LG To Pack Virtualization Technology into Monitors

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

South Korean electronics giant LG has announced it will produce a new series of SmartVine N-series LCD displays that integrate virtual desktop technology from NComputing, enabling up to 11 users to share the same computer. Designed mainly for emerging markets, education, and retail/commercial environments, the technology is designed to let organizations and business leverage the capabilities of their computing hardware and extend it further throughout an organization—saving not just money in up-front hardware costs, but yielding long-term savings in terms of reduced power consumption and e-waste.

“The NComputing-LG partnership will significantly cut the high cost of computing for businesses, schools and government,” said NComputing chairman and CEO Stephen Dukker, in a statement. “We are delighted to work with one of the largest and most respected electronics companies in the world to bring our computing solutions to everyone.”

Ducker was previously co-founder and CEO of low-cost PC maker eMachines, which was acquired by Gateway back in 2004.

The SmartVine N-series monitors will initially be available in 17- and 19-inch sizes; LG plans to ship a 16-inch version in some markets, and all sport VGA connectivity for flexibility. LG will embed the NComputing virtual desktop technology into the displays themselves; users just hook up a keyboard and mouse directly to the monitor, then connect the monitor to a remote PC host using Cat5 or Cat6 cable. A PC set up with NComputing’s PCI-based solution can handle up to five additional monitors; with two cards, the total number of simultaneous users on the PC hits eleven (five on each card, one local).

Obviously, the NComputing’s virtual desktop technology is not a great way to have an 11 person frag-fest with a performance-sucking, high frame-rate game. But for everyday applications (most of which barely tax the processors in modern PCs), the technology can be a great way to leverage hardware investments without springing for additional PCs.

The LG SmartVine N-series monitors will retail for under $200, will support Windows and Linux, and should start hitting marketing worldwide this month.