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.

Tags ncomputingthin clientstelevision

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service




Pretty useless technology as it's already all there for us. There is no reason to manufacture special chips to do what any laptop, thin client or PC can do natively with a LCD or Plasma. If this is for regular tvs that can be hooked up, then we go back to running apps in 640x480.



I don't understand the first comment.

Plasma/LCD TVs currently are not capable of running remote desktop sessions (so it's not "already there") except with a >$100 device (or a $500 laptop, as you write). This chip is probably just a generic dual-core ARM design with video/media acceleration, but comes with software to handle RemoteFX, so manufacturers have a free tick box feature. The chip would just replace the TV's current CPU/video decode hardware.

It's just a generational jump in the end.



This is amazing... and I'm not referring to the technology which like the first commenter wrote - Exists for quite some time.

The cost is the amazing part... for 20$ a piece (which is less than arduino!!) you can actually network anything to your main server / power desktop.

Alternatively, one can replace quite a lot of real computers with a remote desktop in a home/soho/enterprise for users with basic needs (Word/Email/Internet/Etc...) - child computer, secretary and even ceo's/management which basically need very little computing power.



Imagine a satellite office staffed with customer service agents, each with an nComputing workstation (zero-client), connected to the Web through a simple router, via broadband, using for data input. You wouldn't need a computer in the office- Windows, Linux or otherwise - no need for desktop support, no network administration, etc.

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