Xilinx & NEC Collaborate on “Next-Gen” 5G Radio Units

Using the Versal® AI Core series from Xilinx, NEC's new Radio Units will deliver more efficient communication and wider bandwidth.

By Joel Davies -

Xilinx and NEC Corporation have announced that the companies are collaborating on NEC’s next-generation 5G Radio Units (RUs) expected to be available for global deployment in 2022. Xilinx® 7nm Versal® AI Core series devices, which are currently shipping in volume production, are installed in the new NEC RUs.

NEC Corporation is a Japanese multinational information technology and electronics corporation, headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. The company primarily integrates IT and network technologies enabling businesses and communities to “adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market”. Xilinx develops flexible and adaptive processing platforms across a variety of technologies from the cloud, to the edge, to the endpoint.

“NEC’s new massive MIMO radios using Xilinx’s commercially-proven beamforming capabilities will enable an improved wireless end-user experience as use cases continue to grow and evolve in the future”, said Liam Madden, executive vice president and general manager, Wired and Wireless Group at Xilinx. “The combination of NEC’s leadership in massive MIMO radio design and Xilinx technology will deliver a compelling solution to the ORAN market”.

The latest NEC 5G massive MIMO RUs utilize digital beamforming for more efficient communication and wider bandwidth. Designed to address worldwide markets, NEC RUs will support a range of 5G frequencies, including C-Band. The company states that its proprietary high-density mounting technology, power-saving technology, and fanless design will also enable a compact format that is “lightweight and power-efficient”.

xilinx NEC 5G RADIO
NEC’s new Radio Units were developed with Xilinx. Image: NEC.

The Xilinx Versal AI Core series devices used within the NEC RUs enable advanced signal processing and beamforming, whilst also integrating O-RAN capabilities. O-RAN interfaces enable open and flexible 5G RAN deployments, in addition to allowing broader interoperability with products from different vendors. In terms of functionality, the new RUs will be compatible with the n77, n78 and C-Band 3.7GHz frequency band (3.3-4.2GHz), which is globally used as a 5G frequency.

“In the highly competitive 5G base station market, the integration of Xilinx technology within NEC RUs will provide valuable advantages to our customers who demand highly-capable and feature-rich RUs that deliver the performance needed to scale for nearly any application”, said Kenichi Ito, general manager, 1st Wireless Access Solutions Division at NEC.

“The Xilinx Versal AI Core series delivers on its design promise for performance and scalability by using advanced signal-processing for massive MIMO antennas and beamforming. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Xilinx”.

You can find more information about NEC and Xilinx’s Versal AI Core series for delivering 5G, networking, and cloud applications on their respective websites.

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