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PCoIP Ultra Technical Series Part 2: PCoIP Ultra Client Capability

August 1, 2019
Ian Main

Ian is Teradici's Technical Marketing Principal. Ian has over 10 years of experience at Teradici, involved in performance benchmarking, architectural aspects of PCoIP design and customer requirements analysis, with a particular focus on the media and entertainment industry. Follow Ian on Twitter! https://twitter.com/PCoIP_Ian

This is the second post in a technical blog series by Ian Main: Teradici's Tehnical Marketing Principal. In the series, he'll go through the PCoIP Ultra protocol enhancements from a technical perspective, and answer common questions that have come up since the release of the enhancements. 

And now without further delay, over to Ian!

PCoIP UltraTM Technical Series Part 2: PCoIP Ultra Client Compatibility

In the first post of this technical series, I sketched out the PCoIP Agent architecture showing the PCoIP-AVX2 and NVENC protocol enhancements alongside our longstanding PCoIP-SSE4.2 encoder.  But, what client do you need to leverage the benefits of PCoIP Ultra?

 

Firstly, if you’re using PCoIP Zero Clients connected to Cloud Access Software, they will automatically negotiate PCoIP-SSE4.2 because the TERA2 silicon inside our zero clients does not have the capability of decoding either AVX2 or H.264 compression streams.  While mobile clients and many thin clients incorporate hardware H.264 decoders, PCoIP-NVENC release 19.08 is tailored for high quality visual workloads in media and entertainment and uses H.264 in 444 mode which is unsupported by mobile and thin clients - these will negotiate PCoIP-SSE4.2 too.  No action needed on your part though, this negotiation happens automatically under the hood. 

 

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If you’re using a modern PC or Mac client (e.g. 4th Gen Intel Core i3 or later), you can activate PCoIP-AVX2 via GPO settings.  A few modern thin clients also support AVX2, check the processor specs to confirm.  It’s important to note that high performance throughput (e.g. 4K/UHD at 30 fps) is only accomplished on modern processors with AVX2. For software-based H.264 444 decoding, high frame rates are realistically only achieved at display resolutions less than 2560x1600 using sufficiently powered CPUs.

 

We recommend a modern x86 processor such an 8th Gen Core i5 or newer, running at least 3.0 GHz and dual memory bank configuration.  This is a near term inconvenience though as we add more compression formats and processors with H.264/HEVC 444 mode decoder capabilities start to release. Once these occur, these requirements will relax and 4K/UHD performance will become broadly accessible.  

 

On the topic of performance, we’ll tackle what AVX2 does for PCoIP Agent throughput in the next post.

Learn more about PCoIP Ultra in this webinar:

 

Ian Main

Ian is Teradici's Technical Marketing Principal. Ian has over 10 years of experience at Teradici, involved in performance benchmarking, architectural aspects of PCoIP design and customer requirements analysis, with a particular focus on the media and entertainment industry. Follow Ian on Twitter! https://twitter.com/PCoIP_Ian