IMC Newsdesk

AWS launches 5G Edge Compute in Boston, SF Bay

  • August 11, 2020
  • William Payne

AWS is making available a new service to allow developers to build ultra-low latency applications for mobile, IoT, and edge devices. The new services, AWS Wavelength, is available through Verizon’s 5G network, initially to users in Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Sony, LG, Tata Consultancy Services, Summit Tech, and Edgegap are among the first companies to build ultra-low latency applications on AWS Wavelength.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has used the new service to build real-time video and image analysis for quality inspection of high speed assembly lines in a pilot of its new Smart Factory solution.

The new service allows companies to deploy parts of their application that require ultra-low latency at the edge of 5G networks using the same AWS APIs, tools, and functionality they currently use, and connect the rest of their application and the range of cloud services running in an AWS Region.

AWS Wavelength embeds AWS compute and storage services at the edge of 5G networks, allowing developers to serve edge computing use cases that require ultra-low latency such as machine learning, smart manufacturing, IoT.

Applications such as smart manufacturing, machine learning inference, autonomous driving, live event streaming, and IoT require very low latency across the mobile network. To perform their jobs, these applications need access to compute and storage, and like many applications today, they also seek to leverage the cloud. Accessing the cloud using traditional mobile architectures requires several hops on the network (from a device, to a cell tower, to metro aggregation sites, to regional aggregation sites, to the Internet, to the cloud—and then back through those stops before getting back to the device). This creates tens of milliseconds, and sometimes seconds, of latency. The 5G network is up to 10 times faster than 4G, but to take full advantage of the latency improvements that 5G offers, the number of network hops needs to be reduced.

AWS Wavelength aims to address these problems by bringing AWS services to the edge of the 5G network, minimising the latency to connect to an application from a mobile device. Wavelength is designed to allow developers to deploy their applications to Wavelength Zones, AWS infrastructure deployments that embed AWS compute and storage services within the telecommunication providers’ datacentres at the edge of the 5G network, so application traffic only needs to travel from the device to a cell tower to a Wavelength Zone running in a metro aggregation site. This removes the latency that results from multiple hops between regional aggregation sites and across the Internet, which enables customers to take full advantage of 5G networks.

AWS says that Wavelength will deliver a consistent developer experience across multiple 5G networks around the world, and allows developers to build new ultra-low latency applications using familiar AWS services, APIs, and tools. The company says that a common developer experience will make it easier for developers to deploy across different telecommunications providers even if these providers have different deployment and operations semantics.

AWS is partnering with Verizon to bring AWS Wavelength to customers across the United States. In addition to Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area, further locations will be coming later this year. AWS is also working with other telecommunications providers, including Vodafone, SK Telecom, and KDDI, to launch Wavelength Zones across Europe, South Korea, and Japan.

Developers that want to deploy their application to the 5G edge can extend their Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to the Wavelength Zones, and then they can start running a broad range of AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (EKS).

Developers can continue to use existing AWS services to manage, secure, and scale their applications, like AWS CloudFormation, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and AWS Auto Scaling, allowing a variety of latency-sensitive workloads like analytics, IoT, machine learning, game streaming, and AR/VR on 5G networks.

“TCS recently piloted one of our cutting-edge Smart Factory solution, and leveraged AWS Wavelength to enable re-imagined business capabilities using real-time video and image analysis for quality inspection of high-speed assembly lines,” said Shanky Viswanathan, CTO Communication, Media and Information Service Business Group, TCS. “With critical GPU workloads rendered from AWS Wavelength coupled with 5G’s bandwidth, we can achieve the low latency and increased connectivity to deliver a pathway to truly connected factories, where data flows seamlessly between machines and cloud to enable AI powered real time decisioning at the edge.”

LG Electronics is piloting next-generation Cellular-Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) on AWS Wavelength at the Verizon 5G Edge. This includes LG’s Authentication as a Service (LG AaaS), which improves driving safety with secure information sharing between motor vehicles, mobile devices, and transportation infrastructures. “Every millisecond counts in unexpected driving situations where blind spots, collisions and hydroplaning are involved,” said Rick Kreifeldt, Senior Vice President, LG America R&D Lab. “What’s critical is the ability to quickly scale computational resources with low latency and high throughput for timely delivery of security services while preserving the privacy of the system. Our C-V2X pilot with ultra-low latency access to AWS Wavelength allows for timely message filtering that only shares relevant and trusted information for improved road safety and enhanced mobility among vehicles.”

“Our customers tell us they are excited to build applications that take advantage of 5G networks, but in order for these applications to provide ultra-low latency to mobile end-users, customers need AWS compute and storage services embedded directly within the 5G network,” said Dave Brown, Vice President, EC2, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “With AWS Wavelength, our customers can develop applications that take advantage of ultra-low latencies to address use cases like machine learning inference at the edge, smart cities and smart factories, and autonomous vehicles – all while using the same familiar AWS services, API, and tools to deploy them to 5G networks worldwide.”