Last week DCD held our Building the Edge virtual conference. With over 1,800 people registered, the event was an enormous success. Joined by Marc Cram, Director of New Market Development, Legrand - Raritan and Server Technology Division, we looked at the role of AI in edge deployment. Marc has spent the past decade addressing various data center power needs, and worked in fields of mixed-signal semiconductors, IT, automotive electrical systems and much more.

The session examines how AI will be the overarching focal point across 5G, edge computing, and smart cities, and the implications for power, connectivity, and sensor requirements to keep all of this running remotely. We looked at the development of AI as it relates to edge, what applications are driving the demand and where AI processing will be done.

Modern times call for modern solutions

As we all know, with the impacts of COVID-19 still being felt worldwide, working from home has become the norm. We are looking at potentially permanent changes to the way people, and businesses work in the future. A key part of this is also population and city growth. Marc shared that by 2030, an estimated 700-720 cities will have over one million residents. This population growth is also likely to occur in tandem with an increased urban lifestyle.

Interestingly, Marc said that there is almost a 1:1 correspondence between cities with a population of over one million and hyperscale data centers. Despite increased urbanization, and an increase in data centers, cities and people, there will still be more than three billion people in ‘rural’ areas. This will heavily impact how the edge will be distributed, and determine what applications will push the need for 5G and edge.

Telehealth applications, shared experience simulators, immersive online gaming and more will require both 5G and edge network support. In these environments, downtime will not be accepted. Downtime would result in loss of revenue, unhappy customers and violated contracts. We are looking at a boom in network infrastructure, with 5G predicted to have close to three billion connections by 2025.

Putting AI to action

Marc shared with us where Legrand sees edge being located. Despite the possibility of distribution, the number of layers of infrastructure to deliver 5G and IoT, the complexity of structures and human elements means it would be near impossible without AI.

Many different types of artificial intelligence and AI classifications will be used to implement and maintain the edge. The edge will be everywhere says Marc, in the endpoints and in the infrastructure itself.

Marc shared a number of examples of how AI is already being integrated into technologies, including in chips, natural language interfaces in smart phones and other applications. AI is supporting the foundation of technology across the globe, and will be an integral part of the edge networks.

Tune into the full, free, on-demand webinar to hear more from Marc Cram, and other use cases from Legrand.