Nvidia Ion 2 Promises 10x Better Graphics for Netbooks

Graphics developer Nvidia has officially introduced its Ion 2 graphics platform, aimed at bring more graphic and media power to systems built on Intel’s latest “Pine Trail” Atom CPUs with their own integrated graphics controllers. Nvidia’s Ion 2 solution claims to offer 10 times the graphics performance as Intel’s default graphics, while Nvidia Optimus technology enables users to seamless switch between integrated and discrete graphics, meaning they can use the more battery-friendly Intel integrated graphics when they’re doing something simple like handling email or word processing, then tap the more-powerful Nvidia GPU for games and video.

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Like the previous Ion systems, the Ion 2 platform is aimed at netbooks, nettops, and other inexpensive, lightweight computer systems powered by Intel Atom processors. The Ion 2 platform is based on Nvidia’s GeForce G210 graphics chip, and will be available in two versions; a 16-core edition for desktops and an eight-core, less power-consumptive version for netbooks. Nvidia says the platform can handle smooth playback of HD video and will be able to support popular PC games; in practice, that ought to mean Ion 2-powered systems have HDMI output, can handle Blu-ray and high-definition Flash playback, handle mainstream PC games, and cope easily with Windows 7’s Aero Glass interface.

Nvidia says over 30 products featuring its new Ion technology are due to launch by summer, including netbooks and nettops from Acer, Lenovo, and Asus; channel partners for the technology include Foxconn, Zotac, Shuttle, Pegatron, AOpen, and AsRock.

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