Vodafone demands Arm silicon, not Intel, for open RAN in cities – Light Reading

Already famous for Celts, cider drinking and sheep, the rural communities of Western Britain have more recently been catapulted to open RAN stardom. Over the next few years, a 2,500-site overhaul by Vodafone will replace China’s Huawei there with a mix of technologies powered by Intel-designed chips. But as open RAN matures and moves into UK cities, Intel will struggle to cling on.

Vodafone has given its strongest endorsement yet of more specialist silicon based on Arm blueprints, indicating this will be critical if open RAN is to close the performance gap with traditional networks. “Some of the vendors made some pretty outlandish claims early on to say it was 30% faster, 30% cheaper, and it just wasn’t true,” Scott Petty, Vodafone’s chief digital officer, told Light Reading at a recent press event. “Now they need to deliver, but it will require some dedicated silicon. It won’t be Intel chips.”

Vodafone's Scott Petty says open RAN in cities will not sit on Intel's hardware.

Vodafone’s Scott Petty says open RAN in cities will not sit on Intel’s hardware.

Thanks to new interfaces, open RAN – strictly speaking – would allow Vodafone to use one vendor’s radios with another’s computing products. This marks a break with the traditional model, where everything would come from the same supplier system. As part of its rural open RAN deployment, Vodafone plans to run Samsung software alongside radios from Japan’s NEC.

But open RAN will also use a technique called virtualization to break apart hardware and software. The idea is to ensure code written by any player can work on general-purpose server equipment. So far, that has worked to the advantage of Intel because of its dominant role in the market for server-based central processing units (CPUs) based on x86, an architecture Intel first developed when the perm was still trendy. In Vodafone’s UK deployment, Samsung software will sit on Dell servers featuring Intel CPUs.

No match for Arm

Unfortunately, these general-purpose x86 chips appear to be no performance match for the dedicated silicon to which Petty refers. In traditional networks, that is typically based on blueprints developed by Arm, a UK-based company whose designs are also found in most smartphones. Arm-based chips could provide the boost open RAN needs to thrive in the city, according to Petty. “We need specialist silicon and specialist vendors to really be able to cope with that level of traffic.”

In a 5G network, Arm reckons chips based on its blueprints would bring a power reduction of up to 85% versus what it calls “traditional servers.” It is not the only one to have made bold claims about the energy efficiency – a performance proxy – of specialist silicon. Huawei, which has previously relied on Arm designs, reckoned in early 2019 that an x86 chip in a 4G basestation would use ten times as much power as one of its own chips. Dish Network, which plans to run its mobile network on Amazon Web Services, says Amazon’s Arm-based Graviton2 processors provide “up to 40% better price-performance over comparable current-generation x86-based instances.”

Encouragingly for Vodafone, several chip designers have recently begun marketing new, Arm-based silicon products as an open RAN alternative to Intel. Marvell, Nvidia and Qualcomm are all set to launch hardware accelerators, chips that would handle network functions more efficiently. Based on a system known as inline acceleration, these will be able to bypass the CPU and reduce the need for more advanced Intel processors.

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading.

Intel will still matter in open RAN. To boost performance, it has developed its own accelerators using lookaside, an alternative to inline that relies more heavily on the CPU. Experts say this reduces software complexity. Ericsson, notably, is bringing out software that works on Intel chips but not on the accelerators developed by Nvidia, with which it has a two-year-old partnership. Intel, moreover, may be harder to challenge in open RAN outside baseband, the part of the network that does signal processing.

But Vodafone’s digital chief evidently believes alternatives will be necessary in the busiest places. He expects to begin deploying open RAN around the mid-2020s in urban areas and is optimistic that smaller players can unseat the giants. “The beauty that open RAN created was that in the traditional world if you wanted to play in open RAN you had to do the entire stack and therefore commit billions in R&D to be good at every element,” says Petty. “Now you can say I just want to do the baseband unit, or I just want to do antennas. You can specialize and win in that area.”

His remarks came shortly after Arm announced plans for a new 5G lab in New Jersey where it will invite partners to test their open RAN technologies. Set to open in the first quarter of 2022, the lab has secured backing from Vodafone as well as Dish in the service provider community. Intel’s days of open RAN dominance are starting to look numbered.

