Intel Introduces Sapphire Rapids Processors with Integrated vRAN Boost in Xeon EE for 5G

Intel Introduces Sapphire Rapids Processors with Integrated vRAN Boost in Xeon EE for 5G ...

Intel promised at MWC 2023 a specialized tool to speed up the adoption of 5G and 4G, which enables the deployment of virtualized radio access networks (vRAN) – Xeon Sapphire Rapids processors with an integrated vRAN Boost accelerator

Because of advanced telemetry collection and individual core state management ( switching to sleep and back), telecom providers may consolidate existing 4G / 5G networks, increasing the capacity of vRAN (vs. Ice Lake-SP), and increasing the energy efficiency of real-time L1 traffic processing.

The company will offer customers two Xeon EE (Enhanced Edge) series with up to 20 cores or up to 36 cores. and eight memory channels, DDR5-4000 and DDR5-4400, respectively. FPGA Agilex 7, eASIC N5X, and network controllers E810 (Columbiaville)

Xeon EE supports AVX extensions (specifically AVX512-FP16) for signal processing and vRAN Boost hardware acceleration blocks for forward error correction (FEC, Forward Error Correction) and Discrete Fourier Transformation (DFT, Discrete Fourier Transformation), which reduces power consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional Sapphire Rapids, as well as earlier CPUs such as the ACC100. Drivers are compatible with the O-RAN ALLIANCE Accelerator Abstraction

Intel continues to push the idea of replacing dedicated 4G/5G equipment with as standard servers as possible, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and increasing the functionality, flexibility, and scalability of next-generation networks through the transition to software-defined solutions.

Intel has partnered with SK Telecom to develop the Intel Infrastructure Power Manager reference software platform for the core 5G network, which can significantly reduce (up to 30%) the actual power consumption of processors at a speed of 1 Tbps, using a two-socket server with Sapphire Rapids, which appears to be still equipped with accelerators.

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