NTT, Intel and Sony establish “Communications of the Future” forum

Paul Barker | Nov 06, 2019 | The News

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), Intel Corp. and Sony Corp. have joined forces and created the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum.

The three companies said in release issued late last month that “delivering on the promise of a truly smart and connected world, where we enjoy an environment that improves the way humans live and interact with technology, requires a significant shift in computing, communications and network infrastructure.”

They added that 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 wireless distributed connected computing to meet future data and computing requirements through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications and reference designs.”

Areas of interest include:

  • Distributed Connected Compute, which is expected to be increasingly critical for computing across networks, leveraging both 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 recreated 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.
  • 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 significantly reduce power consumption and enable instant access and response by shortening latency times and broadening transmission capacity.

“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,” the three firms said.

Technology, telecommunications and other industry organizations will be invited to join the forum and the three founding members said in the coming months they will select the “initial board of the IOWN Global Forum to jointly kick off operations.”

Intel CEO Bob Swan said that digital transformation and the growth of data is driving an infrastructure build out that will dwarf the first era of the cloud defined by hyperscale data centres.

“We are using information technology now in completely new ways that demand we move, store and process data even faster, more securely and often closer to the person using the service. The combination of superfast networking and pervasive high-performance computing – the edge infrastructure to deliver smart services anywhere, anytime – can only be achieved with a profoundly new mindset shared across a global ecosystem.”

Further information is available at