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0111.1 Hot Topics
0111.2 Story of the Issue
0111.5 Design & OEM Wins
0111.1 Hot Topics
***Reliacast Alliance with Inktomi for Web-based Content Delivery
Reliacast, an Internet infrastructure software company for audience management, announced that it has entered into an alliance with Inktomi, a developer of scalable Internet infrastructure software. The alliance will combine Reliacast's ticketing, conditional access and audience management technology with the Inktomi’s Media Distribution Suite, a software-based solution for rich media content distribution and management.
Under the terms of the agreement, Reliacast and Inktomi will collaborate on joint market development initiatives and Reliacast will integrate its audience management solution with the Inktomi Media Distribution Suite software. The Reliacast Solution enables businesses to measure, manage, control, bill for and scale mass audience events on the Internet. The combined solution will enable service providers to deliver scalable, live and on-demand streaming services to their customers while providing audience management through registration, ticketing, access control and monitoring.
The Reliacast Solution is a platform- and protocol-independent network infrastructure application. The solution consists of the ReliaServer, Net Agent, Virtual Turnstile and R-Ticket software applications. These components reside in a service provider network, linking and processing event interaction from the end user to the content provider through the network. Management data is available in real time to network owners and content and service providers throughout the life of the event.
Inktomi Media Distribution Suite consists of MediaBridge, an application-level, software-based broadcasting overlay; MediaBridge ServerLink, which supports most player formats and extends to the edge of the network; Broadcast Manager, a network performance monitor and audience measurement tool; and Traffic Server Media-IXT, a streaming media cache enabling delivery of high-quality live and on-demand multimedia content.
Reliacast has also announced a similar alliance with Portal Software, a provider of business infrastructure software for broadband, wireless and next-generation communication services.
***Next Generation Network (NGN) Ventures 2001
More than $50 billion was injected into networking companies in 2000, but not all funding recipients will survive. NGN Ventures 2001 plans to be an analytic conference focusing on venture investing in networking technology in this market. The event takes place April 17-19, 2001 at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, California.
At NGN Ventures 2001, professionals in broadband networking, venture-backed companies, investors and industry experts will concentrate on the twelve hottest areas for networking investment. Chairman of the conference, Dr. John M. McQuillan, has a unique ability to analyze technology trends in depth and assess the financial outlook for the industry. Dr. McQuillan will open the proceedings on Tuesday, April 17 at 8:30 AM with an "Overview of Next Generation Networking Ventures - Technology, Markets & Trends' address, setting the tone for the next three days.
***SPEC/GPC to Host March Meeting to Gauge Direct3D Benchmarking Interest
SPEC/GPC is hosting a meeting to determine interest in establishing benchmarks that measure application-based performance for systems running Microsoft’s Direct3D graphics API. The meeting will take place on March 14, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Rancho Cordova near Sacramento, California. It is open to vendors, users and ISVs. Interested parties may also attend other SPEC/GPC meetings during the week of March 12:
8:30 to 5 SPECapc Project Group
8:30 to noon SPEC/GPC
2:30 to 4:30 D3D Interest Group
8:30 to 5 SPECopc Project Group
Anyone wishing to attend the D3D interest group meeting, or other SPEC/GPC meetings, e-mail: email@example.com.
The Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group is part of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC). SPEC is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC’s membership includes computer hardware and software vendors, and universities and research facilities worldwide.
0111.2 Story of the Issue
By Amanda Rogos
Stardust.com, part of the Penton Media’s Internet Media Group, sponsored CDN (Content Delivery Networks) 2001, a forum for content providers, service providers, enterprise organizations and CDN vendors to collaborate and discuss the latest in Content Delivery Networking. The conference was held in New York on February 20-23rd. The WAVE Report attended in the hopes of finding out what CDNs are exactly – and how they plan to compete with caching, fiber/MPLS and other technologies, to bypass the congested Internet backbone.
A CDN is an overlay network (public or private) designed to securely deliver web site content, while reducing costs and increasing end-user speeds. The format of this content has mostly been static Web site content, but CDN providers are currently expanding their services to include dynamic content (quickly changing static content) and some streaming audio/video.
