Nokia’s new routing silicon improves IP network security and energy efficiency

Nokia today announced the launch of FP5, its fifth generation of high-performance IP routing silicon. As the new heart of Nokia’s IP service routing platforms, FP5 will enable service providers to address today’s unrelenting requirements to efficiently scale network capacity, enable new higher speed IP services, and provide unmatched protection against escalating network security threats. Building upon four generations of industry-leading network processors, Nokia is raising the bar by adding support for high density 800GE routing interfaces, a 75% reduction in power consumption and new embedded line rate, flow-based encryption capabilities.  Nokia FP5-based platforms will be available starting in the first half of 2022.

When Nokia unveiled the FP4 platform four years ago it did so amid great fanfare, positioning its in-house silicon as a major advantage over its rivals. In the intervening time Nokia has made some major strategic miscalculations on its proprietary chips, especially for 5G, so this latest launch has been much more muted.  However, the FP5’s decrease in power consumption is impressive.

According to an interview in Light Reading, the power consumption reduction is partly a product of more a advanced semiconductor manufacturing process and partly incorporating more stuff on a single piece of silicon, thus reducing the need for interconnects. BT has long been a fan of Nokia routing silicon and is in at the start of this latest effort.

  • Nokia FP5 network processing silicon delivers a generational leap in IP network capacity and power efficiency while introducing new capabilities for protecting network traffic from security threats
  • FP5 is the industry’s first high performance routing silicon delivering integrated line rate encryption for L2, L2.5 and L3 network services at speeds up to 1.6Tbps
  • Nokia’s fully programmable network processor is the first to bring 800GE routing interfaces for service provider applications to market while retaining the agility to adapt to new applications
  • FP5 sets a new benchmark for sustainability in IP routing with a 75% reduction in power consumption over previous generations

As cloud architectures, 5G and Industry 4.0 continue to drive network transformation, service providers require mission critical IP networks to be increasingly secure, agile and sustainable. IP networks must provide guaranteed high performance and integrity in the face of growing threats from network-level attacks and security breaches. They must also be able to adapt to address unforeseen changes and to support service evolution over the lifespan of the network. In addition, IP networking equipment must become increasingly power efficient to minimize impact on the environment.

With the introduction of Nokia’s fifth generation FP5 network processing silicon, Nokia says it brings a new suite of IP routing solutions to market to help service providers transform mission critical IP networks to address these new and evolving requirements.

Nokia has long been at the forefront of providing an embedded approach to IP network security. With FP4, the company transformed volumetric DDoS defense with router-based detection and mitigation. FP5 brings an additional layer of network protection with the introduction of ‘ANYsec’ – a new line rate, flow-based encryption capability integrated directly into the chipset. ANYsec supports the delivery of secure IP services including MPLS and segment routing, on-demand and at scale without impacting performance or power efficiency. Service providers can now ensure the integrity and confidentiality of all data flowing through their networks.

With FP5, Nokia brings a generational leap in router network capacity to market. Nokia service router platforms are the first to support high-density 800GE and 1.6 Tb/s clear channel routing interfaces for applications including mobile transport, IP core, peering, BNG and provider edge. New FP5-based line cards will support 14.4 Tb/s (19.2 Tb/s with Nokia’s intelligent aggregation capability.) A new series of fixed form factor 7750 Service Router-1 platforms enable the benefits of FP5 to also be realized in smaller network locations.

Nokia’s FP5 network processors drive down power consumption per bit by 75%. As FP5 is backwards compatible with FP4 and fully integrated into the latest versions of Nokia’s Service Router Operating System (SR OS), all existing features are supported from day one on the new hardware. Through this aligned hardware and software evolution strategy, Nokia delivers unmatched and sustainable investment protection to its customers.

As a fully programmable network processor, FP5 enables the agility required to evolve the network as standards and applications change. Its deterministic performance combined with rich telemetry insight ensure network operators can drive a maintainable and serviceable IP network both today and into the future.

Neil McRae, Managing Director and Chief Architect, BT, said: “BT has a long-standing relationship with Nokia, and we are pleased to see that with FP5, Nokia continues to innovate to ensure IP networks have the scale, flexibility and features to help us stay ahead of escalating demand from our residential, mobile and business customers. In particular, we are very happy to see the focus on power optimization as we grow our network, with both BT and Nokia committing to significant reduction in carbon footprint. In the past 18 months, our lives have been turned upside down, and our reliance on networks has been dramatically increased and reliability for customers is crucially important. With security being ever more important for our customers, seeing Nokia’s approach to building more security features into the platform is fantastic.”

