Supermicro launches server class edge systems for Open 5G RAN solutions

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Super Micro Computer, a specialist in enterprise computing, storage, networking solutions, has unveiled solutions for 5G cell tower deployments that leverage fully-configurable SuperServers based on 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, O-RAN compliant partner software and with the ability to operate in harsh environments.

“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. “Our SuperServer solutions provide the 5G network infrastructure with maximum deployment flexibility and efficient total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Supermicro’s two 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 intended 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-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 servers are intended to complement the company's successful Xeon D-based 1019D and E403 models. Supermicro also is developing IP65-rated protective enclosures to meet the needs of outdoor environments such as cell towers and microcell sites.

The 5G architecture is based on open hardware platforms connected by standardised interfaces, and virtualized network elements.

Supermicro joined the O-RAN Alliance in order to help build a cloud-native, open 5G RAN architecture, and these solutions will concurrently support 4G as networks transition to 5G.

The 5G core network has moved to a virtualized model, which runs on data center hardware where Supermicro’s Resource-Saving Architecture is able to provide computing platforms such as the multi-node BigTwin and the high-density SuperBlade and MicroBlade products. These systems look t leverage shared cooling and efficient power, and feature a disaggregated structure to enable the latest upgrades without the wasteful rip-and-replace of entire server racks.