A Digital Twin (DT) is a living digital representation of an individual physical system that is dynamically updated with data to mimic the true structure, state, and behaviour of the physical system, to drive business outcomes.
Competition in the US$7 billion digital twin market is heating up with nearly all Big Tech companies announcing plans to enter this exciting new growth opportunity. Following Google and Amazon, Nvidia and Siemens have now announced a collaboration that the two businesses promise will transform the manufacturing industry with ‘full fidelity digital twins.’.
The collaboration pairs Nvidia’s Omniverse and Siemens’ newly announced Xcelerator platforms together to “bring industrial automation to a new level.” Siemens’ physics-based digital models and Nvidia’s real-time artificial intelligence (AI) processing are at the heart of the new team-up.
A Digital Twin (DT) is a living digital representation of an individual physical system that is dynamically updated with data to mimic the true structure, state, and behaviour of the physical system, to drive business outcomes. Siemens’ compatriot engineering company. Bosch IoT hub offers digital twin management in a simple, convenient, and secure way. Bosch IoT Things is based on the open-source project Eclipse Ditto which helps devices to communicate directly and efficiently over an API.
Microsoft showed the way with Azure DT
Microsoft has a pioneer status in the DT space as way back in 2018 the company launched Azure Digital Twins which allows users to design digital models and knowledge graphs with the help of AI algorithms. Azure Digital Twins enables users to model environments such as factories, farms, energy networks, buildings, stadiums, railways, and cities by connecting assets like IoT (Internet of Things) devices and existing business systems. Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL) are used in models to describe twins in terms of their components, state properties, commands, telemetry events and relationships.
A US$6.75 billion market
Per Fortune Business Insights, the global digital twin market size was valued at US$6.75 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from US$8.88 billion in 2022 to US$96.49 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 40.6% during the forecast period. The concept of twins is not new and dates back to the early days of the space program. The Apollo 13 mission in the 1960s is an early use case of using twins to model the state of the damaged spacecraft and solve the problems necessary to return the astronaut crew safely back to Earth.
Google’s supply chain twin
Less than a year ago Google Cloud announced the launch of Supply Chain Twin, a purpose-built industry solution that lets companies build a digital twin — a virtual representation of their physical supply chain — by orchestrating data from disparate sources to get a complete view of suppliers, inventories, and other information. Adding to that, the company had also announced the Supply Chain Pulse module, to be used with Supply Chain Twin to provide real-time dashboards, advanced analytics, alerts on critical issues like potential disruptions, and collaboration in Google Workspace.
Amazon IoT TwinMaker
In May this year, Amazon during its AWS Summit in San Francisco, announced the general availability of its IoT TwinMaker service – AWS IoT TwinMaker. Last year, the company first released a preview of AWS IoT TwinMaker during the re:Invent conference as a service that makes it faster and easier to create digital twins of real-world systems and use them to monitor and optimize industrial operations. Now it’s generally available with new features such as motion indicator(preview), scene templatization, and API improvements. Furthermore, the service is available in additional AWS regions.
Siemens moves deeper into digital
Siemens, which purchased Brightly Software for US$1.58 billion earlier this week, is delving deeper into the digital space because it offers faster growth rates and higher margins than its longtime business of trains and industrial drives and automation, Reuters said. Xcelerator is an umbrella term for services that let customers visualize projects before construction begins. Brightly Software is a leading U.S.-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of asset and maintenance management solutions.
Connecting Xcelerator with Omniverse
As the first step in this collaboration, the companies plan to connect Siemens Xcelerator, the open digital business platform, and NVIDIA Omniverse™, a platform for 3D design and collaboration. This will enable an industrial metaverse with physics-based digital models from Siemens and real-time AI from NVIDIA in which companies make decisions faster and with increased confidence.
Siemens Xcelerator is a new, open digital business platform featuring a curated portfolio of IoT-connected hardware and software, an ecosystem of partners, and a marketplace. NVIDIA Omniverse™ is an easily extensible platform for 3D design collaboration and scalable multi-GPU, real-time, true-to-reality simulation.
Ericsson-Nvidia to build DT of cities
Omniverse is Nvidia’s metaverse play. What started out as a collaborative 3D design environment with real-world physics modelling has evolved into a training environment for industrial automation. Last fall, Ericsson and Nvidia announced a digital twin collaboration. Nvidia said that Ericsson is building virtual versions of real cities using Nvidia’s Omniverse platform, to figure out optimal real-world antenna placement.
Omniverse to train AI through simulation
Now, Nvidia underscores Omniverse as the software backbone driving the next generation of innovation in AI and robotics. Omniverse has emerged as a way for enterprises to train AI through simulation — putting systems in tests over and over and over, so they’ll run with fewer complications and recover from failures with less human intervention once they’re deployed in the real world.
Xcelerator is a digital transformation platform
Siemens is offering enterprises Xcelerator as a platform to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. Described as “an open digital business platform,” specific services offered include a curated portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled hardware, software, digital services from Siemens and third parties, and a marketplace ecosystem to draw together customers, partners, and developers.
Siemens is launching with Xcelerator a new Software as a Service (SaaS) platform called Building X, which it hopes will help enterprises reach net-zero goals. The company’s recently announced acquisition of Brightly Software, a building asset and maintenance management software firm, figures…well, brightly, if you’ll pardon the pun, in this new offering.
It is an end-to-end data and analytics suite breaking down data silos across domains such as energy management, security and building maintenance. Building X is a modular, fully cloud-based open software suite, with AI-enabled applications, strong connectivity and built-in cybersecurity, Siemens said.
The two companies promise that their new effort will enable more enterprise scalability of the digital twin concept. Photorealistic, physics-based digital twins embedded in the industrial metaverse offer enormous potential to transform our economies and industries by providing a virtual world where people can interact and collaborate to solve real-world problems.
(Abhijit Roy is a technology explainer and business journalist. He has worked with Strait Times of Singapore, Business Today, Economic Times and The Telegraph. Also worked with PwC, IBM, Wipro, Ericsson.)
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