Qualcomm’s John Kehrli says, ‘Our vision is to make all devices increasingly intelligent enabling them the ability to perceive their surroundings'

Qualcomm’s John Kehrli says, ‘Our vision is to make all devices increasingly intelligent enabling them the ability to perceive their surroundings
John Kehrli, Qualcomm's Senior Director of Product Management, discusses his illustrious professional career and Qualcomm's ongoing efforts to introduce AI across many product lines and technologies. Read on to know his insightful thoughts on MLPerf benchmarks, Edge AI and his advice to young minds hoping to pursue a successful career in AI and Cloud computing landscape.

It is essential to deeply appreciate the challenges your customers and the market are facing to develop comprehensive solutions that address those needs and lead the industry.


MEDIA 7: You have an astounding experience of over two decades with industry pioneers like Intel and Qualcomm. What has been the driving force behind your remarkable career?
JOHN KEHRLI:
I think my success can be attributed to embracing challenging and diverse positions over my 20+ year career both at Intel and Qualcomm. This unique experience has enabled me to develop a strong foundation taking on challenging leadership positions that ranged from sales, business development, product management and many others.

The diversity of perspectives I obtained from these experiences have provided a solid footing to address the immense, unprecedented challenges of today’s marketplace. Although recently I have focused on product management roles, this insatiable desire to learn and expand my skillsets have not wavered as demonstrated when I transitioned a few years ago from the premium-tier mobile market to AI take my next leadership position.

From my perspective, it is easy to fall into the trap of complacency and continue building a specific set of skills that are attractive to many employers, but adaptability with a broad range of perspectives empowers the most successful leaders. For me, I have constantly challenged myself to grow each day in every position, and I recommend others to do the same to become the next generation of leaders in our industry.


M7: How is Qualcomm redefining the customer experience for its modern users with the help of AI?
JK:
Great question.I believe the unique and differentiated experience Qualcomm is bringing to customers is around the concept of distributed intelligence. Our vision is to make all devices increasingly intelligent enabling them the ability to perceive their surroundings. Driving this vision, Qualcomm has been building key technologies to take this from concept to reality. We envision this intelligence permeating through every part of the network from the edge to the cloud. Through the use of our key technologies, we are supporting use cases such as real time translation, superior contextual awareness with advanced audio and sensor technology, enhanced camera use cases and much more.

This means Qualcomm is bringing AI to multiple product lines and technologies and whether that AI experience is conducted on-device or in the cloud, it is transparent to the customer because of the 5G connection. That transparency is bringing together new and exciting use-cases to customers by bringing the cloud capability closer to devices at the edge of the network. AI is already pervasive in almost everything we do and the seamless experience from the mobile devices to the data center is already facilitating a new host of experiences brought to you by Qualcomm.

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AI models are growing tremendously in size, and thus we need increasingly complex hardware and software solutions to address those inference needs in the most efficient way possible.



M7: What are the challenges that you face regarding handling and maintaining highly developed technologies such as Edge AI and IoT AI at Qualcomm?
JK:
Another great question. Edge AI appliance market is such a greenfield opportunity with a plethora of potential use-cases that it is often difficult to address all the opportunities today and on the horizon. I think this is a unique case where the capabilities of AI have opened so many interesting applications that it is difficult to prioritize the opportunities with the highest potential. Regardless, one of the areas we decided to focus on is the Edge Appliance market specifically around vision-based applications. Personally, this is an area I’m particularly excited about due to all the benefits to society that I see on the horizon ranging from public safety to healthcare.

Another challenge I see is around the growing size and complexity of neural networks, especially around language processing and computer vision. These AI models are growing tremendously in size, and thus we need increasingly complex hardware and software solutions to address those inference needs in the most efficient way possible. Another challenge I see is around the safety and security of AI which we are helping address today with some of our leading customers specifically around preventing unauthorized access to critical data. I believe this will continue to be a growing focus with advanced security techniques to ensure sensitive data is protected.


M7: Qualcomm recently released MLPerf benchmarks for image and language processing that surprised a lot of industry watchers. Can you please tell our readers a bit more about this amazing achievement?
JK:
  Absolutely! We recently completed our second MLPerf submission and we are very proud of our results. We completed 82 submissions this cycle from vision-based models, including ResNet50 and Resnet34-SSD, to natural language (NLP) models all showcasing our industry-leading performance-per-watt both on the Edge and Datacenter across a vast range of platforms. Moreover, we demonstrated how that competitive advantage scales at the server and rack level with our best-in-class peak performance with our 16-card, 2U dense server submission.

