The proliferation of IoT sensors and artificial intelligence, as well as the emergence of 5G networks will drive edge computing growth, according to BS Teh, SVP global sales and sales operation at Seagate.

During Seagate’s 40th anniversary event in Singapore yesterday, Teh said the first driver, AI, is already in our midst as there are many applications that are already AI enabled.

He said, “AI is going to be a big driver for storage and it is also one of those things that require low latency.”

The growth of IoT sensors is a self-perpetuating cycle; the more sensors are used to instrument a system, the more data the system collects, the better the predictive model built with the data, when then leads to the demand for more sensors.

Teh said, “For a single connected person today, we have a thousand interactions, that’s quite a lot if you think about it as you walk along the street you’re interacting 1,000 times with a sensor.

“Come 2025, an average connected person will have 4,900 connections everyday, that is one interaction every 18 seconds. Because of that it is generating a vast amount of data.”

The last driver, 5G is not just about the speed of the network but the breadth of the connectivity.

Teh explained, “Instead of connecting a small number of devices streaming through the bandwidth, it is able to connect a vast amount of data streaming simultaneously. That is what 5G is able to do, it’s not about the speed but about the breadth.”

Adoption

When it comes to technology adoption, Teh said APAC is known to catch on pretty quickly.

He said, “It’s not a surprise to us, that APAC and China are leading in terms of awareness and having a strategy to deploy edge infrastructure.”

Growing use of smart applications demands low-latency machine intelligence. Edge solves this because it stores and analyses data much closer to the source.

Teh said more people are beginning to understand that there is a need for an edge infrastructure to allow data to processed through the edge for low latency applications.

“We partnered with IDC publishing a paper looking at a few high data intensive market segments, how many are looking at edge infrastructure and how many of them are actually deploying them and looking at a geo-standpoint.

“In the next few years, as the awareness of the requirement grows the percentage will go up and as the emergence of 5G and becomes the mature technology and infrastructure the percentages will go up to enable different applications which require edge infrastructure.”

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