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Breakthrough 5G Core Performance and Power Efficiency for Sustainable, High-Performance Networks

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Every year Mobile World Congress is packed with exciting new consumer devices and applications.

Beneath this sizzle is the steak, the infrastructure innovations leading us towards the 5G networks that in turn will generate more sizzle and monetization opportunities.

Our focus in the Wireline and Core Network business at Intel is leading the industry’s transition to cloud native 5G core networks.

We typically highlight new performance milestones in the 5G user plane at MWC, and this year brings more significant breakthroughs with a powerful twist.     

We achieved the industry’s first 1 Tbps* of performance for the UPF workload in the 5G core and at the edge with the Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) workload, a main element in converged wireless and wireline infrastructure.  

Communication service providers are increasingly focused on reducing power consumption, costs, and carbon emissions but not at the expense of performance or quality of service.

Intel® Infrastructure Power Manager for 5G Core software delivers an average power savings of 30 percent* while maintaining key telco performance metrics by dynamically matching run-time CPU power consumption to traffic.

Together the new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with Intel Infrastructure Power Manager for 5G Core deliver 93 percent* performance-per-watt improvement compared to previous generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors without the new software.

Let’s unpack these breakthrough capabilities backed by early ecosystem validation. 


Breakthrough Performance

  • 1 Tbps of performance for the 5G UPF workload with a single dual socket server running on 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
  • Samsung demonstrated 912 Gbps throughput performance of its 5G core UPF workload running on 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors at the Intel stand in Barcelona.  Watch the video
  • Casa Systems announced  1+Tbps of throughput for the vBNG/AGF workload with ultra-low latency at 100 microseconds at 120,000 sessions and zero packet loss. Casa Systems achieved these test results on a standard 2U single server powered by 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters.


Power Management

  • SK Telecom achieved 55 percent power savings per day and reduction of 10 gigawatt hours of power and 5,000 tons of carbon emissions in a test of Intel Infrastructure Power Manager for 5G Core based on its 24-hour traffic profiles.  (SK Telecom news release and joint whitepaper)
  • Nokia measured a 30 percent improvement in 5G core UPF performance using 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors over the previous generation and up to 43 percent power savings with Intel Infrastructure Power Manager for 5G core software. (Nokia’s blog)
  • NEC achieved over 30 percent reduction in CPU power consumption by using Intel Infrastructure Power Manager for 5G Core with the NEC 5G UPF and CoSP traffic profiles over a 24-hour period.  (NEC news release)
  • Casa Systems was able to reduce average CPU power over a representative 24-hour period based on an operator traffic profile in early tests using the new Intel reference software.
  • Ericsson showcased real-time energy savings by utilizing the power management features of the Intel 4th Generation Xeon Scalable processors.


Join us

Are you on the journey towards cloud native 5G networks? Are you looking for world-class performance with the ability to support sustainability and profitability goals?

Whether you are a telecommunication or original equipment manufacturer, software vendor or a CoSP, we encourage you to learn more about these new breakthrough capabilities at www.intel.com/5G

Join us on the path towards efficient and high-performance cloud native networks.



*Performance varies by use, configuration, and other factors. See N33, N34, N35 on the Performance Index site

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About the Author
Alexander (Alex) D. Quach is a vice president and general manager of the Wireline and Core Network Division (WCND) within the Network and Edge Group at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for driving Intel’s business across service provider wireline access networks (broadband, cable) and wireless core networks. WCND is specifically focused on the industry transition to virtualized and cloud native solutions along with the 5G next generation core to edge network.Quach was a marketing manager for test and measurement products at Tektronix Inc. before joining Intel® in 1997 as a product marketing engineer for desktop products. He was responsible for promoting the growth of Intel's wireless connectivity business in multiple market segments, including machine-to-machine communication, the automotive sector, low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking and client connectivity. Prior to that, Quach led Intel's wireless connectivity solutions business within the Client Computing Group, where he focused on mobile client platforms based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, wireless gigabit (WiGig) and cellular technologies. Earlier in his Intel career, as director of wireless marketing for the company's mobile wireless business unit, he led marketing for Intel's WiMAX product portfolio. Quach also spent several years as a customer marketing manager in the service provider group.Quach has dual bachelor’s degrees in physics and psychology and an MBA from the University of Washington