The actual CDN network has several components;
Redirection services that make sure all Web requests are directed to the closest, most available cache server;
Distribution services (set of surrogate servers) provisioned to cache content for the content provider’s origin server, enabling requests to bypass congested areas; and
Accounting/billing system that enables the CDN provider to monitor and bill the content provider based on usage (and in the future provide peering and compensation for other providers).
The main reasons for CDNs are to improve speed of response to the end user, lower the latency and reduce total cost. David Lewin, CTO of Akamai Technologies pointed out 4 bottlenecks in the Internet that could profit from CDNs, the 1st mile, peering points, network backbones, and the last mile.
1st mile - databases, app/Web servers, local/global load balancers, switches/routers, bandwidth - centralized traffic
Peering points - technology is limited, competitive ISPs have no incentive to peer well, when buying peering points, financial models lead companies to buy just what they need, and attempt to fill the pipe to congestion.
Network backbones - constrained by the cost of the switches/routers (not by fiber capacity), business model requires high utilization to drive costs down, bandwidth cannot keep up with demand.
Last mile – old, insufficient copper, often too using slow technologies – 56k modems.
These bottlenecks have provided congestion in current networks – with host mostly static content. With the growth of streaming media, they will only get worse. Lewin presented the following illustration:
If the cooking channel (100,000 watchers) gave a mediocre streaming experience (300kbps) to users (not a broadcast, but individual, perhaps unique streams) it would need 30Gbps of capacity. That amount equals 15% of long haul capacity – peak utilization of the backbone is 200Gbps. That is a lot of bandwidth!
There are several different CDN provider types:
Multi-network providers, which do not own the network, but place their caches/servers on other service provider sites (Akamai)
Facilities-based providers, which own their own facilities (usually large ISPs). These providers could have a national backbone using peering networks or partnerships, something that is being talked about in two new forums the Content Alliance and the Content Bridge Alliance.
Hybrid providers, (Digital Island with acquisition of Sand Piper) that have some facilities-based and some collocation.
There market is comprises of several different players:
Solution service providers - Epic Realm, Speedera, Solid Speed, Adero, Akamai, Digital Island, Madge.Web, Mirror Image
Product manufacturers - CacheFlow, Cisco, f5, Info Libria, Inktomi, Lucent, Nortel, Network Appliance, WebEver, XOSoft and,
Facilities based providers/resellers
The overlap between these three players represents a group of new players - technology providers, which provide a little from each market category.
Players differentiate between other's services with performance (speed and latency), network services, content types, management tools, reporting, SLAs (Service Level Agreements), security, and network coverage.
In a poll done by the HTRC Group, SLAs were seen as an increasingly important aspect of a provider’s package. Sites that were polled said that on a scale of 1 to 7 (7 being most important), the following rated 5-7.
Time to repair 89%
Time to content refresh 69%
CDN provider performance validation 68%
3rd party performance validation 54%
The largest misconception, according to Howard, is that CDN networks are too costly, therefore 42% of the companies polled, said they will attempt to handle content management themselves. This is expected to increase to 45% in 2001.
The following statistics were also found in the poll:
Product forecast (only CDN products - so caching, switches, mgmt, global/local load balancing solutions (not servers for example).
2000 - $122 million
2001 - $278 million
2002 - $537 million
2003 - $842 million
2004 - $1363 million
Services Forecast (content types - dynamic, static - not streaming)
2000 - $97 million
2001 - $462 million
2002 - $1063 million
2003 - $2165 million
Streaming Forecast (separate than the above content forecast because different servers/infrastructure is involved with streaming services)
2000 - $106 million
2001 - $337 million
2002 - $896 million
2003 - $1687 million
The poll surveyed one hundred companies with over 500 employees. The companies had Web sites of varying sizes and demographics in order to provide a representative sampling of US companies.
CDN network providers market their services to content providers and enterprises. Content provider use CDN networks to push their content to the edge of the network – as close to their users as possible, thereby decreasing download times. An enterprise would use a CDN in the same way, but for its Intranet communications between divisions, buildings or customers.
Most CDN providers are currently charging by Mbps (Megabits/second transferred). Solid Speed offers flat rate and usage based as different options – HTRC sees this is as a future way providers can differentiate.
A key aspect to CDN networking is caching and Jupiter Communications’ Peter Christy spoke about how XML caching will become an efficient way of providing QoS and avoiding packet loss.
