Meta’s Evenstar is transitioning to OCP to speed up open RAN adoption

  • Meta is transferring its IP for Evenstar, a program to speed up the adoption of open RAN applied sciences, to the Open Compute Project (OCP).
  • Meta will contribute Evenstar’s radio unit design to OCP, giving the telecom business its first open, white field radio unit answer.
  • The TIP Open RAN group will leverage the Evenstar radio unit reference designs to drive productization, validation, and commercialization of latest Open RAN {hardware} variants.
  • The OCP group will evolve Evenstar with the necessities of the broader ecosystem in thoughts and develop a multi-vendor provide chain.

Over the previous three years, Meta engineers have been working alongside our ecosystem companions on Evenstar, a collaborative effort to speed up the adoption of open radio entry networks (RANs) by simplified, versatile, and environment friendly RAN applied sciences. By driving open supply requirements, we’ve been serving to to ship progressive radio merchandise and decrease the entire value of possession for operators. 

Now that the venture has matured to a degree the place the broader telecom group can totally profit, we’re formally opening up Evenstar’s design to the broader open RAN group. We are going to, nonetheless, be persevering with our collaboration with OCP to assist our ecosystem of companions develop and deploy new open RAN options for the business. Earlier this 12 months we contributed Open M-Aircraft, the software program part of Evenstar for configuring and managing RANs, to the Linux Basis as a part of our collaboration on the LF Connectivity venture. 

“OCP could be very happy to be the house of the {hardware} specification together with firmware for [Evenstar], a totally open RAN radio unit,” mentioned Bijan Nowroozi, CTO of the Open Compute Undertaking Basis. “It’s an absolute milestone in direction of a really open RAN…OCP strives to foster a group the place anybody can contribute, anybody can enhance, and anybody can innovate.”

Contributing Evenstar’s design to the open RAN group

Evenstar started as a method to carry collectively a set of business gamers to work towards the frequent aim of constructing a secure, open, and interoperable infrastructure provide chain for RAN. We’ve since made important progress in constructing a modular reference design for a disaggregated radio unit platform, and now we’re sharing this with OCP as a {hardware} base specification to allow the ecosystem to construct modularized and environment friendly radio unit platforms. 

“Key components of the specification characteristic a sophisticated 4T4R MIMO transceiver able to 40W [per] stream of RF energy and a highly-modular design that’s helpful in actual world use instances,” mentioned Nowroozi. “The {hardware} specification addresses deployment challenges by lowering the entire variety of SKUs required for worldwide availability.” 

Evenstar’s design is predicated on a number of novel options that deal with electrical and mechanical design challenges related to the high-power, dual-band radio models which are rising within the open RAN ecosystem. Evenstar’s firmware, which has additionally been contributed to OCP and open sourced, handles complicated sign processing algorithms reminiscent of digital pre-distortion (DPD) and crest issue discount (CFR).

Evenstar’s radio unit structure was designed by Meta with modularity in thoughts. The modular meeting is a important disaggregation tenet that permits the blending and matching of radio unit elements (energy amplifiers, energy provide models, and so forth.) from totally different suppliers and offers flexibility in rebanding for a variety of radio models. 


The design depends on off-the-shelf discrete elements, which is anticipated to lead to a decrease invoice of supplies (BOM) value, with the extra advantage of having the ability to independently management every of the facility amplifier modules (PAMs) for optimized energy financial savings and elevated radio unit effectivity. 

All modules have been designed, manufactured, and examined within the lab on a person foundation for viability. This {hardware} design can assist the business manufacturing of a variety of radio models, with the platform anchoring a modular idea to assemble energy amplifiers (PAs), radio silicon, and different elements from a best-of-breed provide chain. We count on the modular design primarily based on open interfaces will result in sooner innovation and thereby scale back adoption obstacles. 

Along with the {hardware} base specification and firmware, a complete set of design information and check scripts might be accessible through the OCP website, together with: 

  1. Energy amplifier modules (PAMs)
  2. Energy provide unit (PSU)
  3. Digital management module (board)
  4. Resonant cavity duplexer filter module
  5. Mechanical design
  6. DPD firmware
  7. CFR firmware
  8. Check automation scripts (together with Huge MIMO)

Accelerating open RAN commercialization

Evenstar would be the business’s first open, white field radio unit answer because the business continues to pave the way in which for additional adoption of open RAN applied sciences. 

Jabil, a producing options supplier, has been a key companion within the Evenstar program. It took the lead on growing and producing modular and standards-based radio models primarily based on operator-specified necessities. We’ve been working intently with Jabil to scale our contribution, serving to to commercialize the applied sciences that may drive international adoption. Jabil has been a trusted manufacturing companion for 5G radios and has been offering the telecommunications business with best-in-class execution for greater than twenty years.

Vodafone has additionally been a powerful supporter and key contributor to Evenstar and open RAN applied sciences, having beforehand introduced plans to deploy at least 2,500 open RAN sites in rural areas across the UK by 2027. After contributing necessities and supporting the Evenstar radio unit improvement program with Jabil, Vodafone is now finalizing plans to take the primary models into the lab for testing and validation earlier than getting into the sphere trial part. With its first open RAN websites already reside within the South West of England, we’re excited to see Vodafone pave the way in which for disaggregated RAN options within the community. 

“This main contribution from Meta will present the open RAN ecosystem with the best stage of stimulus and encouragement to scale the radio unit portfolio within the business,” mentioned Yago Tenorio, Vodafone fellow and director of community structure, and TIP Chairman. “We stay up for how this contribution will allow among the greatest radio options on the market for upcoming open RAN deployments.”

Persevering with our collaboration with OCP

Open sourcing Evenstar’s radio unit reference design is an thrilling subsequent step in direction of a wholesome, sturdy, and sustainable ecosystem for open RAN infrastructure choices. We count on area trials and scaled deployments for open RAN to speed up considerably in 2023. We consider this contribution to the ecosystem will present a big time to market benefit to radio unit provide companions as they develop merchandise that may additional improve efficiencies round value, measurement, and energy for RAN elements. 

We stay up for seeing this reference design shifting past specs right into a deployable radio platform that may speed up the adoption of the expertise in networks as operators roll out their open RAN options.