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Is that your television? Or a zero client running a virtual desktop?

It could be both if Teradici's new plan works

By Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016

Teradici's launched a new range of zero clients powered by silicon it did not design, a departure from its usual practice the company hopes will spread its PCoIP protocol far and wide.

Teradici's meat and potatoes is virtual workspaces delivered as nothing but pixels: all the compute happens in the server and zero clients do not much more than keep the session alive and handle I/O for local devices like mice, keyboards and monitors. The company can pipe virtual desktops from VMware, Amazon WorkSpaces.

CEO Dan Cordingley told The Register the company's decided its core skill is in running secure sessions, not baking PCoIP into silicon. So it's struck a deal with the Panasonic/Fujitsu joint venture Socionext to add PCoIP into a system-on-a-chip (SoC), for two reasons.

Firstly, Teradici's new new range of “Alta” zero clients with Socionext's silicon inside are gruntier than their predecessors. The new boxen can drive a pair of 4K monitors, include WiFi, USB 3.0 and the choice of DisplayPort or HDMI. The graphics grunt means Teradici can join the chase to virtualise workstation-class applications. Adding WiFi, and a new laptop form-factor zero client, means Teradici thinks it's a chance to crack industries like health care than need campus mobility.

The second hoped-for outcome is that Socionext will hawk its SoC to makers of all manner of other kit. Cordingley imagined monitors intended for duty in digital signage as a one candidate. PcoIP-powered zero clients can also handle Amazon Web Services' WorkSpaces desktop-as-a-service offering, so Cordingley quite likes of the idea of desktop monitors with PCoIP inside.

There's also the prospect of automotive and mobile applications.

If you're wondering what's in this for Socionext, It gains a client – Teradici - and a slab of silicon it can market in its own right.

Teradici partners Dell, VMware and AWS have all signed off on HappyQuotes™ signifying approval of the new devices and plan.

Virtual desktops of all sorts are reckoned to have between five and ten per cent of the overall PC market, so there's perhaps 20 million seats a year up for grabs. But those seats are usually in industries like financial services, government or health care that care a lot about locking down desktops. And because there's a substantial server component to any virtual desktops, be they from Teradici or rivals, it remains a market vendors covet and in which innovations like this new kit will find receptive buyers. ®

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