The age of end-to-end 5G networks built on Arm is now

February 24, 2022

Chris Bergey, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm

5G will be defined by a world that is smarter, more secure, and more sustainable. We are just starting to see the 5G revolution with the rollout of mid-band, mmWAVE , private enterprise networks and narrowband IoT deployments. By 2027, it’s predicted that 5G population coverage will have reached around 75 percent and is expected to be the fastest-deployed mobile technology in history. However, for 5G to meet the surge in connectivity demand and less penetration in many of the newer bands, it must be economical. TCO savings and energy efficient network infrastructure to operate 5G has risen to the top of the list of considerations for network operators and Arm is rising to the challenge with performance per watt gains and greater throughputs in an economic envelope that has been part of our DNA from the start. This is really just the beginning of what 5G can do for connectivity far beyond the device in your hand.

Latest from the Arm 5G Solutions Lab

In order to deliver the advantages of the Arm architecture to the 5G network market more quickly, we announced the Arm 5G Solutions Lab, supported by 18 key partners across the 5G ecosystem. In just four months, we’ve seen a more than 5-fold increase in companies signed up to participate. Arm is actively working with many of these partners to onboard their 5G offerings and today we’re happy to share the first live use cases from the Lab for the telco community:

  • Private 5G Network-in-a-box with MEC Support
    • Capgemini Engineering, Benetel, Ampere, Gigabyte, Phluido, and Arm have collaborated on a 5G network in a box for microcell deployments based on open RAN designs. You can view the demo here.
    • Leveraging Ampere Altra, the 80-core Neoverse-based processor, the system reduces costs by 75% and power consumption by 80%. The multicore design also means that DSP tasks can be performed on general-purpose silicon and that core and RAN functions can be combined into a single server.
  • Small Cells
    • As 5G networks rollout worldwide, the foundational role of small cells for persistent 5G experiences indoors and outdoors is growing. Small cells also play a crucial role in smart city deployments to communicate with autonomous cars and provide high bandwidth connectivity.
    • With Baicells 5G small cell product utilizing the Qualcomm FSM100xx 5G RAN platform, small cells can be deployed that support both sub-6 GHz and mmWaves.

If you happen to be in Barcelona next week, you can see the above use cases and the following demo in action in the Arm Booth (#5A19, Hall 5):

  • AI in 5G for Enterprise Networks
    • An efficient O-DU and O-CU using a combination of Arm-based CPUs like Ampere Altra and NVIDIA GPUs will showcase GPU advantages in RAN deployments. GPU-enabled servers can be used to combine AI-heavy MEC and 5G RAN modules on the same hardware and remove the need for separate RAN acceleration cards.
    • The solution comprises NVIDIA Aerial SDK running on GPU accelerator card hosted on Gigabyte server. The Ampere Altra Arm-based server also runs Radisys RAN software and is connected to Keysight RuSIM for UE and RU emulation.

Scaling 5G Open RAN performance with Cloud Convergence

To deliver on the promise of 5G and realize the performance, power, and cost benefits of the Arm architecture, software and hardware developers, operators, and cloud service providers all must come together. This week a significant Marvell customer unveiled a new 5G open vRAN solution built on the Arm-based Marvell OCTEON Fusion processor, marking a milestone achievement in facilitating the convergence of 5G and the cloud, all based on open standards.

With proven, best-in-class RAN features and the virtualization and scaling techniques used in the most advanced clouds, the solution aims to make the promises of 5G a reality and fuel our world with intelligent connectivity.

The activities happening at MWC Barcelona are only a sample of the growth of Arm in 5G in recent months. We remain committed to delivering the best-in-class performance, performance per watt and scalability to the industry and expect to continue to see those benefits come to fruition as more of our partner ecosystem bring Arm-based 5G innovations to market.

Additional Resources

Chelsea Vincent

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