Notes from Tel Aviv: Discussing the Future of Cloud and Edge Computing
Author: Merav Weinryb is Managing Director of Israel for Qualcomm Ventures
Cloud computing might have dominated tech conversations for the past 10 years, but edge computing is getting a more central role in today’s environment. The immense growth in mobile, automotive, and IoT creates a need for more processing power at the edge but at the same time greater scaling will be needed in the cloud to keep up with the massive influx of data and analytics capability required by these edge devices.
That symbiosis between cloud computing and edge computing was the topic of the third annual Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Silicon Valley Bank cloud computing event, and Israel was the perfect setting for discussions about “Edge to Cloud.” The Tel Aviv startup community has been a launchpad for innovative cloud technologies for years, and is now becoming a leader in edge computing technologies.
Leaders from the companies in the forefront of both cloud and edge innovations met for a fascinating discussion. Speakers highlighted how both cloud and edge are scaling with the tremendous growth in mobile and enterprise technologies, as well as driving innovation in the next wave of IoT devices and automotive solutions.
Brian Modoff, Qualcomm EVP of Strategy, M&A, and Ventures, spoke at length about mobile’s evolving role in consumer and enterprise technologies. For the past 30 years, mobile has helped people connect with each other. The role of mobile over the next 30 years, however, will be to interconnect the worlds in which we live, from home, to vehicles, to healthcare and more. For example, while mobile devices will feed data to the cloud — and to other devices — much of the real-time decision making required to make autonomous vehicles safe will require edge solutions to fuse all of that information within a car’s “brain.”
Anand Chandrasekher, SVP and GM at Qualcomm Datacenter Group, focused on the critical role that the cloud is playing in the shifting landscape of data centers. The significant increase in the number of connected devices, richer content, greater edge computing power, and enhanced connectivity — thanks to gigabit LTE and 5G — have created a vast amounts of data. That, combined with the rise of AI, has led to a greater need to scale the data center cloud.
Ariel Kelman, VP of Worldwide Marketing for Amazon Web Services, spoke about how AWS’s cloud platform is getting ready for the next edge revolution. He discussed AWS Greengrass, which extends cloud capabilities to the next generation of powerful smart devices, allowing them to collect and analyze data closer to the source of information, while also keeping them connected with each other on local networks. This hybrid of edge and cloud provides a flexibility that leverages the strengths of both.
Lars Reger, CTO at NXP Automotive, shared his thoughts on automotive’s edge strategies. Within the IIoT, edge plays a critical role. He explained that, for automotive in particular, edge computing is critical to handling vehicle dynamics and driver replacement. Of course, the cloud plays a role in the future of automotive as well, as connectivity is the car’s “window to the outside world.”
Additionally, Roger Leone, CIO, and Milo Sprague, CTO, shared Silicon Valley Bank’s cloud strategies.
It’s not surprising, then, that the key takeaway from the summit was that edge and cloud are not inherently competing platforms or a binary choice. Rather, they are working in unison to allow smarter and faster devices to make real-time decisions, while also sharing data and connecting to one another.
We were honored to co-host such a fantastic and fascinating event, and look forward to continuing the discussion in years to come.
Merav is a Director with Qualcomm Ventures and oversees all investments in Israel. She currently serves a board member or observer for Corrigon, Magisto, Mantis Vision, Medisafe, Pontis, Scylla, Siklu, Splacer, Stratoscale, TabTale, Tapingo, Weka.io, and Zeek. Learn more about Merav: https://www.qualcommventures.com/team/merav-weinryb