Taiwan’s MediaTek, one of the few 5G merchant semiconductor vendors, has successfully developed its first chip using TSMC’s leading-edge 3nm technology, taping out MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity system-on-chip (SoC) with volume production expected in 2024. MediaTek joins Apple as an early adopter of TSMC’s 3-nanometer tech, a rare joint statement by a chip developer and chip manufacturer.
This marks a significant milestone in the long-standing strategic partnership between MediaTek and TSMC, with both companies taking full advantage of their strengths in chip design and manufacturing to jointly create flagship SoCs with high performance and low power features, empowering global end devices.
“We are committed to our vision of using the world’s most advanced technology to create cutting edge products that improve our lives in meaningful ways,” said Joe Chen, President of MediaTek. “TSMC’s consistent and high-quality manufacturing capabilities enable MediaTek to fully demonstrate its superior design in flagship chipsets, offering the highest performance and quality solutions to our global customers and enhancing the user experience in the flagship market.”
“This collaboration between MediaTek and TSMC on MediaTek’s Dimensity SoC means the power of industry’s most advanced semiconductor process technology can be as accessible as the smartphone in your pocket,” said Dr. Cliff Hou, Senior Vice President of Europe and Asia Sales at TSMC. “Throughout the years, we have worked closely with MediaTek to bring numerous significant innovations to the market and are honored to continue our partnership into the 3nm generation and beyond.”
Image Credit: AP
TSMC’s 3nm process technology provides enhanced performance, power, and yield, in addition to complete platform support for both high performance computing and mobile applications. Compared with TSMC’s N5 process, TSMC’s 3nm technology currently offers as much as 18% speed improvement at same power, or 32% power reduction at same speed, and approximately 60% increase in logic density.
MediaTek’s Dimensity SoCs, built with industry-leading process technology, are designed to meet the ever-increasing user experience requirements for mobile computing, high-speed connectivity, artificial intelligence, and multimedia. MediaTek’s first flagship chipset using TSMC’s 3nm process is expected to empower smartphones, tablets, intelligent cars and various other devices starting in the second half of 2024.
Part I of this two part article may be accessed here:
From ESIT Theory to Standardization:
In addition to fundamental research, several technologies originating from ESIT are currently being considering by standardization bodies (aka SDOs). This is especially true for Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS).
RIS relates to a new type of system node that is made with surfaces which may have reflection, refraction, and absorption properties through many small antennas or metamaterials elements which can be adapted to a specific radio channel environment.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group (ISG) on RIS was officially launched on September 30, 2021 for a two-year duration. It was recently renewed for two more years.
ETSI ISG RIS set out to explore RIS and its applications across the wide spectrum of use cases and deployments to identify any specification needs that may be required, thus paving the way for future standardization of the technology.
This ISG identifies and describes RIS related use cases and deployment scenarios, specifies requirements and identifies technology challenges in several areas including fixed and mobile wireless access, fronthaul and backhaul, sensing and positioning, energy and EMF exposure limits, security and privacy.
After two years of work, ETSI ISG RIS has completed and published reports from three work items (WIs), following a consensus-based and contribution-driven working format. The contributions and discussions from ISG members and participants in this first phase of the ISG have been focused on studies related to RIS fundamental, potential, and maturity. The ETSI ISG RIS supports and encourages other standards developing organizations (SDOs) to use the group reports as baseline text for further study or their own specifications
Here’s the list of group reports approved and published by the ETSI ISG RIS as of September 2023:
GR RIS 001: Use Cases, Deployment Scenarios and Requirements
The scope of the report is on the identification and definition of relevant use cases with corresponding general key-performance-indicators (KPIs), deployment scenarios wherein RIS technology will play a role and potential requirements for each identified use case with the aim of promoting interoperability with existing and upcoming wireless technologies and networks. Aspects around system/link performance, spectrum, coexistence, and security are analyzed as part of the report.
GR RIS 002: Technological Challenges, Architecture and Impact on Standardization
The scope of the report is on the technological challenges to deploy RIS as a new network entity, the potential impacts on internal architecture, framework and the required interfaces of RIS, the potential impacts on architecture, framework and the required interfaces of RIS-integrated network, and the potential recommendations and specification impacts to standardization to support RIS as a network entity.
GR RIS 003: Communication Models, Channel Models, Channel Estimation and Evaluation Methodology
The scope of the report is on communication models that strike a suitable trade-off between electromagnetic accuracy and simplicity for performance evaluation and optimization; channel models that include path-loss and multipath propagation effects, as well as the impact of interference for application to different frequency bands; channel estimation, including reference scenarios, estimation methods, and system designs; and key performance indicators and evaluation methodology of RIS for application to wireless communications, including the coexistence between different network operators, and for fairly comparing different transmission techniques, communication protocols, and network deployments.
Further information on the ISG RIS terms of reference, work program, planned group reports, and other documentation are available through the ISG portal.
Editor’s Note: A study item related to RIS has been proposed by the industry in Release 18 (2022) and will be discussed for future plans in Release 19. The results have not yet been released.
In conclusion, although ESIT may appear a pure theoretical subject, it is an essential tool for modeling, understanding, analyzing, and optimizing emerging communications technologies.
