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Open RF Association releases OpenRF specification

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Establishes an open, interoperable ecosystem between 5G chipset and RF front-end vendors

The Open RF Association (OpenRF), an industry consortium dedicated to creating an open 5G ecosystem of interoperable hardware and software across member multi-mode RF front-end (radio frequency front-end) and chipset platforms, today announced the release of its OpenRF Version 1.0.0 specification. This initial specification provides the groundwork for RF front-end to chipset interoperability including a software development environment for advanced feature sets.

“I am proud to announce the release of our first specification one year after the formation of the consortium,” said OpenRF Association president Kevin Schoenrock. “This release benefits the entire 5G industry by establishing an open and interoperable ecosystem between chipsets and RF front-end.”

The OpenRF specification will optimize configurations and standardize certain specifications enabling interchangeable RF front-end to RFIC (radio-frequency integrated circuit) solutions. This provides 5G wireless device OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) with the maximum choice in RF front-end solutions enabling lower development costs, reduced time-to-market and design risk, high performance utilizing a platform for future innovations, and an improved supply chain implemented across the breadth of OEM consumer mobile products.


“The Open RF Association’s first specification release is a significant accomplishment. A baseline for requirements and a common language are essential to the success of any new organization,” said Dan McNamara, Principal Analyst with Mobile Experts, Inc. “This specification is the critical first step as OpenRF establishes the language for RF components and modems to speak with each other.”

Key highlights of the specification include:

  • The first OpenRF standardized register maps. All RF front-end components have a common language and register map configuration that will enable faster digital implementations and increased interface optimizations in future generations.
  • An established hardware port naming convention.
  • A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) architecture document and the Initial implementation of the HAL framework with a programming guide. The OpenRF HAL provides an RF front-end and RFIC agnostic view of the RF front-end-RFIC software interface, standardizing the programming model of the RFIC control of RF front-end.
  • Interoperable, optimized configurations that standardize certain specifications, enabling interchangeable RF front-end to RFIC solutions.

The initial OpenRF-compliant products are expected to enter the market in late 2022. RF front-end components will likely come first, followed by the first RFICs leveraging OpenRF requirements later next year.


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