Why Do We Need Layer-1 Acceleration for OPEN RAN?
Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) and Open Virtualized RAN (Open vRAN) are gaining momentum. However, the voice of doubt from incumbent vendors, network operators, and many other players is Open RAN’s capability to run latency-sensitive and high-complex layer-1 RAN processing functions on standardized Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COT) servers. Meanwhile, it is commonly believed that executing full baseband processing functions on COTS Central Processing Units (CPUs) is not cost- or energy-efficient, especially for accommodating high data traffic and enabling broad-scale network connectivity. This consensus motivates the front runners of Open RAN to promote acceleration hardware to boost the layer-1 RAN processing capability and, at the same time, reduce both energy and deployment costs.
In September 2020, Xilinx announced the first of many telco layer-1 RAN acceleration cards, named the T1, which has reached a significant milestone in the evolution of the Open RAN ecosystem. ABI Research expects several more similar announcements to take place over the ne…
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