AI and connectivity are getting closer
Release date：2021-12-28Author source：KinghelmViews：292
In the development process of AIoT intelligent networking, what key position does the module occupy? For the metering field, the module is the guarantee for stable and safe data transmission in remote meter reading; for the industrial field, the module is the cornerstone for low-latency data transmission or positioning; for autonomous driving, the module is the realization of An important part of vehicle-end perception data transmission and real-time positioning...
It is precisely because it is important enough for equipment that with the rapid growth of AIoT, the development speed of the module industry is accelerating. ABI Research data shows that in 2016, the global shipments of IoT cellular communication modules were 104 million units, which will increase to 1.25 billion units by 2023, with a compound growth rate of 42.65%.
However, as a communication middleware product for IoT devices, modules have played a low-key role in the past. According to Zhang Dong, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Quectel, with the advent of the AIoT era, modules have made great progress in product performance, computing power, etc., and play an increasingly important role in intelligent networking equipment. character of.
AI and connectivity are getting closer
In the 4G era, IoT applications represented by payment have well integrated connection and intelligence, and the introduction of various intelligent technologies has logically promoted the development of POS machines and other products. As early as 2015, Quectel cooperated with several domestic POS machine manufacturers, and firstly developed the entry-level smart module SC20 that supports Android system, helping POS machine manufacturers to develop and promote smart POS products, and jointly set off a market boom in mobile payment. .
With the continuous iteration of payment technology, payment methods represented by scanning code payment, face payment and other means have gradually become mainstream, which has also spawned a stronger demand for AI technology in market applications. It is precisely based on the needs of various applications that the traditional Internet of Things is also gradually adding value in the development process, and deeply integrated with AI, AIoT has emerged as the times require.
The so-called AIoT means that on the basis of IoT standards that mainly solve data transmission technology, it pays more attention to new IoT application forms, so that AI and IoT complement each other. Specifically, the Internet of Things (IoT) provides artificial intelligence AI with the massive data nutrient required for deep learning, and its scenario-based interconnection provides the foundation for the rapid implementation of AI; AI analyzes and makes decisions after the massive data generated by the connection is converted into The value, in turn, guides the efficiency improvement of IoT applications.
For IoT, 5G is not only an upgrade of mobile communication technology, but also a new era of infrastructure. From a macro perspective, both 5G and AI are important tools for enabling IoT. For AIoT, the development of AI technology has brought more possibilities to the AIoT industry, and connection can make these possibilities better realize the scene. Therefore, in the development process of AIoT, AI and connectivity are synergized with each other and merge with each other to a certain extent.
In Zhang Dong's view, the development of connection technology promotes the development and progress of AI technology to a certain extent. In the 4G era, the mobile Internet has promoted the development of AI, and related technical capabilities including algorithms and modeling have been rapidly iterated. However, due to the immature conditions in various aspects, the development of AI is still limited by data and computing power.
With the advent of 5G, these limitations are somewhat resolved. In the 5G environment, the scale value of AI can be better demonstrated. The high bandwidth, low latency, and wide coverage of 5G make it possible to realize AI applications that were difficult to actually implement.
At the same time, AI can also bring good empowerment to 5G. Since AI has higher requirements on edge computing capabilities and network transmission capabilities, it can promote the better development of 5G. Not only that, as a powerful intelligent analysis and processing technology, artificial intelligence can also help solve the problems of complex 5G network architecture and low resource utilization. great value.
With the complementarity between AI and connectivity, communication modules that mainly play a role in connectivity also play a pivotal role in the AIoT industry.
Why are modules becoming more and more important to the development of AIoT?
For the AIoT era, a wide variety of industry applications have richer requirements for connections, and their requirements for module products are also more diverse. For example, smart metering based on NB-IoT modules has become an important industry that takes the lead in large-scale implementation in the AIoT era. Cat 1 modules have soared from almost blank to 12% market share in just one year, with a higher market share. The intelligent modules of computing power are also playing an increasingly critical role at the edge.
It can be said that all communication modules can be used to collect massive amounts of device data. Based on this data, companies can further conduct relevant analysis, thereby bringing value to the industry. Therefore, from this perspective, various types of communication modules are an important part of the AIoT industry.
