Editor's Picks

Nov. 1, 2016

CommScope deploys wideband multimode fiber to Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center

CommScope recently completed what it called the world’s first installation of network capacity-boosting wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) at the Golden 1 Center, the future home of the Sacramento Kings franchise of the National Basketball Association.

CommScope’s LazrSpeed 550 WideBand Multimode Fiber forms the cabling backbone in the arena’s data center and, along with other equipment, will support all wired and wireless communications within the stadium. “Golden 1 Center will be the smartest and most connected venue in the world, providing a seamless and intuitive experience for our fans and attendees,” said the Sacramento Kings’ chief technology officer, Ryan Montoya. “We believe connectivity is critical to the venue experience of the future, and CommScope’s network technology was the best choice to make that a reality.”

As described by CommScope, “wideband multimode fiber is a technological advancement of signal transmission capacity in fiber-optic cables, which, in combination with wavelength division multiplexing, allows for a reduction in the number of fibers needed and an increase in total channel capacity. WBMMF optimally supports the use of multiple wavelengths, reducing parallel fiber counts by at least a factor of four. For example, it supports two-fiber Ethernet at 40 Gigabits per second (Gbits/sec), 100 Gbits/sec, and in the future, 200 Gbits/sec.”

WBMMF fiber was recently standardized by the Telecommunications Industry Association in a specification known as TIA-492AAAE, and is also approved for use in cabling by the emerging revision of the North American structured cabling standard known as ANSI/TIA-568.3-D. In addition, CommScope recently received third-party certification of its measurement bench used to determine bandwidth compliance of LazrSpeed 550 WideBand fiber over the full target wavelength spectrum.

CommScope is the only supplier of WBMMF for Golden 1 Center. In addition to WBMMF, CommScope also supplied other important elements of the communication infrastructure network, including more than 900 miles of the company’s TeraSpeed ZWP singlemode fiber and Systimax GigaSpeed X10D copper cabling, supporting more than 3,000 outlets, along with the company’s iPatch panels for future deployment of its imVision automated infrastructure management system.

With CommScope’s comprehensive fiber and copper connectivity solutions, Golden 1 Center is ready to support massive fan traffic and is well-equipped to support future technology evolution. “CommScope is heavily involved in fiber-optic standards development, helping drive advancements like wideband multimode fiber from conception to implementation,” said David Redfern, senior vice president, CommScope connectivity solutions. “We congratulate the Sacramento Kings on this first deployment of wideband multimode fiber and expect it to be the networking foundation for an exceptional fan experience for years to come.”

TE Connectivity says ultra-installable FullAXS Mini connectors target harsh OSP, wireless, industrial applications

TE Connectivity (TE), a global specialist in connectivity and sensor technology, has introduced its FullAXS Mini connectors, billed as “one of the easiest connector sealing systems to install in rugged outdoor environments.” The company contends that the FullAXS Mini connector sealing system “is one of the only products available that enables one-handed, blind installs from many angles. With 3-sense (visual, audio and tangible) locking feedback, floating connections and a twist angle of only 30 degrees, these products can be installed by field engineers of all levels of experience in virtually any location,” added a product press release.

“Space on wireless and other outdoor rugged applications is at a premium, and engineers are designing smaller boxes as a result,” continued the TE release. “Smaller boxes necessitate using connectors wherever possible. TE’s FullAXS Mini connectors deliver the small size and scalability to design-in power and signal connectivity where needed. The new connectors are 23 percent smaller than TE’s current FullAXS products and can be placed almost anywhere on the box due to their flexible sealing system. The FullAXS Mini connector sealing delivers a watertight seal up to IP67 and IP65 levels, uses UV material to meet F1 rating UL 94-V0, and withstands all applicable lightning strike requirements, making them ideal for many harsh outdoor environments, including wireless and microwave equipment, industrial, robotic, and aerospace and defense applications.”

“Outdoor wireless and industrial equipment is getting smaller while needing to deliver more functionality, and connectors on that equipment must be smaller and more versatile,” says Stefan Borgas, manager, product management, TE’s data and devices business unit. “TE’s FullAXS Mini connector sealing system delivers the small size, ease of installation, and ruggedness necessary for today’s wireless and industrial equipment designs.”

Adjustable floor box kits enable flush-to-floor receptacle installations

Arlington’s new line of UL Listed adjustable floor boxes are billed as a low-cost way to install electrical receptacles into floors. For new or retrofit work, the kits fit varying floor heights up to 2 inches. Round and rectangular gasketed covers prevent water intrusion; threaded plugs or flip lids protect the boxes. Non-metallic covers are available in five colors, as well as with metal-in-brass or nickel-plated options.

Sumitomo unveils 3456-fiber count ribbon cables for high-density data centers

Sumitomo Electric Industries has released a new series of ultra-high-fiber-count ribbon cables designed especially to meet the growing need for high fiber density in data centers. The new cables are available in fiber counts of 1152, 1728, and 3456 and feature a slotted configuration for easy handling and quick fiber identification. Among the series, the highest-fiber-count cable accommodates 3456 fibers in an outer diameter of 34 mm while withstanding direction-free bending, and thus allows for easy installation in a 2-inch duct space.