Hiroyuki Oto, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Core Network Development Department, NTT DOCOMO, INC.said: “Our network needs to continue to evolve to meet the demands from our consumers, communities, and businesses. With Nokia’s latest generation of silicon innovation and their careful attention to ensuring investment protection with the flexibility to adapt to new requirements, we believe Nokia is delivering the right foundation to ensure IP networks can efficiently scale and transform to stay ahead of ever shifting market demands.”

Christian Gacon, Vice President, Broadband Networks, Orange Francesaid: “We have had a long relationship with Nokia from the very first silicon processor release. As our network continues to evolve to meet the demands of our customers, innovations such as Nokia’s FP5 silicon will enable us to balance capacity, maintainability and security to deliver the best customer experience. Introducing this exciting innovation into existing platforms will ensure that we can gracefully evolve our networks as we look to manage both planned and unexpected demands in a sustainable way.”

Ray MotaCEO and Principal Analyst, ACG Research, said: “Nokia does it again and shows its understanding and commitment to service providers, which has been key in its #1 momentum gain in the overall $12 billion service provider market. With the introduction of its fifth generation FP5 routing silicon, we believe Nokia is well-positioned to continue as a vendor of choice for service providers seeking to evolve their IP networks to become more agile, efficient, and secure all the while providing investment protection.”

Federico Guillén, President of Network Infrastructure, Nokia, said: “Of all the things that are surprising about human beings, perhaps the most surprising is our ability to be surprised. Our customers require their networks to be robust, agile and adaptable enough to handle everything life throws at them – from disruptive security threats to a global pandemic. FP5 is a significant step forward in performance, security and efficiency and – in combination with our software excellence and investment in network automation and tools – it opens the next chapter in Nokia’s long-standing leadership in IP networking and IP silicon innovation.”

“This is the industry’s most advanced network-processing silicon for service provider IP networks,” Heidi Adams, VP of IP and optical network marketing at Nokia, said in a phone interview.

Resources:

References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2021/09/21/nokia-launches-fifth-generation-routing-silicon-sets-new-benchmarks-for-ip-network-security-and-energy-efficiency/

 

EdgeQ Samples World’s 1st Software-Defined 5G Base Station-on-a-Chip

EdgeQ Inc, a leader in 5G wireless infrastructure, today announced sampling of its revolutionary 5G Base Station-on-a-Chip to Tier 1 customers deploying next-generation wireless edge networks for the enterprise, telco and cloud markets. EdgeQ is sampling the full suite solution to customers developing enterprise-grade 5G access points, Open-Radio Access Network (O-RAN) based Radio Unit (RU) and Distributed Unit (DU).

Successful deployment of Radio Access Networks (RAN) requires the availability and access to production-ready Physical Layer (PHY) hardware and software that governs all the essential protocols and features of 4G/5G.  Traditional merchant silicon vendors offer the PHY as a reference software, placing the development burden on customers to invest years of effort to operationalize into production. By abstracting this friction with a total platform solution including a production-readied 5G PHY software, EdgeQ says that frees customers from the substantial investments, resources and time typically associated with productizing the 4G/5G PHY layer.

“Traditional market approaches offer baseband processing hardware and PHY software as separate topics, where the burden of proof rests on customers to fully productize and enable. EdgeQ has the ability and completeness to accelerate the market with a production-grade RAN stack that is also customizable and programmable,” said Chris DePuy, Technology Analyst at 650 Group. “The linchpin to lowering the 5G entry barrier is enabling operators and organizations with a total turnkey solution that is at the same time agile, flexible, and complete.”

Three years in the making, EdgeQ has been collaborating with market-leading wireless infrastructure customers to architect a highly optimized 5G baseband, networking, compute and AI inference system-on-a-chip. By coupling a highly integrated silicon with a production-ready 5G PHY software, EdgeQ uniquely enables a frictionless operating model where customers can deploy all key functionalities and critical algorithms of the radio access network such as beamforming, channel estimation, massive MIMO and interference cancellation out of the box.

For customers looking to engineer value-adds into their 5G RAN designs, the EdgeQ PHY layer is completely programmable and extensible. Customers can leverage an extendable nFAPI interface to add their custom extensions for 5G services to target the broad variety of 5G applications spanning Industry 4.0 to campus networks and fixed wireless to telco-grade macro cells. As an industry first, the EdgeQ 5G platform holistically addresses the pain point of deploying 5G PHY and MAC software layers, but with an open framework that enables a rich ecosystem of L2/L3 software partners.

