Building Automation: Harnessing the Power of AI and 5G

Qualcomm and Siemens partner to reimagine smart buildings with the latest technologies.

A partnership between Qualcomm Technologies and Siemens Smart Infrastructure aims to take building automation into the future. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

A partnership between Qualcomm Technologies and Siemens Smart Infrastructure aims to take building automation into the future. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

While smart buildings have come a long way, Qualcomm Technologies and Siemens Smart Infrastructure believe it’s time to up the game. The two companies recently partnered to advance building automation with artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G.

“Joining Qualcomm Technologies’ capabilities with Siemens’ building automation domain experience creates a unique skill set that enables the creation of a very innovative offering,” said Ivan Todorov, Siemens BP Americas head of engineering at Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA. “We see 5G as a key enabler that will bring to life an ecosystem of edge devices and services to help us meet some of the most pressing customer needs around energy efficiency, cyber security and decarbonization. In times of increasing technology complexity, we see partnering as key to optimizing time-to-market and value for the customer.”

Digitalization and automated smart devices have helped overcome some challenges in regard to maintenance costs, air quality, energy efficiency, sustainability and productivity, but there are still barriers that this partnership aims to overcome. While the partnership’s goals are still a work in progress, the two companies are striving to build automation by using 5G private networks (PN).

Siemens’ role involves testing established 5G PN use cases at its Buffalo Grove, Ill., location. The tests revolve around HVAC assets using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System. Along with focusing on enhancing security and maintenance, the two hope to develop new smart devices that will pave the way for the future of building automation.

“We are proud of the collaboration with Siemens, bringing together its leadership in building automation, and our expertise in wireless and edge compute technologies,” said Sebastiano Di Filippo, Qualcomm Europe senior director, business development. “Our teams worked closely to successfully prove the automated building use case.”

The ushering in of 5G has proven a boon to advancing technologies and services. With high-speed transmissions, greater capacity and low latency, 5G offers much more than its predecessor, 4G. In creating the proof-of-concept (PoC) network architecture, Siemens has taken a broad approach to maximizing the network, including getting an experimental Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) license, to ensure the system integrates various devices, cloud-based solutions, AI platforms and more.

Also playing a role in the partnership is Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC). A specialist in communications products, the company’s i-Router is being used with Snapdragon X55. Repus Hsiung, WNC vice president and general manager of Automotive and Industrial Solutions BG at WNC, believes advances in 5G will enable “endless possibilities and create new industrial paradigms.”

Qualcomm, a longtime pioneer in wireless technologies and advocate for 5G adoption, unveiled the Snapdragon X55 in 2019. Considered the “first commercial modem-to-antenna 5G solution” by the company, it was developed to provide global ultrafast speeds for OEMs, enabling the creation of 5G multimode devices and ensuring 5G connectivity with any device, from mobile devices to routers and vehicles. The 5G Modem-RF offers up to 7.5 Gbps and 5G/4G spectrum and supports 5G NR Time Division Duplex (TDD) and Frequency Division Duplex (FDD), mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum.