Nvidia advances digital twins for retail, rail and telco

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The concept of digital twins is all about modeling the physical world in the metaverse, enabling humans as well as AI to make better decisions.

Building digital twins requires both hardware and software.  At the Nvidia GTC conference today, the company announced the next generation OVX computing systems to help power metaverse applications, including Nvidia’s Omniverse. The new OVX systems are powered by eight Nvidia L40 GPUs and integrate the ConnectX-7 SmartNIC for high-speed networking and storage.

In a press briefing, Richard Kerris, vice president of Omniverse at Nvidia, said that the new OVX systems have been designed for building complex industrial digital twins.

“The new OVX systems are designed to build virtual worlds using leading 3D software applications from our many software partners to be able to operate immersive digital twin simulations in Nvidia Omniverse enterprise, which is a scalable end-to-end platform enabling enterprises to build and operate metaverse applications,” Kerris said.

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Digital twins come to telco

“Omniverse extends and enhances existing workflows across industries, bringing AI superpowers to multi-trillion dollar industries across telecommunications, transportation, retail energy, media and entertainment and more,” Kerris said.

Among the industries that are embracing the digital twin concept is telecommunications. At GTC, Nvidia announced that Heavy AI is using Nvidia’s Omniverse digital twin technology to help telcos optimize 5G cellular networks. Kerris said that Heavy AI made use of digital twins to help Charter Communications with its network deployment.

“Heavy AI is an AI data analytics company that built an AI accelerated application framework on Omniverse, which enables telcos to develop physically accurate interactive digital twins to plan, build, and operate for and 5g networks at nationwide scale,” Kerris said.

Digital twins in all the aisles at home improvement retailer Lowes

Nvidia is also using GTC as a venue to highlight digital twin adoption by Lowes, which is one of the world’s largest home improvement retailers with over 2000 stores and over 300,000 retail associates. 

“Lowe’s is now using Omniverse as their platform to design, build and operate digital twins of their stores to optimize operations and enhance the shopping experience,” Kerris said.

Lowes store associates can now use augmented reality headsets to see what’s on the shelves and the current status of inventory levels. The digital twin also helps with store planning to make sure it’s as easy as possible for consumers to get what they need.

Riding the digital twin rails with Deutsche Bahn

Another industry use case for digital twins that Nvidia is talking about at GTC is in transportation with Deutsche Bahn.

Kerris said that Deutsche Bahn is the second-largest transport company in the world and the National Railway of Germany. Deutsche Bahn is using Omniverse to build and operate digital twins of over 5700 stations and over 33,000 kilometers of track. Omniverse is also being used for capacity optimization, as they’re using the digital twin to train and validate AI models that can continuously monitor the railways and trains to recognize hazards and situations that could affect network operations. 

“Deutsche Bahn expects to increase capacity and efficiency of the railway and reduce its carbon footprint without building any new tracks,” Kerris said.

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