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3.5-Watt thin client runs Linux

Sep 22, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Chip PC Technologies announced a Linux version of its compact thin client. Based on an RMI Alchemy Au1250 processor, and running on a claimed 3 to 3.5-Watts of power, the Xtreme PC LX offers onboard multimedia acceleration, domain authentication, and Active-Directory-based management, says the company.

(Click for larger view of the Xtreme PC LX)

The Xtreme PC LX measures only 3.2 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches (81 x 157 x 33mm), and is based on RMI's 600MHz version of the MIP32-based Au1250, which was announced in January 2007. Released earlier this year in a 700MHz version, the Au1250 sports an on-chip media acceleration engine that provides hardware-based D1 (up to 720 x 480) video processing, RMI claims (see diagram farther below).

The Xtreme PC LX includes 128MB to 256MB of DDR2 memory, as well as a 256MB “Disk-On-Chip,” a NOR flash device that the company says retains data for ten years. The device is said to support resolutions up to 1600 x 1200-pixels, and offer hardware-accelerated DivX HD and MPEG4/WMV video codecs. For connectivity, the thin client provides 10/100 Ethernet, three to four USB 2.0 ports, serial and parallel ports, DVI, and optional WiFi, says Chip PC.

Xcalibur Global management software diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The Xtreme PC LX is said to offer “seamless integration” with Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware server-based and desktop virtualization environments via the company's Xcalibur Global management and monitoring software. Xcalibur Global simulates an Active Directory environment, and provides centralized management and monitoring for thousands of devices, says the company. The software is also said to offer “a strong security architecture and compatibility with key industry standards.”

A block diagram of RMI's Au1250

Firmware for the Xtreme PC LX itself includes a local Firefox 2.0.12 browser and a media player. There's also an ICA 10 client, RDP (RDesktop 1.5), and an X-Windows 7.2 server.

Xtreme PC LX

Specifications for the Xtreme PC LX CPU are said to include:

  • Processor — RMI Au 1250 (600MHz) RISC
  • Memory — 128-256 MB DDR2
  • Storage — 256MB “Disk-On-Chip” with FFS
  • Display support — 1280×1024, 1368×768, and 1600×1200 resolution displays, with 16M (24 bit) true color
  • Video codecs — DivX HD and MPEG4/WMV hardware accelerated codecs (H.264 codec under development)
  • Audio — “high-def audio”
  • A/V I/O — DVI, 3.5mm audio-out and audio-in; mic input
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45); auto-negotiate TCP/IP with DNS
    and DHCP
  • WiFi — optional internal 802.11b/g with external duck antenna
  • USB — 3-4 x USB 2.0-compatible ports
  • Other I/O — 1 x serial; 1 x parallel
  • Power — 5V DC 2A max.; normal consumption 3.5W, but can run at 3W (0.35W in sleep mode); wall-mount power supply input (Universal 90 - 240V AC 50-60 Hz); optional USB power
  • Dimensions — 3.2 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches (80 x 158 x 34mm)
  • Weight — 6 oz. (180gr)
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 104 degrees F (0 to 40 degrees C)
  • Operating system — Linux

Chip PC's Jack PC
(Click for details)


The Xtreme PC LX will be available for large volume shipments on Nov. 15, says Chip PC Technologies. The company is also planning on announcing a Linux version of its compact new Windows CE-based Jack PC. The Linux version of the Jack PC, which is said to fit inside standard in-wall LAN jack boxes, is expected in the first quarter of 2009.

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