Flexxon and Lenovo tie up on AI-infused SSDs

Singapore-based Flexxon teams up with Lenovo to make its solid-state drive that uses artificial intelligence to fend off cyber threats available on ThinkPad-based laptops

Singapore-based Flexxon has teamed up with Lenovo to make its solid-state drive (SSDs) that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to fend off cyber threats available on commercial laptops by the end of this year.

Called X-PHY, the SSD is equipped with an AI co-processor and a special firmware that monitors cyber threats in real-time. This is done through a machine learning algorithm that analyses how the drive reads and writes data, among other low-level storage commands.

Three series of laptops will be launched to cater to differing user preferences, namely the X-PHY Ace, X-PHY CyberPad and X-PHY Zepto. The laptops are based on Lenovo’s popular ThinkPad range of commercial laptops aimed at business users.

Camellia Chan, Flexxon’s founder and CEO, noted that tests have been and are being conducted to ensure the X-PHY SSDs are reliable and work as promised when the laptops, which can be pre-ordered now, are shipped to customers.

“All required tests have been completed and both Lenovo and Flexxon are pleased with the outcomes – this is why we have gone to the market with the pre-orders,” Chan said.

“We have continued with testing even beyond this final approval stage to ensure that what is delivered to the hands of customers is the best possible product. Ultimately, we believe that to keep pace with the breakneck speed in which technology evolves, it is important to always put our products through rigorous and continued testing to constantly improve on our offerings,” she added.

Chan said Flexxon’s decision to take pre-orders was based on its experience gained from the past year as components manufacturers across the globe face major delays and supply chain challenges. She added that customers will be given a full view of the delivery timeline and that mass production of the laptops will take about four months. 

With growing concerns over cyber threats, Chan noted that interest in the X-PHY laptops has been good, with under 100 pre-orders coming not only from Singapore, but also from the US and Europe. “We’ve lots of enquiries especially from customers that have been affected by ransomware before, and they are really anxious to get our solution,” she said.

Ronnie Lee, general manager of Lenovo Singapore, said small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of the key target groups for the X-PHY SSD-equipped laptops, as they can help to enhance their security posture without requiring too many resources.

X-PHY was developed under a Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) innovation programme to build cyber security solutions that meet Singapore’s national cyber security needs, paving the way for broader commercialisation efforts in and outside Singapore.

Noting that CSA also certifies security products based on the Common Criteria standard, Lee said X-PHY, having been validated by the CSA, could open doors to customers in countries that have adopted Common Criteria. These countries include Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands and the US.

Lee added that Lenovo is in confidential discussions with government agencies – among other prospective customers – that are concerned about cyber security and would like to know how the laptops can be deployed. “We believe this is something that will change the ballgame.”

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