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As an innovative thought leader in “leading edge” design, Legrand provides complete infrastructure systems to support edge deployments, as well as connectivity to the enterprise and data center networks.

Driving Reliable Network Solutions to the Edge

June 2, 2021

Picture yourself kicking back in your new self-driving vehicle and all of a sudden, it dies in the middle of the road.  What do you do?  Do you troubleshoot the automobile or the network? 

For autonomous driving technologies to replace human drivers, cars must be capable of reacting to road incidents in real-time. On average, it may take 100 milliseconds for data transmission between vehicle sensors and backend cloud data centers. Autonomous cars rely on network connectivity mainly through 5G connection through small cell antenna distribution. The only cure for eliminating latency in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) applications is an efficient network infrastructure that puts the computing power closer to the device itself.  

Toyota predicts that the amount of data transmitted between vehicles and the cloud (data centers) could reach 10 exabytes per month by the year 2025. If network capacity fails to accommodate the necessary network traffic, vendors of autonomous vehicle technologies may be forced to limit self-driving capabilities of these cars.

Billions of devices are already being connected to the Internet, which is generating a deluge of data pushing the network to its capacity.  Technology and connectivity suppliers are taxed to provide  solutions to maximize IoT adoption while at the same time relieving network congestion.  Placing the computing resources and connectivity closer to the device, rather than relying on communications back to a data center or to the core enterprise network results in reducing latency, increasing high bandwidth and providing more efficient data computing and storage capabilities. Welcome to the edge.

Taking IT to the edge

“I want it now!” is the mantra for immediate connectivity to the Internet for everyone and everything.  Long gone are the days of patiently waiting for connectivity which often included watching the spinning clock on a computer while the data or video was slowly processing.  Now real-time, high-bandwidth data is required for many more applications outside of computerized data processing. Fastest network technologies, such as 5G, are supporting applications such as streaming video, real-time video conferencing and distance learning, robotics and of course, self-driving cars. 

Edge computing enables the ability to perform data computation closer to the device instead of going through multiple hops and relying on the cloud network. Edge computing moves the data away from the centralized nodes and puts the power and source, such as the switch, closer to the application.  Also known as a distributed network architecture, this enables local mobile computing. As a result, edge computing decentralizes the processing power to ensure real-time processing without latency while at the same time offloading the bandwidth from the data center and condensing storage requirements on the network.

Leading Edge Design

The term “close” as it refers to the  “edge” is subjective especially in autonomous cars since edge computing requires sensors located in the dashboard and as well as sensors outside of the vehicle to detect any driving or traffic interferences or anomalies. To facilitate these and other machine-to-machine  communication, a combination of networking hardware and software is needed to perform reliable information processing.

As an innovative thought leader in “leading edge” design, Legrand provides complete infrastructure systems to support edge deployments, as well as connectivity to the enterprise and data center networks. Legrand offers intelligent, integrated edge computing solutions that simplify a remote IT infrastructure while assuring efficient network management. Legrand solutions are flexible and scalable to be easily upgraded as more IoT applications hop on the common network.  Some of their latest advancements include a diverse selection of fiber and copper physical infrastructure, connectivity and power:
  • The new Compact Edge Cabinet (CEC) series wall-mount cabinets as telecom enclosures are extremely low-profile and capable of accommodating a complete network, including up to 4RU of traditional rack mount equipment to house a full-size switch, copper and fiber patch panels, as well as PDUs, fans and sensors.  The enclosure swings out to allow maximized  accessibility to the equipment, cable and cable management. https://www.legrand.us/data-communications/racks-and-physical-support/wall-mount-racks-and-cabinets/compact-edge-cabinet-4-ru/p/cecwm4rupl-b​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • The high-density copper (HDJ series) consists of patch panels and connectors that can fit more connectivity in compact spaces. The HDJ patch panel can allow either 24-port or 48-port in a 1 RU and the innovative locking jacks are rear loading for quick mounting and quick changeovers.
  • Infinium™ Quantum modular fiber system delivers the highest-bandwidth with the lowest total channel connection loss with low-profile connectivity at the edge and ideal connection to the enterprise and data center.  Simplified access and installation features  make this highly scalable for future IoT applications  See the entire series of panels, cassettes and connectors. https://legrand.us/solutions/fiber-optic/infinium-quantum-fiber​​​​​​​

Smooth driving ahead

For autonomous vehicles to be successfully implemented, they will need instantaneous capabilities to detect, analyze, and make a potentially life-altering decision without any delays.  Edge computing focuses on data driven capabilities as close to the end user as possible.  This can only be delivered through highly reliable networks created by the sum of many infrastructure parts. Legrand has a front seat into the rising demands of IoT applications and in doing so, they continue to engineer infrastructure components that work together to drive computing competencies to the edge.