Alcatel-Lucent to cut 5000 jobs

2012-08-07 18:08:13

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Cortina offers 10G Octal EDC PHY with small footprint
Communications semiconductor vendor Cortina Systems, Inc. has unveiled the CS4342, an octal 10-Gbps electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) PHY. The chip delivers low latency and standards compliance in the smallest footprint available, the company asserts.The CS4342 PHY supports eight full-duplex 10G links or two full-duplex 40G links. Both transmit and receive paths include clock and data recovery (CDR) circuits. The chip’s operating frequency range supports Gigabit Ethernet; 1G, 2G, 4G, and 8G Fibre Channel; as well as SONET (9.5 - 11.3G) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.The PHY complies with 10G SFP+ and 802.3ba 40G and 100G nPPI and nAUI specifications. The transmit path includes a 10Gbase-KR compliant 3 tap transmit pre-emphasis capability. The transmit pre-emphasis, paired with the receive EDC, enables the device to support 10Gbase-KR, 8G Fibre Channel, and telecom backplane applications.Thus, the chip can support multiple designs for multiple transmission distances. But it’s the CS4342's size and low latency operation that make it stand out, according to Scott Feller, product line director at Cortina. The chip measures 17x17-mm, which is 34% smaller than other octal 10G PHYs, he says. Meanwhile, the device’s analog design means a latency of only about 1 nsec, he says.The Cortina CS4342 device is currently sampling."With the majority of datacenter interconnect bandwidth for the next few years expected to be handled by 10GbE and 40GbE, high density, small footprint 10GbE and 40GbE solutions are critical to handling the exponential growth in bandwidth intensive consumer applications like uploading photos to Facebook, videos to YouTube and streaming high-definition video. Video is expected to be one of the main bandwidth drivers of the Internet in the near future," commented Brad Smith, senior vice president at market research firm LightCounting, via a Cortina press release. "Space is at a premium in these high-density solutions, whether it is switch faceplate or PCB board area, driving the requirement for higher integration and smaller footprint across all components in the system."
Alcatel-Lucent to cut 5000 jobs
Dissatisfied with its current profit position after the second quarter of 2012 and concerned about the future Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) management today unveiled “The Performance Program,” an effort to cut costs and reshape the company. That reshaping will cost about 5000 people their jobs, according to Alcatel-Lucent management.“Despite having demonstrated our ability to deliver operational profitability, it is clear from the deteriorating macro environment and the competitive pricing environment in certain regions challenging profitability that we must embark on a more aggressive transformation,” said Ben Verwaayen, CEO Alcatel-Lucent, via a press release. “We are therefore launching today The Performance Program to accelerate our transformation and reduce costs by Euro 1.25 billion by the end of next year in order to keep ahead of market realities. These times demand firm actions.”Key parts of The Performance Program, which the company expects to complete by the end of next year, include:a cost reduction target of Euro 1.25 billion   additional employee reduction worldwide of around 5,000 people  exiting or restructuring unprofitable managed services contracts with associated headcount reduction   exiting or restructuring of unprofitable markets  managing the company’s patent portfolio as an independent profit center“These times demand firm actions, but as this will involve shrinking our employee base and exiting certain non-profitable contracts we will use The Performance Program to execute in a measured fashion,” Verwaayen added. “However we are taking aggressive action that will improve our agility in the marketplace while remaining fully committed to both our customers and continuing to deliver world-class innovation.”Inauguration of the cost-cutting program came as Alcatel-Lucent reported that second quarter revenue increased 10.6% sequentially, but decreased 7.1% year-over-year to Euro 3.545 billion. At constant currency exchange rates and perimeter, those figures worsen however; the sequential revenue increase dips to 9.5% and the shortfall versus the same quarter of 2011 increases to 13.2%.Its Networks activities were hard hit in the quarter, seeing a 16.4% revenue decline versus the same period one year ago at constant exchange rates. While IP business grew by a single-digit percentage, Alcatel-Lucent saw double-digit declines in both its Wireless and Optics units. The Optics division garnered Euro 542 million in revenue, down 16.0% from the second quarter of 2011. The terrestrial optics business experienced a high-single digit decline, which would have been worse except that resilience in next-gen products partially made up for declines in legacy optics products. Wireline proved a bright spot, increasing sequentially thanks in large measure to increased demand in fiber access. In fact the quarter marked the first time that the company’s fiber-based access revenues surpassed those of their copper-based access products. The Software, Services & Solutions revenues dropped at a high single-digit rate, while the Enterprise segment saw revenues decline at a mid-single-digit rate.For the quarter, Alcatel-Lucent reported net loss (group share) of Euro 254 million, Euro  0.11 per diluted share ($0.14 per ADS). These figures include the negative after tax impact from Purchase Price Allocation entries of Euro 33 million.
Comcast counters Verizon with 305-Mbps broadband plans
Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) has seen Verizon’s 300-Mbps broadband service offering and plans to raise it 5. The cable MSO revealed that it will offer 305-Mbps downstream services in certain Northeast markets as part of its upcoming Xfinity Platinum Internet package.The company also announced that it will double the speeds offered in two current packages starting this week. Subscribers to its Xfinity Blast! service will see download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (formerly 25 Mbps), while Extreme 50 subscribers will receive up to 105 Mbps (formerly 50 Mbps).“More customers are simultaneously connecting to the Internet through tablets, laptops and smartphones within their homes. Whether it’s to stream movies, upload photos, video chat with family and friends, or catch all of the Olympics action live on their tablets and connected devices, we want to ensure these consumers are getting the speeds they need,” said Cathy Avgiris, executive vice president and general manager, Data and Communications Services at Comcast. “We will continue to increase speeds as customer demands evolve. Comcast is committed to providing our customers with even more choices to get the best, fastest and most reliable experience possible.”The upcoming Xfinity Platinum Internet package comes in direct response to Verizon’s announcement that it will offer 300-Mbps download speeds in certain markets (see “Verizon boosts top FiOS FTTH speed to 300 Mbps”). While Comcast will offer speeds up to 5 Mbps faster in the download direction with the Platinum offering, it will match Verizon’s top upload rate by offering up to 65 Mbps. To sweeten the deal, Comcast will offer Xfinity Platinum customers the Xfinity Signature Support service at no charge. The service includes 24/7 tech support, a wireless gateway, a dedicated “Personal Communications Consultant,” and the Constant Guard Security Suite.Comcast will roll out the new services in such markets as Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Richmond, and New Jersey. The company did not discuss when the services will be available.
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