Press Note

Qualcomm Introduces New 5G Distributed Unit Accelerator Card to Drive Global 5G Virtualized RAN Growth

— New Qualcomm 5G DU X100 Accelerator Card is Designed to Deliver High Performance, Low Latency, and Power Efficient Turnkey Solution for Ease of Deployment and to Accelerate Operator and Infrastructure Vendor Adoption of Virtualized RAN Platforms —

— Designed to Enable Virtualized 5G Networks by Offloading Server CPUs from Compute-Intensive 5G Baseband Processing to Address the Rigorous Demands of 5G —

Jun 28, 2021BARCELONA

Qualcomm products mentioned within this press release are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

What’s New: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today announced the expansion of its 5G RAN Platforms portfolio with the addition of the Qualcomm® 5G DU X100 Accelerator Card. The Qualcomm 5G DU X100 is designed to enable operators and infrastructure vendors the ability to readily reap the benefits of high performance, low latency, and power efficient 5G, while accelerating the cellular ecosystem’s transition towards virtualized radio access networks.

The Qualcomm 5G DU X100 is a PCIe inline accelerator card with concurrent Sub-6 GHz and mmWave baseband support which is designed to simplify 5G deployments by offering a turnkey solution for ease of deployment with O-RAN fronthaul and 5G NR layer 1 High (L1 High) processing. The PCIe card is designed to seamlessly plug into standard Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) servers to offload CPUs from latency-sensitive and compute-intensive 5G baseband functions such as demodulation, beamforming, channel coding, and Massive MIMO computation needed for high-capacity deployments. For use in public or private networks, this accelerator card aims to give carriers the ability to increase overall network capacity and fully realize the transformative potential of 5G.

“Qualcomm Technologies, with its leadership in 5G, is uniquely positioned to drive the evolution of cellular networks and lead the industry towards 5G virtualized networks” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 5G, mobile broadband and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are working closely with mobile operators, network equipment vendors, standards bodies, and other key stakeholders, to enable the deployment of innovative, high-performance, virtualized, and modular 5G networks at scale.”

Qualcomm 5G DU X100 Accelerator Card

Why It’s Important: The new connected world requires wireless connectivity everywhere you go – whether it is at home, on the go or at work. Mobile network operators are addressing this new norm with unlimited data plans and offering new services such as fixed wireless access, with the goal of ensuring consumers can utilize their favorite devices in crowded environments and across dense urban, suburban, and rural areas.

This has all led to increased complexity for RAN deployments and growing interest in O-RAN and virtualization. Specifically, the physical layers of the RAN protocol stack are characterized by real-time functions and complex signal processing algorithms. And the complexity of these functions and algorithms grow significantly as bandwidths increase and advanced antenna systems, such as Massive MIMO, are deployed. Therefore, there is a strong need for hardware acceleration for latency-sensitive and compute-intensive functions and algorithms, offloading general purpose processors of these functions.

The Qualcomm 5G DU X100 is designed to allow established and emerging infrastructure vendors to simplify network deployments and fast track the commercialization of virtualized infrastructure at scale.  Our inline accelerator card, the Qualcomm 5G DU X100, is designed to significantly enhance virtualized network operators’ deployments by increasing performance, reducing the number of CPUs and cores required and reducing power consumption and allow for enhanced user experiences to consumers.  

Qualcomm Technologies is collaborating with global operators and ecosystem partners to accelerate the adoption of Virtualized RAN.

“Leveraging our extensive digital transformation experience, Dell Technologies is redefining how mobile networks are designed and how next generation services are delivered,” said Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business. “New technologies, like the Qualcomm 5G accelerator cards, are designed to advance the open telecom ecosystem and deliver cloud-native networks that enable operators to meet performance demands at the edge and capture new revenue opportunities.”

Deutsche Telekom
“O-RAN will play an important role in driving network innovation, providing greater flexibility and scalability with modular hardware and software, and utilizing all the benefits coming from virtualization, the cloud, and open interfaces,” said Arash Ashouriha, senior vice president, group technology and innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “We welcome Qualcomm Technologies’ announcement today and we look forward to continue working with Qualcomm Technologies on infrastructure innovation to ensure a more customer-centric network of the future.”

"Qualcomm Technologies’ expansion of its 5G RAN Platform portfolio to include solutions for open, virtualized networks is an important step for the industry,” said Marc Rouanne, chief network officer, DISH. “Qualcomm Technologies has continued to innovate in products that will accelerate the development and operations of O-RAN networks, both independently and through our work together. We appreciate their leadership and the technologies they are helping enable."

Hewlett Packard Enterprise
“Hewlett Packard Enterprise welcomes the opportunity to work with Qualcomm Technologies to expand the ecosystem for next generation compute-based Open RAN solutions,” said Claus Pedersen, vice president, communications infrastructure solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “HPE provides industry leading platform solutions for Open RAN and we look forward to collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies and using their innovative technology to provide our customers with new capabilities and more choice as they build out their 5G access networks with HPE technology.”

“The demand for disaggregated and virtualized mobile network infrastructure is growing among global operators, and Qualcomm Technologies is introducing the Qualcomm 5G DU X100 to further this industry trend by leveraging their mobile technologies," said Sadayuki Abeta, general manager of radio access network development department, NTT DOCOMO, INC. “DOCOMO is driving our 5G Open RAN Ecosystem activities to make 5G radio access networks more open and flexible with industry leaders, and we are hoping the Qualcomm 5G DU X100 will play a key role in the ecosystem."

“During this year in our TIM Innovation Lab in Turin, we held important trials in Faenza on Open RAN technologies in a multi-vendor environment,” said Daniele Franceschini, senior vice president, technology innovation, standard and product portfolio, TIM. “This technological evolution path is continuing towards the full openness and disaggregation of the Mobile Radio Access based on Artificial Intelligence and Cloud solution. All these activities allowed TIM to be at the cutting edge of the innovation on network virtualization and automation and on the creation of an Open RAN ecosystem.”

“The support that a strong player like Qualcomm Technologies provides to Open RAN at this critical stage is definitely helping to speed up the innovation cycle, accelerating the delivery of some of the key components for the success of Open RAN like the Distributed Units Accelerator Cards that are announced today,” said Francisco Martin, head of Open RAN and radio network, Vodafone. “We are very excited about our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies.”

Engineering samples of the Qualcomm 5G DU X100 are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2022.

For more information on Qualcomm® 5G RAN Platforms, please visit and watch for a video testimonial by Gerardo Giaretta.

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.

Qualcomm is a trademark or registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm 5G DU X100 Accelerator Card and Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

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Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses. Qualcomm products referenced on this page are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

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