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Bringing the 5G Vision Into Focus: 6 Questions with Lynn Comp

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Lynn Comp, Vice President and Data Platforms General Manager for Intel’s Visual Infrastructure Division and NPG Strategy Group, believes 5G opens doors to new pathways for innovation.

Watch her recent interview or read the Q&A below to learn about Intel’s unique role in the data-centric era, aligning with 5G, enabling partnerships, expanding the visual cloud, and working with customers on compute, storage, and data movement. The result is more seamless experiences—from edge to network to cloud.

The following excerpt has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Q: What is the vision for 5G?
5G is a really interesting technology because what we are accustomed to with wireless technology is advances in smart phones and advances in mobility. What’s notable about 5G is it’s the first technology that was defined beyond the smartphone, and beyond mobility, for other use cases that can now go untethered and wireless.

Q: Why should we care so much about 5G?
The thing that I love about 5G is that it makes things possible that we used to think were not possible. So a great example of how previous wireless improvements enabled new possibilities is ridesharing applications. Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have the ability to, on-demand, call up into the cloud, matchmake with drivers, and then get a ride right off the bat. Now we can rely on wireless technology and the cloud working together to matchmake a need with a service.

Q: How do you envision 5G + cloud computing working together?
The thing about 5G and cloud working together is it completely advances and unleashes new computing and new capabilities. Networking is a key component to unleashing innovation in services, in application development, in taking advantage of the cloud that’s more remote now, and in matchmaking worldwide in ways that we just never were able to connect before.

Q: How will the parallel build out of 5G and edge computing impact our lives?
One of the things that I see as a really exciting opportunity for this build out of 5G and edge together is that a lot of the immersive use cases are starting to emerge in the enterprise. If you think about the industrial and manufacturing workers, they’re already wearing helmets, they’re already wearing goggles, and a lot of them have really complicated equipment and really complicated things like airplanes or machines that they’re doing maintenance on.

Something like immersive media, with 5G fed from the edge, enables more of a real-time feed for a 3D model in an environment where they are already wearing the goggles. They don’t have to flip through the manual with their goggles on. They can actually just flip the model up and understand right away what needs to be repaired, or how to do the repair, or even receive training. In the environment of a Boeing 777—which has a really big user’s manual—VR would give them a chance to see more depth than what’s available on a 2D page.

Q: How are Intel’s products a key part of the 5G story?
Having cloud everywhere is really an opportunity when you have a common approach to how you manage the infrastructure. Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, with a virtualization interface underneath, or a containerization interface, enables you to put multiple applications on the exact same platform. Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors can run a network application through network function virtualization (NFV). These processors can also host something like media transcode next to that. Or they can be running in a hyperscale data center. So you have this general purpose platform that has the ability to be tuned across the entire end-to-end spectrum, enabling you to reuse the tools, the orchestration, and the management capabilities, from end to end.

Q: Why is Intel so well positioned to be the company that powers 5G?
Intel’s unique role that is really exciting in this new data-centric era—and that is also aligning with 5G—is that we can work at every level with our direct customers on how they take advantage of our platforms with the balance of compute, storage, and data movement. Then we’re working all the way up to the network level, building relationships around how to manage a network more like a cloud. We’re bringing the cloud service providers and the comms service providers together so that they can have a more cohesive, end-to-end service that is seamless for users as far as they are concerned. That brings our processors. It brings our storage and memory technologies. It brings our networking advancements and things like network function virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN).

Learn more about Intel’s vision for 5G by watching the suite of executive interviews:
AI Fuels 5G Innovation Behind the Scenes with Caroline Chan, VP and GM, Network Business Incubator
Evolve Business with 5G and Edge Compute with Ronnie Vashista, VP and GM, Network and Custom Logic Group
A Perfect Storm of Innovation with Alex Quach, VP and GM, Wireline and Core Network
Cloud to Network to Edge with Lynn Comp, VP and GM, Visual Cloud
Unleash Network Modernization with Dan Rodriguez, VP and GM, Network Platforms Group
Accelerating Business Opportunities with Asha Keddy, VP and GM, Next Generation and Standards, 5G