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Linux thin client taps new Marvell ARM SoC

May 19, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 21 views

Wyse Technology announced a Linux thin client based on Marvell's new 1GHz PXA510 system-on-chip (SoC), with support for Citrix Receiver, VMware View Open Client, Wyse TCX and VDA, and Microsoft's RDP (remote desktop protocol) 7. The Wyse T50 offers 1GB RAM, 1GB flash, DVI-I with a dual-display option, gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and support for 720p video within a browser.

The Wyse T50 is designed for IT departments at small, medium, and large organizations "on a budget," says Wyse. The device improves on a line of Linux-ready Wyse thin clients, including the dual-core AMD G-Series-based X90m7 notebook thin client announced earlier this month, which the company said would soon offer SUSE Linux in addition to Windows.

Wyse T50
(Click to enlarge)

While most of Wyse's Linux thin clients run Attachmate's SUSE Linux, the entry-level T50 uses a modified version of Ubuntu, although the company does not say which version was adopted. The Wyse T50 supports Citrix Online Plugin 11.x Client with HDX (Citrix Receiver), as well as VMware View Open Client, Wyse TCX and VDA, and Microsoft Windows Terminal Server virtualization technology, says the company. The device is said to stand out from other entry-level thin clients by offering Microsoft RDP (remote desktop protocol) 7  compatibility.

Wyse T50 back detail and optional tower stand

(Click to enlarge)

The Wyse Ubuntu-based stack offers a Google Chromium browser and Adobe Flash Player technology, says Wyse. The company also supplies its own automatic configuration and upgrade software, as well as Wyse TCX Suite for ICA and RDP, and an optional Wyse Device Manager, among other software. In addition, the device supports Wyse Collaborative Processing Architecture media redirection and bitmap compression, says the company

The Wyse T50 is built around a brand-new Marvell Armada PXA510 processor that came to light last week with the arrival of the Linux-ready Globalscale D2Plug mini-PC hardware/software development kit, which makes use of the processor.

Marvell has yet to post detailed information on the processor, but via the D2Plug announcement we found that the PXA510 offers a Cortex-A8-equivalent core running ARMv7 at up to 1GHz. The superscalar ARMv7 instruction set and a multi-format decoder help deliver 1080p HD video playback, while MTPS (million triangles per second) 3D graphics acceleration provides Open GL ES 2.0 support (For more details, see our Globalscale D2Plug coverage.)

Thanks in large part to this power-sipping ARM processor, the Wyse T50 is said to start up in less than 20 seconds and run on 7.2 Watts. The thin client features Energy Star version 5.0 and EPEAT compliance, says the company. The processor is also said to enable H.264 and WMV9/VC1 video decoding support, as well as up to 720p video within Flash when run on a local browser.

T50 front detail

Equipped with 1GB of RAM and 1GB of flash memory, the T50 also offers an SD slot for expansion, says Wyse. A DVI-I port is said to be provided, and dual-display support is offered via an optional splitter. A keyboard and mouse appear to be standard.

The T-50 ships with a gigabit Ethernet port, and 802.11b/g/n wireless networking is optional, says the company. Judging from the photo below, the Wi-Fi option appears to come with an antenna. The system also offers four USB 2.0 ports and audio I/O, says the company.

T50 with Wi-Fi antenna option

The one-pound, 6.9 x 4.69 x 1.0-inch system can lay flat or sit in an optional stand. It can also be mounted on a wall or the back of a monitor with a standard VESA mounting kit, says Wyse. A Kensington lock is also said to be available.

Features and specifications listed for the Wyse T50 include:

  • Processor — Marvell Armada PXA510 (ARMv7) @ 1GHz
  • Memory — 1GB RAM; 1GB flash
  • Memory expansion — SD card slot
  • Display/video:
    • DVI-I
    • DVI to VGA (DB-15) adapter included
    • Dual display with optional DVI-I to DVI-D plus VGA-monitor splitter cable
    • up to 1920 x 1200 resolution @24bpp
    • up to 1920 x 1080 resolution @24bpp with dual displays
    • H.264 and WMV9/VC1 video decoding
    • up to 720p local browser Flash local browser video support
  • User input:
    • USB keyboard with Windows Keys (104 keys)
    • optical mouse
    • 8-bit stereo microphone
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n optional, with WPA security
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • PS/2
    • 1/8-inch audio out
    • 1/8-inch audio in
  • Power:
    • 100-240 VAC, 50/60Hz (world auto-sensing)
    • Phase V external and EuP compliant power adapter
    • under 7.2 Watt average consumption with connected keyboard, mouse, and monitor
    • Energy Star V5.0 and EPEAT compliant
  • Server OS/client virtualization support:
    • RDP 7 compatible
    • Citrix XenApp/Presentation Server
    • Citrix (Receiver) Online Plugin 11.x Client with HDX
    • Citrix XenDesktop
    • VMware View 4.5
    • VMware View Open Client
    • Microsoft Windows Terminal Server 2003 & 2008
    • Wyse TCX and VDA
  • Firmware:
    • Wyse-enhanced Ubuntu Linux
    • Chromium browser
    • Adobe Flash
    • Automatic central configuration and upgrades
    • Wyse Device Manager (optional)
    • Wyse TCX Suite for ICA and RDP
    • Wyse Virtual Desktop Accelerator
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 104 deg F (10 to 40 deg. C) when desktop or stand mounted
  • Dimensions — 6.9 x 4.69 x 1.0 inches (177 x 119 x 25mm); VESA mounting (included); optional tower stand
  • Weight — 1.0 lbs (0.455 k)

Wyse recently announced Wyse Configuration Manager (WCM), a software framework that's said to make its Windows-based thin clients self-configuring. The company earlier said that WCM would be supported on Linux-based thin clients too, but it hasn't announced when.


The Wyse T50 is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at the Wyse T50 page. Wyse will be demonstrating the T50 at Citrix Synergy 2011 on May 25-27, Moscone Center, San Francisco, at Wyse booth #200.

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