Snow Ridge SoC designed for combo of edge computing and 5G
Taking advantage of the massive throughput and low latency of 5G requires a new approach to building telecom networks. Often described as born in the cloud, 5G will require not just workload support associated with large, centralized data centers, but also taking that same type of computing performance and moving it out closer to the network edge.
Intel drove this point home last week during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, highlighting how the combination of 5G and edge computing is essential for new types of consumer experiences–think cloud-based and mobile gaming–as well as for digitally transforming enterprises of all sorts.
During Intel’s keynote presentation, EVP and GM of the Data Center Group, Navin Shenoy, said, “There was a time when the communications industry and the computing industry where really kind of separate industries; parallel universes if you will. But 5G is going to change that forever. We are expanding our decade-long investments in network infrastructure with a new network SoC, code named Snow Ridge, that is being developed specifically for 5G wireless access.”
Shenoy said base stations have long been “fixed-function, proprietary hardware and software and now they’re being rearchitected to run on Intel architecture. We’re taking all the technology we’ve developed for the server market, we’re shrinking it down, we’re repurposing it and we’re developing it and fitting it into a very small form factor…so that it can sit eventually onto those cell phone towers that we all drive by, thereby moving servers essentially closer and closer to the user.”
In an interview with TechRadar, Intel SVP of the Network Platforms Group, Sandra Riviera, said the goal is win 40% of the baseband processor market by 2022. “Everywhere that you can have things and devices that are smart and connected…the opportunity to collect and aggregate that data, and turn that data into valuable insights that drive some positive action – we think we have a very valuable role to play.”
During a panel discussion on the 5G and edge computing, Caroline Chan, vice president of the Network Platforms Group and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division, said the combination is crucial to driving digital transformation in the enterprise and delivering strong return on investment. “5G with edge compute is the biggest payoff of digital transformation.”