AI at the Edge: Faster Times Ahead for 5G and the Internet of Things

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5G in the city

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Connected devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) — coupled with 5G network technology — are now everywhere. But wait until next-generation applications, such as artificial intelligence (AI), start running within these edge devices. Meanwhile, the lower latency and higher data speeds of 5G and IoT will add a new real-time dimension to AI.

Consider an extended reality (XR) headset that not only provides a 3D view of the inside of an aircraft engine, but also has on-board intelligence that can point you to problem areas or information about engine anomalies, which are instantly and automatically recognized. and adjusted.

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Chipmakers are already developing powerful yet energy-efficient processors — or “systems on a chip” — that can deliver AI processing within a small footprint device. For example, Qualcomm only announcement AI-enabled Snapdragon chip that runs on smartphones and PCs. There is also a generation on the horizon NeuRRAM chipsDeveloped at the University of California San Diego, capable of running large-scale AI algorithms on small devices.

Overall, the global number of connected IoT devices is projected to exceed 29 billion by 2027, up from 16.7 billion at present, according to a recent Analysis From the zScaler show. “Consumer devices are smart and the most common, but business process-oriented IoT has generated the most transactions,” the report’s authors noted. “Manufacturing and retail devices account for 50%-plus of transactions, highlighting their widespread adoption and business-critical function in these sectors. Enterprise, home automation, and entertainment devices are generating the largest number of plaintext transactions.”

Now, 5G and IoT technologies are opening new doors for innovation in AI — and vice versa. AI “will be more effective when enabled with local-level decision-making frameworks and near real-time data,” it says Arun Santhanam, vice president and head of telecommunications at Capgemini Americas. “5G low latency innovations will be critical to enable real-time data results from relatively inexpensive IoT solutions.”

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He said the most effective edge and AI use cases are in the enterprise and IoT space, in industries such as healthcare and manufacturing. Haifa El Ashkar, director of telecommunications market and solutions strategy at CSG. These companies “need to offer fast data transmission and real-time communication,” he says. “The low latency and fast processing capabilities of 5G, combined with the edge architecture, have proven critical for applications that require rapid decision-making and responsiveness.”

In healthcare, for example, “there are now AI-enabled medical devices such as laparoscopes, which allow surgeons to gain real-time insights and make quick decisions about life-saving interventions such as detecting anomalies that might otherwise be missed or detected. In real time Bleeding,” said El Ashkar. “Without 5G, these industries will be unable to tap into edge networks and deliver the services they need to leverage critical IoT.”

The proliferation of AI-enabled applications and services is also fueling the power of 5G edge applications, El Ashkar continued. “When you combine the low latency and AI capabilities of 5G networks at the edge, enterprises can access real-time decision making,” he says. “With less time required for data to travel between devices and data centers, AI algorithms running on edge devices are now offering real-time insights and actions that can improve responsiveness and increase the amount of valuable data available to the enterprise.”

AI also improves connectivity, as it can “dramatically impact the reliability and efficiency of wireless networks and enable new ways of staying connected,” says Milind Kulkarni, vice president and head of InterDigital’s Wireless Lab. “For example, the combination of 5G, cloud and edge computing is critical to empowering immersive experiences on new devices in more places and developing connected ecosystems like Metaverse. Innovations and computing capabilities in 5G help make these experiences a reality “

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While more centralized environments — the cloud and data centers — can provide the computing power for immersive experiences, “they can be far away from where the low-latency resources are,” Kulkarni said. “Therefore, to take advantage of ultra-low latency which is one of the key benefits of 5G, edge computing plays an important role where it provides storage and computation much closer to the required devices. “Can be customized to support specific use cases e.g. Storing content to deliver video on demand or running AI algorithms to make quick decisions on incoming data.”

XR is one area where 5G’s capabilities are being pushed to the limits. “Currently there is a lot of work going on inside 3GPP “XR pushes the limits of 5G in terms of very high data rates, efficient video coding and latency in network architectures, taking for example edge computing.” Benefit of benefit.”

El Ashkar said 5G’s high speeds and low latency will be “necessary for industries to move to the next stage of digital transformation.” “This is important for industries such as supply chain, healthcare and manufacturing, where increasingly more AI-infused and connected devices are becoming critical to everyday operations.”

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