What Is an Edge Device?
Today, enterprises are extending analytics and business intelligence closer to the points where data is generated. Edge computing solutions place Internet of Things (IoT) devices, gateways, and computing infrastructure as close as possible to the source of data—and to the systems and people who need to make data-driven decisions. With the right technologies in place, edge computing improves processes, automates tasks, creates better customer experiences, and much more.
Types of Edge Devices
Edge devices vary widely in physical form and capability since they serve many different purposes. Intelligent edge devices offer capabilities beyond those of RFID tags, temperature detectors, and vibration sensors. With built-in processors, these smart devices can accommodate advanced capabilities like onboard analytics or AI.
For example, intelligent edge devices used in manufacturing may include vision-guided robots or industrial PCs. Digital cockpit systems built into commercial vehicles can help support driver assistance. In hospitals, devices monitoring patients can look for changes in vital signs and notify medical personnel when needed. Smart cities are deploying IoT devices to monitor weather conditions and traffic patterns and to give citizens real-time information on public transit.
Edge Devices and Computer Vision
By adding cameras and computer vision capabilities to intelligent devices, systems can “see” and identify objects. This type of artificial intelligence (AI) is valuable in a range of environments, making it possible to quickly identify objects and people, analyze audience demographics, inspect manufactured products, and more.
Machine vision is a type of computer vision used in industrial IoT (IIoT). These solutions can monitor equipment or workers to help improve productivity and enhance safety.
In a factory, for example, machine vision can automate the inspection of products speeding off an assembly line to ensure each unit meets its specifications. Defective products can be flagged for further inspection by employees.
Vision solutions can also assist with corporate security, monitor the production floor for employee safety, or help identify procedural manufacturing bottlenecks.
Estimates suggest that by 2025, 55.6 percent of all data will come from IoT devices, such as security cameras, RFID readers, industrial equipment, digital signage, medical implants, and other connected things.1
Connecting Edge Devices to a Network
Most edge devices must share data to an edge server (as part of an edge cloud) for storage and analysis. An efficient, secure connection for the transmission and protection of IoT data is essential.
Wireless or 5G connectivity can deliver fast data exchange across the edge network. Intel® technologies for the edge and IoT help you provision and connect devices to your network and take advantage of 5G for ultrafast speeds with extremely low latency.
Intel® Hardware and Technologies for Edge Devices
Choosing the most efficient and economical IoT solution depends on your unique business challenges. The right solution must meet requirements for workload performance, size or power constraints, and budget. Intel offers a range of compute to enable IoT solutions from the edge to the cloud and help your enterprise realize the best return on your investments.
Intel® Core™ and Intel Atom® Processors
Intel® Core™ processors deliver the power and responsiveness to support many types of IoT devices, including kiosks, industrial PCs, and more. Select Intel® Core™ processors on the Intel vPro® platform enable additional remote manageability and help security capabilities.
Built for embedded applications, Intel Atom® processors deliver a balance of performance and low power consumption for smart cameras, mobile point of sale devices, and other edge devices where power consumption may pose a challenge.
Intel® Movidius™ Vision Processing Units (VPUs)
Intel® Movidius™ Vision Processing Units (VPUs) offer fast, low-power performance to support computer vision and AI workloads. These specially designed VPUs enable parallel programmability and workload-specific hardware acceleration for deep neural networks and computer vision applications in devices like augmented or virtual reality systems and smart cameras.
Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors
Edge servers bring powerful data processing, analytics, and AI capabilities closer to the point of data generation. Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors deliver the high performance and reliability needed to accelerate compute, storage, memory, and networking at the edge.
Intel Security Technologies
Edge-based devices and systems must keep proprietary, sensitive, and personal information safe. In some industries like healthcare, data sovereignty and compliance are especially critical.
Intel’s products are architected to deliver advanced security with built-in, silicon-enabled security technologies that help protect potential attack surfaces.2 Rooted in silicon, our security technologies help create a trusted foundation for computing that customers can depend on with product lines that span edge, endpoint, data center, cloud, and network, offering access to a common approach to security for simplified deployment and integration.
Intel Partner Solutions
Intel® IoT Market Ready Solutions offer your business scalable, repeatable, end-to-end solutions specially designed for your industry.
In addition, the Intel® Network Builders Edge Ecosystem helps accelerate the development, adoption, and deployment of edge-centric technologies, helping improve access to tested and optimized solutions for network edge and cloud environments.
For data center modernization, Intel® Data Center Builders unites a global network of providers. The resulting solutions and technologies are optimized to meet customer needs.
With comprehensive technologies for edge computing, IoT, 5G, and AI, Intel and our partner ecosystem are helping businesses achieve intelligence everywhere. This makes it possible to deploy powerful capabilities wherever they are needed most—from edge devices to the cloud—to transform operations and experiences.