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Arm Enables Open Platforms in 5G RAN, Joins O-RAN Alliance to Foster Innovation in Next Generation Cellular Infrastructure

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Arm has been at the forefront of enabling generations of cellular technology. It has worked with the ecosystem for more than 25 years to become the leading CPU architecture of choice for base stations deployed around the world. 5G technology holds tremendous promise towards delivering a connected world well beyond traditional human-to-human connectivity. The orders of magnitude performance improvements in bandwidth, lower latencies and number of connections with 5G open doors to a broad set of applications in immersive experiences, smart cities, industrial IoT, autonomous transport and so many that we’ve not even thought of yet. Arm with its broad ecosystem is at the core of enabling this transition.

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As more operators across the world deploying 5G (7220 deployments, 111 operators as of 1Q20*), the industry is coming together to drive innovations in new radio technology, network hierarchies and changes in deployments and supply chains. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have largely relied on traditional networking OEMs to build, deploy and maintain the infrastructure to tune the network to meet their subscriber demands. However, new trends open up the vendor options for the MNOs:

  • Cloud-native: The rapid rise of containers and virtualisation combined with fast-paced DevOps software rollouts requires utilizing a common cloud-native development environment with deployment options from the edge to the cloud
  • Openness: Open systems and open standards foster innovation and agile service roll-outs that benefits the entire ecosystem of end-user, operator and vendors. Telco community-driven disaggregation of RAN with open interfaces defined by industry bodies such as the O-RAN Alliance is gaining larger traction within operators and vendors
  • Interoperability: White box implementation of RAN using general-purpose compute platforms with hardware acceleration aided by a community of software vendors, ODMs and system integrators.

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With over 70% of the world’s population using Arm technology daily, the Arm ecosystem plays a huge role in enabling 5G from endpoints all the way to the cloud with a rich portfolio of solutions to meet the power, performance and scalability requirements. Arm Neoverse CPUs for the infrastructure market deliver over 40% performance/power advantage over competing alternatives, which helps operators cut operating expenses over the lifetime of their equipment.

But it takes more than best-in-class processors to broadly deploy 5G. Arm works closely with a broad ecosystem of developers and makes significant contributions in more than 100 open source initiatives including OS, CI/CD, virtual machines, containers, end to end security and networking software stacks. Arm is already a key player in telco-centric organizations such as Telecom Infra Project, DPDK, fd.io and Linux Foundation’s Akraino project.

O-RAN alliance is a leading industry forum with a vision of openness and innovation fostered by a broad community of experts. Arm is excited to join O-RAN alliance to drive this vision to reality. Participating in O-RAN accelerates our focus on enabling Telco’s and vendors to deploy 5G infrastructure that is open, interoperable and cloud-native. We will offer our extensive set of development tools and ecosystem resources to the community to exploit Arm’s ability to offer high-performing and power-efficient compute solutions that enable 5G infrastructure. Arm with our partners, helps meet the diverse range of computing needs and spans all key areas of 5G deployment—from the roll out of network infrastructure to processors within each device. We are looking forward to the next big steps in this journey to 5G!

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