Rubin Dhillon, V.P. Communications & Enterprise
This year’s Globalcomm® was very exciting and special for us. We spent the first two days of the show as SBS Technologies and the last day of the show as GE Fanuc Embedded Systems. I am very proud to be part of the GE Fanuc team and believe you will see us bring the great technology, innovation and commercial excellence of GE to the global embedded marketplace. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming months...
On to the GlobalComm report…
GlobalComm 2006 confirmed for me that the Convergent Communications Market is thriving. It also confirmed that the open-architecture, modular computing has been embraced by both Network Equipment Providers and System Integrators. The future looks bright as we have placed the right bets and made the right investments to put GE Fanuc Embedded Systems in the forefront of this exciting market.
Everyone at the show sensed a new level of confidence, because there is no longer any doubt that convergent communications are an inevitability. Within a very short time we will all realize the benefits of constant and effortless connection to all our networks of information, fellow workers, family and friends and entertainment outlets.
The Convergent communications platform took center stage and IP/TV, IMS Infrastructure and WiMAX were everywhere. These are the applications that will drive the requirements for high-performance, cost effective modular computing platforms.
Think about IP/TV for a few seconds. Why? Does the world have some insatiable need to put EVERYTHING over IP? It makes a lot of sense when you consider the high performance and (relatively) low-cost IP network that we are all working to build. It makes a lot of sense when you consider that people are now watching and controlling and INTERACTING with Entertainment in new ways. Last year we all bragged about how large our televisions were. This year we brag about how we watch TV on our cell phones. Things are changing – dynamically and that creates opportunities for those willing to take the risks and go get the business.
IP/TV was one of the most common technology demonstrations at GlobalComm 2006. And the interesting thing this year was that the IP/TV demos had none of that sort of breathless “Look, we got it to work,” feeling. These were fully fleshed out, high definition delivery platforms with detailed user interfaces, etc. It was clear that the technological challenges have been overcome to the point that providers are confident in developing real, customer-ready products.
IP/TV is just one application, but it has the potential to generate a lot of revenue for service providers. And it also requires new equipment, making the Network Equipment Providers happy, along with those companies like GE Fanuc who are helping develop their systems faster and more cost effectively.
Big names. Big plans.
Alcatel, Cisco, Lucent, Motorola, Nortel, Siemens, Tekelec (and probably others I can’t remember) were showcasing their IP-centric infrastructure, service delivery and applications solutions.
AdvancedTCA was everywhere. It is now evident that the technology has matured and is starting to deliver on its cost/performance value proposition. 10 Gigabit Ethernet enabled platforms are now becoming available. But for me, it was most exciting to see all the preliminary MicroTCA systems on display by companies such as Motorola, Radisys and GE Fanuc Embedded Systems. MicroTCA has the promise to deliver very scalable, high-performance systems at a lower cost point than the high-end ATCA systems and it is not far away.
The state of the AdvancedMC architecture.
Well there are a lot more companies getting into the AMC business, which is a good thing. We need a strong, diversified ecosystem of AMC vendors to make sure that the AdvancedMC delivers on its value-proposition. From what I saw of AMCs and MicroTCA, we are going to get there.
It is still disappointing to see so many vendors with chartware. One particular company “announced” its AMCs again – the third or fourth time they have announced them in the last year or so. And many of these products were not even on display in their booth. So how do we show customers that the AdvancedMC and MicroTCA architecture is not all fluff?
GE Fanuc Embedded systems had two live demos on display, all highlighting working AdvancedMC products and enabling platforms such as Carrier Cards and preliminary MicroTCA systems.
The MicroTCA Video Gateway demo demonstrated IP and ATM interoperability using AdvancedMCs in a MicroTCA environment. A video server AdvancedMC module, housed in an ATCA chassis with an AT-AMC1 carrier blade to support the AdvancedMCs, consisted of a prAMC, a storage AdvancedMC, an OC-3 ATM AdvancedMC and a VGA AdvancedMC. Each video gateway used a prAMC, a storage AdvancedMC, and OC-3 ATM AdvancedMC and a MCH with Gigabit Ethernet switch as “mini-blades” in a MicroTCA chassis.
For the second demo, IBM partnered with us to demonstrate a convergent streaming media infrastructure in which a video streaming application passed through an AdvancedMC ATM switch. This demo featured the new BCT4-AMC1 BladeCenter® AdvancedMC Carrier Blade with an installed prAMC, a storage AdvancedMC and an OC-3 interface AdvancedMC.
So I will have fond memories of Globalcomm 2006. I saw a market that is justifying all the hard work our team has put into making the open modular computing telecom architecture a reality. And I will remember it as the launching pad for new and exciting things as we became GE Fanuc Embedded Systems – putting our imagination at work for all of our customers.