NVIDIA, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) computing, is developing a new AI-on-5G solution that combines 5G vRAN, edge AI and digital twin workloads on an all-in-one, hyperconverged and GPU-accelerated system. Built with NTT DOCOMO, Fujitsu and others, the all-in-one solution enables telcos to deliver immersive graphics, metaverse applications and computer vision from a single server.
The lower cost of ownership enabled by such a system would, says NVIDIA, help telcos drive revenue growth in smart cities, as well as the retail, entertainment and manufacturing industries, to support a multitrillion-dollar, 5G-enabled ecosystem.
NVIDIA and Fujitsu are demonstrating the new AI-on-5G system at MWC 2023.
The AI-on-5G system consists of:
- Fujitsu’s virtualized 5G Open RAN product suite, which was developed as part of the 5G Open RAN ecosystem experience (OREX) project promoted by NTT DOCOMO. It also includes Fujitsu’s virtualized central unit (vCU) and distributed unit (vDU), plus other virtualized software functions of vRAN from Fujitsu.
- The NVIDIA Aerial software development kit for 5G vRAN; NVIDIA Omniverse for building and operating custom 3D pipelines and large-scale simulations; NVIDIA RTX Virtual Workstation (vWS) software; and NVIDIA CloudXR for streaming extended reality.
- Hardware that includes the NVIDIA A100X and L40 converged accelerators.
The announcement is described as a step toward accomplishing the O-RAN Alliance’s goal of enabling software-defined, AI-driven, cloud-native, fully programmable, energy-efficient and commercially ready telco-grade 5G Open RAN solutions. It’s also consistent with the Open RAN Ecosystem’s (OREC) goal of implementing a widely adopted, high-performance and multi-vendor 5G vRAN for both public and enterprise 5G deployments.
The all-in-one system uses GPUs to accelerate the software-defined 5G vRAN, as well as the edge AI and graphics applications, without bespoke hardware accelerators nor a specific telecom CPU. This ensures that the GPUs can accelerate the vRAN (based on NVIDIA Aerial), AI video analytics (based on NVIDIA Metropolis), streaming immersive extended reality (XR) experiences (based on NVIDIA CloudXR) and digital twins (based on NVIDIA Omniverse).