ARM joins O-RAN alliance to provide telcos with more network-native 5G infrastructure

ARM has announced that it has joined the O-RAN Alliance to promote the open development of 5G network architectures. Up to now, 22 operators and 117 industrial companies have joined the O-RAN Alliance. The addition of ARM is another chip giant after Qualcomm and Intel.

Panch Chandrasekaran, director of infrastructure marketing at ARM, publicly stated that by joining O-RAN, ARM will provide telecom operators and telecom equipment suppliers with 5G infrastructure aimed at building open, interoperable cloud-native networks. For the O-RAN Alliance itself, the joining of chip giants will undoubtedly promote the innovation of the next-generation cellular architecture, provide a wide range of development tools and ecosystem resources for the telecom industry community, and further promote the O-RAN Alliance. prosperity.

It is reported that the performance/energy consumption ratio of the Arm Neoverse CPU launched by ARM is more than 40% higher than that of other competing products, which can help telecom operators reduce operating expenses during their equipment life cycle. Arm works closely with a broad ecosystem of developers and contributes to more than 100 open source proposals, including operating systems, continuous integration and release (CI/CD), virtual machines, containers, and end-to-end Security and networking software stack.

With more and more operators deploying 5G around the world (111 operators have deployed 7,220 projects as of Q1 2020), the industry is making a concerted effort to drive innovation at the new radio technology and network level, as well as deployment and supply chain change. Telecom Operators (MNOs) mostly rely ON traditional network OEMs to build, deploy and maintain architectures to tune their networks to meet user needs. However, the following new trends also provide telecom operators with different vendor choices:

Cloud-native: The rapid rise of containers and virtualization, coupled with the extremely fast-paced rollout of DevOps software, requires a common cloud-native development environment that covers edge-to-cloud deployment options.

Openness: Open systems and open standards foster innovation, bring needed services to market faster, and benefit the entire ecosystem of end users, telecom operators, and vendors. The decoupling of network architecture (RAN) is mainly promoted by telecom operators, because open interfaces defined by industry organizations such as the O-RAN Alliance are gradually being welcomed by telecom operators and manufacturers.

Interoperability: Use the RAN white box test of the general computing platform, and obtain the assistance of software manufacturers, original design manufacturers (ODMs) and system integrators for hardware acceleration.

The O-RAN Alliance was established during MWC Shanghai in June 2018, and was jointly established by 12 operators including China Mobile, China Telecom, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Japan’s NTT DOCOMO, Orange, South Korea’s SKT and KT.