NVIDIA unveils virtualized GPU for graphics rendering in the cloud

NVIDIA (opens in new tab) has launched VGX, a new platform that enables users to deliver a virtualized desktop with the graphics and GPU computing performance of a PC or workstation to any connected device.

The announcement was made at the GPU Technology Conference last week in San Jose.

With the new platform, users can access a remotely based PC (or series of workstations simultaneously) from any device—thin client, laptop, tablet or smart phone—regardless of its operating system. The company said response time is similar to a traditional PC on a local network.

The platform’s manageability options and ultra-low latency remote display capabilities extends to those using 3D design and simulation tools, which had previously been too intensive for a virtualized desktop.

Integrating the VGX platform into the a network also enables IT departments to address the complex challenges of “BYOD”—employees bringing their own computing device to work. It delivers a remote desktop to these devices, providing users the same access they have on their desktop terminal.

“NVIDIA VGX represents a new era in desktop virtualization,” said Jeff Brown, general manager of professional solutions at NVIDIA. “It delivers an experience nearly indistinguishable from a full desktop while substantially lowering the cost of a virtualized PC.”

The company said the VGX platform is based on three key technological breakthroughs:

• NVIDIA VGX Boards, which are configured with four GPUs and 16 GB of memory, and fits into the industry-standard PCI Express interface in servers.

• NVIDIA VGX GPU Hypervisor, a software layer that integrates into commercial hypervisors, such as the Citrix XenServer, enabling virtualization of the GPU.

• NVIDIA User Selectable Machines (USMs), a manageability option that allows enterprises to configure the graphics capabilities delivered to individual users in the network, based on their demands.

The NVIDIA VGX platform enables up to 100 users to be served from a single server powered by one VGX board, dramatically improving user density on a single server compared with traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. It sharply reduces such issues as latency, sluggish interaction and limited application support, all of which are associated with traditional VDI solutions.