While I am excited to hear our results caught the industry’s attention (as your question indicates), I think this is only the start of what is to come from Qualcomm. Our Cloud AI 100 solution leverages our mobile heritage of low-power processing, and our differentiated approach to the AI market enables us to address the most pressing challenges of customers. Our focus around our MLPerf efforts continue to align our submissions with the needs of our customers, and we are pleased to see this crucial benchmark not only around peak performance but also performance in relation to power given this is the metric the industry is focused on.

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I encourage young people to also balance their skillsets with an equal focus on ensuring ethical and fair implementation of AI to ensure it benefits the greater good of society.



M7: What do you think is essential to stay competitive in a market that is going through constant digitalization?
JK:
I think it really comes down to having a great pulse on the market and truly understanding the demands your customers are facing. As any great product manager will tell you, it is essential to deeply appreciate the challenges your customers and the market are facing to develop comprehensive solutions that address those needs and lead the industry. 

For the AI Inference market, that is precisely what we did from the onset leveraging our low-power expertise at Qualcomm combined with 15 years of AI technology with commercially proven IP and end products. This focus has allowed us to bring to market an industry-changing solution for customers who are trying to balance increasing AI workloads with opposing forces around lower power, operational cost and environmental or carbon footprint initiatives.


M7: This is the last question but it is an important one for our readers. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to the young people who are aspiring to pursue a successful career in AI and Cloud computing landscape?
JK:
For a young student or professional looking to enter the AI industry, I believe having a strong software background is crucial. From mastering different programming languages like Python to understanding different tools and frameworks to develop those AI models including Pytorch or Tensorflow, having a strong software background is crucial. Over the last few years focusing on this industry, I have found one thing is for certain – the models will only continue growing in size and complexity, so ensuring you have the technical acumen to be successful to help address those growing needs and challenges is imperative. Beyond technical acumen, I encourage young people to also balance those skillsets with an equal focus on ensuring ethical and fair implementation of AI to ensure it benefits the greater good of society.

ABOUT QUALCOMM

Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When they connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, their foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. They bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly. Qualcomm Incorporated includes their licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of their engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of their products and services businesses, including their QCT semiconductor business.

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DISH Wireless Awarded $50 Million NTIA Grant for 5G Open RAN Integration and Deployment Center

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

DISH Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar, was awarded a historic $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish the Open RAN Center for Integration & Deployment (ORCID). ORCID will allow participants to test and validate their hardware and software solutions (RU, DU and CU) against a complete commercial-grade Open RAN network deployed by DISH. "The Open RAN Center for Integration and Deployment (ORCID) will serve a critical role in strengthening the global Open RAN ecosystem and building the next generation of wireless networks," said Charlie Ergen, co-founder and chairman, EchoStar. "By leveraging DISH's experience deploying the world's first standalone Open RAN 5G network, ORCID will be uniquely positioned to test and evaluate Open RAN interoperability, performance and security from domestic and international vendors. We appreciate NTIA's recognition of DISH and ORCID's role in driving Open RAN innovation and the Administration's ongoing commitment to U.S. leadership in wireless connectivity." To date, this grant represents NTIA's largest award under the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (Innovation Fund). ORCID will be housed in DISH's secure Cheyenne, Wyoming campus and will be supported by consortium partners Fujitsu, Mavenir and VMware by Broadcom and technology partners Analog Devices, ARM, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Intel, JMA Wireless, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Samsung. NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson and Innovation Fund Director Amanda Toman will join EchoStar Co-Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen, EchoStar CEO Hamid Akhavan, EVP and Chief Network Officer Marc Rouanne and other stakeholders to announce the grant and tour a DISH 5G Open RAN cell site later today in Las Vegas. During this event, DISH will outline ORCID's unique advantages, including that it will leverage DISH's experience as the only operator in the United States to commercially deploy a standalone Open RAN 5G network. DISH and its industry partners have validated Open RAN technology at scale across the country; today DISH's network covers over 246 million Americans nationwide. At ORCID, participants will be able to test and evaluate individual or multiple network elements to ensure Open RAN interoperability, performance and security, and contribute to the development, deployment and adoption of open and interoperable standards-based radio access networks. ORCID's "living laboratory" will drive the Open RAN ecosystem — from lab testing to commercial deployment. Below are highlights of ORCID: ORCID will combine both lab and field testing and evaluation activities. ORCID will be able to test elements brought by any qualified vendor against DISH's live, complete and commercial-grade Open RAN stack. ORCID will use DISH's spectrum holdings, a combination of low-, mid- and high-band frequencies, enabling field testing and evaluation. ORCID will evaluate Open RAN elements through mixing and matching with those of other vendors, rather than validating a single vendor's stack. DISH's experience in a multi-vendor environment will give ORCID unique insights about the integration of Open RAN into brownfield networks. ORCID's multi-tenant lab and field testing will occur in DISH's secure Cheyenne, Wyoming facility, which is already compliant with stringent security protocols in light of its satellite functions. About DISH Wireless DISH Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), is changing the way the world communicates with the Boost Wireless Network. In 2020, the company became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier through the acquisition of Boost Mobile. The company continues to innovate in wireless, building the nation's first virtualized, Open RAN 5G broadband network, and is inclusive of the Boost Infinite, Boost Mobile and Gen Mobile wireless brands.

