Accelerating AI, Cloud, 5G, and IoT Innovation

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud, 5G, and IoT are continuously advancing innovation that extends across business development all the way down to the consumer level. Critical innovations are emerging from the escalation of new technologies, including hybrid workforces, remote healthcare delivery, hyper-personalization, and zero-touch.

These use cases are generating myriad benefits for both organizations and consumers, and inspiring new levels of efficiency, productivity, and engagement. We’re currently witnessing a dynamic surge in technological advancement that has spawned the era of ubiquitous digital transformation, but these new technologies still need room to grow.

Ronald van Loon is working in partnership with NVIDIA, and recently had the opportunity to discuss the technology trends and drivers shaping the post-pandemic future, and assess the role the Arm acquisition by NVIDIA is positioned to play in this development.

“We’re announcing our first datacenter CPU, Project Grace, named after Grace Hopper, a computer scientist and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who in the 1950’s pioneered computer programming. Grace is Arm-based, and purpose-built for accelerated computing applications of large amounts of data such as AI. Grace highlights the beauty of arm. Their IP model allowed us to create the optimal CPU for this application, which achieves x-factor speedup,” NVIDIA CEO, Jensen Huang, shared during his keynote at NVIDIA GTC 2021.

Through their combined industry leadership in AI computing platforms and CPUs, NVIDIA and Arm aspire to help shepherd in the new AI era via cloud computing, edge, and IoT improvements that will contribute to innovation opportunities in healthcare, climate change, energy efficiency, smart cities, industry 4.0 manufacturing, robotics, smartphones, and self driving cars.

Furthermore, in edge computing, NVIDIA is working with Marvell Semiconductor to team its OCTEON Arm-based processors with NVIDIA’s GPUs. Together they will speed up AI workloads for network optimization and security. As the world further prepares for the impacts of new technological innovation built upon a foundation of AI, IoT, Cloud, and 5G, an expanded partner ecosystem will positively affect business development.

Maximizing the Impact on Edge & IoT

Both the current and the future of the IoT landscape will require the low latency, real-time local computing that edge capabilities offer. As the AI, machine learning (ML), and cloud landscape continuously becomes more integrated with business processes, applications, and operations, edge computing will help deliver advanced analytics capabilities that transform data collection in a cost effective way.

Arm recently revealed their new Armv9 architecture, which is intended to deliver highly specialized compute to AI, IoT, and 5G applications. This can potentially address increasing needs for diversified, scalable solutions across pervasive, complex AI workloads and other data-intensive tasks via secure, specialized processing.

As many organizations are adopting IoT technologies at an expansive rate, edge computing will be required to locally preprocess and process data and perform the advanced analytics required to keep pace with modern workloads and technological innovation. In fact, 70% of enterprises are forecasted to run some amount of data processing at the edge by 2023. This aligns with the NVIDIA-Arm vision to accelerate growth in edge computing, cloud data centers, and devices that will be the focal point of AI-based decision making.

“The only thing that can come out of this deal is a pro-competitive impact. We’re going to maintain Arm’s open licensing practices, and we would like to license more technology to Arm’s customers globally and really help foster and promote competition, promote innovation,” shares an NVIDIA spokesperson. “Over the long run, NVIDIA will work with Arm  to elevate the Arm ecosystem to a level where it can be a viable alternative to x86 in PC and datacenter, which are almost entirely x86 today.”

Industry Analyst Malcolm Penn, Founder and CEO of Future Horizons, elaborates: “Theoretically, the two firms synergistically complement each other in the CPU/GPU Data Centric/AI world and together could expand and build out Arm’s existing open-platform ecosystem for a wider range of software, development tools and peripherals.”

The Armv9 architecture contains built-in ML capabilities to support AI growth and use across businesses and applications, as well as increased functionality for 5G systems, AR and VR. This is compelling for businesses as they look to innovate and diversify their approach to technological expansion, and follows NVIDIA’s trajectory in driving AI from data centers to the edge.

Organizations will need to benefit from secure, reliable, low latency computing that edge helps to deliver. IoT devices and applications are on the rise, whether that’s for industrial applications like robotics on the factory floor, increasing adoption of AR and VR technologies, or consumer products that utilize IoT and AI technologies such as speech recognition capabilities, for example. Edge computing helps to process vast amounts of data quickly and without turning to expensive cloud based data centers.

Industrial IoT & 5G Accelerates the Move to Edge

Supply chain and manufacturing spaces are becoming increasingly digitized due to an uptick in 5G, IoT, and AI adoption. The 5G IIoT market is forecasted to be worth $15.7 billion by 2026, with drivers attributed to the explosion of IoT devices throughout manufacturing, the spike in data traffic, and predictive maintenance for critical assets.

IIoT and 5G open the door to new possibilities in smart manufacturing, and expedites the move to edge computing. Autonomous factories, characterized by real-time asset monitoring, downtime optimization, and continuous product quality assessments, are resulting in more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing ecosystems. For example, IoT and 5G driven predictive maintenance can result in superior products, greater energy efficiencies, better human resource utilization, and reduced waste.

Edge computing becomes paramount to smart manufacturing, coinciding with 5G to improve localized data computing. This presents opportunities to advance the future of smart city development as well by leveraging data nearly instantaneously and facilitating the use of sensors that measure traffic, pollution, temperatures, and improve waste management – which also improves quality of life for citizens.

5G processing is being driven to the edge, accelerating low latency applications development and the speed at which data is being processed. This leads to real-time decision making, which is critical to powering smart cities. A combined proposition from NVIDIA/Arm could accelerate the shift to the edge via improved computing power and lowered energy consumption, which are drivers for smart cities and industry 4.0 use case development.

Here are some of the important smart city based advantages and capabilities that IoT, 5G, and edge can potentially provide both citizens and governments:

● Setting sustainability standards for the environment by reducing carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change.

● Effectively and efficiently managing energy consumption and resources.

● Improved air and water quality with environmental monitoring systems that determine the environmental factors negatively contributing to unhealthy effects.

The move to the edge is directly correlated to the compounding use of 5G and IoT technologies, as local storage and powerful real-time data consumption become a necessity for technologically-driven innovation as seen in 4.0 manufacturing and smart city development.

Bringing the AI & IoT Community Together

Due to the quickly evolving developments in AI intelligence at the edge, some estimates indicate that machine-to-machine interactions may outpace those of human-to-machine by 2024. Given Arm’s low power architecture and edge-enabling developer ecosystem and NVIDIA’s R&D expertise and AI capabilities, the potential to deliver this to the market may soon be realized.

Be sure to watch the recent keynote from NVIDIA Founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, about their company’s ambitions for the future of computing.

By Ronald van Loon