SAN FRANCISCO — NEC plans to contribute artificial intelligence to GE’s Predix platform for the industrial Internet of Things (IoT). NEC executive Makoto Enomoto mentioned it briefly during this morning’s keynote at Minds + Machines, GE’s customer and partner event here, but he didn’t go into any details.
Part of why he brought it up, though, was to stress that NEC‘s identity has gone beyond chips and hardware. The Japanese company also fancies itself as an independent software vendor, and it’s in that capacity that it will contribute AI technology, Enomoto said.
He was talking as part of a panel of partners that share technology with Predix, but it turns out the panelists’ companies are customers as well. NEC, for example, is using Predix to manage the supply chain for its networking equipment.
Again, Enomoto didn’t provide much detail, but the requirements of selling network gear to more than 100 countries — including the need for engineering staff in each country — led NEC to consider developing new supply-chain software. Predix turned out to be a time-saving alternative, he said.
Intel, another Predix partner, likewise uses the platform. It helps run Intel’s semiconductor plant in Chandler, Arizona, said Marcus Kennedy, Intel’s director of commercialization for industrial and energy solutions.