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ONF Unveils Breakthrough CORD, MEC & 5G Innovations at MWC

CORD Community Demonstrates Comprehensive Open Source 5G Platform for Operators

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb 5, 2018 - Today, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), an operator-led consortium with the mission of transforming networks into agile platforms for service delivery, announced its Mobile World Congress (MWC) showcase featuring numerous Edge Cloud innovations integrated into a cohesive CORD POD, an ONOS Controlled P4 switching fabric and a community that integrated the most complex forward-looking 5G open demonstration to date.

Business Benefits & Industry Firsts:

Led by the ONF, CORD and its community are defining the edge cloud of the future.  CORD has been embraced by leading service providers around the world. The showcase demonstrates additional benefits that will continue to fuel adoption, including these industry firsts:

  • New 100x performance, cost, power and space savings enabled by industry-first hardware-based VNF acceleration with SDN
  • Per-subscriber real-time orchestration, with XOS chaining together VNFs on both servers and programmable P4 switches to instantiate custom services for individual subscribers
  • Hierarchical orchestration and automation, with ONAP as a global orchestrator and CORD as the intelligent edge cloud infrastructure with real-time subscriber orchestration
  • Interoperability with ETSI MEC, demonstrating the flexibility of the CORD architecture and the effort to work with the broadest possible community of stakeholders
  • First commercial grade virtual function (vMRF) with complete life-cycle management and policy driven automation via ONAP on CORD platform
  • Demonstrating the power of open source by highlighting how 17 collaborating organizations created a single unified 5G demo in just 3 months
  • Mobile Access Edge Compute services including VoLTE, edge video processing, and advanced VR/AR requiring high bandwidth low latency services on CORD platform


Key Innovations to Be Showcased in the Live MWC Network:

MWC will feature a single unified demo highlighting the power of a CORD-based solution while highlighting these industry-first technological breakthroughs:

  • A multi-vendor programmable P4 Fabric, including switches featuring Barefoot, Cavium and Mellanox switching silicon
  • VNF Offloading, with 3GPP user plane running in P4 hardware, with hardware from Barefoot and software from the ONOS Project
  • ONAP Integration for configuring network slices and ProgRAN (programmable RAN) thanks to contributions from Netsia
  • Facial recognition support, leveraging GPU acceleration, contributed by Arm
  • Low-latency closed-loop analytics with ONAP DCAE integration from Mariner SONAR4
  • End-to-End network slicing, with separate RAN and EPC slices provided by Netsia
  • M-CORD based MEC platform with local breakout, VoLTE/Video and AR/VR services and ONAP driven complete life-cycle management and automation of NFV based virtual functions to demonstrate how M-CORD can be deployed by operators to deliver edge services, provided by
  • Multi-vendor hardware heterogeneity in a single operating CORD POD, including:
    • P4 programmable switching hardware from 3 different vendors
    • Arm(R)-based and Intel® Architecture-based servers
    • NIC-based GPU acceleration
    • Smart Remote Radio Unit and eNodeB from Cavium
  • End-to-end CORD integration from Ciena and Radisys


CORD Community

The power of an open source community is being spotlighted with this MWC CORD demo.  The result is a single, end-to-end solution relying on and highlighting a broad spectrum of technological breakthroughs, all working together as a cohesive whole.  The CORD community has come together to deliver this bold undertaking, yielding a comprehensive and highly integrated demonstration.

The community making this demonstration possible included:

Sponsors: Arm, Barefoot Networks, Intel, Mariner Partners, Netsia, and Radisys.

Telecom operators supporting and defining use cases for this demonstration include AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Group and Turk Telecom.

Technology Collaborators include Cavium, Ciena, Mellanox and the ONOS Project. 

MWC Collaborator Quotes:

“Today’s cloud is not built to support the demands of tomorrow’s network infrastructure, one that requires performant 5G to support one trillion connected devices,” said Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Business Unit, Arm. “Our collaboration with ONF to deliver the CORD proof of concept showcases how Arm enables the critical IP and software required for secure, highly interconnected, and distributed computing."


Barefoot Networks is excited to see the vast potential of the P4 programming language, the open, extensible and silicon-independent P4 Runtime APIs, and the Tofino Ethernet switch series leveraged for implementing a fully-programmable fabric for 5G networks,” said Ed Doe, VP of Product, Business and Strategy at Barefoot Networks. “Building upon what was already demonstrated with Google and ONF in October, we are now showcasing 5G user plane function and VNF implementation in the forwarding plane itself on Barefoot switches, enabling operators to deliver next-generation services with rich functionality and visibility.”


“From intelligent radio heads to vBBU to Arm-enabled servers and edge computing devices to P4-programmable switching fabric with run-time offload capabilities, Cavium continues to be an active collaborator on the M-CORD project,” said Raj Singh, VP and GM of Cavium’s Network and Communications Group.  “We’re pleased to contribute to the ONF MWC demonstrations and believe that M-CORD is poised to influence operator deployment decisions.”


Ciena is serving as prime integrator for this bold demonstration featuring over a dozen substantial innovations.  We helped to pull together and verify the various technology elements into this comprehensive proof-of-concept that illustrates the art of the possible on democratization of wireless and wireline access networks with open, programmable platforms for multi-access edge networking ,” said Steve Alexander, CTO of Ciena.


Mariner sees the network edge as a strategic advantage for service providers, with 5G requiring virtualized network and compute resources close to end-users,” said Jim Foran, VP of Mariner SONAR4. “We are excited to promote intelligent, distributed, low-latency analytics capabilities in CORD, supporting edge automation for next generation wireless services.”


Mellanox is pleased to be part of ONF’s programmable fabric demonstration at MWC, and help realize the CORD vision of transforming the traditional telco infrastructure, to a software defined cloud data center,” said Dror Goldenberg, vice president software architecture, Mellanox Technologies. “Our highly flexible, end-to-end cloud networking solutions provide the ideal agility and programmability to transform legacy data centers to open platform architectures that leverage P4 Runtime and other open interfaces. Our intelligent, high performance, and scalable networking solutions are the key to achieving efficient virtualized software and services for programmable fabrics, edge computing, NFV and cloud native applications.”


"Netsia, the technology start-up based in Sunnyvale (California), is actively working on programmable Software-Defined RAN Virtualization for 5G, and has developed ProgRAN, a programmable Software Defined Network (SDN)-based Radio Access Network framework. Netsia has been investing in M-CORD and we are inspired by the results,” said Oguz Oktay, Netsia's Vice President of Wireless Solutions for Netsia. “We are pleased to have incorporated a number of our RAN and network slicing innovations into this comprehensive M-CORD showcase in support of multiple innovations at Mobile World Congress.”


“Radisys is committed to CORD and the creation of an agile, flexible, programmable, elastic and performance optimized architecture allowing mobile operators to cost-effectively meet the coming requirements of MEC, in the evolution to 5G,” said Neeraj Patel, vice president and general manager, Software and Services Solutions, Radisys.


”The ONF is excited to see the power of our open systems community put to work at Mobile World Congress.  The unprecedented degree of technical innovation being highlighted in 2018 is a testament to the commitment of many dedicated collaborators who have embraced and risen to the challenge of this monumental demo,” said Oguz Sunay, M-CORD Chief Architect at the Open Networking Foundation.


About the ONF:
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Group and Turk Telekom, the ONF has now merged operations with ON.Lab to create a single organization driving vast transformation across the operator space. For further information visit https://onfstaging1.opennetworking.org


Media Inquiries:

Gregory Cross

Public Relations for Open Networking Foundation