The idea of streaming high-end content to consoles or mobile products has been a topic topic for the last few years. From the OnLive gaming service to the iPhone, multiple companies are scrambling to toss their hat into the ring. Nvidia demo'd its offsite rendering system (dubbed Reality Server) several years ago, and has now partnered with VMWare to support 3D rendering and high-end GPU capabilities when connecting to a system remotely via wireless network.
This new initiative could be seen as a Project Reality-type system on a small scale. Nvidia isn't claiming to deliver photo-realistic rendering this time around, but the ability to access a high-end workstation and view content in real-time from a tablet or other client gives designers more freedom to work remotely or make changes to a design on the fly.
"NVIDIA Quadro is the established market leader in professional 3D graphics because of our relentless passion for providing groundbreaking innovations to our customers that deliver the ultimate experience in terms of visual quality, reliability and performance," said Jeff Brown, vice president and general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. "Together with VMWare, we're bringing that same Quadro commitment to virtualized desktops. Professionals who desire the highest quality virtualized graphics can look forward to getting this solution from us soon."
"Working together, VMware and NVIDIA are pushing the traditional boundaries of desktop virtualization by bringing workstation-class 3D Graphics to hosted virtual desktops and universal application access," said Vittorio Viarengo, vice president, End-User Computing, VMware. "Once only needed by power-users, 3D graphics are fast becoming a requirement amongst all end-users as they use Office 2010, and even the Windows 7 Aero interface. Our partnership with NVIDIA will enable 3D capabilities for power-users as well as a growing number of use cases from any endpoint device, even tablets and thin clients."
VMWare software will run on Android tablets—Nvidia only mentions their own Tegra-powered devices, but the software doesn't apparently require an Nvidia GPU client-side to function. There's no word on exactly which Quadro cards are suppported; Nvidia demonstrated the technology using a high-end Quadro 6000, but doesn't state that cards must be from this family. Presumably, any Quadro from a recent product family will do the trick, provided it supports Nvidia's Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform.