October 29, 2020

Building Industry Intelligent Twins with Intelligent Connectivity

On day two of HUAWEI CONNECT 2020, Huawei Executive Director David Wang delivered the keynote “Building Industry Intelligent Twins with Intelligent Connectivity”.

Huawei Executive Director David Wang speaking at Huawei Connect 2020

In his speech, he unveiled for the first time the technologies – AI + 5G, F5G, and intelligent IP networks – that will lead to intelligent connectivity and its key features: ubiquitous connectivity, deterministic experience, and hyper-automation. Below is his speech, adapted for this blog.


2020 has been a very eventful year. ICT infrastructure,
especially connectivity, has played a key role in the fight against COVID-19
and in promoting sustainable development.
Today, I’d like to talk about connectivity.

Huawei’s Vision and Mission

Three years ago, Huawei released its new vision and mission:
Bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent
world.

In the consumer domain, we’re committed to creating a Seamless AI Life across all scenarios
based on our “1 + 8 + N” strategy, and bringing every person to the
intelligent world.

What I want to look at today is how we make every company a part
of the intelligent world. At this year’s event, we aim to build industry
Intelligent Twins to help companies move towards the intelligent world.

Intelligent connectivity is like
the body of the Intelligent Twin, connecting the “brain” and
“limbs”

At Huawei Connect, we launched the reference architecture for
Intelligent Twins. Intelligent connectivity is one of the four key parts of the
architecture. If we compare Intelligent Twins to a person, then intelligent
connectivity is the body that connects the brain and limbs.

How important is intelligent connectivity to Intelligent Twins? Consider
the African elephant. Each human brain has 86 billion neurons, but the brain of
an African elephant is made up of 250 billion neurons. And yet, a human being
can outsmart an African elephant. Why is this? Because the neurons of human
brains are strongly connected. Each neuron can be divided into over 8,000
synapses, and is strongly connected to the limbs through the body. In the same
way, it isn’t mere computing power, but strong connectivity that makes
Intelligent Twins smarter.

What new demands do Intelligent Twins place on connectivity?

Intelligent Twins Call for New Connectivity

There are three types of connectivity scenarios for Intelligent Twins. One is connectivity within the intelligent hub, such as the connection of AI cluster servers and cloud data centers. The second is connectivity between the intelligent hub and intelligent interaction devices; connecting the “brain” and the “limbs”. The last type is connectivity between intelligent interaction devices, such as the connection of AI cameras, 4K drones, and robotic arms.

In real-world scenarios, we have noticed several typical requirements for connectivity. Meteorological image splicing, for example, requires accurate short-range weather forecast for the next four hours. To do this, we need to send massive quantities of meteorological images recorded by HD cameras back to the cloud for AI analysis. These huge datasets require coordination between multiple distributed data centers, making high bandwidth and zero packet loss essential.

Another example is Shanghai Hongqiao railway station. A
high-speed train departs every 84 seconds, the highest departure rate of any
station in China. To make this work, the railway station needs very reliable
networks to connect the control signal system.

Overall, Intelligent Twins have five major requirements for
connectivity:

  1. High reliability
  2. Zero packet loss
  3. Differentiated services
  4. Real-time high bandwidth
  5. Smart O&M

Connectivity Is Productivity

As connectivity is becoming increasingly important, higher bandwidth, lower latency, and thinner network slices will create value. In a third-party report on Wall Street financial transactions, we noticed that each millisecond decrease in latency can generate US$1 million of revenue.

According to the statistics of one large OTT player’s cloud data center, a packet loss rate of 0.1% will cause AI compute performance to deteriorate by 50%.

For the past 40 years, we’ve used Metcalfe’s law to explain the
value of connectivity: A network’s value is proportional to the square of the
number of nodes in the network. I hope Mr. Metcalfe doesn’t mind if we now add
a few new variables – bandwidth, latency, and network slicing – to Metcalfe’s
law to redefine the value of connectivity. When we put this new Metcalfe’s law
to work, we find that the quality of connectivity has become a factor of
production. Today, connectivity is productivity.

