Potent compute technologies proliferate the world today: from datacenters that power the cloud, to number-crunching office computers; from sleek laptops that rival the processing power of legacy supercomputers, to smartphones and smartwatches that bottle computing magic in tiny form factors. New innovations in AI-based technologies harness the data-analytics muscle of powerful servers and make available sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) by simply calling out to your Siri or Alexa digital voice assistant. But it is a myth that only these highly visible computing devices dominate the technology landscape. Despite appearances, behind the scenes, much of the infrastructure enabling these innovations actually runs on unglamorous but rugged, advanced network and telecom appliances that demand high quality and reliability as well as modern innovations such as 5G connectivity and Edge AI. Such devices and appliances that are the foundation of next-gen smart factories, smart-cities, intelligent transportation, and autonomous mobility are the focus of Lanner Electronics, a company that builds hyper-converged network platforms. It is this world of software-defined everything that Lanner seeks to enable via its advanced hardware and software platforms along with key applications from its close technology partners.
Customer-focused innovation: Lanner’s story over the years
Lanner Electronics Inc is the parent company of Lanner Americas which has a proven track record in the North American market, including USA and Canada. Lanner started life as a world-leading provider of design, engineering, and manufacturing services for advanced network appliances and rugged applied computing platforms built for system integrators, service providers, and application developers.
As a publicly listed company on the Taiwan stock exchange with an illustrious 30+ year history, and through its Lanner Americas subsidiaries, Lanner has leveraged its resources to advance its vision enabling the next generation of connectivity and mobility. Today, Lanner provides scalable and interoperable network platforms designed for building secure and reliable communications for critical infrastructure, such as utilities, high-speed broadband, and transportation. These modular hardware appliances not only enable AI computing, secure the data transport and simplify management, but also consolidate virtualized network applications at the network edge.
CIO Bulletin spoke to the man driving the vision for Lanner’s technological disruptions in the Americas, Sven Freudenfeld. When asked about the company's trajectory into the future, Freudenfeld, who is the CTO of Lanner’s Telecom Applications says, “By developing, manufacturing, and bringing to market the underlying technologies, Lanner works to help customers bring their own advanced products to fruition. Combining our hardware and low-level software expertise with our strong ecosystem of partners who build solutions for mainstream adoption, we can enable modern transportation infrastructure integrating Edge AI compute and 5G connectivity in a range of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) applications, such as traffic control and monitoring, V2X communication, autonomous driving, and fleet management. We also empower our customers to create solutions using low latency Private 5G and Edge AI combined with AI-powered machine vision to unlock the digital transformation of today’s manufacturing businesses. Powerful computing and connectivity blend together in appliances that are purpose-built for high-precision vision inspection, autonomous mobile vehicles, visual-guide robotics, and more.”
Under Freudenfeld’s leadership, the teams in Lanner Americas work collaboratively to bring the company’s extensive experience in the networking and telecom domain, and make it available through its “Global, yet Local” model of delivering value-added services around its products, wherever the customers are. In this way, Lanner Americas can provide services to key North American OEMs in a wide range of demanding industries from enterprise branch connectivity to in-vehicle and industrial communications systems.
Freudenfeld goes on to explain that Lanner’s track record as a reliable, innovative partner for the world’s top brands in networking and security, has led Lanner to be the connectivity and compute supplier of choice today in many leading-edge application domains. The company’s success in this field is driven by a long-standing goal of providing unsurpassed design services coupled with efficient manufacturing at the highest industrial design and quality standards. Lanner’s proven track record as the ODM behind regional and global brand names is no accident because it has been delivering innovative and reliable hardware platforms relevant to its customers’ end markets for decades.
Innovations and future plans at Lanner Americas
Over the years, as the infrastructure for digital transformation and software-defined functionality enters its next phase, Lanner wants to grow by enabling for its customers, the latest cutting-edge technologies. The flexibility of its Research and Development teams allow it to be nimble enough to build solutions using a rapid development and design approach so its customers can adjust and optimize for dynamic end-market conditions. As an example, the recent COVID-fueled broadband capacity expansion in almost all industries, as well as the application of data-analytics and use of big-data in previously staid segments from agriculture to manufacturing, has ushered in a boom in demand for the kind of platforms that Lanner excels at.
Lanner Electronics, known traditionally for its superior platforms and solutions for the Network Security Market and SD-WAN markets, with a long-standing history in developing and manufacturing secure and scalable appliances, has focused its strategy to apply and invest in some of the underlying technologies for new markets of Intelligent Edge Computing, AI and ML with the advancement of 5G and WiFi connectivity.
New business models emerge when optimizing infrastructure for better scale, greater utilization, and simpler deployment. With the introduction of new technologies under Freudenfeld, Lanner has laid out the foundation to build scalable solutions to support use cases such as:
Apart from these, Lanner’s adoption of new technologies in its edge computing portfolio is focused on platform security, open computing architectures, network programmability, and the use of 5G connectivity in edge computing. Vehicle autonomy has also become a major part of intelligent edge computing and Lanner’s engineering teams have scalable and certified processes and innovations to build solutions towards these next generation and growing compute elements.
As new market requirements increasingly push artificial intelligence and machine learning technology (AI/ML) capabilities into edge computing, new use cases for image processing, and industrial edge applications are also enabled. These use cases are in their infancy of market adoption today but represent the company’s most significant potential revenue stream over the next decade, according to Freudenfeld.
Guiding the technological innovations at Lanner Americas
Sven Freudenfeld is the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of Lanner’s Telecom Applications Business Unit. Sven possesses over 30 years of experience in telecommunications, network computing, product management, and business development.
Before assuming this position in Lanner, Sven had taken several managerial positions in global business development for Noviflow, LEI Technology (a subsidiary of Lanner in Canada), and Kontron.
He was fundamental in accelerating the adoption of P4 and OpenFlow-based packet forwarding technology, virtual CPE/SD-WAN, and Advanced Telecommunication Computing Architecture (ATCA) technology in the service provider market.
Before his tenure at Kontron, Sven had held several engineering positions: Network Engineering at Deutsche Telekom, System Architect at Abewa GMBH, Systems Engineering at Nortel, and Test Engineering at Sanmina-SCI.