Christy described the Internet as a loose federation of 8,000 - 10,000 independent/interconnected networks as opposed to the united cloud as it is often illustrated. The communication pipe is expensive (100x that of a disk drive), performance and availability is marginal, it is an old design (computer performance has increased 1000 times since the development of the Internet) and since TCP/IP is best effort - packet loss is assumed.
Edge network caches, used in CDNs offer bandwidth savings, access performance improvements, flash crowd protection, availability robustness, bandwidth arbitrage - and no packet loss.
But caching is limited by http/html and therefore Christy suggests XML based caching - everything moved to the edge with standards that serve not only the Web server but also the application and database server.
Our only concern was - how would this compete with fiber installations? This was answered by Christy as well. Jupiter believes that optical advancements will improve raw data communications capacity by over 1000 times - BUT as capacity increases the amount of costly routers needed will also increase, therefore limiting its growth. According to Jupiter, this type of high-speed equipment will not be out of the lab and available for at least 5 years. Therefore Christy proposes that CDNs are a good solution for the near term congestion concerns.
***Engineering Geometry Systems (EGS) Licenses MachineWorks
LightWork Design, a component 3D visualization and simulation software provider, has announced that the developer, EGS has licensed MachineWorks for its FeatureCAM CAM solution.
MachineWorks is LightWork Design's CNC simulation and verification toolkit for CAM software developers. It combines speed and accuracy with industrial strength robustness and is integrated into many CAM packages.
Integrating MachineWorks directly into their applications results in numerous benefits for CAM developers. They shorten their research and development cycle, and get to market faster with a better solution.
EGS’ move to utilizing a solid modeler allows for a realistic turning simulation rather than the previous pixel-based static geometric approximation. Machinists can also use the solid modeling function to define clamps and fixtures, the subsequent simulation then displaying any potential collisions. A further functional improvement is in FeatureMILL3D, where a simulation option now notifies the user of any collisions or gouges instead of taking a long time to run through.
FeatureCAM supports turning and 2 ½ & 3-axis milling, and is developed at EGS’ headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT.
***Boston Dynamics and Sony Develop Simulator for Humanoid Robot
Boston Dynamics has been working with Sony to develop a simulator for the SDR-3X Humanoid Robot. The dynamic simulator is software that models the physics of the SDR-3X body, actuators, and control system. The simulator uses 3D computer graphics to display the simulated behavior. Boston Dynamics developed the simulator by adapting and extending the software originally developed for human simulation.
The Sony SDR-3X Humanoid Robot prototype stands half a meter tall, has 24 electric motors, a CCD camera for vision, and two 64-bit computers. By synchronizing the movements of the 24 joints on its body, the robot can perform basic movements such as walking and changing direction, as well as getting up, balancing on one leg, kicking a ball and dancing.
The robot uses the same OPEN-R architecture as Sony’s four-legged AIBO. Two technologies applying OPEN-R architecture, the actuator that moves the joints and the Whole Body Coordination Dynamic Control for real time control of the joints realize the biped walking motion of the SDR-3X.
***Colubris Announces High-Speed Wireless Internet Connectivity for SOHO and Enterprise Markets
Colubris Networks, a manufacturer of wireless LAN routers for small-to-medium sized businesses has announced high-speed wireless Internet connectivity for the residential and SOHO markets with the introduction of the CN100 Wireless LAN Router. The router allows multiple computers within a home network to share a single broadband Internet connection. Built-in routing and a firewall to protect from unauthorized access gives users the features found in enterprise networks. Installation and configuration are made simple so networks are up and running within minutes.
Project teams within enterprises can be reconfigured using the CN1050 wireless LAN routers that features security and end-to-end VPN support. The CN1050 supports IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless standard operating at 11 Mbps up to 300 feet (100 meters) which lets users connect from anywhere in the office for seamless roaming capabilities.
The CN1054 Wireless LAN Router is designed to meet the needs of a dynamic work environment where many companies have small support staffs. With a built-in 4-port hub, wireless access point, router/bridge, firewall and VPN support, the CN1054 delivers “out-of-the-box” network infrastructure for the small business or branch office.
The CN3000 has authentication and accounting features that offer ISPs a flexible, scalable, and manageable business solution to provide mobile users with high-speed wireless Internet access. Wireless clients connect and are configured on the fly, eliminating the need to enter IP addresses or configure pages of parameters.