While implementation may be premature at this time, ESIT will surely be used to guide essential technology specifications in standards development organizations (SDO’s).
by Marco Di Renzo, Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, CentraleSupélec, Laboratoire des Signaux et Systèmes, 3 Rue Joliot-Curie, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette, France,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,AND
Marco Donald Migliore, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino Viale dell’Università, 03043 Cassino FR, Italy
Edited by Boya Di and Alan J Weissberger
The notion of communications channel capacity* as well as the methods, algorithms, and protocols to achieve it have been fundamental questions that have driven the design of wireless communications and will continue to do so.
* Channel capacity is the highest rate at which communications can be made with only a small number of transmission errors.
Communication and information are inherently physical phenomena. Most of the literature, however, abstracts the physics of wave propagation, often treating the generation, transmission, and manipulation of electromagnetic waves as pure mathematical operators.
While mathematical abstractions and engineering approximations are necessary to design advanced or complex communications systems and to gain so-called “engineering insights,” much is lost in understanding the true and physically consistent fundamental limits of wireless communications. The disciplines of information and communications theory, wave propagation, and signal processing are all inter-related and are consistent with the fundamental laws of physics and electromagnetism .
Electromagnetic field theory provides the physics of radio communications, while information theory approaches the problem from a purely mathematical point of view. While there is a law of conservation of energy in physics, there is no such law in information theory. In information theory, when reference is made (as it frequently is) to terms like energy, power, noise, or antennas, it is by no means guaranteed that their use is consistent with the physics of the communication system.
Emerging communication paradigms and technologies are pushing the boundaries of wave and information manipulation far beyond what was thinkable a few years ago. Among the technologies under evaluation for being integrated in future telecommunication standards, Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS)  have been under intense research during the last few years. It is interesting to note that these two technologies put forth a vision of information generation and processing that is not digital-oriented anymore but is analog-oriented and entails the processing of electromagnetic waves either through the scattering objects available in the network or at the end points of communication links.
Editor’s Note: In the past few years, various evaluation and field tests have been delivered to explore the applicability of RIS in future telecommunication standards. For example, ZTE Corporation had conducted outdoor and indoor trials that the deployment of RIS can increase the RSRP by 15 to 35 dB depending on the detail test setup in 2022. NTT Docomo has also performed communication tests based on transparent dynamic meta-surfaces in 2020.
Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces:
The basic premise of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) is to be able to modify the scattering from objects coated with this technology as one desires. However, modeling such a device as a simple diagonal matrix is neither capacity achieving from a pure information-theoretic standpoint, i.e., assuming that the model being utilized is correct , nor strictly correct from an electromagnetic standpoint . Also, the use of such devices just for channel shaping is known not to be capacity achieving .
The relationship between information theory and the physics of wave propagation is essential. Understanding these relationships entails a redefinition of the Physical layer in communication systems, which goes beyond the concept of manipulation of bits. The interplay between information theory and physics of wave propagation can only be captured by embedding the wave propagation into the physical layer – a concept known as the “deep physical layer” , where electromagnetic field processing is performed using specialized devices.
Electromagnetic Signal and Information Theory (ESIT) Explained:
In order to extend the mathematical notions of information/communication theory and statistical signal processing to incorporate the notion of physics of wave propagation, the term electromagnetic signal and information theory (ESIT) has recently emerged.
ESIT is a broad research field that is concerned with the mathematical treatment and information processing of electromagnetic fields governing the transmission and processing of messages through communication systems. One of the main objectives of ESIT is, for example, the development of communication models that are electromagnetically consistent and that overcome current assumptions in wireless communications, including considering scalar fields, assuming far-field planar wave fronts, and ignoring electromagnetic coupling, as illustrated in the following two figures:
Fig. 1 From far-field planar-wavefronts to near-field spherical wavefronts
Fig. 2 From mutual coupling-free designs to mutual coupling-aware optimization
ESIT makes it possible to quantify the ultimate performance limits of wireless communications, by considering realistic electromagnetic models.
Fig. 3. and Fig. 4. show the great benefits of exploiting the mutual coupling at the design stage and the increased number of communication models that can be transmitted in near-field multiple antenna communication channels.
Recent results on the impact of mutual coupling and the fundamental performance limits in the near-field communications can be found in  and , respectively.
Fig. 3 ESIT: Mutual coupling aware design 
Fig. 4 ESIT: Multi-mode communications in line-of-sight 
Editor’s Note: Modelling the influence of the near-far field and coupling effects naturally builds up a bridge between the real-world practice and theoretical analysis.
Part II to follow: “From ESIT Theory to Standardization” by ETSI
 M. Franceschetti. Wave Theory of Information. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
 M. Di Renzo et al., “Smart Radio Environments Empowered by Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: How It Works, State of Research, and The Road Ahead,” in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 38, no. 11, pp. 2450-2525, Nov. 2020.
 C. Huang et al., “Holographic MIMO Surfaces for 6G Wireless Networks: Opportunities, Challenges, and Trends,” in IEEE Wireless Communications, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 118-125, October 2020.
