Chinese technology powerhouse Baidu Inc. is positioning its public cloud for edge computing applications.
The company today announced an open-source “intelligent edge” computing platform called OpenEdge that it says developers can use to build “light, secure and scalable edge applications.”
With OpenEdge, developers can deploy all manner of edge computing systems and deploy them on a variety of different hardware. Systems built using OpenEdge will automatically be enabled with important features such as artificial intelligence, cloud synchronization, data collection, function compute and message distribution, Baidu said.
Edge computing is becoming increasingly important for applications such as the “internet of things” since it means compute operations can be moved closer to the source of data.
“It greatly reduces the latency, lowers the bandwidth usage and ultimately brings real-time and immersive experiences to end users,” Watson Yin, vice president and general manager of Baidu Cloud, said in a statement.
Although OpenEdge is open-source and therefore free to use, it’s actually designed to help move developers onto Baidu’s cloud platform. That’s because OpenEdge is actually just one component of the Baidu Intelligent Edge platform, which also offers tools to manage important functions such as edge nodes and resources such as certifications, passwords and program code.
Designed to run on the Baidu cloud, BIE supports common AI frameworks such as the Baidu-developed PaddlePaddle and TensorFlow. This means that developers can use Baidu’s cloud to train AI models and then deploy them to the systems they’ve built using OpenEdge.
Other advantages of using OpenEdge with Baidu’s cloud include the ability to exchange data with Baidu ABC Intelligent Cloud, perform filtering calculation on sensitive data and provide real-time feedback control when a network connection is unstable.
Besides open sourcing OpenEdge, Baidu also announced the release of two products based built atop the BIE platform. These include a piece of hardware called the BIE-AI-BOX that was codeveloped by Intel Corp. and is meant to be installed in cars for in-vehicle video analysis. It connects with cameras in vehicles to optimize video analysis and will provide AI apps for road recognition, car body monitoring and driver’s behavior recognition, Baidu said.
The second product is a bit of software called BIE-AI-Board, which Baidu built in partnership with NXP Semiconductors NV. The software can be installed on devices such as drones, robots and cameras, and perform a variety of detection tasks, Baidu said.
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