By Nermin Mohamed, Head of Telecommunications Solutions, Wind River
We are moving to a world where we ride in self-driving cars, where doctors diagnose and treat patients half a world away, and—on a slightly less grand scale—where packages can be delivered by a drone within an hour. None of these things would be possible without AI-based applications that leverage the power of 5G. In this post, we’ll look at how NVIDIA and Wind River are working together to build a new ecosystem that fully supports the infrastructure requirements of 5G and the intelligent edge.
5G as an agent of change
5G is a catalyst for a sea change in how infrastructure is built and managed. Instead of a single-vendor stack that is unwieldy to scale and maintain, 5G uses a disaggregated model where every function and component can be sourced separately and updated independently. This interoperability and flexibility is key to leveraging state-of-the-art components while keeping build and maintenance costs in line.
In the next several years, this powerful technology infrastructure will evolve so quickly that it may feel more revolutionary than evolutionary. New applications, such as IoT, immersive graphics, robotics, and those cool self-driving cars are moving from science fiction to reality. These new use cases are driving the next phase of cloud computing: extending compute power to the edge where the users and devices are. This intelligent edge offers connectivity and ultra-low latency without the need for costly, complicated physical cabling back to a central computing core.
Data at the intelligent edge
IoT sensors and immersive experiences, such as high-definition video and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) produce massive amounts of data, often in unstructured video or voice formats. The utility of the intelligent edge has already begun in telecommunications, and it is moving into every sector as new use cases are created. IDC estimates that by 2025, connected devices will generate approximately 79.4 zettabytes of data.
This huge volume of data presents opportunities of enormous potential for operators. Bringing data collection, processing, and reporting as close to the end user as possible, without moving network traffic back to a central core, will enable faster processing and deliver cost-effective 5G networks that can handle dynamic landscapes and multiple remote nodes more efficiently.
AR/VR as a growth market
The global market for AR/VR applications is huge in both consumer and enterprise sectors. Within the consumer market, smartphones and mobile gaming are driving the adoption of AR/VR solutions. This market has incredible growth potential, from $11 billion in 2017 to a projected $571 billion by 2025.
In the enterprise sector, AR/VR offers a cost-effective and efficient solution for training and skill development. It can also be used for collaborative seminars, meetings, public lectures, flight training, military training, medical training, and remote education. We’re already seeing AR/VR being used to introduce new products and engage users in new and exciting ways. In 2017, for example, NASA released Access Mars, a VR program that lets you explore Mars from the comfort of your own living room.
Enabling the intelligent edge
The power of 5G can unlock the future of applications but with that power comes increased complexity. Building an ecosystem that fully supports 5G and the intelligent edge can be challenging indeed.
Over decades of working with customers, Wind River has learned the importance of a system-verified and stable software stack. To provide a solid 5G/intelligent edge ecosystem, we partnered with NVIDIA to build a converged edge stack that can handle multiple edge-AI services, including 5G, IVA, and AR/VR. The combination of Wind River Studio and the NVIDIA EGX Platform enables an ecosystem of applications in key areas, such as IVA and XR.
To showcase this ecosystem, we built a demo for NVIDIA GTC 2021 that also includes our partners Dell, Chooch, and ESI. Dell provided servers equipped with 140 GPUs. Wind River provided the cloud-native stack. Chooch contributed IVA containerized solutions for Safety, Surveillance, Manufacturing, and Healthcare use cases. And ESI contributed a photorealistic VR engineering solution for collaboration in product design, factory layout reconfiguration, ergonomics, and XR manufacturing. All of this was driven by a new class of accelerated computing from NVIDIA, in which the CPUs are augmented by GPUs to enable the effective processing of AI and graphical applications.
Collaborate with Wind River
5G provides immediate growth opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing, and, of course, in the mobile consumer area. To deliver cost-effective 5G networks that support the intelligent edge, you need proven optimized, integrated solutions. Wind River Studio, accelerated with NVIDIA, is ready for deployment in live networks today, including single pane of glass management of the entire ecosystem.
Wind River understands the challenges of building and running technology and networks for mission-critical industries, because we’ve been partnering with customers for more than 40 years. We believe in the power of teamwork to achieve amazing results, so let’s talk about how to deliver on the promise of 5G and the intelligent edge for your projects.