“Since day one, EdgeQ has been relentless about redefining the consumption and deployment model of 5G with its RISC-V based open architecture that converges connectivity, networking, and compute. How we elegantly club the hardware, the deployable RAN software, and an innovative chipset-as-a-service business model all together is what crystallizes the vision in a disruptively compelling way,” said Vinay Ravuri, CEO and Founder, EdgeQ. “Our sampling announcement today signifies that all this is a market reality.”

About EdgeQ

EdgeQ is a leading innovator in 5G systems-on-a-chip. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, with offices in San Diego, CA and Bangalore, India. Led by executives from Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom, EdgeQ is pioneering a converged connectivity and AI that is fully software-customizable and programmable. The company is backed by leading investors, including Threshold Ventures, Fusion Fund and AME Cloud Ventures, among others.

To learn more about EdgeQ, visit www.edgeq.io.

References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210818005062/en/EdgeQ-Samples-World%E2%80%99s-First-Software-Defined-5G-Base-Station-on-a-Chip-to-Market-Leaders-in-Enterprise-Telco-and-Hyperscale-Cloud

Qualcomm unveils 5G and AI-Enabled Drone Platform

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is showing off what is says is the world’s first drone platform and reference design to offer both 5G and AI-capabilities, the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform.

The company says the drone reference design helps accelerate development for commercial, enterprise, and industrial drones, and unleashes innovative possibilities for industries looking to adopt drone solutions and realize the benefits of the intelligent edge.   5G connectivity — including mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands — and WiFi 6. The chip-maker says the networking tech can help support drone-to-drone communications and drone swarms. Both use cases are being explored across industries, from delivering and transporting goods to aerial light displays to military warfare.

The drone model below is includes an embedded Qualcomm® QRB5165 processor and a Qualcomm Spectra 480 Image Signal Processor that can capture 200 megapixel photos and 8K video at 30 FPS. In addition, the drone can record in 4K at 120 FPS with support for HDR.

Image Credit: Qualcomm

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The company says that the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform brings cutting-edge capabilities to the drone industry by condensing multiple complex technologies into one tightly integrated drone system to support evolving applications and new use cases in sectors including film and entertainment, security and emergency response, delivery, defense, inspection, and mapping.

At its core, the Flight RB5 5G platform uses the QRB5165 processor and Kryo 585 CPU and Adreno 650 GPU, based on the Snapdragon 865 CPU. The AI enhancements come by way of the Hexagon Tensor Accelerator in the Hexagon 698 DSP. Third-parties that use the platform will also get access to a trio of software development kits for neural processing, computer vision and multimedia applications.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform’s high-performance and heterogeneous computing at ultra-low power consumption provides power efficient inferencing at the edge for AI and Machine Learning (ML) enabling fully autonomous drones.  Breakthrough camera capabilities deliver premium image capabilities and performance. With 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, this platform enhances critical flying abilities beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) to support safer, more reliable flight. In addition, safety controls alone can no longer assure industrial and commercial drone safety, especially when scaling to Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations. The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform is equipped with a Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit to support modern drone demands for cybersecurity protections as a key enabler of data-protection and safety requirements.

Qualcomm Technologies is working with Verizon to complete network testing of the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform for the Verizon 5G network, and expects the platform, which is 5G mmWave capable, will be offered via the Verizon Thingspace Marketplace.

The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G drone reference design is available for pre-sale now through ModalAI. The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G development kit is expected to be available in Q4 of 2021. For more information on the platform, including technical features, please visit the product details page here.

Backgrounder:

Qualcomm first got involved in drones in 2015, then ventured into robotics in 2019. Last year it combined the two technologies in its RB5 platform. Chad Sweet’s ModalAI, which in 2018 spun out of Qualcomm, will manufacture and distribute the drone platform, and says the first development kits will ship in the last three months of this year.

Qualcomm, which already commands a huge lead in the 4G/5G smartphone industry, is hoping its Snapdragon chipsets can be the silicon that pushes 5G into a wider range of other devices.  The company has made a series of drone platforms since its first, Qualcomm Flight, in 2018.