The company’s pliable ribbon technology enables the 12-fiber ribbon to easily conform to small diameters and to be spliced with a conventional 12-fiber mass fusion splicer. The cables are available in two types: with a steel strength member or an all-dielectric strength member in the center of the cable.

Also featured is a dry water-blocking tape that requires no cable flooding gels, thereby eliminating the cleaning and blocking preparation associated with standard gel-filled cables. The use of a completely dry cable speeds up overall installation, termination, and splicing while significantly saving customers’ time and costs, notes the company.

These new cables are a part of a full ultra-high-density data center solution from Sumitomo Electric, including fiber-optic cabinets, closures, and preterminated hardware. The company showcased the new cables at the BICSI Fall Conference in San Antonio, TX from September 11-15, and at DatacenterDynamics Europe in London from November 1-2.

Wireless mesh networking module simplifies connectivity for home/building automation, connected lighting, smart metering, security systems, other IoT platforms

Silicon Labs has introduced its new family of Wireless Gecko chip modules, focused on mesh networking applications with support for ZigBee and Thread software. The new MGM111 module is the first in this comprehensive family of multiprotocol modules based on the Mighty Gecko system-on-chip (SoC) device. The company says the module’s combination of onboard stacks, antenna options and RF regulatory certifications helps developers reduce cost, complexity and time to market for an array of wireless mesh networking applications including home and building automation, connected lighting, smart metering, security systems and other IoT platforms.

The MGM111 module combines a 2.4-GHz Mighty Gecko SoC, high-efficiency chip antenna, crystals, and RF matching and shielding into a complete, ready-to-use mesh networking module supporting ZigBee and Thread protocol stacks. This high level of integration frees developers from complex RF/antenna design and testing and allows them to focus on their end applications. The MGM111 module complies with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard used in ZigBee and Thread stacks and will be precertified for compliance with the following regulatory requirements: FCC (North America), IC (Canada), CE (Europe), RCM (AU/NZ) and KC (Korea).

The MGM111 module “gives developers a rapid on-ramp to the IoT,” says the company, enabling them to bring mesh networking products to market quickly and easily with minimal engineering and certification costs. Mighty Gecko modules and wireless SoCs have similar technical features and application programming interfaces (APIs). This hardware and software compatibility makes it easy to migrate from modules to SoCs while enabling developers to preserve their investments in tools and software with little to no system redesign.

The MGM111 module comes in a compact 12.9 mm x 15 mm package that is footprint- and pin-compatible with Silicon Labs’ BGM111 Blue Gecko module, supporting Bluetooth low energy technology. This compatibility eases migration and enables developers to support multiple wireless protocols with a common system design.

Software divisions of GE, Bosch collaborate on open source Industrial IoT platform development

GE and Bosch announced that the companies are working together to shape the connected world through a collaboration between the software divisions of both organizations, GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding under which GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations will further facilitate openness and growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

The agreement focuses on technology interoperability and platform integration through GE’s Predix operating system and the Bosch IoT Suite. GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations intend to make complementary software services available on the other company’s cloud platforms to enhance the overall value of each cloud offering and provide solutions to a wider customer base.

Both companies intend to establish an open source-based technical IoT core and jointly grow a larger ecosystem around this technology stack, which IoT platforms can be built upon. Key engagement is within the Eclipse Foundation, one of the major global open source software communities, where both companies are members.

Rainer Kallenbach, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations, commented, “In order to tap the full potential of the Industrial Internet, global organizations need more than ever to cooperate closer and within open standards. Customer benefit in IoT emerges when organizations focus on their core strengths and jointly foster market penetration of IoT technology and applications. Our organizations both have a rich history of manufacturing products, big and small, so we share a common understanding and vision regarding the opportunities in connectivity. No company can realize the IoT on its own. It is very important for Bosch to engage in business ecosystems and open source communities. The collaboration with GE Digital is another important milestone for Bosch’s connectivity strategy.”

“It’s industrial companies working together that will make a difference in the Industrial Internet of Things,” added Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital. “We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Bosch Software Innovations to advance our IoT platform development.”

Magnetic modular jacks deliver 2.5 GbE, 30W over 2-pair PoE in single configuration

Molex has introduced its 2X2 PoE 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) multi-port magnetic modular jack, or Integrated Connector Module (ICM), joining the company’s previously released 2X4 configuration. According to Molex, “currently, no other magnetic modular jack delivers 2.5 GbE and 30W over 2-pair PoE in a single configuration.”

“The advent of 2.5 GbE creates an opportunity to increase network speeds while re-using existing Cat 5e cabling infrastructure,” said Daniel Andersen, global product manager at Molex. “As networks continue to increase the number of devices connected to the internet, providers must offer their customers increased bandwidth at competitive prices.”

The PoE 2.5 GbE Multi-Port Magnetic Modular Jacks from Molex help accomplish that by supporting new applications in a broad range of networked applications, notes the company, including WiFi access points, IP-enabled security devices, office or home broadband routers, servers, switches, communication peripherals and PoE devices.

