Bangalore, November 2 2015
From Anand Parthasarathy
It weighs just 125 grams. In the palm of my hand, it's smaller than many smartphones. Yet it was flawlessly playing a full high definition movie on a large PC monitor, without the hint of a jitter. And if they had connected a hundred of these devices each with its screen, to the same server, I was assured they would all play the movie with the same quality. They couldn't squeeze that many PCs into the stand at the 2015 CeBit IT show in Bangalore last week. I was witnessing the unveiling of the world's first multimedia 'Zero Client' capable of playing HD video full screen from the Hyderabad -based thin PC specialist, RDP, a product flowing from Indian brains and manufactured in a facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.
Thin Clients depend on another server-PC to fulfill their functions. But they often have some local memory or minimal storage to run the operating system. Take these away and you have a fast-emerging new class, the ultra thin client, commonly called Zero Client, with just one system-on-a chip, to take orders from the server and fuel the display. The advantages of such Central Rule are great energy savings, tiny footprint and lower cost per client.
RDP's AL-400 Zero Client goes beyond these obvious benefits. A proprietary HD Protocol ensures that even at 1920 by 1080p full HD, the device displays full frame content that matches the best desktop, supporting 50 Local Videos & 30 Online videos at the same time. The casing offers 4 USB connectors, one ethernet port and one VGA display connector. Inside, the ticking heart of the AL-400 is squeezed into a single chip that consumes less than 5 watts. At under Rs 7800, it cuts individual station costs to about a third and its superior multimedia performance has already attracted global attention. I can see this Made in India product fulfill many use cases in connected classrooms and offices. The TV5 news channel in Hyderabad is among the first to deploy a network of these systems.
The size zero client looks like the 2015 flavour of the PC.
Other Indian makes, the Bangalore-headquartered VXL, with its Vtona
range and the INP Computer Technolgy range from Mumbai; the
Taiwan-based ViewSonic's SC-Z 55 and 56 and from the US:
N Computing's X Series and and Dell's Wyse 3000 and 5000 series are
brands available in India -- all of them working with leading virtual
computing systems like VMware.