As the worldwide buildout of public 5G wireless networks continues, and interest grows in private 5G wireless networks, the pace of deployment and full operation of these networks is increasingly dependent on successful interoperability across multiple vendors. Unlike the pre-5G era, 5G wireless networks must incorporate a broad range of specifications, each of which require their own set of tests.
To address these challenges, help accelerate worldwide 5G deployment and support designers of hardware solutions targeting 5G applications, Mentor has joined the O-RAN ALLIANCE — a group of leading telecom service providers and ecosystem suppliers committed to openness, intelligence, flexibility and performance in the evolution of 5G radio access network (RAN) architectures and orchestration. As an alliance member, Mentor will focus on verification and validation requirements for open standards-based, highly-configurable network development.
“While there are many challenges to building the products that comprise 5G networks, testing is the key to success,” said Joe Sawicki, Executive Vice President for Mentor’s IC Segment. “Mentor’s comprehensive silicon verification flow is ideally suited to help O-RAN and its members meet their goal of dramatically streamlining interoperability validation cycles for 5G deployments around the globe.”
O-RAN encourages collaboration among a large group of companies, enabling them to build the best, most cost-effective 5G products. At the heart of many of these products are systems-on-chip (SoCs), which must be verified within the context of the overall 5G systems they will power.
Among the technologies to be utilized in support of these efforts is Mentor’s X-STEP post-silicon validation platform for mixed vendor, system level-testing of 5G components, including SoCs, baseband boards and antenna systems.
Acquired via the company’s 2018 purchase of Finnish 5G software firm Sarokal, X-STEP works together with Mentor’s Veloce Strato hardware emulation platform to deliver a unique verification flow encompassing pre-silicon and post-silicon verification functionality for 5G networks.
Using this comprehensive flow, 5G network designers can conduct:
- Pre-silicon SoC protocol compliance verification.
- Development-phase test case sharing between partner companies for early verification in the development phase.
- Lab-grade verification with bit-accurate analysis of data for timing specifications and antenna configuration testing.