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ew 2024: Bringing the Power of Edge AI into the Real World

At embedded world 2024, AI dominated the show floor, from demos to conversations. Dan Rodriguez, Vice President and General Manager of the Network and Edge Solutions Group at Intel, discusses how Intel can help unlock the true value of edge AI across industries.


What are the key trends and opportunities that AI at the edge brings to the industry?

Dan Rodriguez: We’re seeing a lot of trends across edge, and one of the biggest trends we are seeing is AI, and really, AI is part of every single customer conversation we have, because customers want to know how to use it, how to deploy it, and how to make it make sense for their end use cases. And because of this, we are starting to see kind of the customer’s mind really rapidly shifting from how they do training in large data centers and cloud out to the real world where you have the edge and you have physical stores in retail, you have hospitals in healthcare, and you have manufacturing facilities across so many different industries, and because of this, we’re seeing a big focus in inference and we’re seeing a focus and inference across many use cases including AI-enhanced checkout in retail, as well as greater use of store automation. We’re seeing all sorts of use cases in manufacturing, including defect detection as well as AI-enhanced medical imaging and health, and even in cities, they’re looking at it too, how to use AI to support traffic management. With all that said, we are seeing customers, they’re asking us how do we reap the full value of AI while still being able to protect their mission-critical applications and keep that data secure. And for this, there’s something called RAG, or retrieval augmented generation, and it really improves the accuracy of gen AI because it allows customers to pull both unstructured and structured data from trusted sources.

How is Intel helping address partner and customer challenges?

Dan Rodriguez: So Intel has been in this industry for decades, and we’ve been partnering with the ecosystem and the end customers to deliver real world solutions that our customers can count on, and because of that, we have over 90,000 edge deployments that have installed and delighting our customer base. And when it comes to AI, our customers are looking at how do they really get the value out of AI and they’re counting on getting a strong end-to-end optimized experience, and with that in mind, Intel’s developing solutions with a balanced AI pipeline to allow AI to work alongside many different functionalities and workloads, including compute, media, as well as visual. And to do our part, with that in mind, we are delivering edge-optimized solutions with our edge-optimized processors, graphics, as well as our Intel Edge platform and our latest edition of AI suites, and these AI suites, they include partner hardware and reference implementations, software toolkits, and AI application frameworks that are targeting specific vertical sectors, helping our customers develop and deploy solutions with much greater ease.

How does Intel collaborate with the ecosystem to accelerate opportunities and achieve marketplace success?

Dan Rodriguez: At Intel, accelerating a broad and open ecosystem is really critical to proliferating AI everywhere. We’ve got a couple key initiatives or programs that I’d love to share with you today. The first is our Intel® Partner Alliance. Now, this program is really enabling customers with training, marketing resource, as well as networking opportunities, and we’ve got one really cool thing I want to talk about. It is an AI Accelerator initiative. It is something that has already produced results. We have over 1,000 AI-inspired applications out there through our ISVs, and I’m very excited to say that we are increasing our investment in this initiative to help the broader ecosystem go faster and pull together strong solutions. In addition to this, we’re also introducing something called our Industry Solution Builders, which will be part of that Intel Partner Alliance, and what Industry Solution Builders aims to do is it aims to really transform industries at global scale with a broad and open ecosystem. Now the way it’s going to work is it’s going to have specific activation zones for specific industries providing technical training, opportunities to really collaborate with open standards or standards based organizations, as well as all sorts of end user coalitions. So you think about this, getting all the partners, that value chain, hooked up with end users to deliver solutions that they can truly count on. And to start this, we’re going to focus on a few industries to start, such as manufacturing, telecommunications, as well as the government sector with smart city use cases, and then in a few weeks, we’re going to have energy and then we’re going to have more activation zones throughout the year.

How can partners learn about the Intel® Industry Solution Builders ecosystem initiative?

Dan Rodriguez: There are additional ways partners can get involved. We just announced the winners of our Intel Solutions Edge Challenge for manufacturing. I’m so excited for those winners. In addition to this, we just kicked off one for smart cities, and transportation and going forward, these are going to be part of that Industry Solutions Builder Program that I just mentioned. So when I step back and I think about what’s happening at large across our industries, AI is everywhere, and we as a collective ecosystem have a great opportunity to bring solutions that truly matter to our customer, and I do believe we are poised to really win together over the next decade, so I can’t wait to continue to work with our ecosystem and deliver solutions that our customers truly value.

About the Author

Brandon is a long-time contributor to going back to its days as Embedded Innovator, with more than a decade of high-tech journalism and media experience in previous roles as Editor-in-Chief of electronics engineering publication Embedded Computing Design, co-host of the Embedded Insiders podcast, and co-chair of live and virtual events such as Industrial IoT University at Sensors Expo and the IoT Device Security Conference. Brandon currently serves as marketing officer for electronic hardware standards organization, PICMG, where he helps evangelize the use of open standards-based technology. Brandon’s coverage focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, embedded processors, edge computing, prototyping kits, and safety-critical systems, but extends to any topic of interest to the electronic design community. Drop him a line at, DM him on Twitter @techielew, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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