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Scientific Hypotheses and Huawei’s Business Vision for the Future

On Day 1 of Global Huawei Analyst Summit 2022, Dr. Zhou Hong, President of the Institute of Strategic Research at Huawei delivered a keynote speech exploring cutting-edge scientific hypotheses, Huawei’s business vision, and ten challenges that we need to address to unlock the intelligent world. Below is the full transcript of his speech.

Today, I’d like to share some of our scientific hypotheses and Huawei’s business vision for the future.

The 18th century was the era of mechanization. The 19th century was the era of electrification. And the 20th century was the era of informatization.

What will the 21st century be?

I think the 21st century will be the era of intelligence. At the heart of an intelligent world is sensing, connectivity, and computing, which will advance our ability to understand and control matter, phenomena, life, and energy.

There will be many challenges on our way to an intelligent world. If we want to live happier lives, improve efficiency, and make the world a greener place, we’re going to need to enhance sensing, connectivity, and computing by several orders of magnitude. But at the same time, we haven’t seen any major breakthroughs in underlying science and technology for the past few decades, and many technologies have pretty much reached a bottleneck.

So how can we find a viable path forward?

We have to meet the future with bold hypotheses and a bold vision, and throw caution to the wind as we push to break through bottlenecks in theory and technology. This is the only way forward.

Digital technology will enrich life and work

Over the past decade, with the rapid development of broadband communications, smart devices, AI, and cloud computing, digital technology has greatly enriched our lives.

Thanks to digital technology, we can make phone calls, surf the Internet, send instant messages, find our way around using the maps on our phones, use e-banking services, and shop online. ICT has become an increasingly integral part of our lives. In addition to the application of ICT in daily life, Huawei has also spent the past decade working with partners to explore the use of ICT in many industries.

For example, we worked with carmakers and telecom carriers to conduct trials on highways. When something unexpected happens on the road, it usually takes human drivers seconds to react. However, with high-performance vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-network connectivity with a latency of just 10 milliseconds, the time it takes to identify and respond to unexpected events could be shortened by more than a hundred times.

In addition, the distance between cars on the road could be reduced from tens of meters or a hundred meters, which is the distance required to stay safe in manual driving, to 0.8 meters, with the cars moving at speeds of up to 100 km/h. This will greatly increase the capacity and safety of highways.

Moreover, this can support platooning, which helps reduce wind resistance, resulting in a 20% cut in fuel consumption. The Internet of Vehicles (IoV) can also support remote driving and enable new operating and service models.

We have also conducted trials in urban settings, and found that the IoV-based Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) communications and cooperative vehicle-infrastructure system are capable of increasing traffic efficiency by 30% and reducing traffic accidents by 90%.

Today, ICT is being applied in factories, hospitals, ports, and coal mines, empowering digital and intelligent transformation of various industries.

A future of unlimited potential

Global digitalization is growing at an exponential rate, driven by intense demand.

Globally, mobile broadband data consumption increased from 0.24 exabytes per month in 2010 to 60 exabytes per month in 2020, a 250-fold increase in 10 years.

Mobile broadband data in China grew from 0.033 exabytes per month in 2010 to 13 exabytes per month in 2020, a more than 400-fold increase. In the future, we believe that digital technology will develop at a rate of over a hundredfold per decade. Digitalization will accelerate the development of humanity and society.

However, many theories and technologies currently applied were proposed decades or even a century ago. We are facing bottlenecks in terms of developing new applications based on such theories and technologies, for example, the Nyquist sampling theorem and Shannon’s theorem in the communications domain, commutability theory and Von Neumann architecture in the computing domain, and Moore’s law in the semiconductor domain.

We hope that new hypotheses and vision will come forth to guide the next breakthroughs in technology. Therefore, we want to propose four pairs of scientific hypotheses and business visions. We want to explore these areas and conduct future-oriented research together with partners in academia and industry.

Much more than “100x growth every 10 years”

Global digitalization is growing at an exponential rate, driven by intense demand.

Globally, mobile broadband data consumption increased from 0.24 exabytes per month in 2010 to 60 exabytes per month in 2020, a 250-fold increase in 10 years.

Mobile broadband data in China grew from 0.033 exabytes per month in 2010 to 13 exabytes per month in 2020, a more than 400-fold increase. In the future, we believe that digital technology will develop at a rate of over a hundredfold per decade. Digitalization will accelerate the development of humanity and society.

However, many theories and technologies currently applied were proposed decades or even a century ago. We are facing bottlenecks in terms of developing new applications based on such theories and technologies, for example, the Nyquist sampling theorem and Shannon’s theorem in the communications domain, commutability theory and Von Neumann architecture in the computing domain, and Moore’s law in the semiconductor domain.

We hope that new hypotheses and vision will come forth to guide the next breakthroughs in technology. Therefore, we want to propose four pairs of scientific hypotheses and business visions. We want to explore these areas and conduct future-oriented research together with partners in academia and industry.

More info on our blog here.