Monday Jun 17, 2024

Lenovo stakes claim to generative AI at the edge

While Apple garnered wide attention for its recent embrace of generative AI for iPhones and Macs, rival end point device maker Lenovo already had a similar strategy in place.

The multinational consumer products vendor, based in China, is known for its ThinkPad line of laptops and for mobile phones made by its Motorola subsidiary.

But Lenovo also has for a few years been advancing a “pocket to cloud” approach to computing. That strategy now includes GenAI capabilities residing on smartphones, AI PCs and laptops and more powerful cloud processing power in Lenovo data centers and customers’ private clouds.

Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT large language model (LLM) disrupted the tech world in November 2022, GenAI systems have largely been cloud-based. Queries from edge devices run a GenAI prompt in the cloud, which returns the output to the user’s device.

Lenovo’s strategy -- somewhat like Apple’s new one -- is to flip that paradigm and locate GenAI processing at the edge, routing outbound prompts to the data center or private cloud when necessary.

The benefits include security, privacy, personalization and lower latency -- resulting in faster LLM responses and reducing the need for expensive compute, according to Lenovo.

“Running these workloads at edge, on device, I'm not taking potentially proprietary IP and pushing that up into the cloud and certainly not the public cloud,” said Tom Butler, executive director, worldwide communication commercial portfolio at Lenovo, on the Targeting AI podcast from TechTarget Editorial.

The edge devices that Lenovo talks about aren’t limited to the ones in your pocket and on your desk. They also include remote cameras and sensors in IoT AI applications such as monitoring manufacturing processes and facility security.

“You have to process this data where it's created,” said Charles Ferland, vice president, general manager of edge computing at Lenovo, on the podcast. “And that is running on edge devices that are deployed in a gas station, convenience store, hospital, clinics -- wherever you want.”

Meanwhile, Lenovo in recent months rolled out partnerships with some big players in GenAI including Nvidia and Qualcomm.

The vendor is also heavily invested in working with neural processing units, or NPUs, in edge devices and innovative cooling systems for AI servers in its data centers.

Shaun Sutner is a journalist with 35 years of experience, including 25 years as a reporter for daily newspapers. He is a senior news director for TechTarget Editorial's information management team, covering AI, analytics and data management technology. Esther Ajao is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems. Together, they host the Targeting AI podcast.


Copyright 2023 All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20240320