Posted: June 30, 2015

Xilinx, Inc. today announced its collaboration with China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) for the development of the next generation fronthaul interface (NGFI) in an MOU signing ceremony during the China Mobile Research Institute hosted NGFI Workshop. With the advent of 5G wideband multi-antenna systems, Xilinx and CMRI are working together to research the key technologies and components of a new fronthaul interface for wireless networks, in conjunction with emerging technologies such as C-RAN, large-scale-antenna-system, and 3D MIMO.

“It’s time to rethink current fronthaul solutions and addressing the major challenges for CRAN deployment is critical,” said Dr. Chih-Lin I, chief scientist of China Mobile Research Institute. “New efficient and flexible fronthaul solutions are being worked on for the enablement of large scale CRAN deployment and our work with Xilinx will surely accelerate the delivery of such solutions.”

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In current wireless systems, the bandwidth of CPRI has increased rapidly and requires more and more fiber cables to be laid by the operators. This is costly and very challenging for the centralized baseband architecture, which is the trend for future wireless networks. The fronthaul link, between the baseband and radio units, is a critical subsystem for improvement. Xilinx All Programmable devices and design environments will serve as an important enabler for this interface and future wireless systems.

Xilinx is contributing to the NGFI eco-system with a validated NGFI reference design on its Zynq® SoC platform. The reference design, which can easily be migrated to other Zynq and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC devices, will serve as a baseline framework for 4.5G/5G wireless network research.

“Current ‘hard’ mobile networks are plagued with a number of serious challenges including time to market, service innovation, energy efficiency, TCO and interoperability,” said Sunil Kar, vice president of wireless communications at Xilinx. “Through our close collaboration with China Mobile Research Institute, we are working to address these challenges and identify the key technologies and components for highly optimized next generation fronthaul interfaces.”

More information on NGFIs can be found in the recently published Next Generation Fronthaul Interface white paper distributed at the NGFI workshop. This white paper covers the evolving demand for NGFIs, design principles, application scenarios, potential solutions and other technical aspects with respect to NGFIs, providing a valid reference for the future evolution of wireless access networks.

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