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Nvidia outs dual and quad-GPU VGX graphics card for rendering desktops

Manages to cool four Kepler GPUs without a fan
Wed Oct 17 2012, 21:11
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CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has announced its dual-GPU VGX K2 GPU to power the rendering of virtual desktops in the cloud.

Nvidia's Kepler architecture has been put to use in the GPGPU market for many months now and the firm is preparing the dual-precision Tesla K20 part to supplement the Tesla K10 part that it revealed at the International Supercomputing show earlier this year. Now the company has announced a dual-GPU VGX K2 graphics card that is part of its VGX technology to render desktops in the cloud and send them remotely as pre-rendered video streams.

Nvidia said its VGX Hypervisor will allow virtual desktops to be treated as if they are virtual machines, streaming rendered desktops from the VGX cards over the network to client devices. The firm said devices could range from desktops and laptops down to tablets and smartphones and the technology is similar to cloud rendering services such as Gakai and Onlive.

Nvidia's VGX K2 is one of two cards that are intended to render multiple desktops on a single GPU and sports some of the firm's most cutting edge hardware on an add-in board. The firm touted 3,072 CUDA cores, 8GB of GDDR5 memory and a thermal design power (TDP) of 225W. It claims to be able to render 64 single display virtual desktops, which makes the 225W TDP somewhat more palatable.

Nvidia also announced the VGX K1, which features four low-end Kepler GPUs, though the firm wouldn't reveal model numbers. Nvidia claimed the VGX K1's 768 CUDA cores coupled to 16GB of GDDR5 memory will be good for up to 100 single display virtual desktops with an impressive TDP of 150W, equating to 1.5W per user at full load.

With Nvidia citing support for demanding applications such as Adobe Creative Suite and claiming it can also drive more mundane remote desktop use cases such as Microsoft Office and call centre applications, the company is looking to support a market that it claims consists of more than 600 million users.

Nvidia said VGX K2 cards support Citrix's HDX 3D Pro in Xen Desktop 5.6 FP1 and Xen Server 6 while both the VGX K1 and VGX K2 boards support Microsoft's Remote FX technology. The Green Goblin said both graphics cards will be available through OEMs such as Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and Supermicro early in 2013. µ


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