By Mike Robuck
Verizon to boost vRAN performance with new Intel chip
Intel unleashed its fourth generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors with its vRAN Boost chip at MWC23 Barcelona, developed in partnership with US operator Verizon.
Adam Koeppe, SVP of Technology Planning at Verizon, told Mobile World Daily it had worked hand-in-hand with Intel on the chip, and it was “extremely important to our overall deployment schedule”.
“We've actually contributed a lot of knowledge to the process based on how we're deploying our 5G radio access network,” he added.
The vendor’s vRAN Boost chip integrates Layer 1 acceleration into the Xeon system-on-a-chip (SoC), eliminating the need for separate accelerator cards. It also allows operators to consolidate all base station layers on a common virtualised platform.
Sachin Katti, SVP, GM Network and Edge Group at Intel stated the vRAN Boost enables operators to run the entire infrastructure all the way up to Layer 1 in a software-defined cloud-native manner.
Fully integrated vRAN acceleration results in approximately 20 per cent additional compute power savings compared to previous generations, stated Intel.
Verizon has deployed more than 9,000 virtualised RAN (vRAN) sites to date using Samsung radios powered by Intel. The operator has a stated goal of reaching 20,000 vRAN sites by 2025.
Telefonica and Vodafone Group also plan to use the new chip but were a bit behind Verizon in launching vRAN, added Katti.