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Senior Project - thinC


Distributed Computing Model for Network-Enabled Devices

Senior Project: 2000-2001
Sunjit Bir, Todd Bloemendaal, Michael Graf, Arthur Messal and Alex Renger

National Semiconductor is one of the world's leading suppliers of high technology integrated circuits. National focuses primarily on three major market segments: Home, Wireless, and Enterprise electronics. National chips are at the heart of such systems as local and wide area networks, telephones, cellular phones, pagers, TVs, DVDs, set-top boxes, medical equipment, desktop, portable/thin-client computers, and thousands of other types of electronic devices. National is using its analog expertise as a leading developer of products for Information Appliances -- the fast growing category of electronics that access the Internet without a computer. The thin-client is a key Information Appliance for National.

In current implementations of a thin-client network, the thin-client is similar to dumb terminals used in the mainframe days. All application logic for this network is performed on the server. With the advent of smaller, cheaper, and faster microprocessors, thin-clients have a significant amount of computing capability that goes unused. Not only is processing potential wasted, but network bandwidth is inefficiently used as well. The bandwidth is used for transferring computation results (graphics, etc.) generated on the server and passed to the thin-clients.

This project was intended to explicitly demonstrate a method that increases the efficiency of a thin-client network by designing and utilizing a particular software methodology, the Traffic Controller method, to solve these problems, transferring some of the burden from the server to the capable thin-client. With careful consideration, distributing a task or tasks between the thin-clients and the server could effectively minimize both the CPU load on the server and the amount of consumed bandwidth.

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Department of Computer Science
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Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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