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LG's "Zero Client" monitors can work without a CPU, memory, or even storage

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May 4, 2012

LG's latest line of cloud monitors could allow companies to ditch their desktop and laptop...

LG's latest line of cloud monitors could allow companies to ditch their desktop and laptop computers

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Just days after launching its own cloud storage service, LG has announced the "P Series," a new line of cloud monitors aimed at company networks. Besides the monitor itself, its "zero client" work stations need only a LAN cable (which doubles as power supply), a keyboard and a mouse to work properly, cutting down dramatically on costs and allowing companies to ditch desktop and laptop computers altogether.

The monitors use the PC-over-IP protocol, a centralized, server-based model in which the host takes care of nearly all the number-crunching – it fetches the data, renders the graphics, compresses and encrypts the rendered images pixel by pixel, and then sends them over to the client machine using the low-latency UDP protocol, the same as is used for VoIP chat.

On the receiving end, the clients' only job is to decode the image and display it, eliminating the need for a CPU, memory or storage of their own. This simpler hardware setup translates into lower maintenance costs, no incompatibility issues between host and client, and a longer life cycle for the monitor. The client machines don't need to install operating systems or software updates, which are managed centrally along with the data, resulting in increased network security.

The system also adopts the Universal Power over Ethernet (UPoE) technology developed by Cisco, which feeds up to 60W of electric power via the LAN data cable. This is plenty for the monitors, which can consume as little as 15W. Virtualization via VMware enables a single server to support a large number of monitors, and lets administrators perform system updates without causing interruptions.

Source: LG

About the Author
Dario Borghino Dario studied software engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin. When he isn't writing for Gizmag he is usually traveling the world on a whim, working on an AI-guided automated trading system, or chasing his dream to become the next European thumbwrestling champion.   All articles by Dario Borghino
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10 Comments

"Cloud Computing may be amazingly amazing, but so is having your own data on your own system, with your own power supply, when "the cloud" and it's hardware and connections fail.

Mr Stiffy
4th May, 2012 @ 06:32 pm PDT

Any plans for touchcreen models?

Since I should be able to access the internet with these monitors, they should work with other cloud-based data solutions such as NetSuite, which performs ERP, CRM, and Ecommerce funtions. If so, then that's great!

Lumen
5th May, 2012 @ 03:37 pm PDT

I'm glad we are getting back to centralized computing. The sad thing is we should be using the power grid for communication. DC power over Ethernet is always going t have issue.

Michael Mantion
5th May, 2012 @ 09:07 pm PDT

"Everyone" Loves the Cloud, and in the same breath "everyone" Hates dumb terminals and Mainframes.....

Why is the world rushing headlong back into a corporate controlled environment with mainframes running the show, and all you have access to is the information you are allowed at the time.. No control over what is stored, when it is deleted etc.. sure there is redundancy and data protection, but the loss of control is the flipside..

The cloud is just another name for what corporations have continued to do with their internal IT since the 1970s... The average Joe has no idea (Even "IT Joe")... Their world starts and stops with webservers "PC's" and mobile phones...

MD
6th May, 2012 @ 01:43 am PDT

Article is a bit illiterate. A cpu is a ´central processor unit´: the chip at the heart of a typical computer. The ¨monitor¨ has a cpu in it (likely an ARM), and contains several hundred megabytes of memory (which is normally considered ¨volatile storage¨), and it typically runs Linux operating system (just like any other computer) that it will read in on boot from some non-volatile firmware storage. In terms of computing resources, a monitor today has more processing speed, memory, and non-volatile storage, than a PC from 15 years ago. The large box that houses cpu, memory, graphics processor, hard disks etc... is not a ¨cpu¨. It´s a computer (the whole thing)

This monitor doesn´t do without a computer, it just has sufficient computing power built-in that no other computer is needed. This has a long history in of equipment variously called diskless terminals, x-terminals, sunrays, for many years. The packaging here is great, and brings down the cost of such terminals further, but the terminals still have all the elements the title claims are omitted.

philobyte
6th May, 2012 @ 05:18 am PDT

Cloud=mainframe; Zero client=VT100. Been there, done that, despite the preety pictures vs text only, no thanks.

I like owning my CPU, its processing and memory allocation, and above all, buying my software so I am not wide open to predatory leasing prices by the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

solutions4circuits
7th May, 2012 @ 11:50 am PDT

When internet connections are as reliable as a wired phone connection or a cable TV connection, I will look at getting this type of cloud computing for my company.

robo
7th May, 2012 @ 02:02 pm PDT

That's a great setup if you don't ever have to worry about someone stealing info from your cloud. For companies who have to protect their intellectual property this isn't a great idea.

hellno187
7th May, 2012 @ 07:51 pm PDT

@robo and hellno187 You guys didn't really seem to understand this piece of tech. This isn't done over the internet, this is done via a closed wired LAN system, with a central computer, with a guy who's hired to understand how a computer works, has control over this. This has the option of making it more secure, since you are able to control the spread of the information stored on the server, and since it's a wired it's more stable and again more secure.

And yes, I'm repeating myself here.

Foiled
8th May, 2012 @ 12:48 am PDT

So, basically it's a network terminal for a closed network where all data and all apps are on a central server.

Why it's called "cloud"?

And when there is a server or network failure, everyone stop working. :)

Imhof Iván
8th May, 2012 @ 09:16 am PDT
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