Related posts:

— Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

Source of this news: https://www.lightreading.com/open-ran/vodafone-demands-arm-silicon-not-intel-for-open-ran-in-cities/d/d-id/773016

Related posts:

Forensic Methodology Report: How to catch NSO Group's Pegasus - Amnesty International
Introduction NSO Group claims that its Pegasus spyware is only used to “investigate terrorism and crime”  and “leaves no traces whatsoever”. This Forensic Methodology Report shows that neither o...
Form 8-K Athena Technology Acquis For: Jul 06 - StreetInsider.com
Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 1-week free trial here. UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Washington, D.C. 20549 FORM 8-K CURRENT REPORT Pursuant to Se...
How to Bypass Bandwidth Limit Restrictions in 2021 [Full Speed] - Cloudwards
How to Bypass Bandwidth Limit Restrictions (ISP Throttling) There are various reasons why ISPs limit your bandwidth (which we’ll talk about later). The gist of it is that it sees you using a lot of ...
VPN Proxy Master Provides Internet surfers With World-Class Security Areas Changing Cybersecurity En...
VPN Myspace proxy Master is definitely a safe, no-log VPN because of the world’s best security has got specifically designed to protect the online stability of its users. Because a user’s personal...
Bothersome new malware targets Microsoft-exchange servers - Texas Happenings Today
another Ransomware An operator medically known as LockFile encrypts a Room windows domain after breaking into the vulnerability Microsoft-exchange A server that uses the just recently publish...
10 Database Security Best Practices You Should Know - tripwire.com - tripwire.com
According to Risk Based Security’s 2020 Q3 report, around 36 billion records were compromised between January and September 2020. While this result is quite staggering, it also sends a clear message ...
Contour S-1/A Caribou Biosciences, important StreetInsider. com
(3) Health, situation, and disability insurance to 401(k) retirement plan additions for which all regular full-time employees are eligible. Narrative Disclosure to Summary Réparation T...
VPN vs DNS and Proxy Servers – Which is Best? - TechCo
Our independent reviews and recommendations are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Click to Learn More A VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy Server can each provide y...
1337x Proxy and Mirror Sites in 2021 (100% Tried & Tested) - Robots.net
Torrenting and torrents are still very much alive and kicking at the moment. One very popular torrent website today is 1337x. However, what happens when such torrent sites get blocked or beco...
Benchmarking Broadband ISP Speed Testers On a 10Gbps Line - ISPreview.co.uk
At one point or another, most UK people will have probably attempted to run a web-based speed test on their broadband connection, but have you ever wondered how well some of the most popular speed te...
The apple company Watch doesn’t use iCloud Private Relay or Mail Privacy Protection [U] - 9to5Mac
Refresh: The same team has now discovered that the Apple Watch does not necessarily use iCloud Private Relay either. If you open affiliate linkse sent to you via iMessage on the Apple Watch...
What Happened on Day 36 of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine - The New York Times
KRAKOW, Poland — Facing deeper isolation by the day over the Ukraine war, Russia seemed to slightly recalibrate its stance Thursday, allowing greater humanitarian access to the devastated port city o...
Trend Electronics : Notice of Adjourned 30th AJM - Marketscreener.com
Trend Electronics Limited NOTICE OF THE ADJOURNED 30TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The Hon'ble National Company Law Tribunal ("NCLT"), Mumbai Bench, vide its order dated September 25, 2018 ("Or...
Two Malware Families Targeting IIS Web Servers With Hateful Modules - The Hacker News
A scientific analysis of attacks defense Microsoft's Internet Information Experts (IIS) servers has introduced as many as 14 malware familes and groups, 10 of them newly registered, indicating ...
Relaxed initiation pausing of ribosomes drives oncogenic translation - Science Advances
INTRODUCTIONDysregulation of mRNA translation is a frequent feature of cancer cells (1–3). Many oncogenic signaling pathways (e.g., RAS, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mechanistic target of rapamycin ...
Blackmagic Design adds native cloud collaboration and a ton of new features to DaVinci Resolve 18 - ...
Blackmagic Design had one of their live presentation events yesterday. And as usually happens during such events from Blackmagic, the announcements were pretty interesting. Dubbed the “DaVinci Resolv...
Israeli study on viral load, Delta infections, vaccinations and boosters - News-Medical.Net
Scientists from Israel have recently explored the effectiveness of two-dose and three-dose regimens of the BNT162b2 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech) to reduce viral load ...
FamousSparrow: A suspicious hotel guest - We Live Security
Yet another APT group that exploited the ProxyLogon vulnerability in March 2021 ESET researchers have uncovered a new cyberespionage group targeting hotels, governments, and private companies world...

IP Rotating Proxy Onsale


First month free with coupon code FREE30