Ncomputing's chip brings Windows applications to TVs

The Numo chip includes a dual-core Arm CPU

Ncomputing on Friday announced a chip that could turn devices like TVs or set-top boxes into virtual desktops through which users can run Windows applications or access the Internet.

The Numo chip contains a dual-core processor based on an Arm design that will allow devices to run Windows multimedia applications when connected to a host machine like a desktop or server, Ncomputing said. The setup uses the company's Vspace software on host machines to set up remote devices as virtual desktops.

Devices built on Numo can also access the Internet wirelessly without the need for a host machine. The chip can also be used in devices like netbooks or thin clients, Ncomputing said, which can run Google's Linux-based Android 2.1 OS.

The company has already partnered with consumer electronics company LG Electronics to sell its chips. LG earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show demonstrated prototypes of Numo-based Network Monitors in which 31 users were running multimedia applications by accessing a PC running Microsoft Windows Server.

The company will announce more partners for the chip, including PC, monitor, and TV manufacturers, later this year. The first virtual desktops with Numo chips will become available in the second quarter, the company said.

Ncomputing already sells virtual desktops to enterprises, and this is the first time the company is offering a chip, which will be available for US$20.

"The $20 chip plus under $10 cost in parts can turn any device into a no-compromise multimedia PC running applications locally and across the cloud," said Gabriele Sartori, senior vice president at Ncomputing, in a statement.

NComputing said the chip will work with Microsoft's RemoteFX technology, which was announced on Thursday and is expected to become available later this year. RemoteFX will deliver rich content like video, audio and 3D graphics to virtual desktops.

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