 G. Bartoli et al., “Spatial Multiplexing in Near Field MIMO Channels with Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces”, IET Signal Processing, 2023 (https://arxiv.org/abs/2212.11057).
 M. Di Renzo, F. H. Danufane and S. Tretyakov, “Communication Models for Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: From Surface Electromagnetics to Wireless Networks Optimization,” in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 110, no. 9, pp. 1164-1209, Sept. 2022.
 R. Karasik et al., “Adaptive Coding and Channel Shaping Through Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: An Information-Theoretic Analysis,” in IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 69, no. 11, pp. 7320- 7334, Nov. 2021.
 D. Dardari and N. Decarli, “Holographic Communication Using Intelligent Surfaces”, IEEE Commun. Mag. 59(6): 35-41 (2021).
 M. Di Renzo, D. Dardari, and N. Decarli, “LoS MIMO-Arrays vs. LoS MIMO-Surfaces”, IEEE EuCAP 2023 (https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.08616).
 M. Di Renzo, V. Galdi, and G. Castaldi, “Modeling the Mutual Coupling of Reconfigurable Metasurfaces”, IEEE EuCAP 2023 (https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.08619).
 M. D. Migliore, “The World Beneath the Physical Layer: An Introduction to the Deep Physical Layer”, IEEE Access 9: 77106-77126 (2021).
 Andrea Abrardo, Davide Dardari, Marco Di Renzo, Xuewen Qian, “MIMO Interference Channels Assisted by Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: Mutual Coupling Aware Sum-Rate Optimization Based on a Mutual Impedance Channel Model”, IEEE Wirel. Commun. Lett. 10(12): 2624-2628 (2021).
 A. Abrardo, A. Toccafondi, and M. Di Renzo, “Analysis and Optimization of Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces Based on -Parameters Multiport Network Theory”, arXiv:2308.16856.
 J. C. Ruiz-Sicilia, M. Di Renzo, M. D. Migliore, M. Debbah, and H. V. Poor, “On the Degrees of Freedom and Eigenfunctions of Line-of-Sight Holographic MIMO Communications”, arXiv:2308.08009.
About Marco Di Renzo, PhD:
Marco Di Renzo (Fellow, IEEE) received the Laurea (cum laude) and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of L’Aquila, Italy, in 2003 and 2007, respectively, and the Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (Doctor of Science) degree from University Paris-Sud (currently Paris-Saclay University), France, in 2013. Currently, he is a CNRS Research Director (Professor) and the Head of the Intelligent Physical Communications group in the Laboratory of Signals and Systems (L2S) at Paris-Saclay University – CNRS and CentraleSupelec, Paris, France. Also, he is an elected member of the L2S Board Council and a member of the L2S Management Committee. At Paris-Saclay University, he serves as the Coordinator of the Communications and Networks Research Area of the Laboratory of Excellence DigiCosme, as a Member of the Admission and Evaluation Committee of the Ph.D. School on Information and Communication Technologies, and as a Member of the Evaluation Committee of the Graduate School in Computer Science. He is a Founding Member and the Academic Vice Chair of the Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) within the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), where he serves as the Rapporteur for the work item on communication models, channel models, and evaluation methodologies. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, IET, and AAIA; an Ordinary Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, an Ordinary Member of the Academia Europa; and a Highly Cited Researcher. Also, he holds the 2023 France-Nokia Chair of Excellence in ICT, and was a Fulbright Fellow at City University of New York, USA, a Nokia Foundation Visiting Professor, and a Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellow. His recent research awards include the 2021 EURASIP Best Paper Award, the 2022 IEEE COMSOC Outstanding Paper Award, the 2022 Michel Monpetit Prize conferred by the French Academy of Sciences, the 2023 EURASIP Best Paper Award, the 2023 IEEE ICC Best Paper Award (wireless), the 2023 IEEE COMSOC Fred W. Ellersick Prize, the 2023 IEEE COMSOC Heinrich Hertz Award, and the 2023 IEEE VTS James Evans Avant Garde Award. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Communications Letters during the period 2019-2023, and he is now serving in the Advisory Board.
About Marco Donald Migliore, PhD.:
Marco Donald Migliore (Senior Member, IEEE) received the Laurea degree (Hons.) and the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Naples, Naples, Italy. He was a Visiting Professor with The University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA, in 2007, 2008, and 2017; the University of Rennes I, Rennes, France, in 2014 and 2016; the Centria Research Center, Ylivieska, Finland, in 2017; the University of Brasilia, Brazil, in 2018; and the Harbin Technical University, China, in 2019. He was a Speaker with the Summer Research Lecture Series of the UCSD CALIT2 Advanced Network Science, in 2008. He is currently a Full Professor with the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy, where he is also the Head of the Microwave Laboratory and the Director of studies of the ITC Courses. He is also a member of the ELEDIA@UniCAS Research Laboratory, the ICEMmB – National Interuniversity Research Center on the Interactions between Electromagnetic Fields and Biosystems, where he is the Leader of the 5G Group, the Italian Electromagnetic Society (SIEM), and the National Interuniversity Consortium for Telecommunication (CNIT). His current research interests include connections between electromagnetism and information theory, analysis, synthesis and characterization of antennas in complex environments, antennas and propagation for 5G, ad hoc wireless networks, compressed sensing as applied to electromagnetic problems, and energetic applications of microwaves. He serves as a referee for many scientific journals and has served as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation.
