American tech giant Dell Technologies officially launched a US$50 million (S$66 million) research and development centre here yesterday that will drive innovation in computing near where data is located.
Called edge computing, this emerging technology will take advantage of the roll-out of 5G mobile networks here, said Dell.
Such technology can involve computers or devices like sensors analysing data they collect before uploading selected information or results to a network, called the cloud, to be accessed by users in another location.
Without edge computing, all the data collected may have to be uploaded and processed elsewhere, which can be more costly.
Mr Amit Midha, Dell Technologies’ president for the Asia-Pacific and Japan and Global Digital Cities, noted that in the next decade, edge computing is going to dwarf cloud computing, or the delivery of computer services and applications over networks.
When edge computing becomes more mainstream in the next three to five years, Dell’s R&D in this space will be driven from Singapore.
“Next-generation innovation will be driven and built from Singapore for the world,” he said.
Edge computing will become important in future, especially for smart cities, as it can, among other things, be cheaper to process reams of data where it is being collected and then upload the results.
This contrasts with uploading all the collected data to be analysed elsewhere, which can also be difficult if there is poor or limited network connection.
Dell’s new R&D centre – dubbed a Global Innovation Hub and one of several in the world – will also focus on making advances in digital transformation and experiences.
The firm’s investment in the hub, which is split between two locations – in International Business Park in Jurong East and Changi Business Park – will also create more than 160 jobs, mostly for Singaporeans, in emerging tech, including for designers, developers and strategists.
Over 75 per cent of the positions have been filled in the last one year, and the PC maker expects to hire the rest by the end of the year.
Besides edge computing, the hub’s R&D areas include augmented reality (AR) to enhance customer experiences; cyber security to…