Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Huawei keynote at Cebit explores physical and digital connectivity

Steve Rogerson
June 19, 2018



At last week’s Cebit in Germany, Qiu Heng (pictured), Huawei’s president of global marketing, delivered a keynote speech that explored how IoT helps enterprises connect the physical and digital worlds. The Chinese company also released IoT and AI products to help enterprises create intelligence and connectivity.
 
IoT creates a cycle whereby sensors embedded in the physical world provide continuous feedback to the digital world, which then controls the physical world. With IoT in place, AI helps this cycle become more efficient and automated to merge the two worlds. Heng said IoT and AI would serve as the intelligent and connectivity genes in digital enterprises' nervous system.
 
Huawei says its latest IoT and AI products can help enterprises create intelligent and connectivity genes for their digital neurons, accelerating digital enterprise transformation.
 
Huawei's global connectivity index (GCI) report says that intelligent connectivity will bring a new wave of innovation and drive economic development. By 2025, the digital economy is estimated to reach US$23tn. Intelligent connectivity will impact governments, public utilities, manufacturing and many other sectors, and determine how industries manage their digital transformation.
 
In addition to its basic abilities in IoT, AI, big data, video, ICP and GIS services, Huawei leverages its core abilities in chipsets, algorithms and architecture design to build digital platforms. The company’s products cover from chips and terminals to cloud and edge computing infrastructures. These feature high performance in computing, storage and communications. In future digital enterprises, Heng said, functional modules (also called neurons) would serve as digital platforms and end-to-end AI and IoT capabilities would enable the neuron's intelligence and connectivity genes.
 
AI applications have been widely used in almost all industries, such as auto-pilot, unstaffed supermarkets and intelligent voice assistants. AI had become a "nuclear power plant", said Heng, that drove digital industry transformation and AI development would depend on data, algorithms and computing power.
 
Among these three key elements, computing power can bring the most significant improvement in AI advancement. IDC analysis shows that from 2014 to 2020, data volume will increase by 5.5 times. Algorithms such as identification accuracy will improve by four per cent. Whereas computing power will grow by a staggering 30 times. This means a GPU will only need a day to finish a computing task that a CPU takes 30 days to complete.
 
Gartner's report says by 2022, the majority of industrial IoT analytics will be performed at the edge rather than in the cloud, up from less than ten per cent in 2017. This shows that AI's rapid development relies on computing power improvement, particularly the improvement of edge computing power.
 
Huawei provides full-stack AI products that comprise chips, AI terminals, GPU servers, video PaaS cloud platforms, and more, to improve computing power and intelligence levels from end to end. At Cebit, it released an AI-enabled software-defined camera, the M/X series. These cameras can be applied to a vast range of scenarios and improve image processing capabilities by 25 times. In low-illumination environments, the characteristic acquisition rate exceeds 85%.
 
The cameras have pre-set parameter configuration for the day time, night time and in different weather such as cloud, rain and snow. When detecting time or weather changes, the cameras automatically adjust parameter settings to ensure video quality. No manual intervention is needed, which improves the system operating efficiency.
 
While traditional cameras can only run a single application, an M/X camera can dynamically load algorithms to run multiple applications. The cameras also allow online upgrades to ensure continuous operation. In contrast, traditional cameras require remote manual upgrades that typically result in operational interruptions.
 
In addition to the Ocean Connect IoT platform, Huawei's IoT offering also includes wired and wireless connectivity, edge computing, and chipset (Lite OS) modules. At Cebit it unveiled an upgraded Ocean Connect platform that supports connected vehicle systems; the eLTE-IoT, which has capabilities to improve performance, and the eLTE-DSA, designed to upgrade the platform's connectivity gene.
 
The connected vehicle platform is the key ICT infrastructure that enables automotive companies' digital transformation. As the digital engine of intelligent and connected vehicles, this IoV platform provides key enablers for the transformation of manufacturers.
 
The platform provides safe, reliable connectivity for vehicles, supporting hundreds of millions of connections and concurrent access from millions of vehicles. The flexible platform supports deployment in private, public and hybrid clouds, accommodating their different architectures.
 
The platform collects vehicle status and driving behaviour data, and analyses the data to create profiles of drivers and vehicles (digital twins) on the cloud. The precise analysis of driving behaviour and scenarios enables intelligent content distribution and service recommendations.
 
By separating data from services, the platform helps automotive companies control their digital assets, converge third-party content and applications, and build an ecosystem around their business.
 
The connected vehicle platform interconnects with V2X. The cooperation covers vehicle intelligence and intelligent vehicle-road synergy to evolve the intelligent experience for drivers while delivering new levels of safety and efficiency.
 
The upgraded eLTE-IoT uses technological innovation to improve its performance. It now covers a radius of 10km with ten per cent stronger signals. Its communications latency is reduced by half and the maximum standby time is extended to ten years.
 
The eLTE-DSA uses discrete spectrum aggregation (DSA) technology to create a large bandwidth spectrum through the convergence of small spectrums, some of which are continuous, while others are scattered. DSA technology can flexibly select and aggregate them to bring several features. It supports the flexible aggregation of all the 280 spectrums around 230MHz; Huawei will also promote the application of DSA in other frequencies in the future. And eLTE-DSA improves the overall coverage radius by forty per cent and the air interface latency is reduced to 20ms. In addition, it achieves five-nines (99.999%) in overall stability.
 
Huawei will host the Huawei Connect 2018 in Shanghai this October to present more AI products and launch its flagship digital platform. Huawei Enterprise BG follows the company's vision and commitment, and aims to bring digital to every organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world.