Baidu, Chinese search giant and cloud service provider has announced launch of its open source edge computing platform OpenEdge. The announcement came at the CES 2019 event where technological giants are showcasing their might.

The platform is a first such launch in China. The company which is often dubbed as China’s Google is a pioneer in cloud computing. Edge computing is a paradigm in computing which is mostly or completely executed on distributed device nodes known as edge devices. Edge computing differs from cloud computing in the manner that the former processes data at the edge of network while the latter in a central data center or cloud. This radical new technique is gaining much mainstream attention with the growing number of Internet of Things devices and autonomous vehicles. It shifts processing power away from the cloud to the users end.

The OpenEdge platform will enable developers to build their edge computing applications and deploy them on various IoT hardware and devices. The platform which is open-sourced will simplify app development for developers. OpenEdge evolved as a part of Baidu Intelligent Edge which is a commercial software which works in tandem with Baidu Cloud. Baidu’s spokesperson Mr. Wang said that the project will empower developers to build their own edge systems as well as add more custom edge apps to the existing platform.

The project which is first open source edge computing initiative from Baidu and also one of the first in China will proliferate edge computing applications globally. The industry is undergoing a paradigm shift in computing infrastructure with news pouring in everyday about new developments in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. As Industrial robotics, self-driving cars and smart gadgets become everyday reality, more and more computing is going to shift from cloud to the device edge. This has led many experts in the industry to suggest that edge computing is the next big thing.

Baidu has also significantly invested in other open source projects which include its autonomous driving platform Apollo and artificial intelligence framework PaddlePaddle. An agricultural technology company McFly has successfully used Baidu’s cloud platform to collect and process data about crops which helps it to lower pesticide usage.

Other platforms in the industry which offers edge computing solution include Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services. Although AWS offers edge computing solutions, it’s a closed source software which restricts freedom of the developer.

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