New industry pressure group targets future comms techs

Created November 5, 2019
News and Business

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), Intel Corporation (Intel) and Sony Corporation (Sony) are creating a new industry forum, the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) global forum.

The organisation’s objective is to accelerate the adoption of a new communication infrastructure that will bring together an all-photonics network infrastructure, including silicon photonics, edge computing and distributed connected computing. These elements will identify and enable future data and computing requirements through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications and reference designs, in areas such as:

  • Photonics R&D, including photonic devices of the future, photonic network equipment and end-to-end architecture, powered by advances in photonics-electronics convergence technologies. The partners say this will significantly reduce power consumption and enable instant access and response by shortening latency times and broadening transmission capacity
  • Distributed connected compute, which is expected to be increasingly critical for computing across networks, leveraging both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and workloads that will be dynamic and distributed
  • Use cases and best practices for a smart world and enabling technologies, such as digital twin computing (a computing paradigm that enables humans and things in the real world to be re-created and interact without restrictions in cyberspace), R&D in human behaviour and society modelling, large-scale simulations and next-generation “real” UI/UX device technologies.
  • Technology, telecommunications and other industry organisations will be invited to join the forum. NTT, Intel and Sony will act as founding members. In the coming months, NTT, Intel and Sony will select the initial board of the IOWN Global Forum to jointly kick off operations.
Image: IOWN

“NTT has a long history in photonics-related R&D and has achieved cutting-edge results in fields like silicon photonics and optoelectronic convergence. Based on these technologies, NTT aims to power the next generation of technology innovation and solve many of today’s societal challenges, such as ever-increasing power consumption,” commented Jun Sawada, NTT President and CEO (pictured). “We will bring our leading R&D expertise to foster the photonics revolution and unlock new technologies to ultimately enable a smart world, where technology becomes so ‘natural’ that people are unaware of its presence.”

“Digital transformation and the growth of data is driving an infrastructure build-out that will dwarf the first era of the cloud defined by hyperscale datacentres. We are using information technology now in completely new ways that demand we move, store and process data even faster, more securely and often closer to the person using the service,” continued Intel CEO Bob Swan. “The combination of super-fast networking and pervasive high-performance computing – the edge infrastructure to deliver smart services anywhere, anytime – can only be achieved with a profoundly new mindset shared across a global ecosystem.”

“The high-capacity, low-latency, energy efficiency and flexibility that IOWN offers, opens up exciting new possibilities in terms of connecting creators with users, bringing together people with people, and sharing highly realistic entertainment in real time,” added Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony President and CEO.

IOWN Global Forum will be based in the USA, and membership opportunities are currently available to interested parties.

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.