Advantech Joins the O-RAN ALLIANCE to Support White-box Hardware Development for 5G Networks

Advantech, a global leader in industrial IoT, today announced that it has joined the O-RAN ALLIANCE, a world-wide community of mobile network operators, vendors, and institutions that works to re-shape the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry. With over 20 years of experience providing mission-critical hardware to the telecom industry, Advantech will contribute with compact and reliable commercial-off-the-shelf server designs that are capable of sustained communication workload processing at the network edge.

Since its foundation in 2018, the O-RAN ALLIANCE has made significant progress in the creation of a more intelligent, open, virtualised and fully interoperable mobile network, demonstrating the functionality as well as the multi-vendor interoperability of O-RAN based network equipment. As a leading white-box hardware provider, Advantech understands the importance of the ecosystem when deploying disaggregated network solutions and works closely with partners across the value chain to minimize integration risks for service providers. By joining the O-RAN ALLIANCE, Advantech supports the development of a new RAN based on open standards and the promotion of white-box hardware as a potential way to reduce the cost of 5G deployment. Advantech will continue to collaborate with O-RAN companies and contribute to the community with an enhanced range of interoperable, white-box hardware choices that help optimize network operators supply chain strategies and are ready for 5G.

Advantech brings to the O-RAN ALLIANCE ecosystem its white-box hardware provider expertise as well as the Advantech SKY-8000 Series of 5G Edge Servers that integrates lessons learnt from over 20 years of experience designing carrier-grade hardware for leading telecom equipment manufacturers. SKY-8000 commercial-off-the-shelf servers balance best-in-class Intel Xeon processors performance with high PCI Express card payload density to integrate vRAN acceleration, time synchronization and I/O technologies in robust, energy efficient, short-depth server platforms. NEBS Level 3-compliant SKY-8000 configurations withstand harsh environmental conditions in terms of shock, vibration, dust particles, electrostatic discharge, and operating temperature. In-house design enhancements such as redundant AC/DC power supplies, the ability to withstand single fan failures, or redundant BIOS and firmware images that support failsafe remote upgrades via IPMI 2.0-based platform management improve the reliability, maintainability and serviceability of the SKY-8000 Series. The servers have been deployed globally in carrier networks and have been selected by service providers for base station deployment as well as by solution providers for virtual Distributed Unit (vDU) implementation.

“The O-RAN ALLIANCE is disrupting how mobile networks are deployed for the first time since early analogue cellular days. As it happened to other industries before, virtualization and open interfaces lower entry barriers and stimulate the creation of a competitive ecosystem that drives innovation,” said James Yang, VP, Cloud-IoT Group, Advantech. “Advantech supports the O-RAN ALLIANCE in taking an ecosystem approach to collectively address the challenges of deploying multi-vendor and disaggregated 5G networks. As new O-RAN contributors, we will take the opportunity to expand our collaborations in the RAN industry to continue developing white-box base station servers ready for 5G.”

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