Lenovo unveiled on June 14, 2023, the next phase of its artificial intelligence strategy and new additions to its portfolio of products. The company also announced an annual record in AI infrastructure revenue of more than $2 billion. Moving forward, Lenovo will be investing an additional $1 billion in the next three years to accelerate AI deployment for businesses worldwide.
The new Lenovo AI portfolio includes AI-ready solutions, more than 70 AI-optimized upgraded edge-to-cloud server platforms, the new ThinkEdge SE360 V2 edge server, ThinkEdge SE350 V2 edge server, ThinkSystem SR675 V3 server for data centers and AI updates to the Lenovo ThinkPad commercial laptops.
TechRepublic spoke to Robert Daigle, senior manager of Lenovo ISG Global AI Business, about what the new Lenovo products are, how they can impact businesses and what decision-makers can expect from the brand.
“Lenovo is committed to being the most trusted partner and empowering our customers’ intelligent transformation by simplifying AI deployment through a one-stop shop that helps customers of all sizes and across all industries easily deploy AI with confidence,” Daigle said.
- Lenovo’s new AI solutions, discover and infrastructure initiatives
- New Lenovo edge and data servers and smart devices
- Lenovo AI Discover Center of Excellence
- What type of businesses should be looking into Lenovo’s AI technology?
Lenovo’s new AI solutions, discover and infrastructure initiatives
Despite companies investing in AI for the past decade or more, 2023 has been the year of artificial intelligence. Daigle explains that data proliferation grows exponentially, and AI drives new business opportunities everywhere. “However, deploying AI is still a complex journey for many business leaders, with significant challenges on the (areas of) solutions evaluation, architecture and scalability,” Daigle explained.
Lenovo’s new AI strategy, software, hardware and programs are designed to respond to business needs for artificial intelligence with a portfolio of smart devices and edge-to-cloud infrastructure.
“By providing more flexibility, reliability and efficiency, we are helping businesses worldwide implement generative AI, immersive metaverse simulations and cognitive decisions at scale,” Daigle said.
The company is investing in three fronts: AI Innovation Solutions, AI Infrastructure and the new Lenovo AI Discover Center of Excellence. This article primarily focuses on Lenovo’s AI Infrastructure strategy.
Under AI Infrastructure, Lenovo detailed in a press release more than 70 AI-optimized upgraded solutions that range from smart devices to edge-to-cloud infrastructure platforms.
“New options for edge servers will allow more AI deployment and experimentations with distributed hybrid compute infrastructures; this, in turn, means better results and ROI for customers while also leveraging better reliability, security and manageability,” Daigle said.
The new AI-enhanced Lenovo portfolio is listed in the table below.
Rack Server Inference
Rack Server ML 4-socket
Rack Server 2-Socket
DL Liquid Cooled Training
ThinkEdge, ThinkStation, ThinkAgile
ThinkEdge Edge Server
Data Science & Edge Workstations
ThinkStation Edge Workstations
ThinkStation Desktop Workstations
ThinkPad Mobile Workstations
ThinkAgile MX Systems (Microsoft)
ThinkAgile VX Systems (VMware)
ThinkAgile HX Systems
New Lenovo edge and data servers and smart devices
Lenovo ThinkEdge SE360 V2 Edge Server
The Lenovo ThinkEdge SE360 V2 is the latest purpose-built edge server that delivers more power to enable AI solutions ranging from computer vision, voice AI and generative AI (Figure A).
The new server provides extended accelerated computing that supports Intel Data Center GPU Flex Series, the NVIDIA AI platform, including NVIDIA L4 Tensor Core GPUs and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software and Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 platforms to enable intense workloads at the source of data creation.
The ThinkEdge SE360 V2 delivers the highest GPU density in the smallest form factor available. Lenovo assures it’s at least twice as quiet as the competition.
“We listened to customer feedback, and a few factors important to them when deploying AI at the edge, including cost, temperature range, environmental factors, noise level accelerator optionality and performance, and, of course, security and reliability,” Daigle explained.
Lenovo ThinkEdge SE350 V2 Edge Server
The ThinkEdge SE350 V2 Edge Server for hybrid cloud and modern HCI deployments doubles storage capacity and leverages Intel Xeon D processors. These processors are in place to enable customers to run AI while quickly consolidating workloads, data backing up data, collaborating and delivering content in the smallest form factor.
Daigle added that, when designing the SE350 V2, the company expanded more cost-optimized drive options, which is a significant cost factor for servers (Figure B).
“When designing the SE350 V2, we expanded more cost optimized drive options which is a significant cost factor for servers,” Daigle said.
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR675 V3
For the data center, Lenovo created the ThinkSystem SR675 V3. The company says it’s the most accelerated computing platform on the market.
