Marvell and Analog Devices have announced an advanced 4G/5G radio unit (RU) design that supports high antenna counts and multi-gigabit per second throughput for both integrated RAN and Open RAN deployments. Leveraging the companies’ complementary radio silicon and RU software suite, the next-generation massive MIMO RU design that results from this collaboration will deliver power, weight and performance improvements inherent with ASIC solutions for both integrated RAN and Open RAN deployments.
As 5G deployments continue to ramp, network operators are increasingly seeking higher capacity RU systems to deliver the performance expected by their customers. The ADI-Marvell design will enable a growing number of OEMs to bring competitive products to the market, enabling additional capacity for existing radio sites. With an ongoing shift toward Open RAN, the newly launched radios will provide native support for O-RAN split 7.2x functionality.
“Our goal in joining with ADI in this effort was to provide a complete, open standards-based RU platform, one that leverages what each company does best,” said Raj Singh, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Marvell’s Processor Business Group. “We wanted to minimise the amount of silicon required to deliver massive MIMO RU solutions capable of supporting 32T32R performance, along with beamforming and DFE functions. ADI transceivers align perfectly with our RU and digital unit baseband offerings.”
“The demand for much higher capacity radio units is exploding,” said Joe Barry, Vice President of the Wireless Communications Business Unit at ADI. “Together with Marvell, we are able to get ahead of the curve and help the industry transition to 32T32R – or even higher capacity – radio units. At the same time, by providing differentiated radio architectures and algorithms we are allowing the operators to effectively manage both their capital and operating expenses.”
The 5G massive MIMO RUs will incorporate ADI’s next-generation transceiver technology, including an advanced, programmable digital front-end. Marvell is providing its baseband silicon, which offers beamforming and a lower L1 software supporting O-RAN split 7.2. The solutions provide complete system-level hardware reference designs developed in collaboration with Benetel, a leading innovator in RU technology. Initial prototypes are expected in latter half of 2021.