We already live in a data driven world, however, we only process and act upon a miniscule fraction of the data available to us. Imagine how transformative it would be to make all that data ‘actionable.’ We could transform our cities, our businesses, and our social interactions across distance.
To build that future society, we first must architect a new kind of network that will enable computing and the intelligent use of data to be pervasive and efficient. The recently announced Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum is a first step in that direction. IOWN aims to bring together edge computing, silicon photonics-based networks, and wireless distributed and connected computing to scale. It is a collaboration intended to take full advantage of the universe of data surrounding us.
A vision of this magnitude can only be achieved by combining forces with global leaders across industries. We are excited to join with partners to define the future of technology through IOWN. In conjunction with NTT and Sony, Intel aims to accelerate the adoption of a new communication infrastructure to meet future global data and computing demands. IOWN was created to advance the state of a technology known as silicon photonics. Silicon photonics is a combination of two of the most important inventions of the 20th century—the silicon integrated circuit and the semiconductor laser. It enables faster data transfer over longer distances compared to traditional electronics and decouples hardware and software resources for disaggregated data centers.
During NTT R&D Forum VIP Day, which was held as a part of NTT’s annual Innovation Summit in Tokyo, I had the privilege of discussing the future of photonics and IOWN on stage with Katsuhiko Kawazoe, NTT’s senior vice president and head of R&D Planning, as well as Masayuki Hattori, Sony’s head of R&D.
We believe that delivering on the promise of a fully connected, intelligent, and mobile society, requires a significant shift in computing, communications and network infrastructure. The shared belief is that an all photonics network will help overcome the limits currently imposed by traditional networks and bring us closer to delivering on this goal. In fact, the forum name was specifically designed to highlight the focus the Forum will place on these critical technologies.
The IOWN Global Forum is part of Intel’s commitment to technology leadership as well as part of our strategy to address new opportunities as 5G combines with other accelerant technologies (i.e. edge computing, AI, IoT, etc.) to radically overhaul network infrastructure. With IOWN, we alongside our industry partners, will create momentum through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications and reference design in areas such as:
- Photonics R&D, including photonic devices of the future, photonic network equipment and end-to-end architectures, that has the potential to significantly reduce power consumption and enable instant access and response by shortening latency times and increasing transmission capacity.
- New use cases and best practices: such as Digital Twin Computing, a computing paradigm that enables humans and things in the real world to be recreated and interact without restrictions in a virtual world.
- R&D in human behavior and society: modeling, large-scale simulations, and next-generation “real” UI/UX device technologies.
- Connected compute, which is expected to be increasingly critical for computing across networks, leveraging both artificial intelligence (AI) and workloads that will be dynamic and distributed.
IOWN’s founding is the first of many steps in building a future for silicon photonics. I am excited to join efforts in developing this transformative technology. We’re confident that with global leaders like NTT and Sony, we’ve laid the right foundation to build on for the future of the global network.