French engineering group Altran has made the first key steps with Intel on an open edge AI platform for telecoms operators that will launch across Europe later this year..
Altran, now part of Capgemini, is working with a consortium of network operators, technology vendors and the GSM Association to create the GSMA Operator Platform. This will allow operators to cooperatively provide edge services, regardless of location and the platform will be shown later this year as a proof of concept.
This multi-access edge computing (MEC) system will be based on Altran’s ENSCONCE software combined with Intel’s Open Network Edge Services Software (OpenNESS), along with other Intel edge AI hardware and software technologies.
ENSCONCE sits on micro data centres close to the access network, aggregation points, regional data centres and central offices to host edge applications. The platform supports low-latency edge application development through software development kits (SDKs). The SDK provides edge applications on demand, discovers edge deployments, orchestrates applications across operator networks, and monitors and manages applications throughout the lifecycle.
OpenNESS enables ENSCONCE to provide uniform interfaces for 4G and 5G mobile networks to reduce network latency. It also supports a library of optimized inferencing models for computer vision called OpenVINO. This executes low-latency inferencing on a variety of edge AI accelerators, including Intel’s Xeon processors, Movidius Vision Processing Units (VPUs), Intel FPGAs and neural accelerators.
“Our MEC platform is focused on developer experience and will incorporate relevant application programming interfaces for application developers in both their SDKs and for developer-facing services,” said Pascal Brier, Executive Vice-President of Strategy, Technology and Innovation at Altran. “By integrating Intel technology and toolkits including OpenNESS and OpenVINO into our platform, we will significantly amplify our edge computing solution and strengthen the offering for application developers and operators.”