Nvidia moves into servers

Nvidia has taken the wraps off a server product that allows low-end computers to perform graphics-intensive tasks.

The move is being seen as a push into new markets as its traditional PC market loses steam.

Chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang said the product, called the GRID Virtual Computing Appliance, would give SMEs access to powered up graphics for tasks like image processing without the need for top-tier PCs.

Huang claims it is the same as giving all employees a virtual high-end PC under your desk.

The system is based on a server rack filled with Intel Xeons, memory chips and several of Nvidia’s high-end GPUs.

It will be priced starting at $24,900, plus $2,400 a year for a licence and it is not clear how many people that will serve.

Nvidia wants HP, IBM and Dell to sell the product to larger companies.

Nvidia also announced upcoming Tegra mobile processors, including one codenamed Logan expected to be launched in 2014. Another, codenamed Parker, will be 10 times as powerful as current chips when it is released in 2015.

According to Reuters , Huang admitted that Microsoft’s launch of its Windows RT operating system last year fell short of his expectations.

The Surface brand tablet, which runs Windows RT and uses Nvidia’s Tegra processors, has not captured customers’ imaginations, he said.

Windows RT was disappointing because Nvidia expected it to have sold more than it did.

Nvidia also plans in the second quarter to start shipping a hand-held gaming device with its upcoming Tegra 4 processor and a built-in screen. Dubbed Project Shield, the hand-held will run Android games currently found on smartphones and tablets and can also stream video games from PCs.