5G NR gNodeB deployments starting as early as mid CY2019 are expected to bring significant improvements in network capacity, efficiency, and cost. Instantiating gNodeB and NGCore network functions in Telco Cloud, centralized and at the network edge, next generation fronthaul enabling much needed gNodeB functional partitioning for network scale, and massive MIMO radios are the three key focus areas as part of the 5G NR rollout. Large number of challenges abound in successfully translating 5G NR specifications to economically viable system realization and deployment while meeting 3gpp 5G NR goal of “future proof and forward compatible”. Xilinx session on “Enabling 5G NR Deployments” talk about these three main facets of 5G NR uncovering strategies to overcome these challenges while sharing some of the experiences learnt working with the supply chain (operators, system vendors, semiconductor & software providers) in building 5G Proof of Concepts and trial testbeds
5G NR acceleration in Telco Cloud
This presentation talks about eNodeB and gNodeB L2-L3 protocol acceleration on FPGA for instantiating high performance and compute efficient wireless equipment in Telco Cloud. Key topics covered are role of FPGA based acceleration in virtualized networks and Xilinx FPGAs in reconfigurable acceleration for higher performance at lower cost (3-5x cost savings) in context of PDCP acceleration implementation as a case study.
5G Transport Network and Packet Based Fronthaul
The transport network in 5G is undergoing radical changes as well. The functional partition of the base-station leading to the Telco Cloud with the PDCP aggregation is creating a new link called the F1 or “midhaul” with a different set of latency constraints. Also, the time division multiplexed fronthaul based on CPRI is moving to a packet based fronthaul based on Ethernet technologies. This presentation discusses the advantages and the problems posed by these changes as well as the functional partitions and the various deployment scenarios. Also discussed are the many ways in which Xilinx devices, in particular Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC address the requirements of the 5G NR basestations and the 5G transport network.
Implementing 5G NR Massive MIMO Radio
Massive MIMO is the keystone technology in 5G NR for realizing desired capacity improvements by leveraging underutilized spectrum below 6GHz and above 6 GHz. Higher footprint, power and cost due to multifold increase in system complexity in implementing massive MIMO radios is a major hurdle. This presentation talks about how Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoCs technology solves these challenges by monolithically integrating direct RF data converters with FPGA logic and a multi-core, multi-processing Arm® subsystem. Key topics covered are challenges with implementing beamforming systems, 5G NR beamforming enhancements compared to 4G LTE standard and 5G NR Massive MIMO Radio implementation on Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC showcasing digital front end performance results.