Moving Towards Intelligent Connectivity
with AI

We believe intelligent connectivity has three major
characteristics: ubiquitous gigabit, deterministic experience, and
hyper-automation.

The first characteristic is ubiquitous gigabit. Bandwidth is the basis of connectivity. Ubiquitous gigabit connectivity is needed for ultra-HD AI cameras, drones, industrial cameras, and industrial VR/AR applications.

The second characteristic is deterministic experience. Connectivity
for Intelligent Twins mainly targets things and production scenarios. For
example, during peak times in 2019, one airplane was departing or arriving in Shenzhen
Airport every minute or less, and this is only possible when real-time connectivity
is guaranteed. Electric power companies guarantee “six nines”, or
even higher reliability and less than two minutes of power outage per household
annually. Without deterministic connectivity, companies will not be able to
guarantee security and reliability.

The last characteristic is hyper-automation. As industries
become intelligent, the scale and complexity of networks will multiply. One
customer’s network report states that it will see 100 times denser connections
and 10,000 more parameters following the application of 5G and other new
technologies. Hyper-automation means using big data and AI to handle all
complexities with intelligence.

Building City Intelligent Twins
with Intelligent Connectivity

First, let’s see how intelligent connectivity can help build City Intelligent Twins.

Smart cities are built around five
priorities: government services, social governance, public services, ecology,
and industrial parks. To realize comprehensive city governance, cities need to monitor
roads, waterways, bridges, and pipelines in real time, and align surveillance
videos of different government departments.

There are two key points in building City Intelligent Twins: the
intelligent connection of everything and connection of intelligent things.

To connect everything with intelligence, an industrial park in
Suzhou connected all of its surveillance drones and HD cameras through 5G and
F5G networks. With real-time, high bandwidth connectivity, the industrial park converged
over 5,000 surveillance cameras and over 13,000 IoT sensors, laying a social
foundation for building a smart city.

To connect all intelligent things, a municipal government in
Guangdong introduced IPv6+ to better connect the data centers of different
departments, enabling fast surveillance video access across different districts
and departments.

Intelligent connectivity will help build City Intelligent Twins,
bringing intelligence to every corner of our cities and significantly
benefiting society.

Building Transportation Intelligent Twins with Intelligent Connectivity

The second example is how intelligent connectivity helps build Transportation Intelligent Twins.

The intelligent upgrade of airports must take into account passengers,
freight, and aircraft. In terms of passengers, our aim is to improve their
travel experience. Due to the high density and frequent mobility of passengers,
airports stand to benefit from using Wi-Fi 6 to build a full coverage network
that connects all passenger touch points, from check-in and waiting to boarding,
so as to deliver a better travel experience.

When applied to aircraft, low latency and high reliability
connectivity will make flights safer and more efficient. For example, we are
currently piloting 5G smart airfield ground lights in some airports. With
real-time, low-latency connectivity, these tens of thousands of airfield ground
lights can guide and support more efficient aircraft taxiing. In addition,
patrol cars can use 5G to upload 4K surveillance images and videos, enabling
real-time monitoring and accurate review at airports. This will increase the
efficiency of event handling and establish a comprehensive security protection
system at airports.

As digital transformation goes deeper, the network systems of
airports will become increasingly complex. Some airports even have seven or
more networks, including office, communications, departure, and security networks.
Traditional networks cannot guarantee accurate O&M and at the same time increase
service efficiency. But Huawei’s autonomous driving network (ADN) solutions can
do both at once by providing automated O&M while ensuring stable service
operations.

Wi-Fi 6, 5G, and ADN are the three keys to building
Transportation Intelligent Twins.

Building Finance Intelligent Twins
with Intelligent Connectivity

Finally, let’s have a look at how Intelligent Twins can be used
in finance.

