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September 16, 2014

China Companies Join to Advance Next-generation Wireless

An electronic circuitry manufacturer announced this week that it has partnered with a research institute in China to advance the development of its 5G wireless network.

Not to be outdone by the pace at which 4G-LTE technology continues to flood the wireless market, Xilinx recently announced its intention to further expand 5G wireless networks by partnering with the China Mobile Research Institute. Xilinx indicates that mobile subscribers often have problems with poor service quality at the edge of wireless cells, and this obviously translates to a concern for mobile service providers. The latest 5G tech will attempt to combat this problem by working with a large number of antennas and bringing together multiple radio technologies at once.

Bill Huang, general manager of China Mobile Research Institute, provided a quote in the Xilinx announcement about the antenna and virtualization systems Xilinx intends to bring to the market to combat current wireless network problems.

"China Mobile has been working on new technologies like large scale antenna systems (LSAS) and cloud RAN virtualization (C-RAN) for several years. The realization of those new technologies requires a new level of flexibility and scalability that only all programmable platforms can offer," Huang said. "I believe the collaboration between China Mobile and Xilinx will accelerate the adoption of the industry's most advanced technologies and therefore help us deliver the highest quality service to Chinese customers in the mobile internet era."

The different tools in place, such as LSAS and C-RAN, will demand that network function virtualization take place within 5G. This means that one or more virtual machines may handle different software and processes instead of custom hardware. The number of antennas and radio technologies working together will combine within virtualized spaces before user-ready information reaches mobile devices.

Xilinx apparently believes that companies will need to advance silicon chips to keep up with the demand for signal processing power and high-speed connectivity associated with the next generation of wireless. Sunil Kar, vice president of Wireless Communications at Xilinx, spoke about that reality.

"5G wireless network systems will be extremely complex, requiring tremendous signal processing power and high speed connectivity, and the realization of hardware virtualization. This can only be enabled through innovations in silicon, software and IP," Kar said.

In addition, Kar noted that, with advances in technology, there will also be advances in power savings alongside increased performance and lower costs. This sits in line with the company's green initiatives, and if realized to the full extent, it is bound to make customers, service providers, and environmentalists happy as improved service is matched with lower ecological footprints.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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