NXP and China Mobile successfully trial NFV at the edge

Created January 19, 2018
Applications and Research

NXP Semiconductors’ virtual customer premises equipment solution has successfully completed a virtualisation networking trial with China Mobile Communications Corporation, achieving success in network function virtualisation.

It is the first time that NXP has deployed a vCPE solution based on Arm architecture processors as part of the China Mobile Cloud platform, and is billed as a “breakthrough” in the deployment of mass-market residential vCPE equipment with cloud-based configuration management – a major intended use of NFV.

During the trial, NXP’s vCPE provided hardware, virtualisation and application software solutions for the China Mobile Virtualisation network project. Featuring an NXP 64-bit Arm V8 processor, the LS1043A, with four high-performance Arm V8 cores, the vCPE integrates a powerful hardware acceleration engine. This can be used for network packet analysis, data encryption/decryption as well as traffic management and ingress traffic classification and distribution.

Optimum combination
“We are pleased with the initial success of the NXP and China Mobile collaboration on network function virtualisation,” said Tareq Bustami, NXP senior vice president and general manager of digital networking. “We look forward to NXP and China Mobile cooperating more broadly and deeply in edge computing application areas based on the vCPE solution, helping to meet the growing market for high-performance solutions.”

“The platform is the optimum combination of high performance and low power consumption, making it well-suited for enterprise, industrial and residential edge computing gateway devices.”

There is a move towards “edge computing” as an operational solution to address growing data processing needs. In an edge computing model, endpoints transmit data to an edge computing device that processes or analyses that data, instead of sending the data to the cloud or a remote data centre to do the work.

Having these edge computing devices at the edge of the enterprise network reduces latency to and from the endpoint, speeds data processing and helps to bring down cloud usage bills – including running less servers in the cloud.

Benefits of edge computing
The major cloud service providers are already gravitating towards the potential benefits of edge computing. Microsoft last July, for instance, unveiled its Azure Stack offering which includes Azure software integrated with hardware from the likes of Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo, Huawei and Cisco.

Microsoft says Azure Stack is an “extension of Azure”, thereby enabling a “truly consistent hybrid cloud platform”. The technology sees organisations run the hardware at their network edge – the private part of their cloud configuration – and link it with the public part of their cloud in Microsoft Azure to create that “consistent” hybrid cloud experience.

NXP developed its vCPE solution to work in conjunction with China Mobile Access Networks using the China Mobile Cloud platform. The vCPE supports virtualisation technology and isolation between services, providing a guarantee for the security and reliability of the edge computing gateway system.

Service providers can quickly, easily and efficiently carry out business deployments, updates, configurations and lifecycle management on the remote edge computing gateway equipment through China Mobile’s business scheduling system and cloud platform, shortening the product innovation cycle and reducing the overall cost of network investment.

Antony Savvas

This article was written
by Antony Savvas

Freelance journalist Antony Savvas has been a technology ‎writer for almost 30 years and has worked across the IT sector's major magazines and websites. He was Computer Weekly's first ever networks and telecoms editor in the late1990s as the computing, mobile and networking industries converged. Antony also undertakes corporate writing assignments for the world's biggest technology companies.