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Global carriers and IoT ecosystem leaders showcase validation and support for Qualcomm Technologies latest drone solution:   

Asia Pacific Telecom

“As the leader in innovative telecom services in Taiwan, Asia Pacific Telecom Co., Ltd (APT) is excited to work with one of our most important strategic collaborators, Qualcomm Technologies on the support of 5G and AI-enabled drones. APT provides 5G and application integration services to advance the performance of robots and drones in different perspectives. We truly believe that 5G capabilities built into the platform will enable new autonomous drone experiences,” said Mr. Shang-Chen Kao, chief technology officer, network and technology center, Asia Pacific Telecom.

AT&T

“Many of the anticipated benefits of drones will be further accelerated and strengthened with 5G, including delivery, inspections, and search and rescue, which will require a highly secure and reliable connection. We are excited to see Qualcomm Technologies continue to innovate with their latest announcement on a platform for 5G drones,” said Kevin Hetrick, vice-president, access construction and engineering, AT&T.

China Unicom  

“The 5G-enabled digital era has brought wider boundaries for every industry and China Unicom is committed to pushing the boundaries of the traditional communications ecosystem and working together with the industrial chain to realize mutual complementarity. As one of our important collaborators, Qualcomm Technologies has been working with China Unicom to drive integration of 5G and IoT into vertical use cases and provide products such as 5G modules and 5G industrial gateways for automation and robotics use cases, with focused areas including industrial equipment, iron and steel manufacturing, transportation and port, mining and energy, and healthcare,” said Li Kai, chief product officer, IoT division, China Unicom Digital Technology Company Limited. “We believe the announcement of the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform will benefit more use cases. China Unicom is looking forward to deepening collaborations with Qualcomm Technologies in IoT and jointly creating a new blueprint for 5G in the future.”

Everguard.ai

“Use of drones to capture imagery for construction site topographic mapping, construction progress tracking, security surveillance and equipment tracking in combination with IoT sensors that are deployed on construction sites are revolutionizing how construction projects are delivered! 5G enabled data from drones can be leveraged to unleash the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms yielding massive improvements in the safety, efficiency and productivity of construction projects,” said Sandeep Pandya, chief executive officer, Everguard.ai.

FlightOps

“By working with Qualcomm Technologies, we have seamlessly installed  the FlightOps onboard software on the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, allowing for unparalleled performance, compute power, low energy footprint, high quality video processing and high speed 5G connectivity to achieve high levels of autonomy and mission scalability,” said Shay Levy, chief executive officer, FlightOps.

Juganu

“Qualcomm Technologies has been a leader of breakthrough technologies for years and their announcement of the world’s first 5G, AI-enabled drone platform – the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform – is the latest example of their continued innovation. We at Juganu are excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies as they continue to push the boundaries of technology and look forward to using these technologies to innovate across our own smart technology quickly, safely and securely,” said chief strategy officer, Eran Efrati, Juganu.

KT Corporation

“KT is excited to see Qualcomm Technologies bringing cutting-edge 5G drone technology based on the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform. We’re leveraging our deep expertise in translating diverse services and use cases into reality across vertical industries,” said Byungkyun Kim, head of device business unit, KT. “We expect Qualcomm Technologies will expand the 5G–based drone industry and pave a way to the development of the drones based on the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform.”

LG Uplus

“Qualcomm Technologies’ launch of the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform has great significance to the drone ecosystem as the integration of drones with 5G communication and AI technology can maximize drone usability and convenience,” said Youngseo Jeon, B2B service development director, LG Uplus. “We are expecting U+ smart drone service which contains telecommunication, control, and video will combine with the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform and play a key role across diverse drone industry fields.”

MITRE

“The reliability, availability, and low latency of 5G enable previously unavailable command and control of UAS, solving critical UAS safety considerations and enabling operation beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). With this connectivity and the added benefit of moving intelligence to the edge, we are now beginning to realize real solutions with significant impact on business and our everyday lives,” said Rakesh Kushwaha, managing director, MITRE Engenuity Open Generation. “The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform brings advanced intelligence to autonomous decisions, enabling detect and avoid (DAA) even beyond network connectivity. It is a game changer. We are looking forward to having Qualcomm Technologies participate in the MITRE Engenuity Open Generation.”

ModalAI

“ModalAI accelerates autonomy by providing innovators with robot and drone perception and communications systems. Since our founding, we have committed to enabling aerial and ground robot manufacturers with capabilities that can excel a broad set of industries. We are thrilled to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to bring the first purpose-built 5G drone that opens cutting-edge computing to a broad set of integrators who can build their applications that take advantage of the coming aerial 5G wave,” said Chad Sweet, chief executive officer, co-founder, ModalAI.

