Nvidia announces next-gen ION graphics processor

Nvidia introduced the next-generation ION graphics processor today. Boasting ten times the performance of integrated graphics, the ION allows for full 1080p streaming video. New ION netbooks also utilize Nvidia Optimus technology. By switching between the Nvidia discrete GPU and Intel integrated graphics depending on workload, the user experiences increased battery life and performance.

According to Marketwire, more than 30 products are expected to launch by this summer. The ten inch Acer Aspire One 532G and twelve inch Asus 1201PN look to be the first ION netbooks to hit the market.

The press release goes on to list the following facts about the ION GPU:

  • It's a discrete GPU (graphics processing unit) with dedicated memory that attaches to an Intel Atom Pine Trail CPU via PCI Express.
  • It supports streaming HD video on sites like YouTube HD, and smooth gaming performance on titles like World of Warcraft and Spore.
  • ION netbooks feature NVIDIA Optimus technology, which automatically assigns processing chores to the NVIDIA ION GPU or integrated graphics.
  • Optimus powers down the GPU for basic tasks like web surfing, further extending battery life. When more graphics horsepower is needed for playing 3D games, running videos, or using GPU compute applications, Optimus automatically enables the ION GPU.
  • It will be available starting in April with the Acer Aspire One 532G netbook.
  • It accelerates a growing list of media-rich applications including Muvee Reveal for making home movies, Badaboom for media conversion, Total Media Theater and PowerDVD 9 for watching HD video or instantly upscaling standard definition video to near-HD quality.


  • Image courtesy of Nvidia

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19 Comments

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i might finally retire my latitude X1 for one of these netbooks....no netbook comes close to the old girl

saved me from buying a 1201N, now that I know the PN is just around the corner. I'll make my EEE 900 last a lil bit longer.

robyholmes said,
I got a Reevo hopefully turning up tomoz, can't wait!

What are you going to be running on it? I have Ubuntu 9.10 on mine and it runs great. Recently installed XBMC on a friends for her so that she can just use as a media centre on her TV

Not really. The netbook tech has been pretty much stagnant for some time now. Atom's haven't really jumped in performance and from what I've heard the Ion2 may not even be much of a jump over the original performance wise.

Big gain here will be Optimus will help with battery life considerably. That said, theres a huge need for more powerful machines as well as ones larger than 12". All that will happen is the division will blur between netbooks, ultra compacts and notebooks as companies pick and choose components and throw around names more liberally.

Edited by Smigit, Mar 3 2010, 2:28am :

still1 said,
seems like notebook will be gone soon...

why would it? i don't want to work all day on a 12 inch netbook with a cramped keyboard. Sure i could take another screen, keyboard and mouse with me. But then what's the point?

AbandonedTrolley said,
Am I missing something? Is this a newer ION processor or the same one that's been kicking about in the Aspire Revo since its release?

That's what I thought - the revos we've been selling at work use ION graphics and can do 1080p.

AbandonedTrolley said,
Am I missing something? Is this a newer ION processor or the same one that's been kicking about in the Aspire Revo since its release?

New buddy, Nvidia just announced the product today.