Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) today announced the T1 Telco Accelerator Card for O-RAN distributed units (O-DUs) and virtual baseband units (vBBUs) in 5G networks. Built using the same field-proven Xilinx silicon and IP already being deployed in 5G networks, the T1 card is the only multi-function PCIe form factor card which performs both O-RAN fronthaul protocols and layer 1 offload.  With its advanced offload capabilities, the T1 card provides a dramatic reduction in the number of CPU cores required in a system. The T1 card also enables the O-DU to deliver greater 5G performance and services while reducing overall system power consumption and cost compared to competitive offerings.

The demand for O-DU and vBBU solutions is rapidly increasing because they provide an open and standard platform for a wide range of 5G virtualized services. The T1 card is a small form factor, single-slot card that can be plugged into standard x86 or non-x86 servers to achieve the real-time protocol processing performance required for 5G virtualized O-DU platforms. In addition, it offloads line-rate and compute-intensive functions including: channel encoding/decoding using hardened LDPC and Turbo codecs, rate matching/de-matching, HARQ buffer management, and more, freeing the processor cores for running other services – the true promise of virtualization. The T1 card simplifies 5G deployments by offering a turnkey solution through ecosystem partners that includes both O-RAN fronthaul and 5G NR layer 1 reference designs, as well as pre-validated software to enable operators, system integrators, and OEMs to get to market quickly.

The offloading of critical channel coding functions from the CPU to the T1 card delivers up to 45x encoding and 23x decoding throughput improvement relative to the same server without acceleration. The T1 card enables the use of fewer CPU cores, driving down system cost and overall power consumption. Additionally, for O-RAN fronthaul termination, it can process multiple sectors of 5G NR 4TRX at 100 MHz OBW with its 50 Gbps of optical ports.  The Fronthaul and L1 bandwidths are matched for optimal scalability; the more towers you want, the more cards you add to the server.

“The trend toward network virtualization and O-RAN has given us an opportunity with the Xilinx T1 Telco Accelerator Card to drive the next steps of disaggregation of standard networks, enabling our expansion into every corner of the 5G market,” said Dan Mansur, vice president of marketing, Wired and Wireless Group, Xilinx. “Working closely with our ecosystem partners, Xilinx hardware, IP and software are leading the innovation and realization of 5G O-RAN networks.”

“As 5G infrastructure investments continue to grow to support new and higher bandwidth services, providing solutions that can offer greater system acceleration to meet growing scale and bandwidth requirements is critical,” said Daryl Schoolar, practice leader for Fixed and Mobile Infrastructure, OMDIA. “With growing operator interest in O-RAN and virtualization, the Xilinx T1 Telco Accelerator Card is a compelling solution that is well-timed to serve this need while also enabling important areas such as software and services at the edge.”

Industry Support

“We’re proud to have worked closely with Xilinx on the development of its T1 Telco Accelerator Card,” said Saurav Gupta, vice president – sales (North America), VVDN. “Xilinx has the premier adaptable silicon in the industry which provides the best foundation for which VVDN can build its industry-leading 5G IPs for fronthaul and L1 offload solutions.”

“Open RAN is the new way forward in telecom with a diversity of companies and solutions which offers real innovation,” said Mikael Rylander, senior vice president & general manager of the Radio Access Business Unit, Mavenir. “This series of Telco accelerators from Xilinx represents a powerful addition to 5G Open RAN which provides the hardware adaptability to interoperate with a wide variety of O-RAN equipment.”

“With Xilinx’s experience in the data accelerator market, we are excited to now see their expansion into 5G Telco accelerator cards,” said Pasi Toivonen, head of the Edge Computing Platform, Nokia. “Our Airframe design team at Nokia looks forward to continuing to work with Xilinx to see these exciting new options and capabilities for the growing 5G market.”


The T1 card is available and sampling now to customers worldwide. Volume production is expected by the beginning of 2021.

Photo caption: Xilinx ships T1 multi-function Telco Accelerator Card for growing 5G O-RAN virtual baseband unit markets.