updated 09:10 am EDT, Fri October 9, 2009
Ion 2 to run twice as fast, support CULV
NVIDIA's Ion 2 chipset is still due to ship before the end of year and could provide a significant boost not just to netbooks but to notebooks using Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors as well, an update from the company has shown. In addition to supporting the timeframe, an executive heading chipset development has reportedly confirmed rumors that the next-generation Ion will support processors other than the Atom, including the Celeron, Core 2 and Pentium processors that make up CULV as well as VIA's competing Nano design.
Only Nehalem-era processors like Core i3, i5 and i7 would be excluded due to the ongoing dispute with Intel over the extent of NVIDIA's chipset license, which allegedly doesn't cover processors with integrated memory controllers.
Past leaks have suggested Ion 2 will also be much faster than the existing design and have twice as many shader (effects) cores at 32 versus 16 for the present-day version. It's also possible that Ion 2 will be built on a 40 nanometer process and run with less power or in a smaller footprint as a result.
NVIDIA wouldn't name customers or describe specific models. Ion has so far been found primarily in netbooks from Acer, HP, Lenovo and Samsung, but companies like Apple and Dell have also regularly used similar integrated chipsets like the GeForce 9400M in their notebooks. The extension of Ion 2 to CULV would open the door to customers that would normally have used the 9400M chipset instead.