By Jeff Gowan, Wind River and Thomas Yu, Corning
When most people think of someone using a mobile network, they probably imagine someone sitting outside or driving in their car but the fact is ~80% of mobile traffic originates indoors. So it begs the question, “What’s the point of creating a super-reliable, ultra-low latency network that will support all kinds of cool applications like automated drones, remote surgery, AR/VR, Hi-def streaming etc. if the signal can’t even get in to the building?” This is the key problem that Corning and Wind River have teamed up to solve.
Since the invention of optical fiber in 1970 by three Corning scientists, Corning has been on an innovation path to realize the faster and more reliable connectivity that today’s networks require. One way Corning is advancing 5G is through small-cell solutions designed to bring 5G indoors, breaking physical barriers, like walls. Meanwhile Wind River has been a provider of telecommunications solutions for nearly 40 years and currently powers the majority of 4G and 5G RANs today with its highly reliable, low-latency software infrastructure solutions. So, it makes sense that Corning and Wind River should bring the combined power of their solutions to provide a cost effective, powerful and scalable 5G system to address the telco market.
Specifically, the joint teams are rapidly developing a fully integrated, interoperable 5G vCU system that runs on Wind River Studio and is optimized for the 5G Telco Carriers. The combined efforts began in May of 2020 and resulted in the launch of commercial indoor 5G installations in December of the same year
Some specific initiatives our teams have worked on include:
Optimizing the Corning 5G mmWave vCU software: Communications service providers (CSPs) have very specific deployment strategies and requirements and part of the charter of our partnership is to streamline the deployment of a distributed cloud to satisfy those requirements. To do this we are creating tailor-made 5G applications that run on the Wind River Studio cloud platform. Along the way we are collaborating to explore and expand support for a variety of hardware vendors, giving CSPs the choice to work with a preferred supplier.
Leveraging an ultra-low-latency platform: Compared to other solutions, the cloud platform capabilities in Wind River Studio provide up to 100x lower latency than competing solutions, which makes it much more efficient over a broader range when deployed. To best leverage this efficiency, our teams have been optimizing the use of DPDK with dedicated CPU cores to maximize application stability and performance on the vCU.
Advanced Carrier-Grade Features: In order for the solution to be effective in the real-world, there are a host of operational and security features that need to be leveraged in order to maintain the network in a cost-effective and secure way. One example is how the Corning containerized network function (CNF) leverages fully integrated features like cert-manager and vault to provide automated certificate management and carrier-grade security protection.
These are just a sampling of some of the activities the combined Corning and Wind River team have been working on to ensure 5G can be just as effective within the walls of a building as well as outside. To learn more about how Corning and Wind River can help you solve your 5G far edge network needs please contact us (Wind River, Corning 5G Solutions).