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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

USB3.0 drives the 'zero client' computer with no internal processing power - CES

New Approach to Computing Powered by USB 3.0 at CES 2011
By Nick Flaherty

The rise of the high speed USB3.0 technology, particularly the optical version, is leading to a renaissance in the thin client, driving the idea of the 'zero client', says VIA Labs.

The Zero Client concept is an evolution of the Thin Client computing model that takes Shared-Resource Computing to the next level with no independent hardware processing facilities. Through multiple zero clients, many users can be simultaneously connected to a single server, leveraging the abundant computing power and flexibility provided by today’s mainstream systems. In contemporary zero client implementations, the end user experience is often bandwidth dependant since each Zero Client requires video, audio, and data connections.
Before the speed and flexibility of USB 3.0, Zero Clients utilized USB 2.0 or Ethernet, and frequently offered inferior multimedia capabilities and a degraded user experience. VIA Labs is demonstrating a zero client based on the new USB 3.0 standard which offers massive bandwidth capacity with its portfolio of USB 3.0 Superspeed controllers where several client terminals can now simultaneously enjoy a full user experience including HD multimedia, using the optical version to get the distance to the terminal previously provided by Ethernet.
“The zero client concept exemplifies the benefits that higher bandwidth USB 3.0 technologies can offer,” said Gibson Chen, Vice President of Sales at VIA Labs. “USB 3.0 based zero clients can enjoy a full and immersive PC experience simultaneously across several client stations thanks to the far greater data throughput that our leading USB 3.0 controllers offer.”
VIA labs is the only company in the world to have a complete USB 3.0 solution with host, hub and device controller products that are quickly setting industry standards. With an emphasis on delivering leading bandwidth performance while also pursing aggressive power-savings, VIA Labs is paving the way forward for new applications and devices in the broader electronics industry.
Complying with USB 3.0, USB Battery Charging, and eXtensible Host Controller Interface specifications (xHCI) the VIA VL800 offers four downstream facing ports that enable the simultaneous operation of multiple peripheral devices and includes USB Battery charging support to rapidly charge smart phones, tablets, and other compatible devices.
The industry’s first USB 3.0 hub controller, the VIA VL810 is a highly integrated, single chip solution provides maximum data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps, or ten times the throughput available to USB 2.0 based devices. Enables up to four USB devices to be connected to a single downstream port of a host or hub.
The VIA VL700 USB 3.0 to SATA Controller is a highly integrated single chip solution that allows users to connect any SATA hard disk drive (HDD), solid state drive (SSD), and optical disc drive (ODD) devices to their PC over USB 3.0. Details can be found here:
The VIA VL750 USB 3.0 to NAND Flash Controller is the first of its kind in the world, featuring a 4-channel memory controller with interleaving support, the VIA VL750 offers consumers blisteringly fast data transfer speeds of 100MB/s or more on larger capacity ‘thumb’ drives and USB sticks.

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