Besides the highly anticipated Fermi architecture, NVIDIA has also built hype around its next-generation ION graphics processor, which will supposedly give netbooks the ability to handle HD content. Now that CeBIT 2010 is finally underway, NVIDIA has finally decided to make the new ION official. The new product is a discrete graphics processing unit with dedicated memory that attaches to an Intel Atom Pine Trail CPU via PCI Express.
The new ION will boost netbook graphical performance by no less than ten times, while also allowing up to ten hours of battery life. This means that new portables will be able to handle video streaming from sites such as YouTube. Not only that, but such devices, NVIDIA says, will even be capable of running PC games, such as World of Warcraft or Spore, and accelerate applications such as Muvee Reveal, used for making home movies, and Badaboom, for media conversion. Such capabilities are out of reach for Pine Trail-based mobile PCs.
Netbooks with the new graphics solution will also make use of the other technology recently revealed by the GPU maker, namely the Optimus, which will intelligently switch between the low-power integrated graphics and the discrete GPU, thus optimizing power consumption. The end-result, the company says, is a netbook that can last for up to ten hours on a singe charge.
“ASUS recognizes that not all consumers are satisfied with the basic netbook experience. Our Eee PC with ION graphics raised the bar for netbook performance, and now it’s getting even better with Optimus,” S.Y. Shian, vice president and general manager of Notebook Business Unit, System Business Group, ASUS Corp., said. “EeePC netbooks with ION graphics are perfect for users who want great media capabilities and all-day battery life.”
“CyberLink applications are optimized to run faster on ION netbooks. This makes ION netbooks with CyberLink software incredibly useful multimedia devices,” Alice H. Chang, CEO of Cyberlink, stated. “You’ll enjoy faster video file conversion with MediaShow Espresso and smooth video playback with PowerDVD on ION netbooks.” More than 30 devices from companies such as ASUS, Zotac, AsRock, AOpen, Pegatron and Shuttle, among others, are expected to make their appearance by this summer.