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Network Security

Cato Networks Introduces World's First SASE-based XDR

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

Cato Networks, the leader in SASE, announced the expansion of the Cato SASE Cloud platform into threat detection and incident response with Cato XDR, the world's first SASE-based, extended detection and response (XDR) solution. Available immediately, Cato XDR utilizes the functional and operational capabilities of the Cato SASE Cloud to overcome the protracted deployment times, limited data quality, and inadequate investigation and response experience too often associated with legacy XDR solutions. Cato also introduced Cato EPP, the first SASE-managed endpoint protection platform (EPP/EDR). Together, Cato XDR and Cato EPP mark the first expansion beyond the original SASE scope pioneered by Cato in 2016 and defined by industry analysts in 2019. SASE's security capabilities encompassed threat prevention and data protection in a common, easy-to-manage, and easy-to-adopt global platform. With today's announcement, Cato is expanding SASE into threat detection, incident response, and endpoint protection without compromising on the architectural elegance captured by the original SASE definition. "Cato SASE continues to be the antidote to security complexity," says Shlomo Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks. "Today, we extend our one-of-a-kind SASE platform beyond threat prevention and into threat detection and response. Only Cato and our simple, automated, and elegant platform can streamline security this way." An early adopter of Cato XDR is Redner's Markets, an employee-owned supermarket chain headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania, with 75 locations. Redner's Markets' vice president of IT and Infrastructure, Nick Hidalgo, said, "The Cato platform gave us better visibility, saved time on incident response, resolved application issues, and improved network performance ten-fold." (Read more about Redner's Markets and Cato in this blog. "The convergence of XDR and EPP into SASE is not just another product; it's a game-changer for the industry," said Art Nichols, CTO of Windstream Enterprise, a Cato partner. "The innovative integration of these capabilities brings together advanced threat detection, response capabilities, and endpoint security within a unified, cloud-native architecture—revolutionizing the way enterprises protect their networks and data against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats." (Read more about what Cato partners are saying about today's news in this blog.) Platform vs. Product: The Difference Matters Cato XDR takes full advantage of the enormous benefits of the Cato SASE Cloud platform, the first platform built from the ground up to enable enterprises to connect, secure, and manage sites, users, and cloud resources anywhere in the world. Unlike disjointed point solutions and security appliances, Cato capabilities are instantly on, always available at scale, and fully converged, giving IT teams a single, shared context worldwide to understand their networks, prevent threats, and resolve problems. As an autonomous platform, Cato SASE Cloud sustains its evolution, resiliency, optimal performance, and security posture, saving enterprises the operational overhead of maintaining enterprise infrastructure. Enterprises simply subscribe to Cato to meet their business needs. Cato's cloud-native model revolutionized security and networking operations when it was introduced in 2016, a fact validated three years later in 2019 when the Cato approach was formally recognized by the industry as SASE. Breach Times Still Too Long; Limitations of Legacy XDR Cato is again revolutionizing cybersecurity with the first SASE platform to expand into threat detection, empowering security teams to become smarter and remediate incidents faster. The flood of security alerts triggered by network sensors, such as firewalls and IPS, complicates threat identification. In 2023, enterprises required 204 days on average to identify breaches.1 XDR tools help security analysts close this gap by ingesting, correlating, and contextualizing threat intelligence information with the data from native and third-party sensors. However, legacy XDR tools suffer from numerous problems relating to data quality. Sensor deployment extends the time-to-value as IT must not only install the sensors but also develop a baseline of specific organizational activity for accurate assessments. Data quality is also compromised when importing and normalizing third-party sensor data, complicating threat identification and incident response. Security analysts waste time sorting through incident stories to identify the ones most critical for immediate remediation. Once determined, incident remediation is often hampered by missing information, requiring analysts to master and switch between disparate tools. No wonder in 2023, average breach containment required more than two months.1 Cato XDR and Cato EPP Expands the Meaning of SASE Cato XDR addresses legacy XDR's limitations. Instantly activated globally, Cato XDR provides enterprises with immediate insights into threats on their networks. Incident detection is accurate due to Cato's many native sensors – NGFW, advanced threat prevention (IPS, NGAM, and DNS Security), SWG, CASB, DLP, ZTNA, RBI, and now EPP/EDR. Powered by Bitdefender's world-leading malware prevention technology, Cato EPP protects endpoints from attack – in the Cato way. Endpoint threat and user data are stored in the same converged Cato data lake as the rest of the customer's network data, simplifying cross-domain event correlation. The result is incredibly high-quality data that improves the incident identification and remediation process. Cato AI uses the data to accurately identify and rank incidents, empowering analysts to focus critical resources on an organization's most important remediation cases. Cato AI is battle-tested and proven across years of threat hunting and remediation handling by Cato MDR service agents. Remediation times reduce as detected incident stories contain the relevant information for in-depth investigation. Cato's tools sit in the same console as the native engines, enabling security analysts to view everything in one place -- the current security policy and the reviewed story. Finally, incident reporting is simplified with generative AI. Purpose-built for investigations, this natural language engine provides human-readable explanations of incident stories. Analysts save time sharing incident information with other teams and reporting to their managers.

