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Moving NFV Toward the Antenna Through FPGA-Based Hardware Reconfiguration

F. M. Almeida, L. F. M. A. ; S. Pereira, S. ; Domingues, J. M. D. D. ; Oliveira, A. ; Carvalho, N.B.C.

IEEE Communications Letters Vol. 27, Nº 1, pp. 342 - 346, January, 2023.

ISSN (print): 1089-7798
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,80 (in 2022)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/LCOMM.2022.3216506

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This paper presents a system architecture and design, enabling hardware level virtualization for radio units in a 5G and beyond Cloud Radio Access Networks environment. This aims to increase system flexibility and reconfigurability, bringing Network Function Virtualization closer to the antenna, leveraging the Hardware as a Service concept. Using Field Programmable Gate Array partial reconfiguration capabilities, an architecture was designed with independent transmission channels capable of dynamically change waveforms depending on user requirements, while maintaining the core system running. It was achieved an Error Vector Magnitude below 1.4% for sub-6 GHz frequencies and a channel reconfiguration time below 8 ms.