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Bringing the 5G Vision Into Focus: 6 Questions with Ronnie Vasishta

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Ronnie Vasishta, Vice President and General Manager for Intel’s Networking and Configurable Logic Division, believes that the data-centric future will rely on a symbiotic relationship between edge computing and 5G.

Watch his recent interview or read the Q&A below to learn how 5G enables access to high-speed data communications for multiple types of uses all moving closer to the edge—a rapid change starting now and accelerating over the next 10 years.

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

Q: What is the vision for 5G?
From a user perspective, 5G really means that now you’re going to have access to high-speed data communications for multiple uses. There’s ultra-reliable low-latency communication. There’s also machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Then there’s enhanced mobile broadband, which is the speed of communication to your mobile phone.

Q: What is the importance of the cloud + edge compute?
To handle all of the use cases, you’re now going to have distributed cloud, which means that the cloud is moving out to the far edge, which means closer to the use of that communication. That’s a rapid change that’s going to be starting now and going over the next 10 years. So it’s a huge opportunity for the suppliers of products into that infrastructure as well as the applications that are overlaid onto that infrastructure.

Q: Why is Intel so well positioned to help build out 5G?
Intel has a very storied history of compute. As we move into this much more data-centric environment and data-centric world, Intel is able to leverage that history of compute to computing out into the edge. The data movement is going to be connecting 50 billion things to the internet. Think about the amount of data that is created by that 50 billion things, as well as the enhanced mobile broadband data, which is the data that people are going to use on their mobile phones. So you’ve got smart factories, autonomous driving, multiple different use cases. All of that data needs to be transmitted, and then that data needs to be processed and computed. Intel is a leader in that space and is now taking a leadership position into the advent of 5G—in storing data, processing data, computing data, and analyzing data.

Q: What are the new 5G applications?
The new applications that are going to be created by the 5G data bandwidth, are going to be very much driven by the ability to connect things to the cloud within a very short time. So what do I mean by that? The time between the data going from the point of generation, or use, to the cloud, and back again. That’s called latency. That latency in the 4G domain is around 100 milliseconds. In 5G, it gets down to 1 millisecond. That’s why we talk about a revolution in 5G.

Q: What is the relationship between edge computing and 5G?
Edge computing and 5G are very symbiotic in terms of they’re very codependent on each other. It makes no sense to have a broad-based, edge-compute, distributed network if you’re unable to connect at a fast pace to the end user and vice versa. As we move into the 5G era, which is really only just starting now, we’ll see the buildout of the distributed compute network and edge compute network to be able to handle all of that data where it’s needed, process that data, and analyze that data.

Q: Does Intel have the kinds of products and software to power 5G?
Intel has multiple different hardware assets, or silicon assets, CPUs, GPUs, dedicated structured ASICs and FPGAs. These are all compute capabilities, whether it be spatial computing, parallel computing, or other forms of computing that can be adapted toward those particular end cases. There’s no other company on the planet that has these types of capabilities that is better positioned to enable this 5G revolution together with the edge compute revolution.

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
About the Author
Ronnie Vasishta serves as vice president and General Manager of the Networking and Configurable Logic Division within the Programmable Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. Ronnie has over 30 years of experience in general management, marketing, strategic planning, operational management and engineering in the semiconductor and communications field. Prior to joining Intel through the acquisition of eASIC corporation in 2018, Ronnie served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of eASIC. As CEO Ronnie was able to grow the custom logic fabless custom silicon company from pre-revenue to the point of filing a public S-1 registration with the SEC in the USA. Then, eASIC took the strategic vector of being acquired by Intel Corporation. Ronnie oversaw the negotiation and acquisition of eASIC . Prior to eASIC, Ronnie was vice president of Technology Marketing at LSI Logic, where he served in various engineering, technical and strategic marketing management positions. Ronnie drove the strategic direction of the ASIC product line, and his areas of responsibilities included all aspects of the ASIC and custom logic products, EDA, design methodology, IP (serving on the board of the VSIA), silicon process technology, manufacturing and strategic partnerships. Ronnie also held management roles for LSI Logic in Europe, based in the UK. Prior to LSI Logic, Ronnie held process and test engineering positions at Motorola Incorporated and STC Semiconductor. Ronnie has served as an advisor to several startup companies in disruptive technology areas including enterprise cloud, high performance computing, storage components plus others. Ronnie has BSc (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Trent University, Nottingham, UK.