Intel has announced a series of collaborations with Baidu in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, data centre and cloud computing infrastructure.

At Baidu World 2020, Intel and Baidu executives discussed the trends of intelligent infrastructure and intelligent computing, and shared details of the two companies’ strategic vision to jointly drive the industry’s intelligent transformation within the cloud, network and edge computing environments.

“In China, the most important thing for developing an industry ecosystem is to truly take root in the local market and its users’ needs,” says Rui Wang, Intel vice-president; sales and marketing group and PRC country manager.

“With the full-speed development of ‘new infrastructure’ and 5G, China has entered the stage of accelerated development of the industrial internet.

“Intel and Baidu will collaborate comprehensively to create infinite possibilities for the future through continuous innovation, so that technology can enrich the lives of everyone.”

Zhenyu Hou, corporate vice-president of Baidu, says the two organisations are both focused on technology innovation and have always been committed to promoting intelligent transformation through innovative technology exploration.

In the wave of new infrastructure, Baidu continues to deepen its collaboration with Intel to seize opportunities in the AI industry and bring more value to the industry, society and individuals.

The two companies have seen a series of recent collaborations:

* AI in the cloud: Intel and Baidu have delivered technological innovations over the past decade, from search and AI to autonomous driving, 5G and cloud services. Recently Baidu and Intel worked on customising Intel Xeon Scalable processors to deliver optimized performance, thermal design power, temperature and feature sets within Baidu’s cloud infrastructure. With the latest 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor with built-in BFloat16 instruction set, Intel supports Baidu’s optimization of the PaddlePaddle framework to provide enhanced speech prediction services and multimedia processing support within the Baidu cloud to deliver highly optimised, highlight efficient cloud management, operation and maintenance.

* Next-gen server architecture: Intel and Baidu have designed and carried out the commercial deployment of next-generation 48V rack servers based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors to achieve higher rack power density, reduce power consumption and improve energy efficiency. The two companies are working to drive ecosystem maturity of 48V and promote the full adoption of 48V in the future based on the next-generation Xeon Scalable processor (code-named “Sapphire Rapids”).

* Networking: In an effort to improve virtualisation and workload performance, while accelerating data processing speeds and reducing total cost of ownership within Baidu infrastructure, Intel and Baidu are deploying Smart NIC (network interface card) innovations based on Intel SoC FPGAs and Intel(r) Ethernet 800 Series adapter with Application Device Queues technology. Smart NICs greatly increase port speed, optimise network load, realize large-scale data processing, and create an efficient and scalable bare metal and virtualization environment for the Baidu AICloud.

* Baidu Smart NICs are built on the latest Intel Ethernet 800 series, Intel Xeon-D processor and Intel Arria 10-based FPGAs. From the memory and storage side, Intel and Baidu built a high-performance, ultra-scalable, and unified user space single-node storage engine using Intel Optane persistent memory and Intel Optane NVMe SSDs to enable Baidu to configure multiple storage scenarios through one set of software.

* 5G and edge computing: In the area of 5G and edge computing, Intel and Baidu have utilized their technology expertise and collaborated on a joint innovation using the capabilities of the OpenNESS (Open Network Edge Services Software) toolkit developed by Intel, and Baidu IME (Intelligent Mobile Edge), to help achieve a highly reliable edge compute solution with AI capabilities for low-latency applications.

Going forward, Intel will continue to leverage its data centre portfolio to collaborate with Baidu on a variety of developments including:

* Developing a future autonomous vehicle architecture platform and intelligent transportation vehicle-road computing architecture.

* Exploring mobile edge computing to provide users with edge resources to connect Baidu AI operator services.

* Expanding Baidu Smart Cloud in infrastructure technology.

* Improving the optimisation of Xeon Scalable processors and PaddlePaddle.

* Bringing increased benefits to Baidu online AI businesses, thus creating world-changing technology that truly enriches lives.