Nokia far-edge AI: MX Grid

  • April 24, 2024
  • William Payne

Nokia has launched an on-premise distributed AI/ML solution. MX Grid improves OT responsiveness and decision making by processing and analysing data closer to the source.

Part of the Nokia one platform, MX Grid builds on the Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE) platform. It builds on the platform’s wireless connectivity to offer an OT data processing architecture to support IT/OT convergence for mission-critical industrial applications.

With MXIE, Nokia introduced OT compliant AI/ML processing capabilities on-premises. MX Grid brings this capability even closer to the OT data source. It leverages a pool of orchestrated compute capable field devices – known as ‘micro-edges’ – with a specialised, AI-capable software stack. These micro-edges are connected by private wireless networks and/or reliable Wi-Fi using MX Boost, which augments both technologies.

MX Grid is designed to enhance the efficiency of enterprise OT operations using decentralised workload processing and real-time, agile decision-making, bringing intelligence to legacy OT assets. The solution enables a more effective implementation of a range of mission- and life-critical industrial applications, including predictive maintenance, security and surveillance, worker safety, tracking and positioning, and quality assurance.

In a quality assurance use case the application on the micro-edge analyses real-time sensor data and video feeds coming from the connected machine. Depending on the deviation level, either an immediate action can be triggered directly by the micro-edge or the MXIE peer application takes over the monitoring for deeper analysis of real time data for later corrective action. This results in improved latency and optimised network load.

The ability to integrate and utilise connected worker data and situational sensory information within MX Grid improves worker safety use cases. The Visual Position and Object Detection (VPOD) application utilises the MX Grid architecture to process video data next to the camera, together with MXIE, for more accurate asset tracking and positioning. This significantly improves worker safety and contextual awareness, when combined with other OT data sources.

Anna Ahrens, Principal Research Analyst, Manufacturing Technology at OMDIA, said: “We are observing a significant trend of decentralised processing in industrial technology moving compute and AI/ML capabilities to devices near the OT data source. In the upcoming years, we anticipate a steady increase in these connected edge nodes that are the true enablers of the industrial digitalisation. Nokia MX Grid addresses these industry needs introducing a transformative decentralised AI/ML processing platform harnessing the power of private wireless connectivity and on-prem OT edge. This innovation facilitates emerging use case scenarios with low latency requirements.”

Stephan Litjens, Vice President of Enterprise Campus Edge Solutions at Nokia, said: “Achieving Industry 4.0 objectives for enterprises requires effective, responsive, and agile OT decision making based on instant and actionable insights. As part of the Nokia one platform for industrial digitalisation, MX Grid enables organisations to harness the power of distributed intelligence by processing and analysing data closest to the source, resulting in even lower latency and improved responsiveness. This is imperative to achieving priorities such as worker safety, with the new architecture supporting a wide range of mission- and life-critical industrial use cases like predictive maintenance, security and surveillance, and quality assurance.”