Sunday, June 6, 2021

NSF funds development of an Open Source 5G Standalone software stack

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding a consortium of 35 leading wireless companies and associations to develop an Open Source 5G Standalone software stack.

The OpenAirX-Labs (OAX) project, which is part of the NSF's Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office, is focused on the development, testing, and integration of the OpenAirInterface (OAI) Software Alliance's open source 5G standalone software stack. It is the newest resource in the PAWR program, a public-private partnership promoting wireless research through the development of multiple outdoor, large-scale wireless testbeds across the U.S.

Founding industry partners for OAX include Facebook, Interdigital, NI, Qualcomm, Radisys, and Xilinx – all part of the larger PAWR Industry Consortium. Federal funding for OAX activities is provided by NSF and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering [DOD OUSD (R&E)] through awards under the PAWR program. OAX is located at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University in Boston.

"The launch of OAX puts muscle not only behind U.S. efforts to expand the capabilities and performance of 5G networks, but also behind the technologies that will move the wireless industry beyond 5G," said PAWR Technical Program Director Abhimanyu (Manu) Gosain. "By hosting OAX as part of the PAWR program, we are also ensuring there is a clear path from software development through to testing and prototyping of new software, hardware, and wireless applications."

"A lot of thinking and hard work from the board as well as the engineering teams of EURECOM and the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) has gone into laying the ground work for the launch of the OpenAirX-Labs," said Raymond Knopp, President of the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance and Professor at EURECOM. "The Alliance from its onset has remained fully committed to creating the conditions for openness and thus to the worldwide adoption of OAI. This has involved the laser focus of developers from EURECOM, OSA and the key partners in the community to deliver end-to-end 5G core and RAN stacks that are complete, stable, easy to deploy, and appealing for the use cases of our contributors and users. We see great opportunities ahead as OAI now expands through its U.S. home, the OAX labs in North America."