#Berlin5GWeek - ECCE Softlaunch
Tom Maelsa / Fraunhofer FOKUS

Berlin5GWeek: The future of Cloud Computing is distributed

News from Nov. 13, 2018

In industries that rely on robust and secure low-latency communication, centralized clouds will soon be a thing of the past: Edge Computing promises to bring data processing closer to the source. During today’s “Edge Computing Forum”, Fraunhofer FOKUS and industry partners announced that they are planning to found the “Edge Computing Consortium Europe” in the coming year, to get the technology concept ready for the market more quickly.

Until 2023, Edge Computing is estimated to reach a market value of 18 billion euros (see Wiseguyreports 2018: Edge Computing -Market Demand, Growth, Opportunities and Analysis Of Top Key Player Forecast To 2023). Although the technology is crucial for the Internet of the future, unlike with 5G technologies, barely any industry standards exist. Moreover, there is a need for explanations when it comes to the benefits of on-spot computing power for the industry.

In order to speed up the development from a European perspective, Fraunhofer FOKUS announced that they will found the “Edge Computing Consortium” (ECCE) in the coming year in cooperation with its partners Analog Devices, Arm, Bombardier, B&R Automation, German Edge Cloud (GEC), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Harting IT, Huawei, IBM, Renesas, Software AG and TTTEch at the Edge Computing Forum in Berlin today.

The goals set out by the initiative include:

  • Specifying a Reference Architecture Model for Edge Computing (ECCE RAMEC)
  • Developing reference technology stacks (ECCE Edge Nodes)
  • Identifying gaps and recommending best practices by evaluating approaches within multiple scenarios (ECCE Pathfinders)
  • Synchronizing with related initiatives/ standardization organizations and promoting the results

Companies can thus test the technology ahead of time and the Edge Computing concept can be further developed according to industry requirements.

“Europe is driving the innovation of major 5G industrial vertical domains, such as manufacturing and automotive”, explains Prof. Thomas Magedanz, Director of the business unit Software-based Networks at Fraunhofer FOKUS. “The availability of high performance, reliable and open edge computing platforms represents a key foundation for the establishment of a rich ecosystem for edge computing based industry solutions. This new European Edge initiative will fill the gap between existing industry initiatives and will enable German and European industrial partners to meet their business requirements enabled by edge computing in a faster and more economical way.”

The consortium welcomes collaboration with more partners who are engaged in the action of digitalization verticals.

About Edge Computing

Mainframes in the 1960’s, decentralized client-server models, centralized cloud computing in the past 15 years – the way we use computing power changes all the time. Accompanied by new 5G infrastructure and future “Time Sensitive Networking” (TSN) based networks, the leading solution in many instances – especially those with sensitive data – will be Edge Computing. This means that data is processed in micro-datacenters near the place of deployment. Benefits include:

  • Short distances decrease latency
  • Networks retain more capacity
  • Security increases as data is saved and processed in one country or even in one company
  • Deterministic, i.e. real-time capable, communication can be guaranteed which is not the case when communicating via the Internet.