Cloud client computing company Wyse Technology has made a new addition to its Z class thin client family, introduced last year, with a product that can support up to six external displays running high-load multimedia applications in a virtual desktop environment.

Like other Wyse Z90 family thin clients, the Z90DE7 runs on dual-core AMD G-series processors and is based on Windows Embedded Standard 7. It also includes an expandable hardware platform and a PCI express (PCIe) expansion slot, enabling a greater number of peripheral devices – such as additional displays, smart card readers or legacy print/scanning devices – to be added.

The Z90DE7 is aimed at healthcare, financial services, and secure government installations, according to Wyse. These are industries where device integration is particularly important – for example, multiple monitors for financial professionals or smart card integration for healthcare workers.

Wyse is demonstrating the Z90DE7 at the Cisco Live Europe event in London this week with a deployment of four monitors running off a single thin client. Despite its high-performance capabilities, the Wyse Z90DE7 is extremely energy-efficient, consuming just 15 Watts of power as opposed to a PC that would be using over 100 Watts.

The company's director of marketing David Angwin told Techworld that Cisco's Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) provides the dense computing and high performance network infrastructure needed to support this heavy duty environment, enabling the Z90DE7 to run multiple high-definition videos simultaneously.

“The nice thing with the Cisco partnership is their attention around video, because our customers are demanding more and more video in virtualised environments,” said Angwin. “If you go back a few years and talk about running video in a virtualised environment people would say you're crazy, whereas now people are doing it every day.”

The Z class is also Wyse's platform for collaboration, so users can run Cisco's Quad, Webex and Jabber applications on the Z90DE7. Angwin said that these applications often perform better in a virtualised environment, because the hardware in the data centre is being used more efficiently, but organisations also need a significant amount of processing power on the desktop in order to be able to connect an HD video camera and deal with unified communications.

Six is currently the maximum number of monitors that can run on a single client, due to limitations in video card technology. Angwin explained that video cards generate a lot of heat, so Wyse has been working the video card manufacturers to bring much lower heat output solutions to market.

“With a PC you have a fan in it, because the PC itself is generating a lot of heat, whereas a Z class uses just 10-15 watts, so our desktop devices don't have any fans in them,” he said. “We therefore need low-heat video cards to put into them.”

One company that is already planning to add Wyse Z90DE7 thin clients to its existing Z class deployment is investment bank Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux S.A.

“The devices already have all the performance, security and manageability we need. With these new enhancements, however, integration with our smart card solution will be that much simpler,” said the company's production manager Maurice Cohen in a statement.