Rose Electronics introduces UltraLink Phase ll

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Rose Electronics, the leader in KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switching and distribution solutions announces the release of UltraLink Phase ll a quantum performance leap in the worlds most flexible KVM remote access (IP or dial-up) device.

UltraLink Phase ll is a new operating suite consisting of firmware which runs on any of Roses Pentium based Linux UltraLink platforms (UltraLink, UltraLink Lite or UltraMatrix remote) and a personal browser which runs on any Windows based local computer, including notebooks and some handheld derivatives.

There is a significant and growing market for systems which facilitate secure access (over fixed or dial-up lines, digital or analogue) to the keyboard, video and mouse interfaces of remote computers. The most common usage of these systems is in server support and maintenance. Up to now, deployment has been a little slow because of mouse latency problems - the remote (controlled) mouse cursor image visible on the on the local (controlling) computer has typically shown significant lag behind input mouse movement. In extreme circumstances this could lead to misplaced mouse clicks, with unwanted and potentially problematic results.

UltraLink Phase ll significantly reduces this problem; the use of frame comparison algorithms is a fundamental part of converting VGA to Ethernet, and Rose's engineering team have dramatically improved this aspect of the remote video delivery process. Frame comparison algorithms are normally written in C++, but Roses rewrite leverages the power of the MMX and SSE instruction engine invented by Intel and present on Pentium and AMD processors. MMX and SSE is widely used to speed up video and audio processing on Intel architecture platforms and in the case of video it allows multiple pixels to be processed in parallel. So the improvement in process, and the deliberate alignment with the MMX and SSE hardware inside the Pentium processor on the UltraLink gives near real time performance. The benefit is almost instantaneous mouse response, so that remote servers can be controlled from anywhere with precision and confidence.

At the same time Rose have implemented new proprietary digital filtering and phase detection algorithms, meaning that cleaner images are displayed at the controlling Computer. The new digital filtering algorithms also handle noise rejection (electronic noise is naturally generated during the quantization process), and deals with KVM matrix switching and extension artefacts (effectively shadows from previously displayed pictures), cable degradation and smear. The new phase detection algorithms allow the pixel clock to be aligned precisely with the centre of the pixel, further improving digitizing accuracy and increasing throughput.

The UltraLink family of products is considerably more powerful than many of its competitors since it uses an 800MHz Intel x686 architecture in combination with a high speed programmable FPGA (field programmable gate array) and this powerful platform allows UltraLink Phase ll firmware and Viewer to be implemented on even the earliest versions of UltraLink hardware. The proper trade-off of using processor instructions written in C++, MMX instructions, and FPGA hardware produces a powerful product with minimal processor use so there is still plenty of power left for further new features.

When used with Roses UltraMatrix switch system, UltraLink Phase ll allows control of all network devices, including Switches, Hubs and Routers, as well as Telephony equipment, and input power. That means that Rose can now offer a perfect 24/7 hardware support tool offering total access and control of entire racks or Network rooms, irrespective of hardware type or operating platform.

Ease of Installation and Use

UltraLink products are conventionally connected to a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet network. An IP address, administrator and user passwords are assigned using a simple menu generated by UltraLink to a locally attached KVM console.

Users and administrators anywhere can now access any computing device by running the UltraLink remote programme (included with UltraLink Phase ll, or downloadable from any browser).

Redundant connectivity

In addition to the primary digital access interface all UltraLink units except Lite feature a secondary dial up modem port to circumvent the malfunction or unavailability of digital lines.

Server Windowing

A scaling feature allows the User to decide upon the size of the Window in which viewing the controlled Computer. There is a direct correlation between the size of the viewing window selected and the amount of network bandwidth required for screen updates, so the User can maximise UltraLink performance during critical operations, but minimise Network overhead during normal function.

Quad screen mode allows four servers to be monitored and displayed at the same time.

Security

For maximum security Administrator and User password-controlled access with Hacker protection is installed. Passwords and keyboard data are encrypted as are data and video streams. When using the modem dial-in feature the administrator has the option of dial-back connection to a pre-configured number, and an originating IP address can also be validated against a User ID.

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