The financial sector is a leader in terms of intelligent upgrades. Intelligent financial services have become a part of people’s everyday lives. By creating user profiles, banks can optimize financial service experience for customers through precision marketing and intelligent risk control. To do this, banks need to accurately identify user parameters across thousands of dimensions, and AI compute is vital for this. In data center networks, a packet loss rate of 0.1% will cause AI compute performance to deteriorate by 50%. This suggests that the quality of connectivity is a bottleneck for the growth of AI compute. Huawei’s intelligent IP networks ensure that data center networks achieve zero packet loss, allowing the full potential of AI compute to be unleashed.

Meanwhile, bank branches are also upgrading by replacing manual
labor with large amounts of intelligent devices. Their demands for bandwidth are
outpacing the development of traditional private lines. High bandwidth, low
latency 5G networks can support the intelligent upgrade of branches.

Network architecture is becoming more and more complex due to an
increased demand for bandwidth and more diverse applications, calling for
AI-enabled smart O&M. Huawei ADN solutions deliver smart O&M performance
that can be summed up as “1-3-5”: fault detection in 1 minute,
location in 3 minutes, and troubleshooting in 5 minutes. Smart O&M makes
data center networks more reliable and guarantees financial service experience
for customers.

Intelligent IP networks, 5G and ADN are the building blocks of Finance
Intelligent Twins.

Huawei Intelligent Connectivity Solutions
for All Scenarios

The goal of intelligent connectivity is to make connectivity
intelligent and to connect intelligence. Huawei will help build industry
Intelligent Twins with intelligent connectivity solutions characterized by ubiquitous
gigabit, deterministic experience, and hyper-automation. We are committed to
driving the intelligent upgrade of industries with AI.

In terms of technology, we will use 5G, F5G, and Wi-Fi 6 to
provide ubiquitous gigabit and low latency connectivity to AI cameras, ultra-HD
drones, ultra-HD industrial cameras, robotic arms, VR/AR applications, and
other intelligent interaction devices. We will also apply AI to the full stack
of networks to precisely identify service intent, dynamically allocate network
resources, and build networks that take advantage of the synergy between
intelligent IP and optical networks. This will meet the varying needs of
different users and deliver deterministic experience. In addition, AI will be
integrated into network elements, networks, and the cloud to build ADN solutions.
Moving from SDN to ADN, Huawei’s network solutions will make service deployment
more efficient and accurate and reduce human error and network failure, making
automated O&M a reality.

In terms of network scenarios, we will provide intelligent connectivity
solutions to campus, data center, WAN, and security networks. For industries,
intelligent connectivity will be combined with the intelligent hub, intelligent
interaction, and industry know-how to customize solutions for the intelligent
upgrade of transportation, government, energy, and the financial industry.

Three Key Huawei Innovations

5G Intelligent Connectivity: Gigabit Uplink Speed, 20 ms Latency, Submeter-level Location

First, we have 5G intelligent connectivity, which is developing much
faster than everyone expected. As of now, 90 5G networks have been deployed
globally, and there will be nearly 200 million 5G users in China alone by the
end of this year. Based on six technological innovations, Huawei has delivered
5G networks featuring superior experience, simplified networking, and smart
O&M to global carrier customers.

To meet industry needs for intelligent upgrades, Huawei
continues to innovate and improve its 5G network capabilities in terms of
uplink bandwidth, latency, and location accuracy. With super uplink technology,
Huawei’s 5G uplink speed can reach Gbps level, enabling HD video uploading for
smart manufacturing. For example, one aircraft manufacturer used 5G, HD videos,
and AI to detect joints, and manage perimeters and mobile toolboxes. This
helped the manufacturer reduce the time for static detection of its hangar from
30 days to 3 days, increasing delivery efficiency tenfold.

Pre-scheduling and mini-slot enable 20 ms latency, facilitating
remote hoist operation and replacing 90% of manual labor with autonomous
operations.

UTDOA and higher bandwidth support submeter-level location
accuracy to meet the location needs of smart manufacturing and asset
management, raising the production and management efficiency of industrial
parks to a new level.

