Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative has selected Matrox Extio F1400 Remote Graphics Units (RGU) to distance the control room workstations from its operator dispatching center. The Extio F1400 RGU separates up to four monitors and other user interface peripherals from the host computer by up to 250m (820 ft) of fiber-optic cable.
Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO), a generation and transmission rural electric cooperative that supplies power to members in Western Iowa, required a graphics extension technology that would address their interference problems. Although the Keyboard, Video, and Mouse (KVM) extenders were able to distance the workstations from the dispatching work area, these Cat-5 cables were subject to induced magnetic fields and interference -- from a variety of sources -- leading to KVM switch lock-ups and system instability.
With a single non-conductive, multimode fiber-optic cable, the Extio F1400 eliminated all interference issues while offering enhanced multiple monitor graphics for control operators managing power flow. An additional benefit of Extio over the legacy KVM solutions was that there were now USB ports to support keyboard, mouse, PC audio, and other workstation devices at the operator location.