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Addressing the Digital Divide with Facebook Connectivity and Magma

Arm is announcing collaborative work with Facebook Connectivity on Magma, now a Linux Foundation project.
By Chris Bergey, SVP and GM of the Client Business, Arm

By Chris Bergey, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm

At Arm, we’re always looking ahead, together with our ecosystem, to consider the infrastructure required to securely collect, store, move and process the infinite amount of data that will be generated from a world of one trillion connected devices. Equally as important is the accessibility to those devices by people around the world.

Today, nearly half of the world’s population has no access to the internet and this digital divide is even more emphasized under the stress of a global pandemic.¹ Of those who are connected, 91% of access is through mobile devices. While the pervasiveness of mobile devices has lowered the cost of access around the world, there is still a significant gap between the cost of access in low-income regions compared to the world average.¹ As an industry we have the responsibility to close this gap and bring the benefits of technology to everyone in the world through better connectivity and access.

Arm’s role in this journey is to make it as easy as possible to create solutions that are accessible to a broad userbase from cloud to edge to endpoint devices. To do that, we remain committed to open-standards and platform diversity as is represented in Project Cassini, an initiative aimed at creating a secure, cloud native experience at the edge.

But we are not alone on this journey; our broad ecosystem shares this vision and today, we’re strengthening our efforts by announcing our collaborative work with Facebook Connectivity on Magma, now a Linux Foundation project.

Magma is an open-source software platform designed to simplify deployment and management of core network functions across locations spanning the communications infrastructure edge. Previously open-sourced by Facebook in 2019, Magma is focused on enabling use cases such as fixed wireless access, private LTE, and 5G.

We are working with Facebook Connectivity to integrate the performance, power efficiency, and pervasiveness of Arm-based solutions with Magma. Together we can bring greater connectivity to emerging markets and dense urban areas by enabling service providers with open, flexible, and extensible carrier-grade networks.

An important piece in making this mission a reality is empowering the developer. By bringing the scale and diversity of the Arm ecosystem to Magma, solution providers such as ODMs, system integrators, NFV vendors, and network stack and application developers can select platforms that are optimized for their target workloads.

Magma’s highly modular, service-oriented architecture can benefit from inherent features in Arm-based solutions, such as security built-in from the ground up, increased core density, and the ability to select the right balance of general purpose and accelerated computing. Through initiatives like Project Cassini, the Arm ecosystem brings forward best practices across the design community to enable a more seamless experience for application developers, while allowing for platform diversity to thrive. This means Magma developers will have a no-compromise architecture rooted in diversity, enabling them to develop solutions that meet the connectivity needs of many geographies.

We have a shared purpose with our partners like Facebook Connectivity to bring the world closer together through the power of technology, and we encourage you to learn more about the Magma community here.

¹ Source: The Inclusive Internet Index 2020

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