava – Founder and CEO, 5-hour Energy
• Bharat Desai – Chairman and Co-Founder, Syntel
This session covered the prospects for Ethernet in the enterprise, among carriers (especially for cellular backhaul), and in the data center. The session was chaired by Crystal Black, Channel Marketing Manager, APTARE
-Michael Howard, Infonetics Research
-Casey Quillin, Dell’Oro Group
-Sergis Mushell, Gartner
-Jag Bolaria, Linley Group
-Vladimir Kozlov, LightCounting
The summary of this panel will be posted at viodi.com shortly
Comment: Surprisingly, there wasn’t any talk about the Carrier Ethernet market, which was the subject of an all day track at this conference. Carrier Ethernet lets carrier businesses use low cost Ethernet systems to offer data services with all the operation, administration and Maintenance (OAM) features and benefits, including QoS. Existing Carrier Ethernet Services include Private Line, Ethernet Tree (point to multi-point) and Ethernet LAN (multi-point to multi-point). In addition, the MEF is positioning Carrier Ethernet 2.0 for use in wire-line access to Private Cloud services.
The problem seemed to be that there weren’t any carriers willing to participate in those sessions, so it was just equipment and silicon vendors talking to one another.
A new report forecasts the Global Ethernet Access Device market to grow at a CAGR Of 13.62% from 2012-2016.
Another highlight of the Ethernet Technology Summit was a Wednesday evening award ceremony to the “Unsung hero’s of Ethernet.” They were: Dave Boggs who worked with Bob Metcalfe on the original 3M b/sec Ethernet (and whose name appears on the Ethernet patent), Ron Crane who designed the first working 10 Mb/s coax based Ethernet (which later became standardized by IEEE 802.3 as 10Base5), Tat Lam who worked on the original version of Ethernet and early 10 Mb/s transceivers and long time IEEE ComSoc contributor Geoff Thompson for his hard work, long term support and leadership of Ethernet standards work in IEEE 802 (he was chair/vice-chair of the 802.3 WG for many years), TIA and the ISO.
The Unsung Heroes etched crystal awards were paid for by the IEEE Santa Clara Valley section (the largest in the world). They include an image of Bob Metcalfe’s original sketch of the Ethernet system.
Note: this author has been a member of the IEEE SCV Executive Committee for many years and decades. More info at:
A video of this session is available at: http://www.papitv.com/ethernet-technology-summit-market-research-marketsinvestors-track-the-panelist-video-by-kc-leung
2013 Ethernet Tech Summit Presentations can be downloaded from:
Satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp. is making a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Corp. in an effort to derail the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier’s acquisition by Softbank Corp. of Japan. Dish said Monday it is offering to pay $4.76 in cash and about $2.24 in Dish stock, based on Friday’s closing price, for every share of Sprint. Dish argues that the deal represents a 13% premium to Softbank’s complicated proposal to buy 70% of Sprint for $20.1 billion.
Charlie Ergen, Dish’s Executive Chairman, has been looking for a way into the wireless world for years. Dish has been buying space on the airwaves for cellphone service or wireless broadband. The Englewood, Colo., company has tried to partner with cellphone companies to put its spectrum rights to use, but has been repeatedly rebuffed.
A Dish spokesman said it’s too early in the process to know a number of specifics including who would lead the company and whether Mr. Ergen will serve as chairman of the board. Sprint said its board of directors will evaluate the proposal carefully. Softbank had no immediate comment on the bid by Dish.
“Sprint is in play,” Mr. Ergen said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in New York. “We think we’ve made an offer that’s much more compelling than the Softbank transaction.” Control of the combined company would rest with Dish shareholders, and Mr. Ergen would be its largest shareholder.
Buying Sprint would allow Dish to offer video, high-speed Internet and voice service across the country in one package whether people are at home or out and about, Mr. Ergen said. People who don’t have access to broadband from a cable company would be able to sign up for Internet service delivered wirelessly from Sprint cellphone towers to an antenna installed on their roof, Mr. Ergen said.
“You want to be in your home with video, broadband, and data, and voice, and you want to be outside your home with those same things,” Ergen said on a conference call. “And while the cable industry does a really good job in your home, and the current wireless industry does a really good job outside your home, there’s really no one company on a national scale that puts it all together. The new Dish-Sprint will do that.”
Earlier this year, Dish made an informal offer to buy Clearwire Corp. -a wireless carrier that is half-owned by Sprint and that has agreed to sell Sprint the other half. Dish has yet to move forward with a formal bid. Mr. Ergen said the “deck was stacked against us” with Clearwire due to a
tangle of contractual obligations. With Sprint, the only obstacle is a $600 million breakup fee that would be due Softbank. He said he is willing to pay that.
Sprint had $35.3 billion in revenue last year, compared with $14.3 billion for Dish. The combined company would carry more than $36 billion in debt, according to CapitalIQ, even before loading on the $9 billion Dish indicated it would borrow to do the deal. It will now be up to the Sprint board to decide whether Dish’s bid is superior to Softbank’s. If the board decides it is, Softbank will have an opportunity to increase its own offer.
Rethink Wireless reports that Deutsche Telekom is considering a separate deal with Sprint Nextel, which would improve its capex position for expanding its own LTE roll-out. DT owns T-Mobile, which is the 4th largest U.S. wireless carrier.
Dish and Sprint both held talks with MetroPCS before the T-Mobile deal was agreed, the sources say. DT last week improved the terms of its offer for MetroPCS to reassure major shareholders in the flat rate carrier, notably by reducing the debt burden on the combined entity, and the leading opponent of the proposal did reverse its position, raising hopes that the deal will be approved at a delayed shareholder meeting on April 24.
Not to be outdone, Telegeography weighed in with this rumor: “Charlie Ergen, chairman of US satellite TV giant DISH Network, reportedly approached Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (DT) regarding a possible merger with T-Mobile USA, albeit informally. According to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the situation, DISH made the proposal sometime before 10 April, when DT unveiled a ‘sweetened’ bid for merger target MetroPCS Communications. The sources, who wished to remain anonymous, added that DT might consider DISH’s proposal, although only after the transaction with MetroPCS closes, and after verifying that a separate deal with Sprint Nextel is not feasible.”
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One consistent theme during the Cloud Connect 2013 conference was the cloud as a disrupter of IT organizations. During the Cloud Executive Summit workshop, Avery Lyford of LEAP Commerce said that there were three huge areas of disruption: the mobile cloud, big data (analytics) and Software Defined Networking (SDN). Each of these areas were then described by different speakers. We were especially impressed with the presentation by Andre Kindness of Forrester Research who stated that SDN is an evolution; not a revolution and it will take 5 to 7 years for the technology to mature. PLUMGrid’s SDN presentation was also very enlightening. It’s described later in this Cloud Connect wrap-up article.