In fact, application equipment based on AIoT technology has been implemented on a large scale, and modules play a key role in it. Zhang Dong introduced that during the epidemic, the smart medical carts equipped with Quectel 5G and smart module products can automatically push relevant information according to the patient's condition; in the photovoltaic field, the Quectel Cat 1 module has helped the industry to realize remote monitoring, Control operation and other functions, effectively improve the work efficiency and safety of photovoltaic power stations; in the field of Internet of Vehicles, Quectel's vehicle-level modules and intelligent modules also play an important role in vehicle media and vehicle safety.
With the continuous development of AIoT - on the one hand, from 2G to 5G, the development of modules is becoming more and more difficult, and the complexity of design is becoming higher and higher. For module manufacturers, the first step is to help end customers solve complex product intermediate processes, and package chip certification, software and hardware interfaces, and open platforms into a very simple middleware, so that end customers can focus on equipment and vertical applications. Therefore, in AIoT equipment products, the status of modules is getting higher and higher.
On the other hand, AI also requires strong high-performance computing power. By integrating CPUs with high edge computing capabilities, the module refines the AI needs of the industry. While meeting the more stringent needs of AI, it also reduces the development efficiency and cost of the entire industry chain.
However, the difficulty of fragmentation in the AIoT industry is still a hurdle that cannot be bypassed by modules. How to balance customization and standardization has also become an important consideration for the development of modules. With the continuous maturity of technology, the standardization of products will undoubtedly become higher and higher, and standardized modules will also be used in more and more industries; however, with the continuous development of technology, end users will also generate new requirements, and there will be some customization requirements.
Therefore, the coexistence of standardization and customization is also the long-term status quo of the module industry. In fact, there is no absolute boundary between standardized and customized modules. With the continuous development of technology, the two will continue to develop and integrate, and will also place higher requirements on module manufacturers.
What can module manufacturers do?
In the era of the digital economy, AIoT has entered the real world with an unstoppable attitude. The accelerated commercialization of 5G will set off a new round of changes in intelligent terminal equipment and stimulate new demands in the application field. With the rise of 5G+AIoT technology, the market demand for 5G smart products is increasing. For module companies, while realizing the intelligent connection of all things, how to truly address the pain points of industry development will become the key to winning the future.
Zhang Dong introduced that, as an industry-leading IoT solution provider, Quectel has a wide range of module product lines, basically covering 5G, 4G, NB-IoT, Android intelligence, C-V2X, Wi-Fi, etc. Various wireless communication technologies, as well as GNSS positioning technology, can support the intelligent transformation and upgrading of most terminal devices on the market and help the development of the AIoT industry.
For example, Quectel developed a smart water meter based on the NB-IoT module jointly with the Digital RMB Research Institute and the Water Meter Factory. With the built-in digital RMB wallet and digital RMB payment algorithm, the government can directly transfer the subsidies to the water meter account. , the water meter can also realize automatic payment according to the bill of the water meter factory, truly realizing the interconnection of all things and the intelligent connection of all things, thus solving the country's major livelihood difficulties.
Not only that, Quectel also innovated and upgraded its 4G smart module products as early as the beginning of this year, and released a new 5G smart module - SG500Q-CN. By combining 5G IoT, artificial intelligence, big data and other technologies , to help 5G IoT applications move towards more scenarios, and to achieve industrial automation, smart security, smart city, rich media and other industry-wide and all-field applications.
In addition, as the capabilities of modules become more and more perfect, more and more customers will also encounter some new demands. For example, traditional IoT customers often face difficulties in antenna design and background management in the process of terminal design and equipment use. Quectel can provide them with a one-stop solution, allowing customers to easily go into battle.
write at the end
There is no doubt that AIoT is the development direction of IoT, and IoT also needs AI to enhance its value. At the same time, 5G is a bridge connecting AI and IoT. Its high bandwidth, high reliability, low latency, and large connection have opened up a wider application field of AIoT, which has also brought huge development opportunities for module manufacturers.
According to a report released by Marketsand Markets, the world's second largest market research organization, the global AIoT market size in 2019 was US$5.1 billion, and by 2024, this figure will grow to US$16.2 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 26%. It can be seen that AIoT is still in its infancy, opportunities and challenges coexist, and innovation is always on the way.
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