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Intel Insider: AI, New Products, and the Industry Ecosystem

AI at the edge

Every industry embraces digital transformation to boost efficiency, productivity, and enhance customer experiences. This was evident at embedded world 2024 where Dan Rodriguez, Corporate Vice President & GM of Network and Edge Solutions Group at Intel, talked about how AI is emerging as a crucial element in this transformation and the vital role of Intel’s global ecosystem. Below is an excerpt from the discussion with Dan.

Let’s start with the momentum you’re seeing with AI and the opportunities it brings to enterprises.

As we engage with our customers to solve their business problems, AI is in nearly every conversation. And for good reason. AI has emerged as a top workload at the edge and is one of the industry’s biggest opportunities. The center of gravity for AI is rapidly shifting from training in large data centers and clouds to inference in the real world—in retail stores, manufacturing environments, and healthcare settings, for example.

We’re also starting to see momentum for Gen AI-based hybrid deployments for things like fast-food ordering kiosks, employee training, and medical use cases.

What are the biggest challenges our industry faces when it comes to developing and deploying AI-powered solutions?

First is the unique nature of AI at the edge. It needs to run with existing software on heterogeneous hardware, often in low-power, price-sensitive, and space-constrained environments.

Development complexity is also a challenge. There is a massive amount of data, generated both by machines and people, and a multitude of nodes, operating systems, operating environments, and protocols.

In addition, there is operational complexity in deployments that needs to be considered. A “rip and replace” approach is not always an option since there is legacy equipment and infrastructure. At the edge, AI is rarely a greenfield deployment, but more often it’s about adding AI to existing workloads and use cases within an overall system. It’s typically not feasible to add racks of GPUs in a factory or retail store. Instead, AI needs to be embedded in the workflow, not as an adjacent capability.

To address these challenges, the industry needs the collective experience and technical know-how of our entire ecosystem.

How do Intel technology and products help your partners and end customers overcome these challenges?

With the Intel’s edge footprint, our focus is to drive AI everywhere—any application and any use case—in a way that our customers can maintain some of the same platforms and software they already use for a much better TCO.

We remain committed to delivering a strong portfolio of technologies that partners can build on, and reference solutions that can get them to market faster. Intel technologies are broadly deployed across the network and edge today and we continue to expand our portfolio.

When you step back and think about the applications in edge, beyond just AI, they require other processing types beyond inferencing—including media functionality. So we have designed our products to excel in a balanced AI pipeline, which results in optimized end-to-end use case performance.

At embedded world 2024 we launched many new products that are well positioned to handle complex requirements at the edge, where customers are doing a diverse set of workloads—often in the same pipeline—to get the business outcomes they desire. This includes Intel’s new series of edge-optimized Intel® Core Ultra, Intel® Core, Intel Atom® processors, and discrete Intel® Arc GPUs for the edge. These products are designed to power AI-enabled edge devices in a variety of industries like retail, healthcare, industrial, automotive, defense, and aerospace.

Beyond delivering great technology, it’s also really important that we offer ways to help all of us innovate faster and develop faster. We also announced the Intel® Tiber Edge Platform this year, which is a software platform that makes it easy for enterprises to develop, deploy, run, and manage edge infrastructure and the applications that run on it.

Now pulling this together into industry-specific solutions is really key for our customers. We are building on top of Intel Tiber Edge Platform and launching AI suites for various industries, to help our customers more quickly design, develop, and scale AI capabilities into their solutions at the edge. The AI suites include partner hardware and reference implementations, software toolkits, application frameworks, and this is all in support of our market-ready, open ecosystem. We’ll offer the AI suites initially for manufacturing, media and entertainment, life sciences, and visual analytics for government, focused on safety and security use cases, and there are more to come. In addition to these AI suites, we also work with our ecosystem to offer Intel® IoT Market Ready Solutions to drive solution scale. We’ve introduced over 500 solutions over the past five years, many of which incorporate AI capabilities.

Why is the Intel partner ecosystem so essential to advancing AI solutions, and do you support this ecosystem?

There is so much that our ecosystem can do together on the edge and to drive AI everywhere. This builds on a journey that we have been on together for the past couple of decades in the embedded space, and then with the emergence of IoT and digital transformation across many industries. This is also true in telecommunications where we collectively led the transition to NFV (network functions virtualization) and are supporting 5G rollouts. Our broad, open ecosystem has laid the foundation for the transition to software-defined infrastructure across the network and edge, which has brought more agility and efficiency to our customers, and now we are accelerating AI innovations.

Through the Intel® Partner Alliance, we have been dedicated to supporting partners through advanced training tools, networking opportunities, and marketing resources. We recently announced exciting updates to help both our partners and end users more quickly develop and implement AI solutions from edge to cloud. This includes the expansion of the Intel Partner Alliance AI Accelerator initiative, increasing Intel’s investment to support AI partners that are building Generative AI as well as AI PC applications. This expansion adds over a thousand edge AI applications developed by our ISV partners to the already existing AI Accelerator initiative.

(Read more about the Intel Partner Alliance Accelerators in the LinkedIn blog written by Trevor Vickers, VP, GM Global Partners & Support at Intel.)

I’m also really excited about the Industry Solution Builders initiative, a new ecosystem initiative as part of Intel Partner Alliance, with the goal of innovating and transforming industries. This initiative brings a new focus to orchestrating industry transformation at scale with a global ecosystem. Through Industry Solution Builders, Intel will offer activation zones with benefits like technical training and participation in industry standards bodies and coalitions to support end users as they transform their infrastructure. We have these zones today for the Manufacturing, Telecommunications, and Government sector, which includes smart city use cases, and soon we will be offering one for Energy, and you can expect more in 2024.

With all of this, we’re excited about the opportunities in front of us, and how we can collaborate and innovate with the ecosystem to drive transformation and enable our customers to achieve better business outcomes.

Edited by Christina Cardoza, Associate Editorial Director for

About the Author

Georganne Benesch is an Editorial Director for Before this she was an independent writer, authoring blogs, web content, solution guides, white papers and more. Prior to her freelance career Georganne held product management and marketing positions at companies such as Cisco, Proxim and Netopia. She earned a B.A. at University of California at Santa Cruz.

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