USB Extension Technology and ExtremeUSB®
USB’s five meter distance limitation may cause installation issues for applications where the host computer needs to be located away from the user (e.g. secured locations to prevent tampering, factory floors where environmental conditions may be unsafe, and medical imaging applications with exposure risks or privacy concerns). To overcome this distance limitation, Icron developed a series of patented technologies called ExtremeUSB®. Available in a variety of form factors to suit your OEM configurations, ExtremeUSB is the most robust and reliable USB extension technology available and is backed by 20 years of development with thousands of test case permutations.
ExtremeUSB extends the range of USB over multiple types of media such as CATx, fiber, LAN, wireless, coax, and powerline. All Icron products include the ExtremeUSB suite of features: transparent USB extension, true plug and play (no software drivers required) and works with all major operating systems such as Windows®, macOS™ and Linux® and Chrome OS™.
A USB extender system is designed to overcome a USB 2.0 cable distance limitation of five meters, and typically consists of a local extender unit connected to a host such as a computer, and a remote extender unit that connects to a USB peripheral such as a keyboard, mouse, flash drive or camera. These two extender points are joined by transmission link cable such as CAT 5e/6/7 or fiber, to provide a Point-to-Point Connection up to 10 kilometers regardless of operating system and without the need for software drivers.
This baseline extension functionality is enabled through ExtremeUSB technology and is available for your OEM brand through the RG23xx platform.
RG23xx Platform Advanced Features
USB over LAN
Company IT administrators are increasingly looking for USB devices to be managed over a LAN (Local Area Network). USB over LAN provides the same distance extension functionality as the above Point-to-Point Connection configuration, but instead of laying down separate link cable, the existing in-building LAN cabling can be leveraged. Installers simply connect the local extender to a LAN port in one room and the remote extender to a LAN port in another room, and the two extenders will find each other over the LAN to form a link connection. Both Point-to-Point Connection and LAN modes are supported without the need for configuration set-up.
Device Class Filtering
Device Class Filtering options are configured at the time of manufacture to block unwanted USB device types or alternatively, permit only certain USB device types. For example, consider a sensitive operation where classified files are not permitted for copy or it is imperative that no third party applications be loaded. The solution would be to block mass storage devices, thus rendering USB sticks and external hard drives useless to prevent read/write activity. Configuration options include any of the following: block (or permit) mass storage devices, keyboard/mouse, and isochronous traffic. Device Class Filtering will function whether using LAN or Point-to-Point Connection modes.
SwitchableUSB™ is a protocol developed by Icron to dynamically switch local and remote USB extender pairings over a LAN. Imagine the extenders being manually unplugged and re-plugged in swapped pairing configurations, but effortlessly via initiated command over the LAN. Your OEM control solution (perhaps a separate console or GUI software application for the host computer) would initiate the SwitchableUSB command configurations. The most common application would be video matrices: USB 2.0 signals can now move in conjunction with video signals, thus upgrading your OEM video matrix switch into a fully compatible USB 2.0 KVM network switch.
In computing applications Hot Keys (sometimes referred to as Short Cuts) initiate a specific command action by pressing multiple keys in a set sequence. This functionality is available on the RG2310A and RG2304GE-LAN by using the SwitchableUSB™ protocol to define your own set of UDP message-based Hot Keys for customers using your OEM control application. An example might be a sequence such as “Ctrl + Ctrl + 2” to switch a connection from Computer #1 to Computer #2. Contact your Icron Account Manager or Sales Engineer to discuss this feature.
Configured at the time of manufacture vendor lock to prevent interoperability with other vendors leveraging the RG2310A/2304GE-LAN’s capabilities. This feature ensures a cohesive environment for your OEM brand by “locking out the competition” thus providing a seamless user experience for your customers and avoiding potential troubleshooting issues.
Simultaneous User Interaction
Simultaneous User Interaction enables up to seven different users in four different locations to collaboratively view and make changes to a document or image at the same time. Take a medical example to illustrate this concept: imagine an MRI patient undergoing a brain scan where several medical professionals in seven different locations want to review and discuss the results in real time interactively. The image scan is extended over LAN (requires separate video extender interface) to all four touch screen monitors allowing each user to scribe their inputs simultaneously. This functionality can also be applied in post production editing, training centers, military planning, conference rooms, and more!
Mass Storage Acceleration
When USB bulk data is transferred over long distances, throughput rates drop due to turn-around time delays. Mass Storage Acceleration is a feature of the RG23xx platform that provides a significant boost to bulk data transmissions when compared to the previous platform. While throughput results will vary depending on the host controller, operating system, and network congestion, typical results show a 39% improvement on the up-link and 112% improvement on the down-link, for an overall clocking performance improvement of 67% or better. Mass Storage Acceleration will work whether the extenders are connected via LAN or Point-to-Point.
For more information about any of the point-to-point extension solutions or advanced features, please contact an Icron OEM Account Executive, [email protected] or call +1 604 638 3920.