5G and the Intelligent Edge

By Colm Lysaght - 2020-01-13

Can 5G and the “intelligent edge” save more lives? The answer is “yes” — but only if you deliver the right data in time.

For Micron, the ever-growing quantity of data being created nowadays presents a Golden Age for our memory and storage products. Demand has never been stronger. We are leading the charge to create new solutions for our customers to get even more value from this data.

The deployment of 5G networks is a key enabler of the intelligent edge — the continually growing set of connected systems and devices where data is analyzed and aggregated close to where it is captured. 5G allows many more machine-to-machine (M2M) connections for three reasons:

  • Ultralow latency, much lower than 4G (1ms vs. 10ms)
  • 10 times more connections per square kilometer (1 million vs. 100,000)
  • 20 times faster data rate (20 Gb/s vs. 1 Gb/s)

Because there is more data bandwidth for more devices at low latency, there can be more autonomous coordination among intelligent devices and between infrastructure and those devices. The 1ms latency is important because it enables real-time control across the network, eliminating “video lag” in operating a remote device.

Virtual reality (VR) is now a true reality, and 5G takes it to a whole new level. The low latency and fast data rate of 5G allow photorealistic experiences with no lag when you turn your head. Now you can virtually sit beside your best friend (who is on the other side of the country) and watch your favorite team play in a fully immersive experience. You can tour the Vatican Museums from the comfort of your own home. You can travel down the Amazon in a canoe, even if you can’t swim!

Telemedicine is now possible over 5G networks and was demonstrated multiple times in 2019. A doctor in one hospital can perform surgery on a patient in another hospital hundreds of miles away by operating networked operating tools in real time. Another innovation is the remote supervision of robotic surgeons through the network. Doctors can treat many patients more efficiently by these means, scaling their expertise across a broader region and making lifesaving operations available to more people.

Drones are already being used by the National Park Service to help combat wildfires. Once 5G networks are in place, drones can provide real-time feedback on search-and-rescue missions. They can give live information on how the wildfire is spreading, with wind speed and temperature measurements being taken multiple times per second. Aggregating this information and providing best responses by running machine learning algorithms will be a game changer.

Micron is accelerating the growth of the intelligent edge by providing the memory and storage solutions that can capture data at the edge and aggregate it in storage nodes nearby. Our graphics DRAM make photorealistic VR experiences possible by delivering a lot of data quickly. Our low-power DRAM (LPDRAM) solutions are ideal for small form factor devices where battery life is critical. Our managed NAND solutions provide compact nonvolatile storage for both code and data. Our SSDs have high capacity and great performance for aggregated data analysis. Our deep learning accelerator (DLA) platform provides an easy-to-use inference engine to do deep learning at the edge, with a low power budget.

Micron is where the data lives. Micron — Intelligence Accelerated.

Colm Lysaght

Colm Lysaght

Colm Lysaght is Sr. Director of Marketing Strategy & Innovation at Micron Technology.