Blades cut a dash in dual monitors

ClearCube Technology, a company adapting space-saving blade server architecture for use with desktop PCs, is coming out with multi-monitor desktops, one of those design trends that just might finally take off.

The Austin, Texas-based PC designer will announce Monday that the latest version of its computers will allow people to run two independent monitors simultaneously. PC makers have long viewed dual-monitor capability as a lucrative opportunity. Many Wall Street firms, ClearCube's initial target market, already buy dual-monitor systems so that brokers can more readily track data.

Until recently, however, dual-monitors have been impractical for the broader market. Flat-panel monitors cost too much, and few people have enough desk space for two standard CRT monitors. Dell marketed dual-monitor systems geared toward day traders in May 2000.

Flat panels, though, have been dropping in price and gaining in popularity. And, while shortages may crop up in 2002, most expect flat-panel sales to continue to grow.

ClearCube specializes in desktops built around the blade architecture concept. With blades, manufacturers try to reduce the size of computers by using notebook hard drives, eliminating cases and figuring out ways that different computers can use common cables. (ClearCube itself doesn't use notebook drives, however.) These minimalist computers, which often look like circuit boards, are then squeezed into a rack. In the end, blades save valuable office real estate by cramming more computing power into a smaller space.

Although most companies are using the architecture on servers to economize on computer-room space, ClearCube is trying to free up desk space. The company says it can fit 112 functional PCs into a standard rack, which currently holds 42 servers.

News source: ZDNet

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