Qualcomm, Dell Partner to Drive 5G Open RAN

Dell Technologies

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has announced plans to collaborate with Dell Technologies to develop a next-generation, 5G vDU, integrating the Qualcomm® X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card into Dell PowerEdge servers.

The solution will help usher in the next wave of digital transformation and proliferate Open RAN deployments globally. The companies plan to simplify deployments and help lower total cost of ownership by delivering high-performance, O-RAN compliant, energy-efficient, virtualized, cloud-native 5G solutions.

Qualcomm Logo

As new use cases for the future of 5G and open networks emerge, networks must meet the high-capacity and low-latency demands for better, more enhanced user experiences. With Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G leadership and Dell’s server leadership and digital transformation expertise, the collaboration aims to strengthen the adoption and use of virtualized and Open RAN platforms, and help network operators deliver innovative services to capture the edge opportunity.

Qualcomm and Dell Technologies

With the collaboration, the new vDU solution would feature the O-RAN compliant, commercial-grade L1 software of Qualcomm Technologies’ PCIe inline accelerator card with the latest Dell PowerEdge servers, purpose-built for telecom and enterprise edge use cases. A fully-integrated and customizable system aims to simplify 5G deployments by offering O-RAN fronthaul and 5G NR Layer 1 High (L1 High) processing. With upgradable architecture of L1 software to enable rapid rollout of future 3GPP release features, combined with concurrent sub-6 GHz and mmWave baseband support and lower power consumption, the solution will be designed to support the ever-growing capacity challenges and low-latency needs of enterprise networks of the future.

Expanding Dell’s Layer 1 acceleration solution options, the collaboration involves the Qualcomm X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card utilizing a PCIe slot inside the latest generation Dell PowerEdge XR8000 and XR5610 servers. The latest Dell servers support Open RAN workloads, such as vDU, which can provide cost and power savings for lower cost of ownership than previous servers. The design greatly simplifies operations at the edge of telecom networks while delivering better performance under various workloads and conditions.

“This extended collaboration signals a significant next step in the evolution and commercialization of full-scale open and virtualized 5G networks,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Through working with Dell, we will help accelerate next generation 5G mobile infrastructure global adoption, and enable operators to meet performance demands at the edge and provide enhanced user experiences.”

“Layer 1 acceleration is one of the critical innovations required to enable telecom network disaggregation, specifically in the RAN. We believe it is important to be on the leading edge of these innovations to offer options for our customers. In this spirit, we’re extending our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies to develop solutions to make open network deployments more efficient and cost-effective,” said Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business. “Our joint vDU platform will give network operators an integrated but open way to realize the full potential of open RAN technologies.”