Category Archives: Broadband

Updates from Ciena

Why the Secret Behind Strong Early Adoption of 400G Technology is … 200G

By Helen Xenos – This month, we shipped our 5,000th 400G-capable coherent optical transponder, confirming our prediction that the use of 400G technology is ramping 3 times faster than 100G.  What may come as a surprise, however, is that the dominant application driving 400G deployments is not 400G, but 200G (long haul-datacenter interconnect to be precise).

Why? The technology that enables 400G wavelengths has a lot to do with expanding the application space for 200G as well.

To fully understand the demand drivers for 400G, it’s important to clarify the various ways 400G is defined. The term “400G” is quite popular in today’s optical networking conversations, but can also have different meanings depending on the context in which it is being used.

So, which applications are driving 400G deployments? We hear so much about the fast-growing metro WDM market, 400ZR and the need to maximize capacity for short reach DCI applications, that intuitively you would think this is the “sweet spot” application.

In fact, the most popular use case we see for early 400G adoption is to support the rise of 200G long-haul for aggressive DCI network builds. more>

Updates from Ciena

4 Data Center Interconnect Developments You Need to Know
By Kent Jordan – The Data Center Interconnect (DCI) market is evolving rapidly and new compact, modular devices have been introduced to help network operators quickly and easily deploy new capacity to keep up with demand. But, as the adage says, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. So, what’s new with DCI and what hasn’t changed in the last year?

One thing that hasn’t changed is the need for more interconnect capacity. Interconnect bandwidth growth is still on the rise, and it’s growing rapidly. By 2020, interconnect bandwidth has been forecasted to grow up to 5,000 Tbps, with double-digit growth rates across a variety of industry segments from Cloud and IT to Healthcare and Energy. All are poised to experience large capacity growth in the coming years, which means many of the same challenges from the past year still exist.

Network operators are challenged with keeping up with growing demand and offering content and/or services globally. They also have a need for automation to speed bandwidth activation and improve their customers’ quality of experience. On-going operational costs remain a challenge as well, with a need to reduce footprint and power consumption. more>

Updates from Adobe

Variable Fonts Are the Future of Web Type
By Mandy Michael – A variable font is a single file that acts like multiple fonts. Variable fonts can improve page-load times, but their appeal goes way beyond that: Site visitors get an improved reading experience, and designers get greater creative freedom.

While it’s still early days, some software applications—including the latest Illustrator and Photoshop—and many web browsers do support the technology, and more will follow. It’s a good time to understand how variable fonts work and how to use them in your web designs.

Inventive type designers aren’t restricting themselves to expected variations, such as weight, width, or italic. They’re creating variations that address effect, readability, and style. more>

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Local Solutions for Global Problems

By Sébastien Turbot – Historically, cities have played a marginal role in global debates. In the United States, for example, early cities were rife with corruption and factionalism; local politics was messy enough. But today’s urban centers are economically stronger and politically bolder. Twenty-first-century cities’ determination to act in their own interests became clear in late 2017, when more than 50 US mayors pledged to meet the commitments of the 2015 Paris climate agreement – directly challenging President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal.

Even without a seat at the table (G7), many of the world’s megacities – powered by strong human capital, competitive markets, and widespread appeal – are already working to build a more progressive, inclusive, and sustainable future. From Buenos Aires to Tokyo, city leaders are making their concerns known globally – often irrespective of national agendas.

Small and mid-sized cities are also raising their international profiles. By investing in “smart” and “resilient” urban planning, governments from Bordeaux in France to Curitiba in Brazil are strengthening their brand identities and luring talent, investment, and businesses from around the world.

Cities power growth through innovation, trade, and exchange. And city services are often more visible to citizens than federal aid; consider, for example, who responds during a traffic accident or a natural disaster.

To be sure, today’s cities face many challenges. more>

Updates from Ciena

5 key wireline network improvements needed for 5G
By Brian Lavallee – Ask an end-user about how their phone connects to the network, and they’ll likely only talk about cellular or wireless technology, which is also where most of the current 5G industry hype is focused, and for good reason, as this is the first part of the network to be upgraded. However, the reality is that RAN (Radio Access Network) only makes up a small portion of the end-to-end path that data from a connected device must travel to provide connectivity. The rest of the path is primarily a fiber-optic transport network.

With 5G coming soon, featuring data rates as much as 100 times faster than what’s currently available, the wireline infrastructure that connects end-users (man and machine) to accessed content residing in data centers, must be ready to support upwards of 1,000 times more data flowing across it.

How can network operators prepare? Well, here are five key areas within the wireline network that will need to be upgraded and modernized to support 5G.

  1. Fronthaul
  2. Scalability
  3. Densification
  4. Virtualization
  5. Network Slicing

The move to 5G won’t be a simple network upgrade. It’s a long journey with a high-performance wireline network as the critical component to commercial success for both 4G strategies and the evolution toward 5G. more>

An Inside Look at Smart Cities

Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Countless people and technologies keep our cities safe, clean, and efficient; some we interact with in plain sight, and others operate beneath the surface, improving our lives in ways we don’t fully realize.

