Fujitsu Develops Technology for Using Large-Screen Virtual Desktops on Existing Network Infrastructure

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of technology that allows for virtual desktops with larger screens, without upgrading existing network infrastructure.

Virtual desktops are being introduced to the factory floor as part of a change of work styles for development and production operations. Demands for larger screens in order to improve the operability of computer support for designing and analyzing increasingly complex products through computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) are rising, and there is a need for more efficient transmission technologies for sending those bigger screen images over the network.

Fujitsu Laboratories has now applied the high-quality video coding technology cultivated by Fujitsu to virtual desktop screen compression, and has developed technology that maintains image quality while cutting network bandwidth requirements roughly in half. This technology makes it possible to transmit roughly double the pixel count over existing network infrastructure, allowing for bigger, more detailed virtual desktops, and a more functional work environment.

Background

Virtual desktop technology runs the user’s applications on a virtual server in a cloud environment and transfers desktop images to thin clients or other terminal devices. This helps keep ICT equipment costs down, maintains data security, and allows for a change in work styles. This technology is used primarily for office work, and more recently it has also started to be applied in development and production operations where products are designed and analysis applications such as CAD and CAE* are utilized.

Technological Issues

As products get more complicated, there are increasing demands to enlarge desktops in order to display product images in their entirety with visible details. With a virtual desktop, bigger desktops mean more network bandwidth is used when sending desktop images. In order to increase virtual desktop sizes without incurring the higher cost of enhancing network infrastructure, virtual desktop images need to be transmitted more efficiently.

About the Technology

Fujitsu has reduced the volume of transmitted virtual desktop data while maintaining high image quality without increasing network bandwidth.

The technology has the following key features:

1. Optimization technology for high-quality compression and to reduce processing load for virtual-desktop screens

Using high-quality video coding technology(1) developed by Fujitsu for transmitting high-resolution images inexpensively, the company developed optimization technology that compresses data while maintaining the high quality suited to the characteristics of virtual desktop screens, and that reduces processing load in response to image content.

Unlike broadcast images shot with a camera, a virtual desktop screen, with its extremely sharp lines drawn with CAD, CAE or other applications, has the characteristic of completely still-image backgrounds or other spaces. The technology maintains linear sharpness by optimized encoding mode selection, including block size and intra prediction mode, and largely obviates the processing load for still-image regions by optimized motion vector searches*.

2. Technology for sharing reference images between still-image coding and video coding

Typically, static areas and moving areas within an image to be transmitted would be flagged separately, and appropriate compression schemes would be applied to each to maximize the overall compression of the data to send. This approach, however, results in increasing the volume of data when static and moving images frequently switch. To solve this problem, Fujitsu developed a function that shares encoded images for reference between still-image coding and video coding*. This has the effect of reducing data volumes needed for switching, even when regions of the image to send frequently switch between still image and video, as is the case with screens where CAD or CAE software is being manipulated.

Results

This technology had the effect of cutting network bandwidth roughly in half while maintaining image quality*, making it possible to transmit a virtual desktop image with double the size (pixel count) while using the same network bandwidth. This enables larger virtual desktops without additional network infrastructure, for a more functional design environment.

Future Plans

This technology is due to be included in FTCP Remote Desktop(2), an engineering cloud, to be released in May 2015.

Fujitsu plans to continue introducing new video-coding technologies and developing technologies that will improve the performance of virtual desktops in manufacturing environments and elsewhere.

[1] High-quality video coding technology: For work developing three technologies including “High-quality encoding and low-power consumption process circuit technology corresponding to H.264”, Fujitsu received the Ichimura Industrial Award.

[2] FTCP Remote Desktop, engineering cloud: Fujitsu’s new cloud-based solution supporting a new approach to manufacturing using high-speed thin clients. See the May 15, 2012, press release “Fujitsu Develops High-Speed Thin Client Technology for 10-Fold Improvement in Responsiveness” at http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2012/0515-05.html.

*For the press release, with complete images, please see http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2015/0427-01.html.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.

About Fujitsu Ltd

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 162,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.8 trillion yen (US$46 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.

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