Do you know about Edge Computing?
I myself did not know about it until recently. Therefore, I cannot brag that I know everything about it.
I have come to understanding that Edge Computing is really important in the areas of automatic driving of automobiles, controlling manufacturing robots at a factory, using AI, artificial intelligence.
First of all, what is Edge Computing?
It is becoming popular around us that IoT (Internet of Things) is everywhere, machines and devices around us are now connected to the Internet. This makes many devices now have the ability to think. For example, when you talk to your smartphone, it will reply and can tell you what the weather forecast is.
Of course, a smartphone itself does not have much of power to think. Behind the scene, big cloud servers which may be run by a big corporation like Google, using a communication protocol, interpret and understand your voice, research current weather forecast, and send the answer to your smartphone. Then your smartphone converts the answer to audio voice and reply to you. In a sense, your smartphone is just a messenger boy or has little intelligence. This is what Cloud Computing is about. The Cloud means cloud in the sky, so it illustrates computing or thinking process is done in the cloud like networked servers.
The problem here is that this Cloud Computing takes some time to communicate over the network. In some case, if a smartphone is disconnected from the network, there may be no response. If this just causes frustration, it may be OK. But sometimes you need an immediate response, otherwise it may result in a serious accident.
On the other hand, Edge Computing utilizes computing power near a device, regardless of whether the device is connected to the network or not. In some case, the device itself handles computing.
What is important here is that the computing power of a device is day by day improving. However, with that said, a device is normally small, the brain of it which is called CPU (Central Processing Unit) is small, and it cannot use a lot of electricity. In addition, memory to store data is small. A cloud server may be thought as a super genius with huge memorization capacity, whereas a device is just a baby.
However, we can make a software application and a database which are designed to work on such a small device. Then, a device gains power to think and relies less on a cloud server.
We need such a smart device which is intelligent for, for example, automatic driving of automobile. In order to take an emergency action to avoid an automotive accident, a smart device in an automotive can judge the situation and makes a decision instantaneously.
What I want to say here is that now and in the future Edge Computing is becoming more and more important, and for that we need a software application and a database which work well with such a device.