SK Telecom and Intel tackle 6G core latency

Yanitsa Boyadzhieva
By Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Feb 2, 2024

Source: SK Telecom

Source: SK Telecom

  • SK Telecom and Intel have been cooperating on technology developments for a decade
  • Now, the two have joined forces to tackle some of the major technical challenges associated with the evolution of core architectures for the 6G era
  • They have combined their respective chip architecture and AI capabilities to develop a ‘service mesh’ that significantly reduces core platform latency and improves service efficiency
  • The move is part of the duo’s efforts to ‘secure leadership in 6G’

SK Telecom (SKT) and chip giant Intel have joined forces to develop technology that, they believe, will enable very low latency interactions in 6G core architectures and thus improve service efficiency.

The influential South Korean operator noted that the introduction of AI-enabled automation, as well as enhanced security and flexibility requirements, in 6G core platforms will result in a much more complex core platform that could be impeded by the volume and nature of the tasks it will be required to perform, the result of which would be delayed interactions and an inferior customer experience.   

To combat these challenges, SKT and Intel, which have been working together for a decade already on various technology R&D efforts, have developed what they call the Inline Service Mesh, a technology that uses Intel’s Xeon processors with built-in AI. The solution, the telco claims, “is capable of increasing the communication speed within the core network by reducing latency” between the internal core functions. 

SKT said that the innovation “will be able to reduce [core processing] communication delays by 70% and increase service efficiency by 33% in the core network” through the application of the inline service mesh. The development also enables computational resource-intensive AI to be applied to the core network “in a wider variety of models,” according to operator. 

Dan Rodriguez, corporate VP of Intel Network and Edge Solutions Group, noted: “By leveraging the latest Intel Xeon processors with built-in AI features, our companies are able to drive both performance and efficiency improvements that will be vital to the future core networks.”

AI has previously been under the spotlight as one of three ‘megatrends’ shaping the next generation of wireless connectivity – see SK Telecom highlights three ‘megatrends’ for the 6G era.

SKT plans to deploy the inline service mesh technology in commercial platforms starting in 2025 (so ahead of the 6G era) and continue to work with Intel on further AI-enabled core platform efficiency efforts. According to Yu Takki, VP and head of infra tech at SKT, this step is part of a continuous technology development partnership with Intel to “secure leadership in 6G”.

South Korea and the US have been nurturing increasingly close ties in relation to the development of next-generation communications technologies, including AI, 6G and Open RAN, and issued a joint declaration to that effect in September 2023. 

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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