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Xilinx Demonstrating Industry-First 5G O-RAN Solutions at MWC

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  • Demos include the industry’s first 64T64R massive MIMO O-RAN radio prototype with highest-bandwidth O-RAN radio platform
  • Cutting-edge radio and CU/DU system technologies to ease 5G network congestion and deliver groundbreaking 5G experiences

Xilinx, a tech leader at every layer of the 5G landscape, from core to edge to radio, is demonstrating a wide array of industry-first 5G open RAN (O-RAN) solutions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 28 through March 3, in Hall 2, Stand 2M61. The demonstrations will include an industry’s lead 64T64R massive MIMO O-RAN radio prototype and the highest-bandwidth O-RAN radio platform.

5G technology enables compute-intensive applications, like autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, and AI, to process data at the edge, resulting in nearly instantaneous access to information, and greater operational efficiencies. The O-RAN solutions are based on open standard specifications defined by the O-RAN Alliance and are complimentary to 3GPP standards. O-RAN specifications are designed to help build a more competitive 5G Radio and DU supplier ecosystem with faster innovation.

Topping Xilinx’s demo list is a 64T64R O-RAN massive MIMO radio prototype demonstrating 5G radio performance and compliance to the O-RAN fronthaul specification in both uplink and downlink operations. The massive MIMO radio is designed to address steadily increasing volumes of mobile traffic on 5G networks – particularly for those deployed in heavily congested areas with dense populations. Before now, this technology with this performance was only available through proprietary suppliers. This is the first time it is being made available on an open platform. Compliance to the O-RAN fronthaul will be demonstrated using a Keysight DU emulator (basestation) and 5G performance will be measured using a Keysight UE emulator (mobile handset).

Xilinx is also demonstrating the industry’s first 400 MHz Zynq® RFSoC DFE adaptive radio platform for mass 5G deployments. This breakthrough adaptive radio technology platform is the first to offer instantaneous bandwidth of 400 MHz and the first to meet second-wave 5G NR requirements. The demo will use latest productized Xilinx’s Zynq RFSoC DFE to implement all DFE processing, including DPD, along with an integrated direct RF sampling transceiver. The RF power amplifier used in the demonstration will be the SKY66520-11 from Skyworks Solutions Inc. Xilinx’s Zynq RFSoC DFE incorporates a hardened (ASIC Cell) DFE subsystem and enables more processing per channel, greater instantaneous bandwidth, more integration and is cost-effective for 5G volume deployments. The unique combination of standard compliant hard IP with adaptable logic in the Zynq RFSoC DFE allows customers to adapt radio units to meet evolving market requirements such as eMBB, URLLC, and mMTC with minimal time-to-market impact.

Among other demos, Xilinx will showcase a complete 5G NR Layer 1 vRAN system running on high-performance AMD servers with the highest complexity FEC modules accelerated on Xilinx T2 Telco acceleration cards. This power- and cost-efficient solution is targeted at communications service providers (CSPs). AccelerComm, a provider of high-performance acceleration solutions for 4G/5G and other wireless applications is providing IP for high-PHY acceleration and Phluido is providing Layer 1 vRAN software for the demo.

Xilinx will also show an industry-first 5G NR open-source vRAN system with Open Air Interface (OAI). This open-source, end-to-end 5G NR system integrates with the Xilinx T1 Telco acceleration card to accelerate LDPC encoding and decoding and improve overall system performance. The demo will show an open source 5G NR system communicating with commercially available user equipment. This is the first time OAI has ported its open-source software onto a telco accelerator card and also the first known demo where an open-source 5G stack has been accelerated by a T1 card. Virtualized Radio Access Networks (VRANs) are an agile method for RAN deployment that helps carriers improve operational efficiency and meet stringent customer demands.

Finally, Xilinx and its partner VVDN will be demonstrating a complete 5G cloud RAN from user equipment to 5G core. In this demo, Xilinx’s MPSoC is used in the 5G radio unit, and O-RAN fronthaul and L1 partial offload is implemented on a Xilinx Telco Accelerator Card.

“Xilinx has been at the heart of the telco 5G infrastructure for years, improving workload performance and scalability in basestations and radios as well as the wireless core network, and accelerating applications at both the edge and cloud,” stated Gilles Garcia, senior director of the WWG business unit at Xilinx.

“These demonstrations illustrate how Xilinx is helping to drive broad industry adoption of 5G technology through a growing array of O-RAN solutions ranging from a massive MIMO radio prototype, RFSoC devices for single-radio chip design, and telco accelerator cards to vRAN solutions for private 5G networks.”

Beyond technology demos, Xilinx is also hosting a Power Hour theater session at MWC entitled “5G Leadership with Technology and Solutions” on Wednesday, March 2 at 9:30 a.m. in Theatre 2, Hall 7. Join Xilinx as we share what 5G technology leadership means, with presentations from our own 5G experts, customers, and partners on topics ranging from cutting-edge radios to the 5G core.

For more information about Xilinx’s presence at Mobile World Congress, please visit us at: