IGEL adds 4K, 60Hz four monitor support with new AMD-powered UD7 endpoint

The UD 7, which serves the higher end of the thin client market with more demanding graphics requirement, also will feature the new Secure Boot validation IGEL just announced had been received for their OS.

Simon Clephan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at IGEL

IGEL has introduced a new software-defined thin client, the UD 7, which is aimed at the upper level of the thin client market with more demanding graphics requirements Two things are of particular note here. First, the UD 7 becomes the first thin client solution to provide multi-monitor support for 4K displays at 60Hz rather than 30Hz. Secondly, this is IGEL’s first partnership at the upper end of the market with AMD in their current product lineup, and for now at least will transition much more of their sales in this space from Intel to AMD.

“The most important thing here is the advanced multi-monitor support,” said Simon Clephan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at IGEL. “The UD 7 lets you run four digital monitors.” This will include two 4K DisplayPort connectors at 60Hz and one 2K DisplayPort connector at 60Hz. It also has expansion capabilities to include an additional 2K DisplayPort connector at 60Hz.

“The driver behind this one is the graphics, which is the biggest single differentiator here,” Clephan said. “The competition only supports four monitors at 30 Hz, while we can do 60Hz.

“Previously, we could only support two monitors, or three at a lower resolution,” Clephan added. “We are the first major thin client provider to make use of the Radeon R5 graphics card. Its additional capability will be very important for CAD applications, as well as any use case with large scale graphics requirements, such as financial services and hospital diagnostic centres.”

The IGEL UD 7 has upgraded components. It features 4GB of DDR4 RAM, which provides double the memory capacity compared to existing IGEL Universal Desktop solutions. It has an AMD RX-216GD 1.6 GHz (Dual-Core) processor with up to 3.0 GHz (Boost Mode), a Realtek HD Audio card, two front-loading USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, and H.264 hardware acceleration capabilities with future expansion to H.265 through OS upgrades. The UD 7 also takes advantage of the Secure Boot validation that IGEL announced last week.

“We have been validated for Secure Boot by both Microsoft and the Linux community,” Clephan said. “Secure Boot is part of the security that protects the endpoint, which is being driven by Microsoft. It ensues when you boot up, that no one has been fiddling with the BIOS.” It does this by detecting tampering with boot loaders, key operating system files, and unauthorized option ROMs, through the validation of digital signatures. Detections are blocked from running before they can attack or infect the system.

“This is a mission-critical part of the package,” Clephan said.

The change from Intel to AMD is also significant, given that the UD 6, which served a very similar market to the UD7, is Intel-powered. Before the introduction of the UD 7, only one of the products in IGEL’s thin client portfolio – the lower-end UD 3 – had an AMD processor. However, the UD 3 has been – by far – IGEL’s most popular model, accounting for well over half their shipments.

“The UD 3 has been our workhorse,” Clephan said. “The UD6 is the high end, and is significantly more expensive. The UD 7 will fit into this space neatly, and also give a little more power than the UD 6. It can be seen as the next-generation of the UD 6, and over the course of time, I predict it will replace the UD 6.”

Clephan, whose job includes managing these strategic OEM relationships like Intel and AMD, cautioned that this does not mean that IGEL will be lining up with AMD going forward, just that they liked what AMD had to offer for this product at this point in time.

“We have consistently shipped both Intel and AMD devices in the past,” he said. “We have a strong marketing partnership with Intel. Their vPro has expanded into a lot of new capabilities, and does some really neat stuff, but they are not on AMD, and if we leveraged this, we would effectively have two different IGEL operating systems. We have desperately tried to avoid that. The UD7 is an accelerated version of the UD 3, so we didn’t have to change anything.”

IGEL UD7 thin clients are available now.