Nvidia is launching its GeForce 9400M, the “Ion” graphics chipset for Netbooks and small desktop designs today.
The goal this time is to replace the Intel silicon that supports the Atom processor, says C/Net. Currently, Netbooks from companies such as Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell use the Atom and accompanying Intel silicon called a chipset.
“Nvidia does have superior graphics, and it’s a double annoyance for Intel,” said Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, a firm that tracks the graphics chip market.
“First, because Nvidia is in competition with (Intel), and second, because it will allow Netbook makers to build larger-screen Netbooks, which will encroach into the thin-and-light segment, and potentially cannibalize Intel’s bigger mobile CPUs,” he said.
The one-chip design is more space-efficient than Intel’s two-piece chipset and the GeForce 9400M silicon is said to offer more robust support for Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows 7 operating system.
Small, inexpensive platforms, using Nvidia’s Ion, are expected to support 3D gaming and output 1080p video. “At most,” says nVidia product manager David Ragones, “it would tack a $50 premium onto the price.”