verizon 5gVerizon has tested 5G edge technology aimed at facilitating artificial intelligence, machine learning and mobile virtual, mixed, augmented and cinematic reality services. The technology involves an independent GPU-based orchestration system.

“Creating a scalable, low cost, edge-based GPU compute [capability] is the gateway to the production of inexpensive, highly powerful mobile devices,” Nicki Palmer, Chief Product Development Officer, said in a press release. “This new innovation will lead to more cost-effective and user-friendly mobile mixed reality devices and open up a new world of possibilities for developers, consumers and enterprises.

The technology uses 5G and operates on Verizon’s Intelligent Edge Network, which provides real time cloud services on the network’s edge. The applications being targeted tends to be heavy in images and graphics and would benefit from a GPU approach. This led Verizon to develop a prototype set up using GPU slicing and offering multiple user loads and tenants, the company says.

The proof of concept, which was conducted on a live network in Houston, featured a computer vision-as-a-service test. Orchestration enabled eight times the number of concurrent users and the graphics gaming service allowed more than 80 times the number of concurrent users.

Verizon has created eight services for developers to use when creating apps and solutions for use on 5G edge technology. These include 2D computer vision, XR lighting, split rendering, real-time ray tracing, spatial audio, 3D computer vision, real time transcoding and asset caching.

The arrival of 5G provides a challenge and opportunity: There will be orders of magnitude more bandwidth available—but carriers and their ecosystem must come up with compelling consumer and business services to justify the investment.

In April, Verizon took a step in that direction by launching The Verizon Built on 5G Challenge. The carrier pledged to award $1.75 million for applications that use the new air interface.

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