Applications in the engineering curriculum are characterized by the need for high end graphics capabilities. CAD, numerical simulations and data visualization such as MRI and electron microscopy are just a few of examples.
To provide remote access to resources with high end CPU, memory and graphics capabilities, the College of Engineering has been piloting a Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) technology based on Citrix, which provides a virtual Windows environment that can partition GPU resources in addition to memory, disk and CPU.
In the video below, you will see two systems with a large Solidworks model of a jet engine. On the left is a high end lab workstation and on the right is a Citrix session being accessed from an iPad Pro, similar to the devices being deployed in the Digital Flagship Initiative. You can see in both models that material reflectivity, light shading and reflections are modeled to equal quality with no loss in fidelity. Movement and rotation are smooth. The Citrix interface is enhanced with a Bluetooth mouse that allows control through a more traditional input device, or the iPad touch controls can be used.
Access can be from Windows, Mac, Linux or tablets.