Timeline of Computing
The timeline of computing looks something like this: At first, there was one big computer; after that came the UNIX era; then we were introduced to personal computers, which led to the cloud computing era. And now, we find ourselves in the next stage of computing, named the Edge computing era. Nowadays we use our personal computers to access centralized services such as Gmail, Google Drive, cloud storage, office 365… The personal assistants on our smartphones and smart speakers are powered by centralized cloud artificial intelligence.
We can say with certainty that the new opportunities of cloud services are located at the “EDGE.” Even though we are still in the cloud computing era – we can say that our cloud infrastructure relies much on hosting companies and compute power of the very few who are providing it for us: Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Google.
Why do we call it Edge?
The word Edge is used in the context of geographic distribution. Edge computing is a kind of computing that is conducted in the source of the data or near the data source. Where cloud computing requires a data center in order to function, edge computing would not influence the disappearance of the cloud, but rather bring the cloud to its end users. Having said that, let’s examine why edge computing is being praised by the tech communities around the world.
Such a way of computing on the edge of a device is changing the way data is processed, handled, and delivered to millions of devices around the world. The exponential rate of growth in the IoT industry and connectivity – drives the market need for real-time computing power that is at the core of edge computing systems.
5G wireless networking technology allows edge computing systems better support of real-time applications and analytics, AI and robotics, video processing, all of which can be used in self-driving cars, smart home environments, industry 4.0, to name a few.
Edge privacy and security
Following Murphy’s Law, solving one issue in the high-tech industry raises other concerns. From the security point of view, data on the edge may be prone to security breaches, especially when multiple IoT devices are involved. As the IoT market grows at an exponential rate today, it is crucial for IT to understand and deal with potential data breaches, by making sure that data is encrypted and appropriate access control methods are utilized. Check out some of the latest EBV solutions for IoT security here: Espressif ESP32 Wi-Fi module with Microchip ATECC608A Secure Element solution or EdgeLock™ SE050, an IoT Secure Element from NXP Semiconductors.
Different IoT device requirements, in regards to data processing power, networking, and connectivity needs, may leave an impact on the edge device itself. Therefore, redundancy management is crucial for edge devices that do all the data processing at the Edge in order to ensure data delivery and processing, reliably – even when one of the nodes in the network is off.
What about 5G?
As 5G technology is deployed all over the world, that promises to enhance our bandwidths as well as low latency for real-time applications, enabling the next level of development in Industry 4.0 – many carriers are deploying “edge system” strategies. This makes the future with self-driving, connected vehicles that seemed so far, not too long ago, very near. 5G connectivity will change the traffic patterns. Low-latency applications that utilize IoT analytics, AI, VR, machine learning, will bloom in the edge computing era. Our need for real-time, on-demand applications is going to be the main driver in the next few years. Edge computing will lower bandwidth costs and increase the need for local processing requirements, as well as, storage capabilities.
As you might already know, the latest issue of our knowledge magazine is dedicated to Edge Computing. In this blog, we attempted to give you a little sneak preview of what we explored in detail in The Quintessence. We dived into subjects of 5G connectivity as well as open hardware, industry 4.0 advancements, and many others, so don’t forget to order your free copy here.