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NVidia 5G mobile plans are a game changer

  • 2 minute read
  • Published by Simon Rockman on 4 Sep 2020
  • Last modified 2 Sep 2020
Technology designed for gaming will power 5G networks. Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) have expanded beyond gaming to areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), software-defined networks and edge computing.

Nvidia Aerial is a software development kit (SDK) that enables the implementation of cloud-native and software-defined 5G wireless radio access networks (RANs) using Nvidia GPUs and Mellanox network interface cards. The company says that both its platforms and its software enable infrastructure manufacturers to build high-performance 5G RAN to provide AI services such as smart cities, smart factories, AR and VR, and cloud gaming. 

Nvidia Aerial SDK is made up of CUDA Baseband (cuBB) and CUDA Virtual Network Function (cuVNF) SDKs. cuBB SDK keeps all 5G physical layer processing (5G-PHY) within the GPUs and is the most efficient implementation of a 5G physical layer in a commercial off-the-shelf platform. CuVNF optimises input/output (I/O) and packet placement on the GPU for 5G packets to be sent directly to GPU memory from GPUDirect-capable network interface cards. This bypassing of the central processing unit improves the efficiency of the baseband unit, making it extremely cost- and power-efficient compared with current alternatives.

The Nvidia platform also offers flexibility to add other functions such as deep packet inspection, firewall and vRAN. Nvidia Aerial’s use of existing open-source software such as the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK)  helps developers to add GPU acceleration easily to their existing RAN architecture.

Gaming has a long history of pushing the boundaries in the development of computing, a pedigree that means Nvidia is well positioned to enable a more powerful and application-rich 5G ecosystem.  

This article was first published in Issue 3 - UK5G Innovation Briefing - which you can access here.

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