Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Transforming the 5G Network Edge: More Power, Performance and Intelligence

23 Feb 2017

Intel is at the Forefront of the 5G Revolution, Accelerating Deployment with New Products and Technologies in Collaboration with Our Customers and Other Industry Leaders By Sandra Rivera

Today, we are on the cusp of a 5G-enabled world, filled with amazing new experiences such as connected cities, autonomous cars, virtual and augmented reality, and more, many of which will be discussed at Mobile World Congress 2017. We’re just beginning to experience the ways 5G will transform networks and business and improve our lives.


5G brings higher data bandwidth, faster speeds and lower latency – a trifecta of capabilities that will trigger innovations and business opportunities unlike anything we’ve experienced before. But to prepare for the massive amounts of data from billions of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, as well as meet new requirements for speed, latency, energy and scale, it’s critical that communications service providers (CoSPs) make fundamental changes in the networks, cloud and clients starting now. We’re seeing the start of this network transformation on a global scale with solutions based on software-defined network (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) in order to deliver the promise of the 5G era.

Intel is at the forefront of this revolution, accelerating 5G deployment with new products and technologies in collaboration with our customers and companies in the industry, as one of my colleagues, Aicha Evans, describes in her editorial, “Intel Is Accelerating the 5G Future.” And today, we’re introducing a range of new products and initiatives to help our customers and the ecosystem accelerate 5G deployment even more quickly and effectively.

Intelligence at the Network Edge

To realize the potential of 5G, CoSPs need to quickly and easily deploy new services to the network edge, decreasing the amount of traffic going back to the mobile core and the data center, further reducing network latency. Radio interface will receive a performance boost, and access and edge networks are going to be more intelligent and change the way services are delivered to mobile subscribers.

To support this transformation, we’re working with communications equipment vendors to increase computing, bandwidth and storage capacity at the edge – including 5G base stations with integrated server capabilities, virtualized customer premise equipment (vCPE), software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and network appliances. We’re also looking to increase data and network security to protect edge devices against ever-increasing risks from cyberattacks.

New Intel Products for Network Infrastructure

The right technology is critical to delivering greater intelligence, performance and security to the network edge, which is why we’ve also developed a new portfolio of products:

Available later in Q1 2017:

  • Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 supports 25 GbE to provide a natural upgrade migration path from 10 GbE for those who need more bandwidth at a lower cost point than 40 GbE.

Available mid-year:

  • Intel Atom® processor C3000 product family enables network edge device vendors to reach a wide range of cost-performance and power-performance points and integrates Intel® QuickAssist technology for up to 20 Gbps crypto and compression acceleration.
  • New Networking Series for the Intel® Xeon® processor D-1500 product family allows CoSPs to scale up performance beyond the Intel Atom processor C3000 product family while securing and compressing data at the network edge at rates up to 40 Gbps.
  • Next-generation Intel QuickAssist Adapter family can process even larger amounts of data coming from IoT and network edge devices, delivering up to 100 Gbps of crypto, compression and public key acceleration.

Accelerating Network Transformation

For years, data centers have taken advantage of the latest computing, virtualization, IP networking and security technologies to deliver services that are high performance, flexible and secure. Now, Intel is expanding its portfolio to bring more performance to the network edge with even lower power, small form factor platforms. The same software code can run on Intel Atom and Intel Xeon processor families, enabling OEMs to scale or upgrade to new processor versions in the future without rewriting software code.

Our customers are already seeing the benefits to using a common architecture across the network. As Jianguo Zhang, senior vice president and president of the Wireless Business Unit at ZTE*, recently told us, “Using a common architecture gives service providers the flexibility to build out today’s 4G networks, bring applications and services to the mobile edge, and then use the same base band controller unit to implement 5G networks as those standards evolve. As such, ZTE IT Base Band Unit product is 5G-ready, high-density and high-throughput. ZTE is looking forward to having more comprehensive cooperation with Intel in 5G.”

It’s also important to help CoSPs bring 5G innovations to market, which is why we’re expanding our collaboration with Nokia* and other ecosystem companies through the opening of two new labs. Our objective is to help CoSPs clarify deployment options and comprehend operational models needed to make 5G a commercial reality. This lab work will be done in alignment with 3GPP standards. Additionally, Telefónica and 5TONIC announced they are installing The Intel FlexRAN software reference platform in the 5TONIC open 5G lab. This will allow Telefónica and other 5TONIC customers to test and validate the functionality and performance of virtualized implementations of current and future radio access networks (RANs). The support of a Virtualized RAN is needed for the evolution of 5G and the different connectivity and performance requirements for various applications.

5G marks a historic inflection point for the industry. I’m proud of the early investments Intel is making, from network to cloud to device, and the collaborations we are forging to help CoSPs transform their networks. Meeting the diverse speed, latency, energy and scale requirements needed to connect billions of smart devices in everything from autonomous cars to wearables to cities takes an entire ecosystem. Come see us in Barcelona and check out the prototype devices meeting up at the intelligent edge to usher in the 5G smart and connected future.

Sandra Rivera is vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel Corporation.

Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at intel.com.

Intel, Intel Atom, Xeon, and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.