Taiwan Mobile

“We are glad to see Qualcomm Technologies innovate on the 5G drone application continuously, including enterprise-related solutions. Taiwan Mobile offers “real 5G” services with safer and faster advantages to support creative development, and get together with Open Possible,” said Mr. C. H. Wu, vice president, chief enterprise business officer, Taiwan Mobile.

TDK

“TDK is extremely excited to join with Qualcomm Technologies on such a state-of-the-art drone platform,” said Peter Hartwell, chief technology officer, InvenSense, a TDK Group Company.  “TDK has a multi-technology focus on Robotics across a robust product portfolio – much of which can be found on the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform and TDK Mezzanine platforms.  Our decision to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to utilize breakthrough sensor technology alongside the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, which I believe to be most innovative drone reference design in the world.”

Veea

“Many of the anticipated benefits of drones will be further accelerated and strengthened with 5G, including monitoring critical infrastructure, crowd management, and emergency response which includes detection, containment and extinguishing of wildfires, reporting on crop health, monitoring of livestock and irrigation systems at large acreage farms, and much more. The large majority of these use cases require a highly secure and reliable connection that can be more readily supported with 5G connections. We are excited to see Qualcomm Technologies continuing to push the boundaries of innovation with their latest announcement on the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform and we at Veea are looking forward to using these technologies to innovate across our deployments of hybrid edge-cloud solutions such as at large farms, wildlife parks, stadiums, smart cities, large construction sites and similar projects,” said Allen Salmasi, chief executive officer, Veea.

Verizon Skyward

“The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform provides a robust hardware platform that can be certified for the Verizon 5G network, offering the ecosystem of drone developers a simple path to get connected. That means drones built with the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform can leverage the massive capacity of Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband to navigate the National Airspace System in safer and more productive ways than ever before,” said Eric T. Ringer, co-founder, chief of staff, Skyward, a Verizon company.

Zyter

“Many of the anticipated benefits of drones will be further accelerated and strengthened with 5G, which provides a high bandwidth connection that is secure and reliable,” said Sanjay Govil, founder and chief executive officer, Zyter, Inc. “We are excited to begin leveraging and integrating the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform for 5G drones into our own SmartSpaces™ IoT solutions for smart campuses and cities, smart construction, and other applications.”

About Qualcomm (from the company):

Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes the company’s intellectual property licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of their patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including the QCT semiconductor business.

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References:

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2021/08/17/qualcomm-unleashes-new-era-autonomous-drone-capabilities-worlds-first-5g

https://www.engadget.com/qualcomm-5g-drone-120012805.html

https://www.lightreading.com/aiautomation/qualcomm-unleashes-first-5g-ai-drone-on-world/d/d-id/771573?

Mediatek Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture to power new 5G smartphones

Taiwan based Mediatek has announced the Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture that provides brands with more flexibility to customize key 5G mobile device features to address different market segments.  The open resource architecture gives smartphone brands closer-to-metal access to customize features for cameras, displays, graphics, artificial intelligence (AI) processing units (APUs), sensors and connectivity subsystems within the Dimensity 1200 chipset.   Devices powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture customized chipsets will hit the global market this month (July 2021).

Mediatek is one of only two semiconductor companies (Qualcomm is the other) that have developed and are selling 5G silicon on the merchant market (Huawei, Samsung and soon Apple will have 5G silicon for internal product use).   The company’s 5G chip sets are intended for 5G endpoint devices (like smartphones), rather than for base stations or small cells (where the equipment vendor designs their own ASICs).

“MediaTek is collaborating with the world’s largest smartphone brands to unlock customized consumer experiences that differentiate flagship 5G smartphones,” said Dr. Yenchi Lee, deputy general manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communications Business Unit. “Whether it’s novel multimedia features, unmatched performance, brilliant imaging or more synergy between smartphones and services, with our architecture device makers can tailor their devices to complement a variety of consumer lifestyles.”

Key ways that brands can customize the Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture includes multimedia experiences that allow access to the in-chip, multi-core AI and display processors. 5G smartphone brands can tailor multimedia experiences and unlock more synergy between the chipset and the smartphone’s display and audio hardware.  Brands will be able to sync the latest Bluetooth features with profiles to match their wireless accessories, such as headsets or gaming peripherals.

Hybrid multiprocessing is included.  It is the open resource architecture that gives 5G brands the freedom to fine-tune a device’s performance and power-efficiency.