Viettel High Tech reveals homegrown 5G chipset

Viettel High Tech reveals homegrown 5G chipset

Viettel High Tech, the R&D arm of Vietnamese telco Viettel, says it has developed its own 5G chipset, which it says gives it “complete control” over its domestic 5G equipment ecosystem.

The 5G DFE (digital front end) chip, which was first revealed at an innovation trade show in Hanoi last week, is reportedly capable of performing 1 quadrillion calculations per second.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) began promoting development of domestic chipsets and 5G equipment in 2018 with the twin goals of fueling the country’s digital transformation and achieving technological self-reliance. Viettel has been working on developing its own 5G gear since 2019.

Since then, Viettel High Tech says it has produced a range of 5G gear, including 5G gNodeB antennas and base stations, 100G site routers, and even an automatic online charging system (OCS).

Viettel High Tech says it has already integrated its 5G core tech into Viettel’s network, while over 300 of its 5G gNodeB base stations have been deployed in five provinces and cities in Vietnam.

A homegrown 5G chipset was the main gap in its 5G portfolio. Viettel High Tech has been using AMD’s Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RF SoCs in its 5G radios since December 2022.

With the 5G chip, Viettel High Tech said in a statement it has “taken full control of the 5G telecommunications infrastructure, encompassing everything from wireless transceivers, switching devices, transmission equipment, wireless access devices to the core network.”

While Viettel High Tech says the chip was "developed and successfully tested by Vietnamese engineers", it has also been collaborating with Synopsys South Asia on the project.

“We received support from Synopsys and sent a team of engineers to the R&D Center in Belgium,” said Dr. Le Thai Ha, chief technology engineer at Viettel High Tech Integrated Circuit Center.

According to a June 2023 blog post on the Synopsys web site, Viettel High Tech was developing a 5G SoC using a Synopsys tool suite that automates and speeds up the process of designing application-specific instruction-set processors (ASIPs).

Trinh Thanh Lam, business director of Synopsys South Asia, confirmed in a statement that the 5G DFE chip “was functional right from the start.”

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