Cognata Accelerates its ADPH Global Program with Microsoft Azure and Digital Twin-Based Simulations

By Alex Passett February 06, 2024

Let’s talk about Cognata, Microsoft, and a multilayered Internet of Things/Industrial Internet of Things (IoT/IIoT) topic that feels futuristic but is very much present in today’s technology landscape:

Digital twin-based sensor selection, sensor models and simulation.

The long-story-short of it: A digital twin is a virtual model designed to precisely mirror a physical, real-life object. A great example used by IBM to describe this is a wind turbine – by outfitting the actual machine with various functionality-specific sensors, data is produced about aspects of the turbine’s performance; energy output, temperature readings, how weather conditions affect it, etc. That data is then relayed to a designated processing system and applied to a digital copy of the turbine, i.e. its twin. Once the data is processed, the twin – its virtual but still to-scale model – can be studied and experts can run simulations, record performance issues, generate possible improvements and much more. The goal is to generate valuable insights that can, in due time, be applied back to the original physical object. This yields overall better R&D, greater production and maintenance efficiencies, and can even help manufacturers decide what to do with products that reach the end of their lifecycles and need to receive final processing (and if/which product materials can be responsibly harvested).

A quick side note: Per IBM, “Although digital twins and simulations both utilize digital models to replicate a system’s various processes, a digital twin is actually a virtual environment, which makes it considerably richer for study.” Thus, the difference can be boiled down to scale; simulations typically study one particular process, whereas digital twins themselves can run any number of useful simulations in order to study multiple processes at once. (Simulations also don’t usually benefit from real-time data and digital twins are designed around two-way flows of info from object sensors.)

With that contextualization laid out, let’s return to Cognata and Microsoft.

Given Cognata’s specializations in digital twin-based perception models – the company’s validation a safety practices for AVs, ADAS and smart city environments, as well – plus Microsoft’s countless next-gen technology endeavors, the following makes a great deal of sense:

Cognata recently announced its official collab with Microsoft to drive its Automated Driving Perception Hub (ADPH) global program, running on Microsoft Azure, AMD EPYC processors and Radeon GPUs. This will allow IoT and automotive customers to virtually (and, of course, efficiently) evaluate ADAS and AV sensors through digital twin-based sensor simulations. This comes at a pivotal time, knowing how important sensor selection has become in steering (pun intended) the automotive industry towards new and reliable ADAS and AV operations.

In this vein, Cognata's ADPH platform incorporates highly accurate (and manufacturer-approved) sensor modeling with a wide spectrum of sensors, RGB cameras, LiDAR systems, IR cameras, and so on – all of which are integrated with a DNN-based photorealistic layer, ensuring even more precise sensor performance.

This represents a big leap for Cognata. With Microsoft’s support, Cognata can utilize Azure’s capabilities to accelerate it digital twin-based developments that require powerful computing and graphics resources. According to the announcement itself, these advanced workloads and features “are bolstered by AMD high-performance CPU and GPU technologies, enabling streamlined execution.”

Per Danny Atsmon, Cognata’s CEO:

"We have joined forces to advance the automotive industry by bringing digital twin-based simulation into Microsoft Azure. The ADPH is a milestone achievement in our collaboration, showcasing our commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology. This platform seamlessly integrates manufacturer-approved sensor models and a sophisticated simulation environment, solving the challenge of optimizing sensor selection in a fully scalable manner."

And per Dominik Wee, Corporate Vice President, Manufacturing and Mobility at Microsoft:

"We are pleased to collaborate with AMD for their high-performance CPU and GPU IP and Cognata for their photorealistic sensor simulation capabilities to provide a platform that will allow engineers to accurately evaluate real-world sensor performance on the cloud early on in the design process. By front-loading upstream design and moving sensor evaluation from the physical world to the virtual world, we believe our customers will be able to innovate more rapidly and cost-effectively."

Learn more about the proliferation of the Internet of Things at and smart automotive innovations IoT Evolution Expo 2024, taking place from February 13-15 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Part of the ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW, this event combines educational conference programming with a robust exhibit hall, networking events, and other activities, bringing together buyers and providers of business technology products and services that drive business success.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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