NTT, Intel and Sony launch IOWN Global Forum with the purpose of realizing the communications of the future

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), Intel Corp. (Intel) and Sony Corp. (Sony) announced Wednesday that they will create a new industry forum, the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum. This alliance aims to deliver on the promise of a truly smart and connected world, where users can exist in an environment that improves the way humans live and interact with technology, requires a significant shift in computing, communications and network infrastructure. 

The global forum’s objective is to accelerate the adoption of a new communication infrastructure that will bring together an all photonics network infrastructure including silicon photonics, edge computing and distributed connected computing to meet future data and computing requirements through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications and reference designs.

As AI technologies and distributed computing technologies are continuously more and more used, performance requirements for computing and communications are increasing. This increase of power consumption may cause limitations of performance by some critical reasons such as high heat problems in chips or other devices. 

In addition, high-performance distributed systems require high performance of network capabilities including ultra-wide bandwidth and ultra-low latency. For example, distributed AI computing requires wide network bandwidth for vast amount of calculation and/or data for predicting future society.

The Forum aims to realize a smart world where data, activities and people in different industries will be brought together in order to create a fully connected an intelligent society in which people and society benefit from advanced technology seamlessly tailored to them and their environment. 

As a step towards this vision of the future, the forum is working on IOWN, which can provide advanced capabilities of low-power consumption, ultra-wide bandwidth, large-scale simulations, and ultra-realistic UI/UX for future services by cutting-edge technologies such as next generation photonics base technologies.

The Forum initial focus is to address the biggest challenge and opportunity in achieving a smart and connected vision, a capable communications central nervous system. The backbone to this pivotal shift will be the development of a new communications and network infrastructure on which the future can be built. Our sole purpose is to turn our vision into a reality by accelerating the development of the necessary new technologies, frameworks, specifications and reference designs.

The connected forum will work in various areas, such as Photonics R&D, including photonic devices of the future, photonic network equipment and end-to-end architecture, powered by advances in photonics-electronics convergence technologies. This will reduce power consumption and enable instant access and response by shortening latency times and broadening transmission capacity.

It will also work in distributed connected compute, which is expected to be increasingly critical for computing across networks, leveraging both artificial intelligence (AI) and workloads that will be dynamic and distributed. 

Use cases and best practices for a smart world and enabling technologies, such as digital twin computing (a computing paradigm that enables humans and things in the real world to be re-created and interact without restrictions in cyberspace), R&D in human behavior and society modeling, large-scale simulations and next-generation “real” UI/UX device technologies.

Next-generation communications have the potential to improve many aspects of life, ranging from remote healthcare, disaster prevention, education, automated driving, finance, entertainment/sports and industrial manufacturing. IOWN’s aim is to deliver the next generation of communication infrastructure that will allow as many people as possible to take advantage of this future.

Technology, telecommunications and other industry organizations will be invited to join the forum. NTT, Intel and Sony, with their industry leadership and expertise in these technology areas, will act as founding members. In the coming months, NTT, Intel and Sony will select the initial board of the IOWN Global Forum to jointly kick off operations.

The Forum further helps in setting and influencing the strategic direction of future developments by leading and/or participating in working groups and various activities of the Global Forum; directing interaction with other members regarding the development of a smart world; and actively contributing toward society.

IOWN Global Forum will be based in the U.S., and membership opportunities are currently available to interested parties.

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