Open vRAN and 5G Core UPF using Arm-based CPUs: Tremendous Work Done by 5 IT Companies NEC, Arm, Qualcomm, Red Hat, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Open vRAN and 5G Core UPF using Arm-based CPUs




Open vRAN and 5G Core UPF using Arm-based CPUs: NEC, Arm, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Red Hat, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have done a project to show that Open virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) and 5G Core virtual User Plane Function (vUPF) products can work seamlessly together. They used HPE ProLiant servers with Arm Neoverse-based CPUs and the Qualcomm X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card, along with Red Hat OpenShift, to demonstrate this in conditions similar to a real-world commercial environment. This collaboration resulted in a well-integrated and demonstrable solution that’s designed to be cost-effective and energy-efficient for both edge and data centers. 

Open vRAN and 5G Core UPF using Arm-based CPUs

NEC, in collaboration with industry leaders, has achieved a significant milestone in the development of mobile network technology. They demonstrated the successful integration of NEC’s Open Virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) and 5G Core Virtual User Plane Function (vUPF) products on the same server, showcasing their compatibility with global standards.

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Hardware and Components

The solution utilized HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 servers powered by Ampere Altra Arm Neoverse-based processors. The Qualcomm X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card played a crucial role in enhancing the performance. This combination of hardware showcased the potential to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase energy efficiency for mobile networks.

Key Achievements

The collaboration successfully demonstrated call processing and packet communication in conditions similar to a commercial environment. This included the effective use of Arm-based servers and the X100 accelerator, highlighting the expanded applications of Arm-based servers and their potential to significantly reduce TCO for mobile networks.

Flexibility and Sustainability

NEC’s mobile virtualization software suites, Open vRAN, and vUPF displayed a high degree of flexibility and portability across various servers and virtualization platforms. This adaptability is crucial for addressing the increasing demands on networks and contributes to sustainability efforts in the industry.

Vodafone’s Perspe9ctive

Vodafone expressed enthusiasm about the diversification of silicon architecture, emphasizing the importance of an ARM-based Open RAN platform. The maturity of Arm-based architecture, combined with NEC’s vRAN and Qualcomm’s acceleration, reflects progress in the interoperability of Open RAN software and hardware.

Upcoming Showcase

NEC’s solution and insights will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024, providing a deeper understanding of their advancements. The demonstration reflects the industry’s commitment to innovation and sustainability in the face of growing network demands.

Acknowledgments

The successful demonstration was made possible with the support of Juniper Networks, Inc., and VIAVI Solutions, contributing their fronthaul switch and network testing equipment, respectively. NEC expresses gratitude for their valuable contributions to the experiment.

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