updated 02:55 pm EST, Wed February 25, 2009
NVIDIA Ion 2 Leak
If accurate, a new leak has NVIDIA releasing an updated version of its Ion platform with support for more than just netbook processors. As part of a presentation obtained by Fudzilla that responds to Intel criticism of Ion, NVIDIA has acknowledged that it will launch a second-generation version that supports not only the Atom and VIA Nano but also regular Celeron, Pentium and Core 2 chips. The update would allow full-speed notebooks to use the smaller footprint.
The company sees Ion 2 shipping in the fall and partly positions the integrated graphics and system controller chip as an alternative to the upcoming Pineview generation of Atom processors, which will get integrated graphics and memory controllers. NVIDIA believes the new option "forces" netbook and nettop makers to use Intel's graphics despite relatively little improvement.
In defending Ion, the video hardware designer also refutes claims that Ion has "no advantages" over Intel graphics and higher power consumption, showing benchmarks which match the 10X graphics performance boost assertions and noting that a typical Atom-plus-Ion configuration only uses about a half-watt more of power versus the Intel reference version.
The first official customer for Ion is rumored to be Lenovo, with companies like Apple and veteran netbook producers also expressing interest.