Biot, 23 February 2022 – The OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) today announced an end-to-end, Over-the-Air (OTA) demonstration of OpenAirInterface, an open source 5G stack with lookaside acceleration for the LDPC decoder. The setup leverages the Xilinx T1 Telco accelerator card which provides the high performance, low latency, and power efficiency needed for 5G O-DU deployments. The demo is being exhibited at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona from 28th Feb. to 3rd Mar. 2022 at the AMD, Inc. Booth 2M61 in Hall 2.

OpenAirInterface (OAI) is open source software that runs the 5G radio stack on general purpose CPUs. While open source is a key enabler for fully virtualized vRAN architectures, the OSA believes that hardware acceleration is also an essential technology towards this end. As Gbps data rates are pushed over the air in 5G, a general purpose CPU can no longer handle the computationally intensive tasks like LDPC decoding. That is where the T1 Telco accelerator card with hardened LDPC technology steps in to absorb the increased complexity through accelerated computation kernels.

The setup for this ground-breaking demo includes a Xilinx T1 Telco PCI card that resides in a R7525 DELL server with AMD EPYC™ 7282 processors inside. The OAI 5G core network and gNB stack both run on the AMD CPUs. The setup also uses a National Instruments USRP N310 SDR card that connects OTA to two commercial UEs from Quectel that stream data between each other. The two UE devices reside in a Faraday cage to avoid interfering with live radio networks at the MWC site.

In this demo, the 5G signal stream received OTA at the OAI gNB is passed over to the T1 Telco card which houses a set of ASIC cell LDPC encoders/decoders. The T1 Telco card in turn processes the samples to decode the data and the decoded results are sent back to the OAI stack for further steps in L1 processing. With everything running seamlessly, the demo shows 30Mbps uplink data speeds in a 60MHz bandwidth TDD configuration. A 100MHz version is also being shown.