A new startup has emerged from stealth mode with a design that converges 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that’s aimed at edge networks. Founded in 2018, EdgeQ was launched by former executives at Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm and has racked up $51 million in funding.
EdgeQ’s AI-5G SoC is aimed at 5G private wireless networks for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). EdgeQ says its chip will allow enterprises in manufacturing, energy, automotive, telco and other verticals to harness private networking for disruptive applications, intelligent services, and new business models.
“We are rapidly evolving from a smartphone economy to a constellation of intelligent edge devices,” said Vinay Ravuri, CEO and founder of EdgeQ, in a statement. “This will cause massive disruption to the current paradigm, where existing fixed-function approaches are inadequate to meet the scale, speed, and breadth of new end connections.”
The company states that today’s connectivity and compute constructs are based on legacy networks that are largely closed and monolithic. This fixed hardware can no longer scale efficiently and economically to support 5G service-oriented applications.
The software-defined SoC is intended to replace existing wireless and legacy networks with edge components that can be used to build 5G spectrum private wireless networks, the networking equivalent of a private clouds. The AI portion allows for processing massive amounts of data coming in from a variety of feeds and enabling real-time processing at the edge rather than sending it back to a data center.
EdgeQ will deliver a converged 5G and AI silicon platform that is open and software programmable for both devices and edge infrastructure. By introducing open programmability to the baseband, EdgeQ provides a new software-driven development model for OEMs and operators that can support existing cellular protocols, such as 4G, 5G and beyond.
“By building 5G and AI hardware in a newly imaginative, software-friendly manner, we empower and inspire customers with an open and programmable platform that is adaptable, configurable, and economical for 5G-based applications,” Ravuri said.
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