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Network Security

Ampliphae, HPE Athonet and Arqit deliver Quantum-Safe Private 5G using Symmetric Key Agreement

PR Newswire | January 19, 2024

Arqit Quantum Inc, a leader in quantum-safe encryption, and Ampliphae Ltd (Ampliphae), a leader in network cyber security solutions, have today announced successful completion of a project that will deliver enhanced quantum-safe security for Private 5G networks. The Security Enhanced Virtualised Networking for 5G (SEViN-5G) project, funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, leveraged Ampliphae’s network security analytics technology and Arqit’s Symmetric Key Agreement Platform to deliver a quantum-secure Private 5G testbed that can protect against both current and future cyber threats. Athonet, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquisition, provided the Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment for the project with a cloud core hosted on AWS. Private enterprise networks based on 5G cellular technology are accelerating digital transformation across industries including manufacturing, healthcare, defence and smart cities. Private 5G gives enterprises access to high-speed, massively scalable, and ultra-reliable wireless connectivity, allowing them to implement innovative IoT and mobile solutions that enhance productivity, drive automation and improve customer engagement. The security of these networks will be paramount as they will support safety-critical infrastructure and carry highly sensitive data. But like any new technology, 5G comes with potential new threats and security risks including the threat from quantum computing. The project finished in December 2023 and customer engagement has already begun. David Williams, Arqit Founder, Chairman and CEO said: “Enterprises want to deploy Private 5G networks with complete confidence that they will be safe from both current and future cyber threats including from quantum computers. Working alongside Ampliphae, we have shown that a quantum-safe Private 5G network is deliverable using Arqit’s unique encryption technology.” Trevor Graham, Ampliphae CEO said: “Private 5G can be hosted partly or completely in the Cloud, giving enterprises the opportunity to rapidly set up their own cellular networks customised to support their operations. With Ampliphae and Arqit they can now be certain that those Private 5G networks are monitored and secure against eavesdropping and disruption.” Nanda Menon, Senior Advisor Hewlett Packard Enterprise said: “In an era where security is paramount, the completion of the SEViN-5G project is a significant milestone. The delivery of a quantum-secure Private 5G testbed, achieved where Athonet have combined the Athonet core with CableFree radios, underscores the commitment to innovation and reinforces the confidence enterprises can have in deploying networks that are both cutting-edge and secure from both present and future threats.” About Arqit Arqit Quantum Inc. (Nasdaq: ARQQ, ARQQW) (Arqit) supplies a unique encryption Platform as a Service which makes the communications links of any networked device, cloud machine or data at rest secure against both current and future forms of attack on encryption – even from a quantum computer. Compliant with NSA standards, Arqit’s Symmetric Key Agreement Platform delivers a lightweight software agent that allows devices to create encryption keys locally in partnership with any number of other devices. The keys are computationally secure and operate over zero trust networks. It can create limitless volumes of keys with any group size and refresh rate and can regulate the secure entrance and exit of a device in a group. The agent is lightweight and will thus run on the smallest of end point devices. The Product sits within a growing portfolio of granted patents. It also works in a standards compliant manner which does not oblige customers to make a disruptive rip and replace of their technology. Recognised for groundbreaking innovation at the Institution of Engineering and Technology awards in 2023, Arqit has also won the Innovation in Cyber Award at the National Cyber Awards and Cyber Security Software Company of the Year Award at the Cyber Security Awards. Arqit is ISO 27001 Standard certified. www.arqit.uk About Ampliphae Ampliphae’s distributed network analytics technology provides insight into how networks are used to support enterprise operations at every level. A graduate of the prestigious LORCA cyber accelerator in London, and the AWS European Defence Accelerator, Ampliphae’s technology is already used by enterprises across multiple verticals to discover, analyse and secure the network traffic that supports their key applications and business processes. Ampliphae’s Encryption Intelligence product operates at enterprise scale to discover devices and applications that use cryptography, analysing their encryption capabilities to detect risks, including assets that are vulnerable to future quantum computer attack. Using Encryption Intelligence, the organisation can gather effective operational intelligence about their encryption landscape, both within and outside the organisation, and build an effective mitigation program to address current and future vulnerabilities.

