Picocom, Radisys Partner to Deliver Joint 5G Open RAN platforms


Picocom, the 5G Open RAN baseband semiconductor and software specialist, announced that through close partnership with Radisys, they are delivering joint 5G Open RAN platforms to customers based on Picocom’s PC802 small cell System-on-Chip (SoC) and Radisys’ Connect RAN 5G software. The PC802 flexible, low power device empowers the innovation of a new breed of 5G NR Open RAN products.

The current PC802-based interoperability milestone is based on the O-RAN split 7.2 architecture. It includes the Radisys Connect RAN 5G software (Layer 2 and Layer 3) running on an x86-based server, interfacing to the Picocom Layer 1 (L1) with the Small Cell Forum FAPI interface.

“We only just announced PC802 in December, the world’s first 4G/5G device dedicated to developing small cells with integrated support for Open RAN (Radio Access Networks) standards, so it’s great that several customers have already integrated it into their products. The wider availability of optimised silicon is just the stimulus the Open RAN telecom industry needs,” said Oliver Davies, VP Marketing, Picocom.

“Close teamwork between the Picocom and Radisys teams has enabled a high degree of interoperability in these early days of PC802. We’ve established a plan of interoperability/demo phases over 2022 for different RAN architectures and roadmap features. We recognise the significant contribution that Radisys has provided at this important validation phase of PC802,” added Vicky Messer, VP Product Management, Picocom.

“This has been a great partnership with Picocom to deliver an interoperable Open RAN small cell platform to market,” said Munish Chhabra, head of Mobility Software and Services, Radisys. “Our award-winning Connect RAN 5G NR software suite is compliant with 3GPP and O-RAN Alliance specifications, as well as the SCF’s FAPI specification, and it is playing a critical role in this Open RAN solution, making our joint vision of a thriving Open RAN ecosystem a reality today.”

Radisys and Picocom have cooperated closely to provide complete Open RAN solutions. The joint Open RAN split 7.2 configuration uses Radisys RAN protocol software CU (L3) and DU (L2) running on an Intel x86 COTS server. L1 and Open Fronthaul (OFH) run on a Picocom PC802 SoC on an inline accelerator card.

The interface between L2 and L1 is compliant with the standard Small Cell Forum FAPI protocol. The same FAPI stream is used not just to control L1 processing on PC802 but directly controls OFH Control-Plane and User-Plane processing, transparently marrying together the FAPI and OFH protocols.

The two companies are now preparing an integrated small cell solution based on PC802, with the RAN software running on a low form factor Arm-based network processor.

The PC802 is a purpose-designed PHY SoC for 5G NR/LTE small cell disaggregated and integrated Open RAN architectures that includes support for 4G. The SoC supports industry-leading Open RAN specifications and interfaces with a Layer 2/3 stack via the SCF FAPI interface over PCIe.