NVIDIA and VMware, two companies with serious cloud muscle, have announced a partnership to take virtual desktop on Chromebooks to the next level. Currently in a "preview" stage, this new workstation-class virtual desktop tech leverages NVIDIA's GRID vGPU technology in conjunction with VMware Blast Performance to offer high-performance computing from a Chromebook.
With this new technology, Chromebook users inside a company can enjoy the simplicity and battery life of a Chromebook while also accessing graphically-intense applications like Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD and Microsoft Office. NVIDIA's Tegra K1-powered Chromebooks will be the first models able to take advantage of the technology, according to the company.
It all works through a combination of serious computing power in a data center — via the proprietary NVIDIA and VMware tech — and special firmware that is installed on the Chromebook itself. By putting all of the "heavy lifting" on an external server and letting the Chromebook handle a small portion of the computation, it provides immense flexibility for deploying inexpensive machines to do heavy duty work.
VMware is offering up an early access program for customers who wish to check out this new virtual desktop solution. It will be available for those registered users starting in Q4 2014.