H-P launching Nvidia Grid server; more positive press for Shield

H-P (HPQ) is set to begin selling blade servers supporting Nvidia's (NVDA) Grid server GPU platforms, which enables remote access to GPU resources for apps such as PC virtualization (software vendors Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft are on board) and cloud gaming.

H-P says servers with GPU-packed Grid boards meant to enable PC virtualization will arrive later this year at prices starting below $9K.

Nvidia mentioned on its FQ2 CC its OEM partners - H-P, Dell, Cisco, and IBM - have finished certifying Grid servers, and that ~150 trials are ongoing. In addition to selling boards to OEMs, Nvidia plans to sell its own Grid appliance, and has deals to sell Grid GPUs to data center owners building their own hardware (some major Web/cloud companies could be among them).

Though Grid sales are just getting underway, Nvidia is coming off a quarter where it saw 128% Y/Y growth for its Tesla server GPU business (focused on HPC applications).

AMD is looking to compete against Grid with its new Sky server graphics card line.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch has provided more positive media coverage (previous) for Nvidia's Shield handheld console. "No matter what Nvidia’s purpose was in putting together the Shield, I’m glad they’ve done so ... As someone who owns both, believe me when I say that if you’re a gaming fan, you’ll get more use out of Nvidia’s quirky hybrid hardware than a slate running Android."

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