But for all the richness of cities, urban living can be filled with challenges, from traffic jams to taxed energy systems to overcrowded sidewalks and transit. Many of these difficulties are rooted in dated infrastructure – so as the number of people living in cities continues to rise, investing in and modernizing city infrastructure becomes critical.

The ultimate goal? Creating a “smart city” – one that leverages technology to improve quality of life for its residents, and creates better systems and structures to support it. One that looks ahead to future generations and starts the work now to meet those needs. Investing in the “smartness” of a city not only modernizes it, but creates a stronger, more sustainable place to live and work.

The good news is that the challenge of creating a smart city presents great opportunities. In fact, the smart city market could grow from an estimated US$1 trillion in 20174 to US$3.5 trillion by the mid-2020s. This means opportunities for companies, investors and, of course, the residents themselves. How do you uncover those opportunities?

Step one is imagining what it might be like to live in a “smart city”. more>

Game changing technologies: Exploring the impact on production processes and work

Eurofund – The difference between incremental innovation and disruptive innovation can be seen as the difference between improving a candle by adding a wick that burns more slowly (incremental innovation) and inventing the electric light bulb (disruption) (Christensen, 1997).

Technological innovation is permanent and ongoing, but from time to time new discoveries can pave the way for totally new uses and applications.

New technological possibilities and combinations of them can bring disruption not only at a product level, but can also involve the entire process related to its production (Arthur, 2009). This will have consequences for the working conditions of individuals employed on that process and on employment at establishment level, and thereby on the structures that regulate the relationship between the social partners in that particular sector.

Digital technology is changing manufacturing. Such changes, often placed in the heading of Industry 4.0, together describe a set of technologies that are likely to bring about deep transformations of the production process. Advanced robots, networked machines and artificial intelligence will be combined to generate new products and new ways of making products. This project focused on five possible game changing technologies over a time horizon of 10 years (that is, up to 2025).

Industry 4.0 initiatives are spreading not only in Germany but also across Europe; initiatives by EU Member States aimed at promoting advanced manufacturing techniques are being monitored by the European Commission.

IIoT is directly and explicitly an information encoding, communicating and processing technology. By attaching interconnected sensors to potentially all objects within the production process, IIoT transforms the productive process into a system that is both physical and digital (that is, cyber-physical). As well as generating a detailed virtual model of the entire production process that can be optimised with the superior processing power of digital technologies, the technology makes the objects themselves digital devices that can interact and be algorithmically controlled. more> (pdf)

Updates from Adobe

Getting into Travel Photography: Find the Details
By Jordana Wright – Look at a photograph with an interesting texture and it might give you the impulse to touch it.

Examine a photograph filled with pattern, and your brain may start to extrapolate that pattern or perceive movement in it. Both sensations are common and heighten the connection between photograph and viewer. We have an innate level of comfort with what we can touch and visually understand, so images with texture and pattern draw us in and make us pay attention.

When photographing Patterns, gear is probably the least important part of the equation. Patterns as a subject won’t dictate what lens to use—instead you’ll find yourself choosing a lens based on the scale of that particular Pattern. If you wanted to photograph the Pattern of sandpaper, you’d need to use a macro lens or even a microscope to draw out the dimensionality of the grain. more>

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How Social Media Became a Pink Collar Job

By Jessi Hempel – One job in the digital economy falls predominantly to women. It’s an oft-overlooked position, drawing on both marketing and editorial skills, that has become increasingly critical both to business success and online discourse. The pay is poor, and the respect can be limited. Take a look at the job posting for any social media manager. You’ll discover the same bias in its language, in reverse: a bias for sourcing female candidates.

The feminized nature of social media employment, Brooke Erin Duffy and Becca Schwartz argue, is connected to its “characteristic invisibility, lower pay, and marginal status” within the tech industry.

The study also suggests companies are seeking out candidates capable of “emotional labor.” This falls into two buckets. Companies advertise for candidates who are “upbeat” and “kind-hearted,” and capable, generally, of the emotional finesse involved in wrangling a brand’s messages into 140-character tweets, managing its employees so that they participate, and interacting with the wider audience of brand loyalists.

But social managers must also withstand the vitriol of the trolls who target Tweeters and posters with an expanding vocabulary of hate speech. more>

Declining Majority of Online Adults Say the Internet Has Been Good for Society

By Aaron Smith and Kenneth Olmstead – Americans tend to view the impact of the internet and other digital technologies on their own lives in largely positive ways, Pew Research Center surveys have shown over the years. A survey of U.S. adults conducted in January 2018 finds continuing evidence of this trend, with the vast majority of internet users (88%) saying the internet has, on balance, been a mostly good thing for them personally.

But even as they view the internet’s personal impact in a positive light, Americans have grown somewhat more ambivalent about the impact of digital connectivity on society as a whole. A sizable majority of online adults (70%) continue to believe the internet has been a good thing for society. Yet the share of online adults saying this has declined by a modest but still significant 6 percentage points since early 2014, when the Center first asked the question. more>

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