HMI technologies for all applications in hazardous areas

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What is a Thin Client?

A thin client (also called lean or slim client) is a computer or computer program that relies heavily on other computers or servers to perform its computing tasks.

A thin client application requires less hardware and computing performance than traditional PCs. Compared to full-sized PC systems, a thin client is a simple user input/output device, using the computing power of a networked server to perform the data processing, management and storage tasks. The most common type of modern thin clients is a computer terminal that only provides a graphical user interface (GUI) – or, more recently, in some cases, a Web browser– to the user.


Most thin clients use Web browsers and/or remote desktop software or display protocols for communicating with the terminal server, such as X Window system, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Citrix XenApp ICA. In recent years, new virtualization technologies have become more and more popular in thin client applications, such as Hyper-V, Citrix XenDesktop, and VMware View, providing a highly personalized working environment and centralized data management.

The user input is sent to the server or virtual desktop for processing, and the thin client displays the results/output the server returns. The latest desktop virtualization or terminal server solutions not only support hardware such as printers connected to the terminal server, but also provide optimized solutions for streaming audio and video files.

Thin clients typically run operating systems such as Linux, Windows CE, Windows Embedded Standard (Win32), or Windows Embedded 7; write filters protect the systems from user manipulations or virus attacks, etc. Some manufacturers also offer centralized system customization to install customized drivers, desktop backgrounds, etc.

Compared to traditional PCs, thin clients offer greater security, and a very low total cost of ownership (TCO), i.e. reduced maintenance, administrative, and electricity costs.

All R. STAHL HMI hazardous area THIN CLIENTS come pre-installed with our REMOTE HMI FIRMWARE, for improved thin client system security and enhanced usability. Click on REMOTE HMI FIRMWARE to learn about its advantages.

Using thin clients in VIRTUAL ENVIROMENTS provides many benefits. For more information on VIRTUALIZATION, please click here.

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