EdgeCore Digital Infrastructure, a wholesale data center developer, owner and operator, today announced its partnership with Zayo, a leading global communications infrastructure provider, to connect EdgeCore’s Silicon Valley data center campus in Santa Clara, CA to Zayo’s global network, providing customers with resilient, diverse routes for current use and future expansion.
Editor’s Note: The main reason for so many wholesale data centers/colocation facilities in Santa Clara (CoreSight, Digital Realty, Cologix, Cyxtera, NTT, Tata, etc) is cheaper electricity rates. That makes a huge difference as the IT equipment in the data centers consume a tremendous amount of power. Dark fiber access is abundant with multiple providers offering fiber ring access to regional carrier hotels / MMRs.
“We are pleased to bring Zayo on-net in our Silicon Valley data centers,” said Clint Heiden, Chief Commercial Officer, EdgeCore. “The scale of EdgeCore’s campus is made more valuable for customers with the addition of Zayo’s future-proofed network and global reach.”
Through Zayo’s expansive, Tier-1 fiber network—including over 200 IP points of presence (PoPs) across the United States—customers at EdgeCore’s Silicon Valley campus will have access to fast, diverse, and reliable connectivity with guaranteed bandwidth to support their business needs. Zayo’s future-ready network infrastructure accommodates EdgeCore customers’ evolving needs for scale, rapid deployment of additional bandwidth, cloud connectivity, customer end-point connectivity, and more.
“Zayo is excited to be a part of EdgeCore’s expansion and provide the connectivity their customers need to be successful in today’s digital business era,” said Derek Gillespie, Chief Sales Officer, Enterprise at Zayo. “As customer bandwidth demands increase with the rapid growth of technologies like AI, partnerships like this will be hugely important in providing the supporting infrastructure. We look forward to staying at the forefront of this trend and continuing to connect what’s next with EdgeCore.”
In January, EdgeCore announced the groundbreaking of its Silicon Valley data center campus. Upon completion, the LEED-designed campus will support 72 MW of critical load across 540,000 square feet of space. In April, EdgeCore also announced the expansion of its Phoenix data center campus in Mesa, Arizona, for which Zayo also provides connectivity. Both companies look forward to building on their partnership in future EdgeCore markets.
About EdgeCore Digital Infrastructure
EdgeCore Digital Infrastructure serves the world’s largest cloud, internet, and technology companies with both ready-for-occupancy and build-to-suit data center capacity supported by best-in-class service-delivery capabilities. Privately held and supported by committed equity to fund an initial aggregate amount of over USD $4 billion in development, EdgeCore supports customer requirements by proactively investing in land, power, and vertical development in key data center locations, with buildings that highlight density engineering and meet key performance specifications, safety metrics, and sustainability objectives. EdgeCore has four markets with power and shovel ready campuses, operational data center buildings, and the ability to expand investment into new markets. For more information, please visit edgecore.com.
For more than 15 years, Zayo has empowered some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies to connect what’s next for their business. Zayo’s future-ready network spans over 16.5 million fiber miles and 141,000 route miles. Zayo’s tailored connectivity and edge solutions enable carriers, cloud providers, data centers, schools, and enterprises to deliver exceptional experiences, from core to cloud to edge. Discover how Zayo connects what’s next at www.zayo.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
SOURCE EdgeCore Digital Infrastructure
5G network slicing [1.] use cases are still few and far between, mainly because so few 5G telcos have deployed the 5G SA core network which is mandatory for ALL 3GPP defined 5G features and functions, such as network slicing and 5G security.
ABI’s 5G network slicing and cloud packet core market data report found that growing ecosystem complexity and ongoing challenges with cloud-native tooling adoption have placed increased pressure on new service innovation, like 5G network slicing. ABI expects the 5G network slicing market to be worth US$19.5bn in value by 2028. Considering existing market activities, a growing force behind 5G slicing uptake is enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA). To that end, there is growing market activity and commercial engagements from network equipment vendors (NEVs) Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and ZTE, among other vendors. ABI regards these market engagements as representing a good foundation for the industry to match 5G slicing technology to high-value use cases, such as enhanced machine-type communication and ultra-reliable low-latency communications.
Note 1. A network slice provides specified network capabilities and characteristics – or multiple, isolated virtual networks – to fit a user’s needs. Although multiple network slices run on a single physical network, network slice users are sometimes (depending upon the access level of the individual) authenticated for only one network level, enabling data and security isolation and a much higher degree of security. Individuals can be sanctioned for more than network level. Each slice spans multiple connected components that form a network, components that include physical computing, storage and networking infrastructure. These are virtualized, and protocols are set in place to create a specific network slice for each user or application. This means that varying types of 5G traffic, such as video streaming, industrial automation and mission-critical applications, all can be accommodated on the same network, yet each has its own dedicated resources and performance guarantees.
