TIP is building a massive MIMO O-RAN metaverse whitebox

TIP massive MIMO whitebox
Image by Andriy Medvediuk | Bigstockphoto

ITEM: Telecom Infra Project (TIP) says it is collaborating with Intel and Analog Devices to develop O-RAN massive MIMO solutions that it says will enable 5G to better support metaverse apps.

Specifically, the TIP collaboration is working on a 5G massive MIMO Open RAN Radio Unit (O-RU) whitebox that will support the O-RAN Alliance’s workgroup 4 IoT profile.

The O-RU whitebox – developed as part of the TIP OpenRAN project group – will be powered by Intel Agilex and leverage Intel’s beamforming technology, as well as Analog Devices’ RadioVerse System on Chip (SoC) software defined transceiver.

Intel will distribute the O-RU whitebox once it’s ready.

Massive MIMO metaverse pro tip

According to TIP, the massive MIMO O-RU is a 32-antenna element wideband standalone radio unit that supports O-RAN interfaces and advanced software applications. It will be equipped with a ready-to-deploy massive MIMO wideband implementation.

As for the metaverse angle, TIP says massive MIMO is what gives mobile networks the capacity and intelligence needed to support the metaverse and enhanced reality applications for both consumers and businesses. From the release:

Massive MIMO (mMIMO) can deliver more capacity and thanks to beamforming capabilities, concentrate bandwidth to devices, providing the capability to deliver metaverse experiences from a single 5G radio. However, there are currently no mMIMO whitebox solutions available with extensive end-to-end capabilities to satiate this demand.

Bespoke O-RUs

TIP says mobile operators, OEMs, and ODMs can use the O-RU whitebox to leverage the O-RAN ecosystem and its IP library to develop bespoke O-RUs, which will reduce time-to-market and capex:

The mMIMO O-RU whitebox opens the door to a wider playing field of system integrators, giving operators more options to meet their specific requirements while helping mitigate vendor lock-in.

“For regional ODMs that are trying to deploy 5G equipment in a country where the government mandates ‘Made in Region’ 5G equipment, Intel’s whitebox model greatly helps the ODM to own the design and IP,” said Intel VP and GM Mike Fitton. “For operators, they can connect more devices from a single radio, enabling an efficient deployment of base stations and fiber.”

TIP says the mMIMO O-RU whitebox will be exhibited at MWC2023 Barcelona in February.

TIP was founded by Facebook to develop general-purpose vendor-neutral hardware, open interfaces and software for operators.

More info here on TIP’s latest OpenRAN Project group updates released this week.

Related article: ETSI releases its first O-RAN spec for open fronthaul

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