Integrated magnetics in the jacks boost signal integrity, isolate DC voltage, and provide PHY chip protection via discrete magnetics. Also, the jacks are power device (PD) capable and can supply 30W to connected devices and systems in various applications. They can be upgraded to 60W for broader endpoint support.

Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital acquires CABLExpress

An affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a private-equity and alternative-asset-investment firm, acquired a majority interest in CABLExpress Corporation, H.I.G. announced on August 29. CABLExpress does business as CXtec and TERACAI Corporation. H.I.G. did not disclose the deal’s financial terms.

William G. Pomeroy, who founded CXtec in 1978, retired as chief executive officer on August 29 and will continue to serve on the board of directors while retaining an ownership interest in the company. He commented, “I am proud of the business that we have built and look forward to the next chapter. H.I.G’s vision for CXtec’s future and support for the company’s strong culture gives me significant confidence that CXtec will continue to build on its outstanding reputation and legacy.”

Peter Belyea, who has been with the company for 26 years, most recently as president, assumed the role of chief executive officer upon Pomeroy’s retirement from that position. “We’re excited to partner with H.I.G. Capital, a highly respected investment firm with significant industry experience,” Belyea said. “CXtec continues to distinguish itself through a compelling value proposition, rigorous focus on product quality, and exceptional customer service, and we see a number of opportunities to accelerate growth to meet the evolving needs of our clients.”

H.I.G.’s portfolio also includes, among dozens of other technology and IT companies, Fibercore, a U.K.-based provider of specialty optical-fiber products in telecom, aerospace and defense industries; Lancope, a provider of monitoring solutions for high-performance and secure networks; and Milestone Technologies, a provider of managed help desk, data center operations, engineering and IT services.

Richard Stokes, managing director at H.I.G., said, “CXtec is an established leader in the market for refurbished networking and telephony hardware, and we look forward to supporting the continued expansion of the company’s product and service offerings. CXtec and TERACAI are exceptionally well-positioned for continued growth, driven by a compelling value proposition and attractive industry tailwinds. We are excited to work with the company to take the business to the next level.”

ADVA Optical Networking takes role in silicon photonics data center consortium

ADVA Optical Networking announced in June that it is playing a role in the Directly Modulated Lasers on Silicon (DIMENSION) project. DIMENSION, which brings together a consortium of research and industry partners from four European countries, aims to create a platform for single-chip electro-optical integration. “The breakthrough technology [the consortium] produces will involve lasers built with active III-V materials embedded into silicon photonics chips,” said an ADVA press release. “This will generate the versatile, cost-efficient components needed to optimize data center interconnect (DCI) transport and create the next generation of data centers.” The four-year project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

“Improving efficiency in the DCI couldn’t be more vital given the increasing demand for cloud computing and the growing scale of the Internet of Things,” commented Michael Eiselt, director, advanced technology, ADVA Optical Networking. “Much of our recent innovation has centered on enhancing the DCI, such as our FSP 3000 CloudConnect solution. By integrating the three distinct technologies of silicon photonics, electronics and active photonics, we’re giving data centers what they need to meet tomorrow’s demands. It’s great to be working closely with other European companies and institutions to make this vital breakthrough a reality. It also provides fantastic opportunities for university students who get to be at the forefront of innovation and help make a significant impact on the industry.”

The DIMENSION project is coordinated by Dresden University of Technology and involves partners from Germany, Switzerland, Greece and the UK. The two research centers included are Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics and Athens Information Technology. The large industry partners are ADVA Optical Networking, Optocap and IBM Research, Zurich. The project aims to take electro-optical integration to a new level by producing silicon chips built with active laser components. The consortium of partners also forms a complete value chain for the production of the new technology, from research through to innovative package design and assembly. The project will run until the end of January 2020.

Cambridge Sound Management boosts sound masking assets by acquiring Dynasound

Cambridge Sound Management acquired fellow sound masking and speech protection technology provider Dynasound on August 2. The companies combined operations at that time.

When announcing the acquisition, the company said, “To prepare for the next stage of growth, Cambridge Sound Management will integrate Dynasound’s award-winning products, dedicated partners, and industry experts into Cambridge’s proven sound masking business model, which is reshaping the industry.”

Christopher Calisi, Cambridge’s chief executive officer, commented, “Dynasound has compelling speech protection technology, a loyal customer base, and a great team history of innovation and service in our category. With global demand for sound masking on the rise, we will be well-positioned to further expand customer and channel support services and launch a new generation of solutions.”

Dynasound’s chief executive officer Tom Koenig added, “We are excited about joining Cambridge Sound Management and being part of an organization so closely aligned with our goals of achieving the highest level of quality, service and solutions for our partners worldwide.”

Cambridge Sound Management further noted, “As more companies shift to open floor plans, the need for speech privacy and the reduction of noise distractions in the workplace is increasing. Additionally, with many organizations adding employees to a workspace without increasing the square footage, new productivity, privacy and security problems are emerging.

“Sound masking solutions from Cambridge Sound Management and Dynasound have emerged as effective, virtually invisible technology to increase speech privacy and comfort, while enabling companies to maintain their open and collaborative work environments.”

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