“5G Slicing continues to promise new value creation in the industry. However, as reflected in multiple ABI Research’s market intelligence reports, a solid software and cloud-native foundation must be in place for that promise to materialize. That, in turn, is a prerequisite for a wider diffusion of 5G core adoption, an architecture that provides native support for 5G slicing,” explains Don Alusha, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.
Image Credit: Viavi Solutions
From a network architecture perspective, ABI said two modalities are emerging to deploy 5G slicing. The first one is to share the whole infrastructure spanning radio access network (RAN), core, physical devices and physical servers. This, said the analyst, constitutes a unified resource pool, the basis of which can be used to instantiate multiple logical connectivity transmissions.
A second approach is to provide hardware-based logical slices by slicing the physical equipment. The analyst cautions that this is a time-consuming, resource-intensive endeavor, but said it may be the best option for mission-critical services. It requires slicing the physical transmission network and oftentimes a dedicated user plane.
“Horizontal integration for cross-domain interoperability is critical going forward. Equally important is vertical integration for 5G slicing lifecycle management of multi-vendor deployments. There is ongoing market activity for the 5G core network penetration and maturity of 5G slice management functions. To that end, enterprises will seek to create and reserve slices statically and on-demand. They also want to efficiently integrate with cloud providers through open and programmable Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to enable hybrid cloud/cellular slice adoption. NEVs and other suppliers (e.g., Amdocs, Netcracker, etc.) offer solutions enabling CSPs to create fully automated and programmatic slicing capability over access, transport, and core network domains,” Alusha concludes.
These findings are from ABI Research’s 5G Network Slicing and Cloud Packet Core market data report. This report is part of the company’s 5G Core & Edge Networks research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Market Data spreadsheets comprise deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight into where opportunities lie.
T-Mobile US, the only U.S. carrier that has deployed 5G SA core network, has recently shared details of what it claims is “first use of 5G network slicing for remote video production on a commercial network,” which took place during Red Bull’s cliff diving event in Boston, MA. This customized slice gave the broadcast team supercharged wireless uplink speeds so they could easily and quickly transfer high-resolution content from cameras and a video drone circling the event to the Red Bull production team in near real-time over T-Mobile 5G. The uplink speed was up to 276 Mbps!
T-Mobile says they can also use network slicing for specific application types for enterprise customers across the U.S. Earlier this month they launched a first-of-its-kind network slicing beta for developers who are working to supercharge their video calling applications with the power of 5G SA. With a customized network slice, developers can sign up to test video calling applications that require consistent uplink and downlink speeds along with increased reliability. In the weeks since, we’ve seen tremendous interest from the developer community with dozens of companies large and small signing up to join the likes of Dialpad, Google, Webex by Cisco, Zoom and more.
Vodafone recently worked with Ericsson to provision network slices optimized for cloud gaming. In January, Samsung and KDDI announced the successful demonstration of Service Level Agreements (SLA) assurance network slicing in a field trial conducted in Tokyo, Japan. Yet there’s hardly a flood of real-world use cases (see References below).
Network Slicing and 5G: Why it’s important, ITU-T SG 13 work, related IEEE ComSoc paper abstracts/overviews
Ericsson and Nokia demonstrate 5G Network Slicing on Google Pixel 6 Pro phones running Android 13 mobile OS
Intel has agreed to manufacture custom 5G system-on-chip (SoC)s for Ericsson, which the Swedish wireless equipment company will use to develop what promises to be “highly differentiated” networking products. The chips will be based on Intel’s latest fabrication process, 18A (1.8nm), which is so new that it has yet to begin commercial production.
When it does, the chips will offer up to a 10% improvement in performance per watt compared to current production processes. This is important because the faster the processor, the faster the network (think lower latency).
- Announcement signals confidence in 18A process technology and underscores progress on Intel’s five-nodes-in-four-years roadmap to regain process leadership.
- News shows continued collaboration between the companies to optimize standard Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor-based platforms for Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solutions.
- Industry leaders advance the adoption of 5G, building sustainable and resilient networks of the future.
Intel and Ericsson have also agreed to work more closely together to optimize the performance of Intel’s latest Xeon RAN processors on Ericsson’s cloud RAN hardware, taking aim at capacity, energy efficiency, flexibility and scalability.
In June, Ericsson laid claim to being the first vendor to use the new chip – the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor with Intel vRAN Boost, to use its official but not exactly succinct name – to carry out an end-to-end cloud RAN call. That in itself was an achievement given that the processor made its official debut at Mobile World Congress a few months earlier.
“As our work together evolves, this is a significant milestone with Ericsson to partner broadly on their next-generation optimized 5G infrastructure. This agreement exemplifies our shared vision to innovate and transform network connectivity, and it reinforces the growing customer confidence in our process and manufacturing technology,” said Sachin Katti, senior vice president and general manager of the Network and Edge group at Intel. “We look forward to working together with Ericsson, an industry leader, to build networks that are open, reliable and ready for the future.”
18A is Intel’s most advanced node on the company’s five-nodes-in-four-years roadmap. After new gate-all-around transistor architecture – known as RibbonFET – and backside power delivery – called PowerVia – appear first in Intel 20A, Intel will deliver ribbon architecture innovation and increased performance along with continued metal linewidth reduction in 18A. Combined, these technologies will put Intel back in the process leadership position in 2025, elevating future offerings its customers bring to market.
