Eliminates need for cell site routers, saving physical space, power, and CPU cores
Ethernity Networks (AIM: ENET.L), a leading supplier of data processing offload solutions on programmable hardware for accelerating telco/cloud networks, today announced it has developed a solution that both aggregates 5G traffic and provides virtual routing directly within the 5G Distributed Unit (DU). The solution is based on the company’s existing ACE-NIC100 FPGA SmartNIC, which offers Ethernity’s exclusive Router-on-FPGA-NIC feature.
With many mobile operators planning to employ disaggregated CPU-intensive Network Function Virtualization (NFV) software to handle the primary DU functions, the vast majority of the server’s CPU cores will be occupied, leaving no capacity for a virtual router. The addition of an external cell site router (CSR) to the data path increases both capital and operating expenses. Ethernity’s solution eliminates the need for a CSR by integrating the virtual routing software with the FPGA SmartNIC within the DU server.
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Furthermore, using its six 10G/25G eCPRI ports, a single ACE-NIC100 can aggregate up to 150Gbps of data burst arriving from the 5G Radio Units (RU) toward the DU functions running on the server. The integrated router function then enables connectivity toward the rest of the cloud Radio Access Network (RAN). The ACE-NIC supports all mandatory clock synchronization options for DU (such as Sync-E and IEEE1588) to accurately insert time stamps recovered from the network as backup to the GPS signal. In addition, the ACE-NIC100 offers built-in hardware-based traffic management features, including packet classification, deep buffering with HQoS, and OAM, on top of the router data plane functions like L2/L3 VPN , MPLS, and segment routing.
The ACE-NIC100 offers Ethernity’s fully integrated Router-on-FPGA-NIC software capabilities or, alternatively, can integrate and fully offload any 3rd-party vRouter software using standard DPDK APIs.
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“By utilizing our vast experience and field-proven router data plane on FPGA with our unique Router-on-FPGA-NIC offering, Ethernity is in a strong leading position to assist and optimize the building of 5G networks,” said Oded Bergman, VP of Products and Business Development at Ethernity Networks. “Ethernity’s ACE-NIC100 enables software DU solutions to make optimal use of our FPGA SmartNIC capabilities, providing an innovative, cost-effective, high-speed solution that overcomes these challenges and, in the process, supports the trend toward true hardware disaggregation of the 5G infrastructure.”
The Ethernity vRouter solution is available today for 3rd-party vRouter software integration and will be available in Q1 2021 for field trials with Ethernity’s own vRouter software.