Red Hat and NVIDIA team to bring high-performance, software-defined 5G RAN to telecoms industry

NVIDIA and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced they are expanding their alliance to deliver high-performance, software-defined 5G wireless infrastructure, running on Red Hat OpenShift, to the telecoms industry.

The collaboration, unveiled by NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang during his keynote at MWC Los Angeles, can help telcos transition to 5G networks capable of running a range of software-defined edge workloads. Work will initially focus on 5G radio access networks (RAN), aimed at making AI-enabled applications more accessible at the telco edge.

Red Hat and NVIDIA are building on their announcement earlier this year that they are accelerating adoption of Kubernetes in enterprise data centers. Their expanding collaboration lets customers use the NVIDIA EGX platform and Red Hat OpenShift to more easily deploy NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate AI, data science and machine learning at the edge.

The critical element enabling 5G providers to move from purpose-built ASICs to cloud-native infrastructure is NVIDIA Aerial. This software developer kit, also announced today, allows providers to build and deliver high-performance, software-defined 5G wireless RAN by delivering two essential advancements. They are a low-latency data path directly from Mellanox network interface cards to GPU memory, and a 5G physical layer signal-processing engine that keeps all data within the GPU’s high-performance memory.

"The industry is ramping 5G and the ‘smart everything’ revolution is beginning. In time, trillions of sensors and devices will be sprinkled all over the world to enable new applications and services," said Huang. "We’re working with Red Hat to build a cloud-native, massively scalable, high-performance GPU computing infrastructure for this new 5G world. Powered by the NVIDIA EGX edge computing platform, a new wave of applications will emerge, just as with the smartphone revolution."

Red Hat OpenShift provides enterprise-grade, production-ready Kubernetes to manage and automate the Aerial 5G RAN, container network functions and other new edge services. This helps telcos deploy and manage modernized infrastructure at scale.

"The next generation of mobile networks won’t be defined by inflexible, proprietary solutions — it will be founded in open cloud-native technologies," said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat. "As a leader in building open, innovative telecommunications infrastructure, we see a tremendous advantage to running standardized software at the telco edge, helping to enable a range of new workloads via dynamically scalable services."

By running 5G RAN on a cloud-native platform, telcos can make full use of their network investments and bring new services, such as AI, AR, VR and gaming, to the market widely.

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