“Ericsson has a long history of close collaboration with Intel, and we are pleased to expand this further as we utilize Intel to manufacture our future custom 5G SoCs on their 18A process node, which is in line with Ericsson’s long-term strategy for a more resilient and sustainable supply chain,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of Networks at Ericsson. “In addition, we will be expanding our collaboration that we announced at MWC 2023 to work together with the ecosystem to accelerate industry-scale open RAN utilizing standard Intel Xeon-based platforms.”
As 5G deployments continue, the future lies in fully programmable, open software-defined networks powered by the same cloud-native technologies that transformed the data center, delivering unparalleled agility and automation.
To realize the best performance, innovation and global scale, the industry needs to work together and continue to synchronize network specifications as part of one global set of standards. Intel and Ericsson collaborate with other leading technology companies to bring these benefits to their customers toward industry-scale open RAN.
Wholesale network operator Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier has announced the launch of a new Point-of-Presence (PoP) in Miami, Florida. The PoP, hosted within the Equinix data center, offers bandwidths of 1/10/100 gigabits per second (n x 1, n x 10, n x 100 Gbps). According to the official statement, this expansion aims to strengthen Deutsche Telekom’s global IPX and IP network footprint.
By establishing the new IPX and IP PoP in Miami, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier says its clients can now enjoy direct access to its Tier 1 IP and IPX network, one of the largest in the world. This move comes in response to the growing demand for high-speed connectivity, as businesses increasingly require efficient implementation of digital applications and emerging technologies.
“The launch of our new IPX PoP in Miami, Florida, is an important step for Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier in addressing customer needs on the American continent. Even with Today’s ever-growing data volumes, users’ expectations continue to rise, and low-latency data roaming is crucial. Our newly implemented IPX PoP addresses the demand increase and helps us provide our customers and partners with premium quality global connectivity.”
Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier emphasized the significance of the Miami PoP: “At Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, we are always several steps ahead of demand because we’re committed to providing our customers and partners with superior, future-proof connectivity and quality. This new PoP is part of that promise,” said the company in its press release.
With this latest development, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier ensures businesses have the essential infrastructure required for seamless digital operations.
Image Credit: Deutsche Telekom
Csaba Füzesi, Head of Product Management Voice & Mobile Services at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, said: “The launch of our new IPX PoP in Miami, Florida is an important step for Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier in addressing customer needs on the American continent. Even with today’s ever-growing data volumes, expectations of users continue to rise, and low-latency data roaming is crucial. Our newly implemented IPX PoP addresses the increase in demand and helps us to provide our customers and partners with premium quality global connectivity.”
Miles McWilliams, Head of Sales Internet & Content Services at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, said: “Today’s ever-growing data volumes match the rising expectations of users. At Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier we are always several steps ahead of demand because we’re committed to providing our customers and partners with superior, future-proof connectivity and quality. This new PoP is part of that promise.”
Deutsche Telekom has extended its autonomous AS 3320 network around the Equinix site in Miami, which is America’s largest data center campus. The MI1 data center is located in downtown Miami, with a colocation area of 255,512 square feet.
China has achieved the country’s first algorithm verification of a communication network optimization based on a universal quantum computer, according to the Quantum Computing Engineering Research Center in east China’s Anhui Province.
China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile carrier, is currently in the stage of 5G network operation and 6G research and development. Compared with 5G, 6G will face computing problems such as larger-scale business optimization, network optimization, signal processing and machine learning, bringing about great pressure to the classical computation and algorithms, said Cui Chunfeng, an official from the China Mobile Research Institution (CMRI).
The tremendous computing power is the main characteristic of quantum computers. “We try to start from small-scale problems in some typical scenarios to evaluate and verify the application feasibility of quantum computing in communication networks, especially in 6G,” Cui said.
The CMRI and the Origin Quantum Computing Technology Corporation signed a cooperation memorandum on June 30 to jointly promote the integration of quantum computing into the communication network and arithmetic network as the core of the mobile information network.
Aiming at the optimization of large-scale antenna parameters of 5G base stations, the Origin Quantum has preliminarily proved the feasibility of quantum algorithm in the specific problem through effective modeling, algorithm design and real-machine verification, said Dou Manghan, director of the software center of the Origin Quantum.
He noted that the company has the country’s first case of using quantum computers with real machines for communication network algorithm verification, achieving a good start for the application of quantum computing.
A quantum computer in China Photo: VCG
In the future, China Mobile will design quantum algorithms with better performance, boost the integrated development of quantum computing and communication industry, and explore a leapfrog path for the development of mobile information networks, Cui said.
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
MTN Consulting reports [1.] that the top three Telco Network Infrastructure (NI) equipment vendors continue to be Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia. They account for 37.4% of the total market in annualized 1Q23, or 34.8% in 1Q23 alone. While the trio has captured >40% share of the market for most of 2016-22, Huawei’s share has fallen recently, and all three giants have been pressured by vendors in the cloud and IT services space (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, Dell, VMWare…).
