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Nvidia Announces New ION Chipset At Cebit 2010

Nvidia has pushed out the next version of its ION chipset which aims at the booming market of netbooks and, increasingly, nettops where many are left wanting for more as Intel's integrated graphics solutions simply aren't up to the job.

The green team reckons that the new ION which will still be called ION (rather than ION 2) and will apparently replace the old version outright, will boost eight CUDA cores for 10-inch netbook and a whopping 16-CUDA cores for 12-inch netbooks and desktops.

Apart from support for Microsoft's DirectX 10.1, the other worthy information is that it will support a frame buffer of up to 512MB DDR3 RAM which open the prospect of some cool Sideport-like functionality (i.e. memory stuck to it via PCI Express).

Interestingly, even Intel's latest N470 Atom processor doesn't support DDR3 yet, so Nvidia is making sure the new ION is kind of future proof.

The chipset will come with Nvidia's own Optimus technology which promises to switch on the ION GPU on demand, depending on the load and the tasks being performed. Doing so, Nvidia says, will allow netbooks to offer up to 10 hours worth of battery life while offering optimal performance.

Speaking of performance, the new ION will be up to 15 times faster than the GMA3150 (found in Pinetrail) or the 945GSE under 3D Mark 2006, a DirectX9, while the new ION is twice as fast as the old ION under the DX10-capable 3D Mark Vantage benchmark.

Our Comments

Asus and Acer have already announced that they will be shipping netbooks based on the new ION chipset with some interesting all in one models coming up soon from Asus and Lenovo, already. More than 30 other computers and netbooks will come with ION by the end of the year.

Related Links

Nvidia ION offers tenfold graphics boost (opens in new tab)


NVIDIA introduced next-gen ION netbook graphics processor (opens in new tab)


Next-gen Nvidia ION announced (opens in new tab)


NVIDIA's Next Generation ION Announced, Optimus + a 16-core Version (opens in new tab)


With 10-fold graphics improvement, Nvidia gains dozens of customers for second-generation Ion netbook graphics chip (opens in new tab)


Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.