5G O-RU Digital Front Solution (DFE) Solution from Xilinx

5G, 5G NR, New Radio, Open RAN, Tech Fundas

In our last post, we discussed the the reference architecture for O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU) and introduce the different subsystem e.g Synch and Fronthaul Transport, Lower PHY,  Digital Front End (DFE) and RF Front End (RF FE).

Recently, Xilinx announced the new Zynq® RFSoC DFE, combining hardened digital front end (DFE) blocks with adaptive logic for mass radio deployment. The solution addresses a broad array of 5G NR use cases ranging across 5G low, mid, and high band spectrums, as well as a breadth of other RF applications including phased array radar and communications test equipment.

By integrating more hardened IP than soft logic, Zynq RFSoC DFE is a new class of adaptive radio platforms offering the best balance of technologies – the cost economies of an ASIC using hardened blocks with the flexibility, scalability, and time-to-market advantages of a programmable and adaptive SoC.

Built on the only production-proven, adaptive single-chip radio platforms that integrate the entire signal chain from RF to baseband, Zynq RFSoC DFE represents a new class of devices that integrates hardened DFE IP along with
Xilinx’s proven Programmable Logic. Zynq RFSoC DFE offers the best balance of technologies – the cost economies of an ASIC using hardened blocks with the flexibility, scalability and time-to-market benefits of a programmable and
adaptive SoC.

 Zynq® Solution Highlight

  • Fully Hardened Radio Subsystem for 5G NR Performance and Power
    • Validated 3GPP Standards compliant radio cores
    • Half the power of Zynq RFSoC Gen 3 for typical radio applications
    • Up to 7.125GHz RF bandwidth
    • Industry’s only 400MHz iBW for 8T8R
    • Supports both FR1 and FR2 radio DFE with flexible and scalable DFE
    • Flexibility to enhance hardened IP with adaptive logic
  • Multi-Band, Multi-Mode Operation for Flexibility and Scalability
    • Up to 8 component carrier per-antenna path (8T8R FDD/TDD)
    • 400MHz iBW support enables RAN sharing (e.g., MORAN)
    • Ability to support multi-mode, multi-band radios with a single device
  • Complete Adaptive SoC for Fully Software-Defined Radio
    • Based on the proven 16nm UltraScale™ architecture
    • Arm® processing subsystem for DFE configuration and control
    • Adaptive logic for differentiation and future market requirements
    • 32G transceivers with RS-FEC for CPRI, eCPRI, and ORAN FH interfaces
    • 100G Ethernet integrated cores

 Zynq® Solution Features

Zynq RFSoC DFE integrates much of the DFE and RF processing required by both 4G and 5G NR

  • Direct RF Data Converters
    • 8x 10GSPS DACs | 8x 2.95GSPS ADCs and 2x 5.9GSPS ADCs
    • Direct RF support for all FR1 bands, optimal IF for mmWave FR2 bands
    • Up to 7.125GHz RF bandwidth
    • Integrated mixer, NCO, interpolation & decimation for digital frequency conversion
  • RF Signal Processing
    • Specialist signal processing including resampling and equalization
  • Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD)
    • Supports up to 400MHz iBW and the latest RF power amplifier technologies
    • Reduced weight and thermal management complexity in the radio
    • Based on production-proven Xilinx IP
  • Crest Factor Reduction (CFR)
    • Supports up to 400MHz instantaneous bandwidth (iBW)
    • Based on production-proven Xilinx IP
  • Digital Up-Conversion (DUC) and Digital Down-Conversion (DDC)
    • Support for up to 8 component carriers (CCs)
    • Supports a wide range of carrier bandwidths and 400MHz iBW
  • Channel Filtering
    • Support for up to 8 component carriers (CCs)
    • Supports a wide range of carrier bandwidths for 4G and 5G NR

 Zynq® Solution Application 

  • 5G New Radio (5G NR)
    • Massive MIMO Macro Cell
    • Multi-Mode (4G/5G) Macro Cell
    • Fixed Wireless Access
    • Small Cell Nodes
  • Aerospace & Defense
    • 5G for Government / Private Spectrum
    • Digital Phased Array Radar
    • Military communication and Satellite communication Modems
    • Data Links
    • Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (e.g., GPS Anti-Jam)
  • Test & Measurement
    • Portable Test Equipment
    • UE Emulation / RF Testers

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