Data conversion and signal processing chipmaker Analog Devices Inc. said today it’s teaming up with Intel Corp. to create a new 5G wireless network design that’s based on the emerging OpenRAN standard.
The goal is to develop a flexible radio platform that can help carriers to scale up their 5G infrastructure deployments, the companies said.
ADI said it will combine its software-defined radio frequency transceivers with Intel’s Arria 10 field-programmable gate arrays, which are special chips that can be reprogrammed on the fly for specific workloads. Doing so will give network developers the design tools they need to develop 5G base stations along with the necessary power amplifiers and integrated antennas they need to scale.
The new platform will include ADI’s digital front-end transceiver capability as well as Intel’s chip technology.
The companies said their new 5G design tools comply with an emerging 5G standard called OpenRAN, for open radio access networks.
The OpenRAN approach is an alternative to proprietary 5G networking gear sold by companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. The standard relies on software to connect with a variety of so-called “white box” network hardware, and is said to be cheaper to implement than the complete 5G network packages sold by Huawei and its telecommunications equipment rivals Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson and Nokia Corp.
OpenRAN also provides another option for carriers setting up 5G networks in countries that have banned China’s Huawei from participating due to security fears, such as the U.S.
ADI said the new radio platform also incorporates its digital front-end, application-specific integrated circuits, which are special chips that have been customized for a particular workload. The end result will be a flexible 5G architecture that enables designers to customize aspects such as frequency, band and power to achieve a higher network performance at lower costs, it added.
“This new radio platform reduces the overall cost of design and quickens our customers’ time to market without sacrificing system-level performance,” said ADI Vice President of Wireless Communications Joe Barry.
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