According to virtualization experts Citrix, new advances in chip technology are poised to create a situation in which virtual desktops can be deployed at lower cost than traditional physical desktops. The key development responsible for this leap forward is a chip designed by Citrix. Known as the HDX, it incorporated an arrangement that allows for a "system on a chip”. Texas instruments will produce the HDX chips, which will be used in a wide variety of commercial devices.
The HDX chips will allow for devices that need no client. Such devices are expected to cost no more than $100 according to the chief marketing officer of Citrix, Wes Easson. Wasson added that zero-client devices made possible by the HDX chip could be as small as a pack of cigarettes, making it possible to install them, for example, on moving carts in industrial or healthcare settings so that workers could bring their virtual desktops with them as they went about duties that require employee presence in a variety of locations. Such a technology has the potential to revolutionize some industries, including that of healthcare.
Virtual desktops already offer significant cost advantages over physical ones, but most of these cost savings are realized over time. With this new technology, Citrix may have made it possible for the initial costs of virtualization to be competitive with the costs to establish traditional computers and networks. The HDX chip is expected to become available during the next calendar year. Businesses can use this lead-time to discuss IT solutions using HDX with their IT services provider.