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Silicon Photonics

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Habana Labs unveils its AI processor plans  

Start-up Habana Labs has developed a chip architecture that promises to speed up the execution of machine-learning tasks. 

The Israeli start-up came out of secrecy in September to announce two artificial intelligence (AI) processor chips. One, dubbed Gaudi, is designed to tackle the training of large-scale neural networks. The chip will be available in 2019. 

Eitan MedinaGoya, the start-up’s second device, is an inference processor that implements the optimised, trained neural network.

The Goya chip is already in prospective customers’ labs undergoing evaluation, says Eitan Medina, Habana’s chief business officer.

Habana has just raised $75 million in a second round of funding, led by Intel Capital. Overall, the start-up has raised a total of $120 million in funding. 

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Photonics and optics: interchangeable yet different

Why is it fibre-optics, and why is it not the semiconductor photonic amplifier? It is all to do with a systems perspective versus a device perspective. An industry debate about optics and photonics.

Many terms in telecom are used interchangeably. Terms gain credibility with use but over time things evolve. For example, people understand what is meant by the term carrier [of traffic] or operator [of a network] and even the term incumbent [operator] even though markets are now competitive and 'telephony' is no longer state-run.


"For me, optics is the equivalent of electrical, and photonics is the equivalent of electronics - LSI, VLSI chips and the like" - Mehdi Asghari


Operators - ex-incumbents or otherwise - also do more that oversee the network and now provide complex services. But of course they differ from service providers such as the over-the-top players [third-party providers delivering services over an operator's infrastructure, rather than any theatrical behaviour] or internet content providers. 

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Books in 2013 - Part 1

Gazettabyte is asking various industry figures to highlight books they have read this year and recommend, both work-related and more general titles.

Part 1:


Tiejun J. Xia (TJ), Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Verizon

The work-related title is Optical Fiber Telecommunications, Sixth Edition, by Ivan Kaminow, Tingye Li and Alan E. Willner. This edition, published in 2013, includes almost all the latest development results of optical fibre communications.

My non-work-related book is Fortune: Secrets of Greatness by the editors of Fortune Magazine. While published in 2006, the book still sheds light on the 'secrets' of people with significant accomplishments.

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Reporting the optical component & module industry

LightCounting recently published its six-monthly optical market research covering telecom and datacom. Gazettabyte interviewed Vladimir Kozlov, CEO of LightCounting, about the findings.


When people forecast they always make a mistake on the timeline because they overestimate the impact of new technology in the short term and underestimate in the long term.

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OpenFlow extends its control to the optical layer

OpenFlow may be causing an industry stir as system vendors such as ADVA Optical Networking extend the protocol's reach to the optical layer, but analysts warn that it will take years before the technology benefits operators' revenues.


"We see OpenFlow as an additional solution to tackle the problem of network control"

Jörg-Peter Elbers, ADVA Optical Networking




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Reflections and predictions: 2011 & 2012 - Part 1

Gazettabyte has asked industry analysts, CEOs, executives and commentators to reflect on the last year and comment on developments they most anticipate for 2012.


"For 2012, the macroeconomy is likely to dominate any other developments"








Martin Geddes, telecom consultant @martingeddes

Sometimes the important stuff is slow-burning: we're seeing a continued decline in the traditional network equipment providers, and the rise in Genband, Acme, Sonus and Metaswitch in their place. Smaller, leaner, and more used to serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 operators and enterprise players and their lower cost structures. 

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Rafik Ward Q&A - final part

In the second and final part, Rafik Ward, vice president of marketing at Finisar, discusses Google’s call for a new 100 Gig interface, the ECOC show, and what Finisar has learnt from running a corporate blog.


"Feedback we are getting from customers is that the current 100 Gig LR4 modules are too expensive"

Rafik Ward, Finisar

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