updated 09:45 am EST, Wed December 24, 2008
Intel Blocks NVIDIA Ion
Intel is deliberately countering pressure to open up Atom pricing and let PC makers use NVIDIA's Ion platform, according to reports of Intel's stance. The American chipmaker has responded to NVIDIA's attempts to rally support among PC makers for Ion by sending a new notice insisting that it will only sell Atom chips bundled with Intel-designed chipsets, blocking NVIDIA or other competitors from offering their own solution.
When asked about the matter, Intel says it has "no plans" to approve the use of NVIDIA's MCP79, also known as the GeForce 9400M, with its ultra-mobile processors.
The move represents an unusual level of anti-competitiveness from Intel, which continues to let NVIDIA and others obtain its processors separately from mainboard chipsets. NVIDIA has argued that decoupling processors and chipsets is necessary so that it can improve on Intel's platform, which it believes is too limited in graphics and physically too large. Ion is capable of playing 1080p video on an Atom processor and takes up just one chip versus Intel's two.