HP Details Thin-Client PC, Blade Workstation for Mechanical CAD Workers

Hewlett-Packard is rolling out a new thin-client PC, the HP gt7725, which is based on AMD dual-core Turion processors, and a blade workstation, the HP ProLiant xw2x220c, which can use both dual- and quad-core Xeon processors. This thin-client and blade workstation combination from HP is designed for mechanical CAD workers as well as for financial services.

Hewlett-Packard is targeting mechanical CAD workers and the financial service industry with a new thin-client PC and blade workstation combination that offers better graphics performance and multiple display support.

HP is set to announce both the HP gt7725 thin-client PC and the HP ProLiant xw2x220c blade workstation on Oct. 22. The two products add to HP's hardware and software offerings for specific vertical markets, such as MCAD and financial services.

It should come as no surprise that HP is expanding out these types of offerings. HP, which is the world's top PC vendor, is also one of the largest manufacturers of thin-client PCs, and the company offers a full lineup of these devices, including the technology it inherited when it acquired Neoware. In addition, HP is consistently the top producer of blade systems, according to Gartner and IDC.

With the thin-client PC and blade workstation combination, HP is looking not only to make products that deliver powerful three-dimensional graphics for MCAD workers, but also products that offer the security of storing all the data centrally in a data center. In addition, HP is making the case that thin-client PCs last longer and use far less energy than the traditional workstations used in MCAD companies and financial services.

The HP ProLiant xw2x220c builds on the portfolio of blade workstations HP began introducing with the ProLiant xw460c in April. The xw460c workstation is considered the high end of HP blade workstation offerings and offers such features as RAID controllers and hot-swap hard disk drives.

"The 460 [blade workstation] is primarily focused on financial trading, and the features we put into it are really attuned to financial trading," said Dan Olsen, a worldwide business development manager for HP blade workstations. "We are now starting to focus on other customers, and this workstation [the ProLiant xw2x220c] is more focused on mechanical CAD."

The xw2x220c is more of a midrange blade workstation that is made up of two independent compute nodes. Each node supports a dual- or quad-core Intel Xeon processor along with a Nvidia Quadro FX 770M discrete graphics card. Each node also supports 32GB of main memory, a SATA (serial ATA) drive that offers up to 120GB of data storage and a dual-port, gigabit NIC card.

Each compute node with the ProLiant xw2x220c also supports two displays.

The ProLiant xw2x220c, which fits into a standard HP c-Class blade enclosure, supports Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Linux. HP is also offering its own RGS (Remote Graphics Software), which allows for better graphics capabilities and will let users tap into the blade from a remote location through a network connection.