***Wireless Online and Hybrid Networks Demonstrate MMDS Compatibility
Wireless Online, a global developer of smart wireless equipment, and Hybrid Networks, a provider of high-capacity Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System (MMDS) fixed broadband wireless Internet access systems, have announced that the two companies have demonstrated compatibility in joint field testing in the MMDS band. Wireless Online's smart PointBeam 2500 antenna technology promises a four to six times capacity increase compared to a 90 degree sector antenna. The testing also showed coverage improvement from the improvement in signal to noise due to antenna gain.
The field tests took place in the San Francisco Bay area between August and November of 2000. To complete the test, Hybrid integrated its head end Series 2000 equipment with Wireless Online's PointBeam 2500 smart multibeam arrays. Hybrid also used its Wireless Broadband Router as part of the test, which was conducted in the 2.5 GHz to 2.7 GHz frequency range.
Wireless Online equipment achieves its coverage and capacity gains by leveraging the company's Spectral Reuse and Filtering Technology (SeRFit) to address a challenge facing broadband wireless carriers: interference.
By creating and focusing narrow beams of RF energy, Wireless Online can achieve greater spectrum efficiency by allowing operators to reuse frequencies many times within a network and to create a higher quality link, thus reducing transmission errors and increasing throughput. Wireless Online's equipment also improves coverage and line of sight performance, allowing more customers to be served.
Designed to enhance the performance of broadband wireless networks, Wireless Online's PointBeam smart platform is compatible with a range of frequencies, technologies and protocols. In fact, the PointBeam family of products, which is based on the PointBeam smart platform, enables delivery of smart antenna systems from 0.8 GHz to 6.0 GHz, based on operator requirements.
For example, Wireless Online's PointBeam 2400 and PointBeam 2500 products, ideal for fixed networks operating in the 2.3 GHz to 2.9 GHz bands - including MMDS offerings - are based on the PointBeam smart equipment platform.
***Nokia Delivers Wireless Broadband for Homes in North America
Nokia has announced that it has completed its first commercial trials with its Nokia RoofTop Wireless Routing wireless broadband network solution. Nokia will begin delivering the Nokia R240, an all-in-one outdoor router, and the Nokia RoofTop Router Management System (RMS), a solution that simplifies the installation and monitoring of the wireless network, to North American carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the second quarter of 2001.
Nokia's wireless routing technology will allow service providers to deploy infrastructure to residential and small office/home office (SOHO) markets so consumers in areas that do not have access to high-speed Internet access can receive a high-speed, always-on Internet connection. The Nokia RoofTop solution simplifies line-of-sight difficulties inherent in residential neighborhoods by routing around obstacles such as buildings and trees.
Advanced TelCom Group (ATG), an Integrated Communications Provider (ICP) has been in trials with the Nokia RoofTop solution for the past five months. ATG provides local telephone, Internet and data services, as well as domestic and international long distance to small and medium sized customers, telecommuters, and home based businesses in underserved mid-sized markets across the United States.
meer.net, a regional ISP in California, has also completed a Nokia RoofTop trial that now serves a mix of both small businesses and residential customers in the Silicon Valley.
Nokia RoofTop Wireless Routers operate in the license-free 2.4 GHz ISM spectrum band, eliminating spectrum license costs, incumbent line fees and tariffs, enabling providers to own, manage and control their networks to capture 100 percent of the revenue stream. Providers can deploy the wireless mesh networks with minimal upfront investment in engineering and equipment. Each node is part of the infrastructure and acts as both an IP router in the network and a local modem. Thus, the network is built as subscribers are added, minimizing up front investment and market risk.
The Nokia R240 wireless router is also a home gateway, supporting home networking via standard telephone wires or Ethernet. It enables multiple devices to share the access link without having to run new in-home wiring, and provides simple security by masking private addresses. The Nokia Air Operating Systems' wireless intelligence controls the built in RF amplifier make scaling the network simple and automatic.
The Nokia RoofTop Router Management System enables service providers to configure, monitor and maintain the Nokia RoofTop network. The RMS software is designed to allow service providers to check network operations with a dynamic Graphical User Interface, which provides a visual display of the network topology. Routers can be configured locally or remotely, either from a laptop in the field or from the network operations center.
