Fujitsu has begun shipping what it is touting as its most energy efficient thin client yet, the Futro S100.

According to Fujitsu, a single S100 thin client and monitor combination consumes a maximum of 29 watts under full load, some 66 percent less than the consumption of even a green desktop PC and monitor. It arrived at this figure using the maximum power consumption of its greenest PC model, the ESPRIMO E7935 E-Star 5.0, plus monitor, which is 86 watts under full load.

Fujitsu tends to be best known for its low energy desktop PCs and its IT services operation, but it has been shipping thin clients now for ten years or so, and told Techworld that during 2008, it shipped over 75,000 thin client units in Europe. It tends to sell thin clients as part of a Office solution with services, rather than as a standalone product.

It feels that the combination of pressures on the IT department to reduce costs, as well as the increasing focus on power consumption figures (or green IT), and new technologies such as cloud computing, are playing a major part in the increasing takeup of thin clients in corporate infrastructures.

Indeed, analyst house Gartner said in June that despite a shipment decline of thin clients in the second half of 2008, it is predicting a gradual uptake in 2010 and beyond. Indeed, in the long term, Gartner expects the market to grow an average of 51 percent from 2009 through 2013.

"We have found that companies now care about Greenpeace rankings," said Juergen Graf, head of business development for Fujitsu's for thin client range. "People suddenly do care a bit more about the environment, but while green IT is a strategic approach, this is not the real side of the thin client story." He feels that one of the major drivers behind the uptake of thin client are the new software development techniques, which now allow for traditional PC applications to be delivered on a much smaller device.

"Kids nowadays are using applications such as Google Apps, whereas people like us are more used to applications residing on our machines, but the coming generation don't care about that," Graf told Techworld. He feels that the advent of the cloud and the fact that most data is now residing in the data centre, will be a gain for thin clients going forward.

"Customers are not interested in the latest CPU stats of their equipment, or whether it has a Blue Ray disc drive, they interested in their applications and their data," he said.

According to Graf, the Futro S100 is entirely fanless (and hence quiet) and comes with a Via Eden 500MHz CPU or a Via VX800, 1GB of RAM, and has two USB ports as well as a VGA port and a fast Ethernet connection. It runs either embedded Linux (eLux) or Windows CE 6.0.

Graf says that the unit itself consumes just 11 watts maximum, or 10 watts in idle mode (and just 0.96 watts in standby mode). It also features a "backpack solution" that allows the desktop unit be mounted behind a monitor.

There was no word on UK pricing at the time of going to press.

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