$20 chip turns any TV into a multimedia PC

Virtualisation specialist Ncomputing says it has developed a $20 system on chip which can easily turn any device into a virtual multimedia PC.

The Californian company has announced the launch of its Numo family of SoCs wich could be used to add computer functionality to TV sets as well as thin client virtual desktop applications for businesses.

Numo chips can be used with the company's own virtualisation software vSpace to support Windows, Linux and Android operating systems with full wireless support, Internet access and cloud-based services.

Consumer devices powered by Numo will include smart TV's, cable and satellite set-top boxes, media players and ebooks. Numo lets each of these devices, optionally operating with Android 2.1 as the resident Operating System, access the web while also functioning as if they were rich multimedia-enabled Windows or Linux PCs.

"The world of computing has changed forever. Devices powered by Numo now deliver a full PC experience and enable a complete redefinition of clients and the associated costs," said Gabriele Sartori, SVP ASIC Business Unit. "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."

Prototypes of Numo-based Network Monitors built by LG were shown at CES earlier this year where 31 users simultaneously accessed the processing power of a single sub-$1,000 standard PC running vSpace and Microsoft Windows Server.

Numo features a dual-core CPU designed by Brit chip shop ARM. It has embedded media processors supporting dynamic bandwidth management, multiple protocols and codecs including UXP and H.264; Windows-compliant graphics subsystem and a complete complement of device interfaces for graphics, serial, parallel, USB, SD, I2S, I2C and more for integration with enterprise and consumer devices. NComputing plans to support Microsoft's recently announced RemoteFX technology, when ot becomes available.

NComputing will announce additional partners this summer, including industry leading PC, monitor, and TV manufacturers.