Wind River develops reference system based on Intel FlexRAN for 5G vRAN

Wind River and Intel are jointly developing a 5G virtual radio access network (vRAN) which integrates the Intel FlexRAN reference software for systems using third generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors with built-in AI acceleration. Also included are Intel Ethernet 800 network adapters and the Intel vRAN dedicated accelerator ACC100 with Wind River Studio.

The collaboration will optimise new capabilities using the future next generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Sapphire Rapids).

Wind River Studio provides a cloud-native platform for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of mission-critical intelligent systems. Its cloud infrastructure capabilities include a fully cloud-native, Kubernetes container-based architecture based on the StarlingX open source project for the deployment and management of distributed edge networks at scale. Studio is characterised by low latency and a small footprint infrastructure to allow the flexibility to grow new business and further improve total cost of ownership, explained Wind River. Intel FlexRAN is a vRAN reference implementation for virtualised cloud-enabled radio access networks.

Operators are pursuing vRAN for greater agility following the shift to cloud-native approaches, driven by 5G. There is the potential for vRAN to act as an anchor tenant for far-edge cloud but challenges include system integration, operational complexity for multi-vendor vRAN and edge cloud server performance.

Using the reference design, prospective customers and vRAN solution providers will be able to review evaluation packages consisting of Intel FlexRAN reference software pre-integrated with Wind River Studio to simplify and accelerate customer trials and deployments of 5G vRAN.

“As 5G opens up new opportunities across industries, there will be an increasing need to put greater intelligence and compute to the edges of the network, where new use cases evolve and thrive. As such, operators must adopt a low-latency far-edge cloud architecture to enable these new use cases in an intelligent, AI-first world,” said Kevin Dallas, president and CEO at Wind River.

“As operators realise the benefits and embrace a virtualised, software-defined architecture, our products, ecosystem, and years of experience help accelerate this shift to flexible, agile networks,” said Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager, Network Platforms Group.

Wind River delivers software for intelligent systems. Its technology has been powering the safest, most secure devices in the world since 1981. Wind River offers a comprehensive portfolio, supported by world-class global professional services and support and a broad partner ecosystem. The company says its software and expertise are accelerating digital transformation of mission-critical intelligent systems that will increasingly demand greater compute and AI capabilities while delivering the highest levels of security, safety, and reliability.

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