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Nokia launches ReefShark chipsets that deliver massive performance gain in 5G networks

Press Release

  • Increase cell site throughput by a factor of three
  • Slash massive MIMO antenna size and power consumption
  • Embed AI capabilities to optimize radio resources and support network slicing.
  • Enhance terabit AirScale family as part of Nokia's end-to-end 5G portfolio
  • Currently working with 30 operators
  • Shipping in volume in Q3 2018

29 January 2018

Espoo, Finland - Nokia has unveiled its new ReefShark chipsets, which leverage in-house silicon expertise to dramatically reduce the size, cost and power consumption of operators' networks and meet the massive compute and radio requirements of 5G.

Incorporating Nokia Bell Labs artificial intelligence (AI) innovations as well as Nokia's extensive capabilities in antenna development for mobile devices and base stations, ReefShark chipsets leverage silicon developed by Nokia in Oulu, Espoo and Tampere, Finland as well as Sunnyvale, California.

ReefShark chipsets for radio frequency (RF) units such as the radio used in antennas significantly improve their performance. This results in halving the size of massive MIMO antennas. ReefShark chipsets also reduce power consumption in baseband units by 64%, compared to such units in use today.

The ReefShark chipsets for compute capacity are delivered as plug-in units for the commercially available Nokia AirScale baseband module. AirScale is software upgradeable to full 5G functionality, and these plug-in units triple throughput from Nokia's already market-leading 28 Gbps today, to up to 84 Gbps per module. Additionally, AirScale baseband module chaining supports base station throughputs of up to 6 terabits per second, which will allow operators to meet the huge growing densification demands and support the massive enhanced mobile broadband needs of people and devices in megacities.
 

AI in 5G networks enables real-time radio monitoring and optimization and the ability to apply techniques such as network slicing to meet the service level demands of new business cases. Nokia is developing technology with common interfaces and toolkits allowing service providers to implement machine learning applications in their networks.

Nokia is working with 30 operators using ReefShark and will ramp up field deployments during the third quarter of 2018.

Neil McRae, BT Chief Architect, said "By incorporating ReefShark into our network we will leverage the huge network performance improvements that will allow us to unleash the full potential of 5G."

Henri Tervonen, CTO of Nokia Mobile Networks and head of R&D Foundation said: "With ReefShark, Nokia has created a clear competitive advantage. Its combination of power, intelligence and efficiency make it ideally suited to be at the heart of fast arriving 5G networks."  

About the Nokia ReefShark chipsets

  • Incorporate leading system design and nanometer chip technology
  • Decrease massive MIMO antenna size by half
  • 64% reduction in power consumption in the baseband unit.

The ReefShark chipsets comprise:

  • ReefShark Digital Front End for LTE and 5G radio systems supporting massive MIMO
  • ReefShark RFIC front-end module and transceiver: massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna solution
  • ReefShark Baseband Processor: All-in-one compute heavy design, capable of supporting the massive scale requirements of 5G. This is the brain power of baseband processing.

Nokia will continue to communicate its Future X architecture for 5G in future announcements and at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona. For more information visit the Nokia 5G web page.

Did You Know

  • In another major silicon announcement in 2017, Nokia introduced a breakthrough portfolio of internet routing platforms that incorporate Nokia FP4 silicon - the world's first 2.4 Tbps network processor - to let service providers and webscale operators implement IP networks that deliver a generational boost to performance, unprecedented scale, security and functionality to support the connection and automation of billions of devices.

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