'5G meets AI' at MWC Los Angeles: NVIDIA CEO
NVIDIA founder and CEO, Jensen Huang at Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles stated that the smartphone revolution that’s swept the globe over the past decade is just the start. He squarely positioned NVIDIA to power AI at the edge of enterprise networks and in the virtual radio access networks – or vRANs – powering next-generation 5G wireless services.
During Huang’s 90-minute address, he cited the name of Walmart - which is already building NVIDIA’s latest technologies into its showcase Intelligent Retail Lab - BMW, Ericsson, Microsoft, NTT East, Procter & Gamble, Red Hat and Samsung Electronics.
He also announced the NVIDIA EGX Edge Supercomputing Platform, a high-performance, cloud-native platform optimized to take advantage of three key revolutions – AI, IoT and 5G – and provide the companies the ability to build next-generation services.
Ericsson & NVIDIA
Ericsson’s Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of business area networks joined Huang on stage. The company is a leader in the RAN industry, one of the key building blocks for high-speed wireless networks.
Jejdling said, “As an industry we’ve, in all honesty, been struggling to find alternatives that are better and higher performance than our current bespoke environment. Our collaboration is figuring out an efficient way of providing that, combining your GPUs with our heritage.”
The collaboration brings Ericsson’s expertise in RAN technology together with NVIDIA’s leadership in high performance computing to fully virtualize the 5G radio, giving telcos unprecedented flexibility. Together NVIDIA and Ericsson are innovating to fuse 5G, supercomputing and AI for a revolutionary communications platform that will someday support trillions of always-on devices.
Red Hat & NVIDIA
Huang also announced a new collaboration with Red Hat to build carrier-grade, cloud-native telecom infrastructure with NVIDIA EGX for AI, 5G RAN and other workloads. The enterprise software provider already serves 120 telcos around the world, powering every member of the Fortune 500. Together, NVIDIA and Red Hat will bring carrier-grade Kubernetes — which automates the deployment, scaling and management of applications to telcos so they can orchestrate and manage 5G RAN networks in a truly software-defined mobile edge.
For carriers, Huang also announced NVIDIA Aerial, a CUDA-X software developer kit running on top of EGX. Aerial allows telecommunications companies to build completely virtualized 5G RAN networks that are highly programmable, scalable and energy efficient enabling telcos to offer new AI services such as smart cities, smart factories, AR/VR and cloud gaming.
Microsoft, NVIDIA Technology Collaboration
To offer customers an end-to-end solution from edge to cloud, Microsoft and NVIDIA are working together in a new collaboration to more closely integrate Microsoft Azure with EGX. In addition, NVIDIA T4 GPUs are featured in a new form factor of Microsoft’s Azure Data Box edge appliance. Other top technology companies collaborating with NVIDIA on the EGX platform include Cisco, Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mellanox and VMware.
Technology for the Enterprise Edge
EGX combines NVIDIA CUDA-X software, a collection of NVIDIA libraries that provide a flexible and high-performance programming language to developers, with NVIDIA-certified GPU servers and devices. The result enables companies to harness rapidly streaming data, from factory floors to manufacturing inspection lines to city streets, delivering AI and other next-generation services.
Huang pointed out Walmart as an example of EGX’s power. Walmart is deploying it in its Levittown, New York, Intelligent Retail Lab. It is a unique, fully operating grocery store where the retail giant explores the ways AI can further improve in-store shopping experiences. Using EGX’s advanced AI and edge capabilities, Walmart can compute in real time more than 1.6 terabytes of data generated per second. This helps it automatically alert associates to restock shelves, open up new checkout lanes, retrieve shopping carts and ensure product freshness in meat and produce departments.
Global Cloud Gaming
Huang also detailed how NVIDIA is expanding its cloud gaming network through partnerships with global telecommunications companies. GeForce NOW, NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service, transforms underpowered or incompatible devices into powerful GeForce gaming PCs with access to popular online game stores.
Huang showed with a real-time demo of a gamer playing Assetto Corsa Competizione on GeForce NOW, as a cameraman watched over his shoulder on a smartphone over a 5G network. The gamer navigated through the demanding racing game’s action with no noticeable lag. The mobile version of GeForce NOW for Android devices is available in Korea and will be widely available later this year, with a preview on display at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles.
NVIDIA is well positioned to help telcos and enterprises make the most of this by helping customers combine AI algorithms, powerful GPUs, smart NICs or network interface cards cloud-native technologies, the NVIDIA EGX Edge Supercomputing Platform, and 5G high-speed wireless networks. Huang compares all these elements to the powerful “infinity stones” featured in Marvel’s movies and comic books.
Huang concluded, “What you are looking at are the six miracles that will make it possible to put 5G at the edge, to virtualize the 5G data center and create a world of smart everything. This will be a pillar, a foundation for the smart everything revolution.”