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Nvidia unveils virtual graphics server in push beyond PCsUS-NVIDIA-SERVERS:Nvidia unveils virtual graphics server in push beyond PCs
By Noel Randewich
SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Chipmaker Nvidia on Tuesday unveiled a server product that allows multiple individuals to virtually connect through low-end PCs to work on graphics-intensive tasks like image processing, Nvidia's latest move to diversity as its traditional PC market loses ground to tablets.
Nvidia has been looking for new markets for its graphics chip expertise, including enterprise computing, mobile devices and hand-held game devices.
Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said the new product, called the GRID Virtual Computing Appliance, would give workers at small- and medium-sized companies access to sophisticated graphics computing power without providing each employee with a top-tier PC.
"It's as if you have your own virtual high-end PC under your desk," Huang said during a presentation at an industry event in San Jose, California.
The product is made up of a server rack filled with Intel Xeon central processors, memory chips and several of Nvidia's high-end graphics processors. Prices will start at $24,000.
Nvidia is partnering with enterprise technology companies like Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell to sell a more sophisticated virtual graphics product for larger companies.
Nvidia has met some success with its Tegra mobile chips in tablets, but the company, best-known for its high-end PC graphics chips used by gamers, faces stiff competition from Qualcomm.
In January, Nvidia said it was launching a cloud server and software product called the Nvidia Grid, designed to remotely handle graphics computations for video games instead of on consoles like the Xbox in game-players' living rooms.
Nvidia also plans in the second quarter to start shipping a new hand-held gaming device with its upcoming Tegra 4 processor and a built-in screen. The device, referred to as Project Shield, runs Android games currently found on smartphones and tablets and can also stream video games from PCs.
(Reporting By Noel Randewich; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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