This year, during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Spain), Samsung announced they were using Xilinx in all their 5G systems which would be deployed in Korea. Conveying the technologies, expertise and market dominance in the 5G market, BISinfotech’s Niloy Banerjee had an extensive chat with Gilles Garcia – Director, Business Development, Communication BU, Xilinx. Garcia shrewdly underlines Xilinx plans for 5G in India, scopes and challenges in the market, their technical expertise and much more during the interview. Edited Nub.
1.What are the key focuses of Xilinx in the 5G Domain?
- Radio / MMIMO
- Du/CU disaggregation with Acceleration requirements for Virtualization in the CU
- Baseband with harden LDPC FEC required
- Fronthaul (Converge access)
- What are your specific plans for 5G in India?
We are working with the world leader OEMs and Top India Operators to provide the right platforms an support the to come deployment. Our technology & platform is also used by TOP ‘Start-ups’ driving technology innovation into the 5G Space in India. We have been deeply involved in the 4G deployment in the TOP Leader INDIA operator, we are planning to be part of the 5G deployment as well. We have been working very closely with IITM to jump-start the 5G Testbed installation and deployment so 5G vendors looking for selling / installing their systems in India would have a specific and centralized test suite and hardware to comply with.
- What challenges and scopes do 5G has in this indigenous market?
5G is not a 4G evolution, it is a complete new network architecture, with new challenges (latency, Telco-DC, Bandwidth, 5G infrastructure, Converge access)
India operator needs to think about the disaggregation / 3GPP Split they want to implement, this would have an impact on the network infrastructure requirement (Fronthaul), as well as in the CU/DU requirements (Servers, acceleration, virtualization).
The MMIMO (Massive Mimo) which can be also used in 4G networks to improve the coverage/densification would be a first important step to prepare for the 5G
Power of the solutions, fibers to the sites, MMWave to the site without fibers are also challenges/questions that would have to be addressed by local operators.
I’m seeing opportunities for local India vendor to innovate and get a larger share into the India 5G deployment to answer all those challenges
- Though most analysts purview that networks of 5G will be mostly commercialized in 2020 and in the other hand, Xilinx has already ready portfolio catering to 5G. What key market strategies is the company mulling to foray into this market early?
Xilinx positioned itself in the forefront of the 5G innovation and deployment, since we have been working for years with top OEMs on their 5G systems and we have been deployed in most (to not say all) Pre-5G deployments. We have been involved from the beginning on the 3GPP efforts driving the specs for 5G. This allow us to have developed 5G Efficient products/solutions (Xilinx UltraScale + Zynq MPSOC & RFSOC, as well as power efficient, and performance leadership solutions
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Spain), February 2019, Samsung announced they were using Xilinx in all their 5G systems, that would be deployed in Korea.
Ou RFSOC device has been receiving innovation award all over the world for its capabilities, integration and efficiency it is provided for 5G systems (MMIMO, BASEBAND, BACKHAUL)
- Xilinx has moved beyond the traditional FPGA to deliver new flexible, adaptable processors and platforms. What key facets does this new strategy include?
Xilinx is always working closely with its customers and watching the market requirements to determine our roadmap. On the 5G market, it was clear that the market will need more ‘integration’, less power, more performances, and as such we added into our roadmap the Xilinx UltraScale+ ZYNQ RFSOC where we integrated DAC/ADC, Direct RF, LDPC & polar code and other wireless requirements to deliver the perfect part for 5G systems from MMIMO (a single RFSOC can deliver a 16T16R with integrated DAC/ADC, and as such a 64T64R can be done with 4 chips compare to the 32 chips required before).
- What will be the next move of Xilinx in the 5G business?
Xilinx announced last October our new Versal family (7nm) 1st ACAP product (adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform) with new capabilities for Wireless (AI Engine), that will address the challenge of the beamforming complexity for example, as well as allowing other algorithms to run more efficiently.
- How is Xilinx helping in India to build a sustainable 5G ecosystem?
Xilinx is deeply involved into the India system vendor ecosystems (Tejas, Mavenir, C-DOT, CoreEI…) as well as software vendors like Radisys (now RJIO), Mavenir / Altiostar for the 5G stacks. Xilinx is also involved with IITM to support the government to drive 5G india to the reality (refer to the announcement did last year on the TEST BEDs for 5G).
- Xilinx lately collaborated with Samsung helping deploy the first commercially available 5G NR in Korea, alike this, can we expect these ecosystems working in India?
Xilinx is deeply involved with local vendors in India on the 5G space to support the 5G India ecosystem.
Xilinx is not previewed with TOP OEM plans for India , we are continuously working with them to improve their solution with our technology
Korean deployment seems to have been a success, so let see how this will pan out in India.
- Flexibility with reliability is key for 5G, for eg, different standards, multiple bands etc are critical. How will Xilinx solutions simplify these criticalities?
More standards. More spectrums, more bands, means more flexibility required to cope with those requirements. This is playing in favour of Xilinx Strength (Flexibility, programmability, adaptability.
Our portfolio has been designed to simplify the life of System vendor by doing more integration to remove complexity from the system design (i.e: DAC/ADC integration, Direct RF integration…)
- How strong is Xilinx partners’ ecosystem in the 5G domain?
We have a large and healthy 5G ecosystem partners. At MWC 2019 Barcelona, we had several Press released with partners (around ORAN, Samsung,…).
- Lastly, other chip companies are also strongly entering into this market, what will keep Xilinx ahead of their competitors and any key announcements you want to share?
Competition is always a good sign, this mean you have addressed the right market. Xilinx has a large R&D annual budget to continue to innovate, our Versal 7nm announcement is clearly showing the innovation Xilinx will bring to the market starting late CY19. We are already engaged with Top OEMs on this new technology to see how they can leverage it in their next-generation systems.
Our 7nm portfolio that we announced is driving Xilinx leadership in a new era, with an innovative architecture that will bring innovation to customers for their next generation systems.
Refer to our ACAP announcement for more information.