The ThinkSystem SR675 V3 is purpose-built for AI with three server configurations in one. This includes supporting NVIDIA HGX 4-GPU systems, 4-DW PCle GPU, or 8-DW PCle GPU servers in a compact 3U footprint (Figure C).
“Some customers are deploying these systems near employees and customers in retail settings, making noise levels a concern,” Daigle said. “So, by going to larger fans and tuning the fan table, we can reduce the dB level and ensure the fans run at frequencies that are less noticeable.”
The modular design allows Lenovo to accommodate the highest power accelerators with the smallest footprint.
“We also fully support NVIDIA NVLink bridge in this platform to ‘bridge the gap’ between PCIe and HGX performance,” Daigle added.
Lenovo’s SR675 V3 for NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise
Responding to the industrial metaverse and digital simulation trends, Lenovo announced it’s collaborating with NVIDIA on the latest NVIDIA OVX system. The system is designed for building and operating virtual worlds, delivering robust performance for NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise workloads in the data center.
The ThinkSystem SR675 V3, based on the OVX architecture, features up to eight NVIDIA L40 GPUs to maximize performance and deliver advanced ray tracing with NVIDA RTX-accelerated graphics driven by AI. The tech will allow customers to unlock the potential of digital twins.
Additionally, the new Lenovo ThinkPad commercial laptops now include a new Lenovo View application. The app offers AI-enabled computer vision technology for enhanced video image quality and tools. To access immersive simulations, Lenovo offers augmented reality technology through its ThinkReality XR solutions. The new Lenovo ThinkPad laptop app and the ThinkReality XR solutions are technologies that companies can use with the industrial metaverse experiences of NVIDIA Omniverse.
Innovating AI solutions
Lenovo committed $100 million to its AI Innovators Program. The main goal of the program is for customers to be able to develop AI-ready solutions faster. The program added 15 new partners, totaling those participating to 45. Partners include Microsoft Azure, IBM, DeepBrain AI, VMware, alwaysAI, SAS, The Edge Company, V7 and StorMagic.
Lenovo and its partners under this program have developed more than 150 turnkey AI solutions that can be applied in finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and smart cities. Examples of AI ready-to-deploy solutions under the program include credit decision systems, fraud detection and threat intelligence, medical imaging and diagnosis, check-out automation, shopping recommendation, traffic control and smart policing.
“Through this program, we provide the expertise, evaluation, and guidance needed to take the guesswork out of AI implementation for each customer and environment,” Daigle said.
Lenovo AI Discover Center of Excellence
In addition, Lenovo announced its new AI Discover Center of Excellence, which will focus on accelerating AI adoption. The center will provide assessment workshops for generative AI, natural language processing and computer vision. It will also host the Responsible AI Committee, which is dedicated to establishing standards for responsible AI. Lenovo stressed the importance of responsible AI.
“We can assure our customers that the LLMs deployed by Lenovo meet privacy, security, ethical and legal concerns via approval of these models through the Lenovo Responsible AI Committee, which is one of the most forward-thinking approaches to guiding organizations when they develop and deploy AI technologies,” Daigle told TechRepublic.
The new Center of Excellence is made up of technical engineers, partners, data scientists and professional services consultants focused on helping Lenovo customers explore, deploy and scale AI applications.
Which businesses should be looking into Lenovo’s AI technology?
Lenovo wants to position itself as a leading partner that enables intelligent transformation by simplifying AI deployment. The company sees itself as a one-stop AI shop and believes its tech can be applied to businesses of all sizes and industries.
“Next-generation infrastructure technologies that deliver data center-like computing to the edge are critical to empowering AI for improved emergency response, public safety, accessibility, tourism and retail experiences,” Daigle explained.
Retail, food service and hospitality businesses are leveraging AI to reimagine front-end and back-end operations and enable improved customer service, mitigate waste and address shifts in the labor market.
“For example, Lenovo is partnering with DeepBrain AI to offer an end-to-end solution for generative AI virtual assistants that can be paired with powerful large language models to deliver 24/7 automated concierge service in hospitality and retail settings,” Daigle added.
Another example is Lenovo and Vistry.
“Quick service restaurants around the globe use computer vision to automate cook times and help predict supply quantities to prevent food waste, ensuring standards while helping improve customer retention and profitability,” Daigle said.
Daigle explained that innovative AI solutions from Lenovo and Guise AI help industrial customers reduce unplanned downtime with up to 14 days of advanced prediction. In manufacturing operations that seek digitalization to drive future growth and differentiation amidst economic disruptions, AI solutions are used to understand customer behavior and optimize processes with computer vision, predictive maintenance and anomaly detection on the production line.
As the world continues on an accelerated AI path, Lenovo doubles down on investments for the sector to help customers adopt and deploy disruptive technologies better and faster.