Edge computing news in 2020

Edge computing is a rapidly growing industry and evolving ecosystem. This article aims to keep you up-to-date with some of the key developments within edge computing. Check back each month for our update on M&As, partnerships, product announcements and other strategic plays.

January: Big acquisitions from Apple and Equinix

At the end of January, Apple announced its acquisition of Xnor.ai, an AI-at-the-edge start-up (see here for our recent article on AI and edge computing). Typically, training and inference of a deep learning model happens either in the cloud. Xnor.ai has developed an AI module that can run deep learning inference on-device. Apple’s acquisition of Xnor.ai strengthens their position in the IoT and edge computing markets, as well as providing opportunities around real-time adaptability, photo editing and increased privacy for their smart phones and smart home “HomeKit” offering.

In addition, January also saw Equinix announce its acquisition of Packet, a bare metal automation platform. In combination with their existing Platform Equinix, the acquisition of Packet will enable Equinix to vertically integrate up the value chain and better provide distributed multi-cloud services to enterprises, regardless of whether or not they are virtualised. Packet will also bring to Equinix closer to its strong customer base of developers, a relationship that STL Partners has highlighted previously is of crucial importance

February: No MWC, no problem

Despite the unfortunate cancellation of MWC, we’ve seen some key edge-related announcements in the last few weeks.

First, a new telco edge initiative. Some of the leading telecoms operators have joined forces to build the “Telco Edge Cloud Platform” with support from the GSMA. Operators including China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Singtel and Telefónica announced the collaboration to create an interoperable platform to accelerate developments in the edge computing sphere. 

We’ve also noted a few companies (virtually) launch edge-specific products and solutions – some we may have missed! For example, Dell Technologies announced four new edge data centre products: modular micro data centre for rugged environments, specialised server for small spaces, a data platform and server software.

Huawei unveiled 5GDN – a cloud native platform 5G core network solution. It leverages MEC, core network automation and intelligent slicing to enable deterministic networking. The vendor emphasised its efforts to develop a new edge ecosystem. Given Huawei is building its own operating system and already heavily engaging the mobile app developer ecosystem, it could play a key role in the edge space going forward…

 

Tilly Gilbert

 

About Tilly Gilbert

Senior consultant

Tilly works on a range of client projects including developing a benchmarking tool to determine customers’ digital engagement with telcos, as well as projects on AI and data analytics. She has a BA in English Literature and Language from Oxford University and an MA in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.

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