Icron KVM Piggybacks On LAN


In September the CRN Test Center told you about Icron Technologies' ExtremeLink 3500, one of just a handful of KVM switches that support DVI video at resolutions up to 1680 x 1050 x 24-bit.

What made that device stand out was its ability to extend as far as 500 meters not only USB keyboard and mice connections, but stereo audio and a wide variety of USB 2.0 devices, including printers and Web cams, regardless of the host operating system.

Not content with that, Icron on Tuesday unveiled the ExtremeLink 4500, which extends the KVM using a LAN as the conduit, eliminating the need for dedicated cabling.

Like the 3500, the 4500 also can run over a dedicated Cat-5 line, but is limited to a distance of 100 meters. Applications for such remote connections exist in data centers, health care, digital signage, manufacturing and throughout industry.

Saying the solution is an industry first, the British Columbia-based OEM also announced that the ExtremeLink 4500 is currently being offered under CrystalView brand name from Houston electronics distributor Rose Electronics.

The ability to extend KVM and USB over a dedicated Cat 5 cable was impressive enough. But over a LAN? Testers were truly dazzled when they connected the 4500 sender and receiver to their test LAN and it worked right out of the box, permitting input from the remote keyboard and mouse to be displayed on the remote monitor, and with almost no detectable delay. And best of all, Icron's 3500 and 4500 high-definition KVMs require no drivers, which means they're platform independent. We like that a lot.

The 4500 passed along the signals of everything we plugged in, including a Web cam, a printer and a USB 2.0 hub. We couldn't confirm Icron's claim that the ExpressLink 4500 supports the 480 MB/s transfer rate of the USB 2.0 specification; we'll revisit that sometime in the future.

The handsome, all-metal enclosures come in sets of two; one five-volt, three-watt sender and one 24-volt, 19-watt receiver with AC/DC adapters, and cables for USB and DVI ports plus a manual. As on the 3500, ports and LEDS (for status, link, video and USB activity) are neatly arranged. An optional 1U rack-mount kit can accommodate two devices.

Pricing for the OEM-only 4500 Icron starts at $998, and is available now. The CRN Test Center recommends the Icron ExpressLink 4500 for any solution provider looking to save time and energy by implementing remote control of servers, kiosks, digital signs, factory machines or medical devices, even if those devices output high resolution video.