Note 1. This MTN Consulting study tracks 134 Telco NI vendors, providing revenue and market share estimates for the 1Q13-1Q23 period. Of these 134 vendors, 110 are actively selling to telcos; most others have been acquired by other companies in the database. For instance, ADVA is now part of Adtran, but both companies remain in the database because of historic sales.
Focusing on the top three, Huawei has dropped in the last three periods (due to global sanctions), but remains dominant due to China.
Ericsson’s share decline was a function of lower RAN spending among its largest customers as the 5G rollout pace ebbs. The Swedish vendor hopes to offset this decline soon with new revenues from its blockbuster acquisition of network API platform vendor, Vonage. It expects the first revenues from the acquisition later this year and a ramp up further in the next two years.
Nokia, including (Alcatel-Lucent) ALU for pre-acquisition years, has also dipped as 5G RAN rollouts slowed. But it gained market share slightly in 1Q23 on account of 45% growth in its optical networks business along with some benefits from catch-up sales related to the supply chain challenges it witnessed in 2022.
China Comservice and ZTE have been trading the 4 and 5 spots off and on since early 2019. Notably, though, China Comservice is majority owned by Chinese telcos, and is not truly independent. Intel is in the 6th position due to data center, virtualization, edge compute and other telco projects, some done directly and some on an OEM basis.
CommScope remained at seventh position while NEC managed to surpass Cisco in the latest annualized 1Q23 period, as Cisco (9th position) witnessed a stark drop in its Telco NI revenues in 1Q23. Cisco’s decline is worrying, as its largest market (the U.S.) has a growing focus on 5G core, which Cisco has flagged in the past as key to the company growing telco revenues. Amdocs is ranked 10th due to its strength in network software.
Biggest Telco NI revenue changes on a YoY basis:
Three out of the top five vendors, in terms of YoY revenue growth, are the same for both single quarter and annualized 1Q23: Alphabet, Microsoft, and Lenovo. Two of these are cloud vendors (Alphabet and Microsoft) who are steadily improving their penetration of the telco vertical market with a range of solutions – digital transformation, service design, 5G core, workload offshift, etc. Lenovo is gaining traction with its disaggregated, virtual radio access network (vRAN), and multi-access edge computing (MEC) solutions. Clearfield is a small fiber company focused on the booming US market.
Other companies to show improvement in both periods include Tejas Networks which bagged a mega deal for a BSNL-MTNL 4G network; Rakuten Group (Symphony) benefiting from key deployments of its cloud-based Open RAN solutions; Harmonic which has benefited from strong cable access spending and a growing customer list; YOFC (a Chinese fiber company), and two large US-based engineering services-focused companies (DyCom and MasTec) benefiting from a fiber boom.
Declines in the 1Q23 annualized period include Cisco which continues to be worrisome on account of lower customer spending, though it noted improvement in supply chain constraints in the latest quarter. Extreme Networks, Casa, and Airspan all dipped, but noted that the supply chain challenges of previous quarters are improving. Cisco, the largest among the annualized decliners, remains optimistic about prospects as telcos move to 5G SA cores.
Supply chain issues improving:
For the past two years, vendors in the Telco NI market have been plagued with supply chain constraints. The situation is now easing though, if a review of vendor earnings from 1Q23 is anything to go by. Most significant vendors confirm the assessment of three months ago: shortages in specific component areas continue to be an issue but are improving with time, with normalcy likely in 2H23.
Nokia notes that “Going forward, growth rates are expected to slow in the coming quarters as Q1 benefited from some catch-up, as supply chains normalize”. Ericsson echoed this, saying that “…the big effect really comes from the ongoing inventory adjustments, and that comes because they build up large inventories when supply chain was tight and those inventory levels are now normalizing. We expect these adjustments to be completed during Q2, but some could slip into Q3 clearly”.
Juniper has a slightly more cautious view – “While supply has improved for the majority of our products, we continue to experience supply constraints for certain components, and supply chain costs remain elevated”.
Casa, Calix, and Ciena are also witnessing good improvements in supply chain and are expecting further improvements over the course of 2023. F5 Networks is benefiting from its strategy of redesigning the “hardest-to-get components” and “opening up new supply” sources.
Most large vendors appear to be cautiously optimistic about the spending outlook in Telco NI. While supply chain issues are expected to clear up by 2Q or 3Q 2023, MTN Consulting expects the market will start to flatten in the next few quarters. Per our latest official forecast, we expect telco capex – the main driver of Telco NI market – to reach $330B in 2023, and a small decline to $325B in 2024. However, it’s likely that both figures may be $5B or more too high. Ericsson, a key telco vendor, has signaled a cautious telco capex spend outlook in its latest earnings call: “In the second quarter, we expect operators to remain cautious with CapEx similar to Q1 and continue with the inventory adjustment that we have described”.
Lower expectations have been apparent on many 4Q22 earnings calls. DT, for instance, expects US capex will see a “strong decrease” in 2023, and thereafter stability. Verizon’s capex is set to fall nearly 20% YoY in 2023. Charter Communications cut its capex outlook for 2023 by about $500M, hitting both the low & high range. Orange expects a “strong decrease” (same wording) in total “ecapex” this year as its FTTH deployment peak has passed and it aims to increase its dividend. Canada’s BCE says that 2022 was the peak year in its accelerated capex program, and capex will begin to fall this year until capital intensity is back down to pre-COVID levels. Vodafone expects group capex in its current fiscal year to be flat to slightly down, as it pursues a “disciplined approach to capital allocation.” Telefonica says its declining capital intensity is proof that the investment peak is behind it. The MTN Group says capital intensity will decline from 18% to 15% over the next few years.
