Citrix to unveil sub-$100 'system-on-a-chip'

The 'zero client' device connects a user to a data center where computing functions are performed

Citrix Wednesday is set to unveil a prototype sub-$100 system-on-a-chip with a so-called zero client at its Synergy conference in Barcelona.

The prototype system, made by NComputing, was previewed by Citrix Tuesday during a Web conference.

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The device is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and contains ports to connect to typical desktop peripherals, such as a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse.

Citrix officials said the "zero client" connects a user to a data center where computing functions are performed.

Citrix is working with NComputing as well as Texas Instruments, Wyse, LG, and a variety of monitor makers to create low-cost thin clients based on the new technology, said Citrix Chief Marketing Officer Wes Wasson. Citrix expects that the new as-yet unamed chip could cut the price of thin clients by a third, Wasson added.

Citrix on Wednesday also plans to announced updates to products that deliver applications and data from various smartphones, tablets, and laptops to private and public clouds, as well as to other users.

Wasson said Citrix will introduce ShareFile, gained from a recent acquisition, which allows users to "share any file instantly with anyone" from handheld devices, tablets, and laptops.

He didn't elaborate further on the new offering.

Citrix will also unveil an updated GoToMeeting product that adds a Workspace feature that can integrate workgroups into the Web collaboration application. Wasson said the Workspace feature will be available in the first half of 2012.

Also, Wasson said the Citrix Receiver software client will be enhanced with Follow-Me Data technology preview by year's end. The updated software will be integrated with the Citrix ShareFile service to allow a user to access any data from any source while using any device. Users will be able to open, view, edit, share, and save any document.

Citrix also plans to announce the acquisition of U.K.-based App-DNA, a maker of tools for speeding the migration of applications to new platforms, including from physical to virtual OSs.

Wasson also said Citrix and Cotendo will jointly unveil CloudConnector, which pairs Cotendo's cloud-based acceleration services with Citrix's NetScaler on-premise application delivery software.

Cotendo said the hybrid service will give enterprises and content providers LAN-like response times, while reducing operating expenses and increasing application delivery security.

Pricing and other details were not provided.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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This story, "Citrix to unveil sub-$100 'system-on-a-chip'" was originally published by Computerworld.

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