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Nvidia Claims Cloud GPU

Nvidia claims the platform “delivers an experience nearly indistinguishable from a full desktop"

Nvidia Tuesday unveiled a VGX platform - reportedly the result of five years of effort - that it called the world's first virtualized GPU meant to accelerate graphics from cloud computing centers.

IT departments are supposed to use it to deliver virtualized desktops with the graphics and GPU performance of office PCs or workstations to employees using any connected and BYOD devices regardless of operating system including thin clients, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

The dingus, an enterprise implementation of the company's new Kepler GPU, is also supposed to work with 3D design and simulation tools previously deemed too intensive for virtualized desktops.

Nvidia claims the platform "delivers an experience nearly indistinguishable from a full desktop while substantially lowering the cost of a virtualized PC."

It says its "ultra-fast streaming display capability eliminates lag, making a remote data center feel like it's just next door. And its extreme energy efficiency and processing density lowers data center costs."

It figures up to 100 users can be serviced from a server powered by a VGX board fitted with four GPUs and 16GB of memory.

A VGX GPU Hypervisor integrates into a commercial hypervisor, like Citrix' Xen, enabling access to the virtualized GPU resources.

The widgetry is due out later this year. Nvidia is currently having a problem getting a steady stream of any Keplers out of Taiwan Semiconductor.

Nvidia is reportedly working with VMware, Microsoft and Citrix as well as HP, Dell, Cisco and IBM on support.

Nvidia also has a gaming implementation of Kepler cloud technologies called GeForce Grid for, obviously, gaming-as-a-service providers that may eventually put console makers out of business and unclutter the living room.

Meanwhile, Nvidia teamed up with Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures (IV) to acquire about 500 patents and patents pending from IPWireless. They cover 3G, 4G and newfangled LTE (long-term evolution) and LTE Advanced technologies.

Terms weren't disclosed but apparently Nvidia got IV to front the money and then paid it a one-time fee for its share of the IP. IV also helped review the patents.

IV described the portfolio as "important inventions and standards-essential patents" and "strategic and relevant in a variety of technology areas." It said Nvidia got licensing rights to the patents it didn't flat-out acquire.

Nvidia said the patents will support its "rapidly expanding efforts in the mobile business" - a highly litigious field for those in or getting into tablets and smartphones - and move it away from PC GPUs.

Nvidia bought a wireless start-up called Icera last year that Dow Jones says is starting "to gain traction" with its first two smartphones.

IPWireless, which is going to be acquired by General Dynamics, retains perpetual, royalty-free access to the patents for continued product development.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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