0111.5 Design & OEM Wins
***3Dlabs Wildcat II 5110 Selected by SGI and Dell
3Dlabs announced that SGI has selected the 3Dlabs Wildcat II 5110 graphics accelerator as a 3D graphics option for its Silicon Graphics Zx10 visual workstations. Based on SGI's Wahoo Technology tuned system architecture for performance improvement, the Zx10 takes full advantage of the Wildcat II 5110's graphics performance by offering system throughput and I/O bandwidth. SGI plans to ship the Wildcat II 5110 in the Silicon Graphics Zx10 visual workstation powered by single or dual Intel Pentium III processors beginning in March.
3Dlabs also announced that Dell Computer has selected the 3Dlabs Wildcat II 5110 graphics accelerator as its next-generation graphics option for a range of its Dell Precision Workstations. Dell will ship the Wildcat II 5110 in the Intel Pentium 4-based Dell Precision 330 starting in March.
***TFT-LCD Output Increase in 3Q
Seven Taiwanese TFT-LCDs will start volume production in the third quarter this year with production estimates of 30,000-glass substrate each. Most of TFT-LCD makers learned their technologies from Japan and now setting up factories. Taiwanese panel manufacturers such as Chi Mei Optoelectronics, Chunghwa Picture Tube, HannStar Display and Acer Display already have 50% of the15-inch panel market.
Chi Mei, considered to have the most advanced design, is building their second plant. Others are planning to set up factories in China to reduce production cost. Unipac Opotoelectronics, the number one LCD supplier for notebooks, will shift its manufacturing strategy to 15 and 17-inch for LCD monitors. Unipac will change their production line from irregular size panels to customized 15 inch and 17 inch panels. Unipac is hoping to capture market share and maintain their leading role in LCD supply for notebooks.
***Glass Smelting Plant to be Ready Next Year
Taiwan has become one of the most important global LCD panel production bases. China Optoelectronics Technology Corporation (COTC) has invested NT$ 2.2 billion in a glass smelting plant, which is scheduled to start operation at the end of the year. The plant has two non-alkaline glass smelting furnaces, one for an STN LCD substrate processing line and one for a TFT LCD substrate processing line.
The company will start production with one furnace for their STN LCD substrate line early next year. The second furnace will be producing the TFT LCD substrate line at mid-year. COTC plans to arrange a second rights issue to increase its capital from NT$990 million to NT$1.4 billion at NT$12 per share by the end of April.
The furnaces and the technologies will be supported by Eglass Platinum Technology, Germany's leading glass producer. Other local top LCD makers like Picvue Electronics, Neo Glass and Chen Da Glass Technology are also planning to build more facilities.
***Taiwan Firms Producing More PDAs This Year
Despite the PDA display panel shortage, many Taiwan-based companies are trying to meet their customer's deadline. For example, Picvue, which had overcome a parts shortage from its Japanese suppliers, was able to deliver more than 250,000 STN LCMs (liquid crystal modules) per month to Palm Pilot.
At their facilities in Guei Shan, Tao Yuan county (60 kilometers from Taipei city), High Tech Computer will begin operation sometime in April. They will supply low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) panels to its top client, Compaq. According to High Tech, the facilities are projected to produce 800,000 panels per month. They anticipate that the iPaq global market will be 25 times greater than last year.
***Symmetricom's GoLong Loop Extender Double's ADSL Reach In Berkshire Telephone Field Trial
Symmetricom has announced that a field trial by Berkshire Telephone Corporation has proven that Symmetricom's GoLong ADSL loop extender virtually doubles their DSL serving distance. Until now Berkshire's digital subscriber line (DSL) service was limited to residential customers living no more than 15,000 linear feet from the central office.
In the Berkshire trial, a single GoLong repeater installed mid-span in a 25,000-foot loop provided 2648 kbps downstream and 382 kbps upstream, approximately 50 times faster than Berkshire had been providing to dial-up customers. The results are similar to other trials conducted by Symmetricom and Chester Telephone Company in December, and by independent laboratory testing in November.
Carriers like Berkshire can now deploy GoLong to offer high-speed, reliable data services (up to 1.5 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream) to previously unreachable customers up to 30,000 linear feet from the central office. This allows service providers to reach an estimated 95 percent of all high-speed Internet customers, thus enabling them to better compete against other high-speed Internet options.
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