An ASIC-based radio platform for O-RAN compliant 5G radio units that is designed to shorten time to market and meet the evolving needs of 5G networks as been announced by Analog Devices (ADI). The O-RAN ecosystem uses open standards to disaggregate the traditional network and allow greater flexibility and additional features across carrier networks.
The radio platform includes all the core functionality needed in an O-RAN compliant 5G radio unit, including a baseband ASIC, software defined transceivers, signal processing, and power. This advanced radio platform is designed to enable significant performance and form factor improvements to address the critical power consumption and cost challenges of next-generation networks while reducing customers’ design cycles.
“O-RAN looks to disrupt the traditional market by rethinking the network structure with open standards that will require new and innovative radio solutions,” said Joe Barry, Vice President of Wireless Communications at Analog Devices. “ADI’s new O-RAN compliant platform marks a major step forward for the ecosystem by providing a performance optimised radio platform for 5G applications.”
O-RAN is reducing barriers to entry and offering new opportunities for current and emerging wireless suppliers. ADI is engaging directly with ecosystem participants to optimise total system efficiency, ensure interoperability, and further industry capabilities.
“Bringing an ASIC low PHY baseband to market is a big step forward for Open RAN. Now, there is a clear path for OEMs to build competitive systems for macro and small cell,” said Andy Dunkin, Open RAN RF and Digital Platform Development Manager at Vodafone Group. “It is initiatives like this that help build a healthy ecosystem.
”The Analog Devices platform allows radio designers and manufacturers to optimise total system performance for macro and small cell systems. The reference design will enable designers to create O-RAN compliant radios with the use of ADI’s next-generation transceiver featuring advanced digital front-end signal processing (DFE), digital pre-distortion with GaN PA support, crest factor reduction, channel digital up converters and channel digital down converters. The reference design also empowers designers with a low-PHY baseband ASIC that delivers a 7.2x compliant solution for LTE, 5G and NBIoT, including IEEE1588 Precision Time Protocol and an eCPRI interface, as well as complete clock and power chain systems.
According to Steve Papa, CEO of Parallel Wireless, ADI is "reducing barriers to entry in the O-RAN ecosystem by providing an entirely new level of support for an array of wireless vendors. It is solutions like this that will accelerate the standardisation of Option 7.2 functional split for easier interoperability integration.”