Intelligent IP Networks: High Bandwidth and Lossless for All Services

Secondly, we have intelligent IP networks. At HUAWEI CONNECT
2019, Huawei launched four data communications products. This year, we are
applying AI capabilities to networks to help build industry Intelligent Twins.
Built on a three-layer AI architecture, intelligent IP networks can identify
service needs, analyze network status in real time, and allocate network
resources to deliver deterministic experience. In addition, smart network
O&M powered by AI enables rapid service deployment and automatic
troubleshooting, making network O&M more efficient.

Moreover, this year we’ve launched upgraded versions of the data
communications products unveiled in 2019.

CloudCampus 2.0 takes campus networks to the gigabit era, providing gigabit access via any device to any application. CloudWAN 2.0 brings intelligence to WAN networks. In WAN scenarios, the synergy between multiple clouds and multiple networks is the key. By introducing the IPv6+ protocol from end to end, synergies between clouds and networks can be achieved. Network slicing isolates different services to meet the needs of differentiated services. CloudFabric 2.0 uses a unique AI scheduling algorithm to achieve zero packet loss in data center networks, and increase both AI compute and storage efficiency by over 30%.

Intelligent IP networks reflect the coordination between compute and connectivity, and are a key part of Huawei’s intelligent connectivity solutions.

F5G Intelligent All-optical Networks: High Bandwidth Interconnection and Flexible Pipes

Lastly, we have fiber. As we enter the F5G era, Huawei has put forward its all-optical network strategy. With this strategy, we are committed to bringing ultimate service experience to every person, home and organization. We have developed three solutions for F5G intelligent all-optical networks.

The first is Campus OptiX solution. In the past, optical technology was mainly used in backbone and MAN networks. By using optical technology in campus networks, Campus OptiX offers high bandwidth access to meet campus needs for new services such as 4K cameras, and VR/AR.

The second is Single OptiX powered by Liquid OTN technology. Different services require different bandwidth: Some services may need 1 Gbps bandwidth, while some may only need 100 Mbps. Liquid OTN can divide a single fiber line into 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1 Gbps channels, meeting diverse transmission needs while increasing efficiency.

The third solution is DC OptiX based on automatic fiber
discovery and commissioning technologies. DC OptiX frees networks from planning
and maintenance. IT staff can deploy this plug-and-play enterprise solution in
just 8 minutes. As of now, DC OptiX has helped over 140 financial institutions,
ISPs, and OTT players efficiently deploy data center interconnect networks.

Connectivity Never Stops Advancing

Over the past 40 years, Huawei has worked with all stakeholders
to connect the unconnected and build a fully connected world. Over the next 40
years, we are committed to building industry Intelligent Twins with intelligent
connectivity.

Humanity is now transitioning from the information world to the
intelligent world. Intelligence will connect more closely with humans than ever
to push our physical limits even further. Fifth-generation connectivity
technology, primarily 5G, IPv6+, F5G, and Wi-Fi 6, is bridging the virtual and
physical worlds with ubiquitous gigabit, deterministic experience, and hyper-automation
capabilities. An intelligent world is just around the corner.

Looking even further ahead, sixth-generation connectivity
technology will bring more changes across multiple dimensions (space, time, and
scale), including hundreds of times higher bandwidth, lower latency, and wider
coverage, taking humanity from the intelligent world to the holographic world.
Our exploration in connectivity will never end!

Huawei will continue to invest in basic research and
systematically improve its engineering capabilities in platforms, modules,
algorithms, and techniques. As we move towards sixth-generation connectivity
represented by 6G, New IP, F6G, and Wi-Fi 7, we will continue to challenge technological
limits to offer the world’s best connectivity.

Scaling New Heights with Intelligent Connectivity

Huawei will encounter many more challenges moving forward. But
obstacles do not block the path. With no way back, success is our only way
forward!

At Huawei, we are ready to keep going and scale new heights.

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