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For a long time, many have dreamt of a world where we are able to live our physical realities in a digital second life. Think of metaverse as something which can realise that possibility. It is envisioned that we would be able to interact and spend money in this virtual world through various devices and gears.

All this requires advanced infrastructures to bring out a true metaverse experience and this will involve layer 7—Infrastructure, which is what we will be looking at in this post.

Welcome to Layer 7 - Technology that allow us to connect to the network and deliver content online

The infrastructure layer includes all technology that allows us to connect to the network via our devices, to access and deliver all sorts of content online. This layer can be said as the foundation that connects all users to the world of metaverse, aiming for convenience and seamless connectivity.

What's in Layer 7

t encompasses all the relevant technologies to power a functional metaverse. Such technologies may include Wi-Fi, cellular networks, cloud computing, graphics processing units (GPUs) and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

#Cloud computing

Wi-Fi - Accessing the internet at the speed of light

Wi-Fi is the wireless technology which plays a large part in our daily lives. For example, connecting computers, tablets, and smartphones to the internet. It works by sending radio signals from a wireless router to a device within range; such signals are then translated into data to be seen and used by users.

For instance, wireless LAN for a mobile network connection, mesh to eliminate dead zones and extend the network's coverage area and Wi-Fi 6 for a faster speed, stronger connection and wider wireless range. To provide ultimate support for the “metaverse”, experts are even churning out something even better—Wi-Fi 7.

Cellular Network - high speed communcation network at any time and anywhere

For users to get experience smooth and real-time experience, the real and virtual worlds need to reach a synchronized level in terms of communication networks. This is where cellular network connections such as 5G and 6G may take place.

To realise the vision of having low latency, upped bandwidth, efficient data transmission or even symmetrical broadband speed, 5G might not fully meet the needs of the metaverse, hence the era of 6G will be on the rise. With the rapid advancement of technologies, who knows what will surpass today’s network technology?

Cloud Computing - store and manage data on remote server

With cloud computing, storage, databases, software, analytics and other platforms can all be made accessible via the internet, without being physically close to the hardware. Organizations adopting cloud technology often shift IT resources to the public cloud, eliminating the need for on-premises servers and storage while reducing cost.

Companies such as Netflix use cloud computing for their video streaming services. Even Google Workspace runs entirely on cloud computing. Some of the major cloud computing services are Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Tencent Cloud. 

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) - The refinement of small but mighty electronic equipment 

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are a combination of both electrical and mechanical functions and are used to develop products such as microphones, loudspeakers, pressure sensors, and acceleration sensors.

Concerning the metaverse construction, MEMS is crucial due to its beneficial characteristics such as low power consumption, small form factor and cost-effectiveness. For instance, to develop microscopic devices, tiny sensors and compact, long-lasting batteries, all of which are required in the development of advanced tools and equipment needed by the metaverse.

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) - improve device performance and accelerate graphics rendering

A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized processor originally designed to accelerate graphics rendering. A good GPU comes in handy when machine learning, video editing, or gaming applications are involved. Along with its ability to simultaneously process a mass amount of data, GPU will help play a major role in developing and building virtual worlds for the metaverse.

Some of the well-known GPU manufacturers are Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Nvidia, Micro-Star International (MSI), Intel and Sapphire.