There are several factors to help explain lower expectations: some are company-specific, e.g. BCE is naturally reaching a latter phase in its buildout. There are also general factors, such as: rising interest rates; higher operating costs due to inflation, especially in energy; 5G’s failure to lift service revenues, leaving telcos highly dependent on volatile device revenues for any topline growth; and, cloud providers’ continually more aggressive pitches of new solutions to telcos. Cloud-based offerings can shift some capex to opex.
Amid all the cautious optimism, India as a market has emerged as a bright spot for the vendors. In 1Q23, Ericsson saw strong growth for its Networks business in India where it continues to rapidly roll out 5G. “It will make India a leading 5G nation and the leading nation for digitalization. And what we see is that the subscribers on 5G are using even more data than on 4G…” said Ericsson in its earnings call.
Ciena attributed its 60% YoY revenue growth in the Asia Pacific region to India, “which was up 88% year-over-year in Q2 to about $70 million, reflecting consistent strong demand from service providers in that market. India is going through a big cycle of 5G rollout and extension. And I think that’s going to happen over the next 1 to 3 years”.
Nokia also witnessed double-digit growth in both its Network Infrastructure and Mobile Networks divisions, reflecting the rapid 5G deployments in India: “…Q1 largely played out as we expected, with 5G deployments in India heavily influencing our Q1 top line.”
Telco Revenues Continue to Decline:
In 4Q22, global telco revenues plunged the most in more than a decade to post $429.6B, or -9.3% YoY – the fifth consecutive slump in a row. This impacted annual revenues and its growth rate for the year 2022 – they were $1,779.9B, down 5.9% YoY over the previous year. The sluggish top-line turned telcos cautious around spending on capex, the main driver for the Telco NI market, which declined for the second straight quarter to post $87.9B in 4Q22, down 5.1% YoY. This decline also knocked down annualized capex to $322.1B in 4Q22, from the peak of $330.0B in 2Q22.
On the brighter side, capex has held out better than revenues, pushing annualized capital intensity to a new all-time high of 18.1% in 4Q22. This was driven by a few countries who are in the midst of deploying 5G networks, notably India; while many more continue to scale up 5G to reach mass market coverage, and deploy fiber to support fixed broadband and to connect all the new radio infra (including small cells) needed for 5G.
Cloud vendors are also making critical inroads into the telco sector, aided by a growing number of stand-alone 5G core networks.
OneWeb, the global Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network service provider, announced the expansion of its connectivity services throughout Europe and the majority of the United States. The expanded network availability marks a significant step as OneWeb progresses towards global services.
OneWeb said the expansion, which became first active at the end of May, adds service to 37 new European countries, including Austria, Italy, France, and Portugal, as well as the entire western US coast from Washington to California, the northeast coast from Maine to Virginia, and across the Midwest. This expansion also further enhances connectivity across Canada and additional maritime regions.
Stephen Beynon, OneWeb’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “This expansion is a significant step in our journey to delivering global commercial service for our customers. We are seeing increased demand for our service as we have expanded coverage and grown our portfolio of user terminals for different markets. Our technical experience in all corners of the globe, as well as the strong relationships we have with existing partners in Alaska, Canada and Europe, means OneWeb is well placed to support customers in these new regions as well as welcoming new partners to activate services for the first time. As our network coverage continues to grow, I am incredibly excited to serve more maritime, government, enterprise, and aviation customers than ever before.”
OneWeb completed launching its global constellation earlier this year and the business is working towards offering fully global service by the year end. OneWeb and its partners are continuing to add new ground stations and add further service across the world, as more of its over 600 satellites reach their final position in the constellation. OneWeb is on track to complete the full global rollout of ground stations by the end of the year.
Already delivering connectivity at 50 degrees north, OneWeb has been working alongside Distribution Partners to provide community broadband solutions, cellular backhaul, corporate enterprise services, and more throughout the Arctic region, connecting locations in Alaska, Canada, the UK, and beyond.
With the recent expansion, OneWeb’s partners are now expanding their services to new regions and enabling additional partners to integrate OneWeb’s LEO network into their solutions.
OneWeb says as a wholesale connectivity provider, it offers its services through partners such as telecommunications companies and internet service providers. These partners can seamlessly integrate OneWeb’s service into their suite of connectivity offerings, ensuring that end customers can enjoy high-speed, resilient, and low-latency internet connections, regardless of their geographical location.
Having completed the launch of its global satellite constellation earlier this year, OneWeb is working towards offering fully global service by the end of this year. The company, in collaboration with its partners, is actively adding new ground stations and expanding its services across the globe as over 600 satellites reach their designated positions within the constellation.
OneWeb said it remains on track to complete the full global rollout of ground stations by the end of the year, solidifying its commitment to connecting the world.