BARCELONA, Spain — Intel kicked off MWC 2019 announcing a high-profile customer — Ericsson — and new products for 5G and edge computing.
Ericsson will use Intel’s 10-nanometer (nm) system-on-chip (SoC) wireless access product, code-named Snow Ridge, for its 5G base station product lines.
Intel unveiled Snow Ridge, which is aimed for initial market introduction by the end of 2019, last month. The new chips target data center servers and 5G wireless access base stations. Today, the company said Ericsson is using Snow Ridge as a component along with its custom silicon to deliver RAN compute products.
Snow Ridge is “specifically designed for wireless access and networking workloads,” said Sandra Rivera, Intel senior vice president and general manager of its Network Platforms Group. The product’s new capabilities “focus on high-performance control plane processing and packet processing in a small footprint and a power-constrained envelope that allows us to reach into these platforms and applications that historically we have not participated in.”
ZTE is also using Snow Ridge in its 5G solutions, Rivera said.
Intel 5G, Edge Products
The chip giant also today announced its new FPGA Programmable Acceleration Card N3000 (FPGA PAC N3000) for telecommunications service providers’ 5G use cases. This new platform enables high-throughput, low-latency, and high-bandwidth applications. Telcos can use it to accelerate virtualized workloads, including 5G radio access networks (RANs) and core network applications.
For example, Affirmed Networks, using Intel’s new FPGA PAC, developed a 200 Gb/s server for 5G core network (CN)/evolved packet core (EPC). It uses FPGAs for smart load balancing, and CPU cache optimizations enhance software performance.
Additionally, Japan’s Rakuten is including Intel x86 processors and FPGA-based PAC in its new cloud-native mobile network. Intel FPGA PAC N3000 is the distributed unit accelerator next to Intel Xeon Scalable processor where Layer-1 functions, such as forward error correction and front haul transmission, are offloaded onto an Intel FPGA. The Intel FPGA accelerates processing efficiency.
Intel also today previewed its upcoming next-generation of Xeon Scalable processor, code named Hewitt Lake. Hewitt Lake is a highly integrated SoC designed for edge computing as well as security and storage applications in locations that typically face both power and space constraints. “This allows us to get to the edge of the network where you have a need for high-performance computing and you want to have headroom for different applications,” Rivera said. “[Customers] may lead with a security or storage workload but then want to be able to host multiple applications.”
And finally the chip giant rolled out the Open Network Edge Services Software (OpenNESS) toolkit, an open source reference software that Intel says will help cloud and IoT developers work with 5G and edge hardware and software vendors on new edge applications and services. It aims to simplify network complexity for developers and enables secure on-boarding of edge services.
Photo: Sandra Rivera (center), Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group, tours Intel’s booth at MWC. Credit: Intel Corporation