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Network Infrastructure

DISH Wireless Awarded $50 Million NTIA Grant for 5G Open RAN Integration and Deployment Center

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

DISH Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar, was awarded a historic $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish the Open RAN Center for Integration & Deployment (ORCID). ORCID will allow participants to test and validate their hardware and software solutions (RU, DU and CU) against a complete commercial-grade Open RAN network deployed by DISH. "The Open RAN Center for Integration and Deployment (ORCID) will serve a critical role in strengthening the global Open RAN ecosystem and building the next generation of wireless networks," said Charlie Ergen, co-founder and chairman, EchoStar. "By leveraging DISH's experience deploying the world's first standalone Open RAN 5G network, ORCID will be uniquely positioned to test and evaluate Open RAN interoperability, performance and security from domestic and international vendors. We appreciate NTIA's recognition of DISH and ORCID's role in driving Open RAN innovation and the Administration's ongoing commitment to U.S. leadership in wireless connectivity." To date, this grant represents NTIA's largest award under the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (Innovation Fund). ORCID will be housed in DISH's secure Cheyenne, Wyoming campus and will be supported by consortium partners Fujitsu, Mavenir and VMware by Broadcom and technology partners Analog Devices, ARM, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Intel, JMA Wireless, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Samsung. NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson and Innovation Fund Director Amanda Toman will join EchoStar Co-Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen, EchoStar CEO Hamid Akhavan, EVP and Chief Network Officer Marc Rouanne and other stakeholders to announce the grant and tour a DISH 5G Open RAN cell site later today in Las Vegas. During this event, DISH will outline ORCID's unique advantages, including that it will leverage DISH's experience as the only operator in the United States to commercially deploy a standalone Open RAN 5G network. DISH and its industry partners have validated Open RAN technology at scale across the country; today DISH's network covers over 246 million Americans nationwide. At ORCID, participants will be able to test and evaluate individual or multiple network elements to ensure Open RAN interoperability, performance and security, and contribute to the development, deployment and adoption of open and interoperable standards-based radio access networks. ORCID's "living laboratory" will drive the Open RAN ecosystem — from lab testing to commercial deployment. Below are highlights of ORCID: ORCID will combine both lab and field testing and evaluation activities. ORCID will be able to test elements brought by any qualified vendor against DISH's live, complete and commercial-grade Open RAN stack. ORCID will use DISH's spectrum holdings, a combination of low-, mid- and high-band frequencies, enabling field testing and evaluation. ORCID will evaluate Open RAN elements through mixing and matching with those of other vendors, rather than validating a single vendor's stack. DISH's experience in a multi-vendor environment will give ORCID unique insights about the integration of Open RAN into brownfield networks. ORCID's multi-tenant lab and field testing will occur in DISH's secure Cheyenne, Wyoming facility, which is already compliant with stringent security protocols in light of its satellite functions. About DISH Wireless DISH Wireless, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), is changing the way the world communicates with the Boost Wireless Network. In 2020, the company became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier through the acquisition of Boost Mobile. The company continues to innovate in wireless, building the nation's first virtualized, Open RAN 5G broadband network, and is inclusive of the Boost Infinite, Boost Mobile and Gen Mobile wireless brands.

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