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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