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AMD to produce chips for Meta's OpenRAN deployments

AMD to produce chips for Meta's OpenRAN deployments
12 May, 2022
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Xilinx and Facebook got into a definitive agreement back in November 2021 to produce chips for Facebook’s OpenRAN program called Evenstar. Now Xilinx has been acquired by AMD, and Facebook has rebranded to Meta, but the partnership has continued with AMD announcing new chips to power the Evenstar program by Meta.   

Today, Meta and AMD have announced a radio chip that will speed up 4G, 5G deployments for Meta’s technology partners. The crux of the announcement is that Meta Platforms, in partnership with AMD, will build multiple Evenstar radio units to expand the ecosystem’s 4G/5G global mobile network infrastructure.  

Evenstar is a program launched by Meta in early 2020 to promote telecommunications infrastructure project OpenRan, which is aimed at cellular network operators to help them choose and customise components in the Radio Access Network.

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“By decoupling the RRU hardware, distribution unit, and control unit software, which are traditionally sold as a package, mobile network operators the ability to select best-of-breed components and the flexibility to deploy solutions from an increasing number of technology partners,” Dan Rabinovitsj, VP Facebook Connectivity had written in a blogpost back in February 2020.  

Meta said that the new radio chips will help radio vendors to address diverse radio configurations and be compliant with emerging standards to react quickly to new market opportunities.  

In terms of specific details on the chip, AMD has utilised its Xilinx Znyq UltraScale Radio Frequency System-on-chip to be utilised on Meta’s Evenstar project.  

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Back in December 2020, Meta had mentioned in a blogpost that it was working with multiple partners to move the Evenstar project forward. L  

“Together with mobile network operators Airtel and Vodafone, and technology partners ADI, Altiostar, Baicells, Flex, Mavenir, MTI, Parallel Wireless, and Xilinx, we are focused on building general-purpose radio access network (RAN) reference designs for 4G and 5G networks in the Open RAN ecosystem,” Meta had mentioned in the blogpost.  

“As we continue to champion open, disaggregated solutions for the industry, we look forward to unlocking new ways to accelerate the pace of innovation as networks evolve.” Added Jaydeep Ranade, director of wireless engineering for Meta Connectivity, in a statement put out by AMD on Wednesday.    

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