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Ericsson and Intel double down on Open RAN and AI innovation with Tech Hub collaboration

The Ericsson-Intel Tech Hub has established itself as an incubator for cutting-edge advancements and new hardware technology exploration, achieving one milestone after another. Celebrating a series of firsts – including the recent successful Cloud RAN call using Intel’s future Xeon processor, codenamed Granite Rapids-D – the hub has been instrumental in the development of technologies that help service providers build open, resilient, sustainable and intelligent mobile networks.

Feb 26, 2024
Team at the Ericsson-Intel Tech Hub in Ericsson D-15 lab in Santa Clara USA

The latest milestone took place at the Ericsson-Intel Tech Hub (Ericsson D-15) in Santa Clara, USA. Set up on a third-party Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS), this pioneering achievement has shown the portability of Ericsson’s Cloud RAN software across Intel CPU generations. It joins a series of firsts in the collaboration between the two companies, including the end-to-end Cloud RAN call on 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors with vRAN Boost

Since the Tech Hub collaboration began in May 2022, Ericsson and Intel have been exploring exciting new prospects in the fields of security, sustainability, energy efficiency, ecosystem and joint solutions. As an example, the companies are collaborating on software optimizations to maximize benefits of the built-in telemetry capabilities in Intel Xeon processors to dynamically manage the power of the processor.  

In addition, Ericsson and Intel have extended their collaboration, broadening its scope to also focus on the application of AI in the RAN domain. Ericsson is pioneering efforts toward a democratized AI framework that embraces a portable and compute-agnostic methodology for AI inference at the edge. This progressive approach ensures the effective use of resources at the far edge, breaking free from vertical-specific constraints and enabling a more versatile AI application across network ecosystems.

Ericsson’s joint work with Intel now also extends to the integration of insights from the Intel vRAN AI Development Kit, which can speed up the availability of the rApps ecosystem and amplify Ericsson's network automation and optimization.

“Our Tech Hub collaboration spans many Cloud RAN enhancements using Intel technology, enabling innovation within cloud-based networks, and recently, we achieved our first Cloud RAN call on Intel’s Granite Rapids-D processor," says Mårten Lerner, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson. “In addition, we look forward to expanding our joint efforts with Intel to shape the adoption of AI technologies in RAN. This includes work on an AI Dev kit for rApp development to leverage commercial-off-the-shelf hardware at the far edge for AI workloads, while addressing infrastructure requirements for AI model inference.”

“Ericsson’s successful first call on our Granite Rapids-D processor is an extraordinary accomplishment made possible by our companies’ close and long-term collaboration, as well as the inherent software portability of the Intel Xeon processor,” says Dan Rodriguez, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Intel's Network and Edge Solutions Group. “It’s yet another proof point that the Ericsson-Intel Tech Hub continues to be an engine of innovation that’s driving new milestones in RAN evolution, as well as exploring emerging future technologies such as artificial intelligence and new RAN algorithms.”  

Ericsson, as one of the leading vendors in the consortium led by AT&T and Verizon that received an award from National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for establishing an Open RAN testing, evaluation and validation plan, will increase its investment in network innovation particularly in Open RAN and AI technologies. The Intel collaboration  reinforces Ericsson’s commitment to promote interoperability, fostering the development of a robust and open radio access network (RAN) ecosystem.


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