Revolutionary 5G
core performance

The handshake delivering ground-breaking 5G core performance
ASTRI maintains a reputation for having one eye on the future even as it works to improve the present. It is constantly anticipating coming needs, technological and digital trends, as well as the next breakthrough in applied research. And while ASTRI’s focus is always on the advancement of Hong Kong-based technologies and innovation, to achieve this, its collaborations and eco-system partnerships go well beyond the city’s borders.

This year, ASTRI achieved a significant milestone in the field of commercial, high-performance 5G core networks. Together with technology giant Intel Corporation and United States-based IT firm Supermicro, ASTRI demonstrated a groundbreaking traffic volume of 1.3 Tbps throughput performance on a 5G core network. 

Roundtrip Latency (μs)

This marks a considerable increase from the 200 Gbps throughput demonstrated just last year on the high-performing 2U architecture servers. At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2019, the companies showcased the 5G standalone (SA) core network and edge artificial intelligence for vehicle-to-everything C-V2X technology.

But it didn’t come easy. The achievement was the result of years of teamwork between ASTRI and Intel, and we overcome many challenges in research and development efforts to drive forward and optimise 5G technology. According to ASTRI’s Networking Software Director Alex Mui, it was only within the last two to three years that the companies began focusing on 5G SA core network - and the results have been extraordinary.

This year’s 1 Tbps breakthrough will be able to deliver higher throughput, higher speeds with lower latency to better support 5G wireless infrastructure and diversified services with higher traffic volume and data rates. Better yet, it’s scalable and able to cater to flexible and varying performance scenarios as well as customer needs.

After initially hitting a bottleneck in terms of scaling out, by working together, ASTRI and Intel found a solution. By using ASTRI’s 5G core User Plane Function (UPF) which delivers high network throughput to leverage Intel’s Dynamic Device Personalisation (DDP) capability for packet distribution, ASTRI and Intel were able to efficiently scale out to different CPU cores.

As Alex said during Intel’s Chit Chat podcast series, together with enhancements to the network cards, they looked to focus on the two “extreme configurations” in the 5G core produced a solution that would allow them to scale down or scale up and deliver a

good and amazing performance

Collaborative R&D between ASTRI and Intel has continued to develop the benefits of 5G to meet the future demands and accelerate the market. This has included pushing the capabilities of its hardware and software infrastructure, architecture and control plane network functions to accommodate different deployment scenarios.

Currently, ASTRI’s 5G core network supports network functions such as AMF (Access and Mobility Management Function), PCR (Policy Control Function), SMF (Session Management Function), UDSF (Unstructured Data Storage Function) and NSSF (Network Slice Selection Function).

1.3Tbps 5G UPF Core Network Demonstration

More exciting still is the potential for different deployment configurations on the Internet of Things (IoT), a great example of which is the advanced work being carried out by ASTRI in the field of smart mobility. The application of deployment integration is being used to create products that utilise various aspects of the 5G network such as high bandwidth, large data rates and speeds to transport huge volumes of sensory data that can help road users detect and anticipate oncoming threats.

Understandably, all these have generated much interest. The 5G core network’s scalability, flexibility and wide-ranging potential can lead Hong Kong, and the world, straight to the future as the demand for 5G grows even more. Yet as amazing as all this is, the ASTRI and Intel story does not end there.

Together, they will continue to push the limits of 5G capabilities, shine a light on Hong Kong’s innovation, and even save lives.