Monday 20 April 2020

SuperMicro's 5G Pole-Mounted DU Server Solution

Back in December 2019, Supermicro launched Server Class Edge Systems for Open 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) Solutions. These new SuperServers offer O-RAN Open-Platform Software, Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, GPUs, FPGA and IP65-rated protective enclosures for Pole-Mounted Cell Tower Deployments. The solutions for 5G cell tower deployments leverage fully-configurable SuperServers based on 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Xeon D processors, O-RAN compliant partner software, and ability to operate in harsh environments. These capabilities accelerate the mobile network evolution from proprietary hardware/software to open source software and disaggregated hardware for 5G installations.

The press release states:

“Supermicro’s data center customers and global telecommunication operators are asking for non-proprietary disaggregated hardware and software 5G solutions supporting multi-vendor web-scale networks, said Charles Liang, president, and CEO of Supermicro. “Supermicro’s new SuperServer solutions provide the 5G network infrastructure with maximum deployment flexibility and efficient total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Supermicro’s two new systems are its first servers for 5G, the Intelligent Edge, and other embedded applications to be based on 2nd Gen Intel Xeon processors. The E403-9P-FN2T is built for demanding environments and includes three PCI-E slots for GPU and FPGA accelerator cards. The compact 1U 1019P-FHN2T is well-suited for controlled environments such as micro data centers and re-purposed central office locations and features two full-height full-length PCI-E slots.

With these expansion slots, Supermicro can provide real-time Edge AI inferencing via GPU cards, and accelerate 5G RAN software and open-standard site-to-site communication using the Intel FPGA Programmable Acceleration Card N3000. These new servers complement Supermicro’s successful Intel Xeon D-based 1019D and E403 models. Supermicro is developing IP65-rated protective enclosures to meet the needs of outdoor environments such as cell towers and microcell sites.

5G Physical Layer splits can be seen in the picture above. While 4G used the BBU + RRU/RRH architecture, 5G will have a Central Unit (CU) and a Distributed Unit (DU). A Radio Unit (RU) may be present in some scenarios as well.

The Outdoor Edge Systems page on their website provides more information about the Pole-Mounted IP65 Server Platform for 5G and the Intelligent Edge. We will end with a video that depicts their vision

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