Advantech Creates a Promising Future

In an effort to consolidate industry strengths, promote the digital transformation of industries, and build an open and mutually beneficial ecosystem, Advantech has developed comprehensive AIoT products based on its IoT platform. These products are designed to help customers fully exploit all business opportunities generated by AI and the IoT.

On November 1, 2018, at the AIoT-Embedded and Wireless AIoT Forum held at Advantech’s first IoT CoCreation Summit, Miller Chang, Head of Advantech Embedded IoT, announced the launch of Advantech’s IoT ecosystem. The goal for this ecosystem is to generate cocreation business opportunities together with partners.

Advantech IoT Eco-Chain Cultivates

New Solutions According to the ITRI Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK), the number of smart networking devices globally will grow from 8.4 billion in 2017 to 20.4 billion by 2020. Moreover, IDC predicts that the value of the AI market (including hardware and services) will increase from US$8 billion in 2016 to US$47 billion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 55%.

With all the new opportunities generated, China’s AI market is set to undergo tremendous growth. By combining AI with various IoT embedded systems, AI technology is gradually introduced and IoT systems are upgraded into smart devices with AI, also known as AIoT.

Since the announcement of its IoT development strategy in 2010, Advantech has actively developed and promoted the IoT. Leveraging the company’s more than 30 years of experience producing computing solutions has given Advantech a tremendous advantage in penetrating the highly competitive IoT market.

In an interview with DIGITIMES, Advantech CEO KC Liu commented, “We can’t keep pace with China’s BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent), but we can stand on the shoulders of giants and provide industry partners with a platform to create IoT solutions.” He then added, “We Miller Chang, Advantech Embedded IoT President Xiao-Tien Chen, China Unicom IoT Executive Director need to create partnerships and expand the IoT market together with our partners through a cross-industry alliance.”

In the IoT industry chain, no single company can operate in isolation. Instead, companies must cooperate with others to achieve synergy and mutual prosperity. This idea is best reflected in the old proverb, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Back at the first Advantech IoT Co-Creation Summit, in addition to introducing the IoT ecosystem, Chang announced the launch of five industry-focused edge-computing solution-ready packages (ESRPs).

The first product debuted was an ESRP for automated license plate recognition (ESRP-LPR). This solution features an AI accelerator for performing algorithmic calculations using a pre-trained model, enabling functions such as license plate recognition, vehicle classification, vehicle counting, and vehicle detection.

The second ESRP offering was, as introduced by Advantech, the world’s first industrial edge AI module. Unlike conventional high-performance graphics cards that can be used to train neural networks, the industrial edge AI module is more inclined toward neural network inference. This means using a trained neural network to make inferences, which is the primary function of an edge computing device.

The third ESRP was a self-service terminal (ESRP-ISK) that can interpret data according to user settings, from remote platforms, and using visualization dashboards in order to optimize retail solutions.

The fourth ESRP was an equipment vibration monitoring module (ESRP-EVM) that provides an accurate overview of machine performance to facilitate preventive maintenance. Additionally, all collected data can be transmitted to Advantech’s cloud platform to enable data monitoring and forecasting.

The fifth ESRP was a protocol conversion module (ESRP-EIP) that can serve as the platform for various IoT solutions aimed at different vertical markets, such as smart manufacturing, smart transportation, and smart cities.

Overall, all Advantech ESR Ps support data visualization and can be customized according to specific application requirements and industry needs.

Advancing Toward a New Era of Industrial IoT

With active promotion by major business operators and mobile phone manufacturers, the speed of 5G for data processing is accelerating. Compared with 4G, future 5G networks will support transmissions rates of up to 10 Gbps and be able to complete workloads much faster than 4G networks. The key characteristics of 5G technology include a high frequency range, minimal delay, low power consumption, and high security, which are all essential requirements for IoT.

In addition to the development of 5G, diverse wireless IoT and low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technologies are increasingly emerging.

At the AIoT-Embedded and Wireless AIoT Forum held in November 2018, Advantech also announced its co-creation partnership with China Unicom. The aim of this partnership is to jointly seize IoT development opportunities and collaboratively build IoT solutions for smart manufacturing, smart utilities, and smart charging applications.

Xiao-Tien Chen, Executive Director of China Unicom IoT, asserted that, “Having entered a new era where everything is interconnected, we need an IoT platform that can support numerous sensing devices to realize a faster and smarter IoT.”

Unlike the post-Internet segmented industry model, where everything is built and developed based on traditional technology and industry, the IoT is actually a fusion of cross-platform innovation. Explaining how China Unicom is actively investing in AIoT, Chen said, “China Unicom is willing to cooperate with more industry partners to promote IoT applications integrated with 5G technology in the future in order to create a new era of high efficiency, convenience, and security.”

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