by Anton Shilov
01/29/2009 | 06:48 AM
The chief of Nvidia Corp. said in an interview that plenty of Nvidia Ion platform-based systems may be expected as original equipment manufacturers as original equipment makers are excited about it.
The launch of Nvidia’s Ion platform for Intel Atom central processing units (CPUs) was not supported either by an actual product launch or an open commitment to use Nvidia’s GeForce 9-series core-logic sets inside Atom-based netbooks or nettops. However, a month after the announcement chief executive officer of the company claims that all the system makers are designing Ion-based products.
“The buzz around Ion is really high, almost every single OEM in the world is exploring it. The experience is so dramatic compared to an Atom platform without it. And the incremental investment is so low that every OEM is doing a design around it. It’s a disruptive platform in lots of different ways. We’re excited about it, the market is super excited, and the buzz is really high,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer and president of Nvidia Corp., in an interview with LaptopMag web-site.
Nvidia GeForce 9400M is a single-chip core-logic with DirectX 10-compatible GeForce 9-class graphics processor inside that also supports dual-channel DDR3 memory, PCI Express 2.0 x16 and x4 links, Serial ATA, USB, Gigabit Ethernet and so on. As all modern Nvidia GeForce integrated graphics processors, the novelty features hardware-accelerated high-definition video decoding and post-processing as well as supports various outputs, such as dual-link DVI-I, D-Sub, DisplayPort or HDMI.
Nvidia hopes that considerably better features and potentially higher performance of its core-logic will attract attention to its Ion platform. But while Nvidia is right about tangibly better feature-set and performance, power consumption of the GeForce 9400M (18W) is more than two times higher compared to Intel’s own platform (Intel 945GSE + ICH7-M consume 6W + 1.5W in maximum case scenario). Moreover, Nvidia’s GeForce 9400M requires expensive DDR3, whereas Intel’s platforms for Atom processors rely on affordable DDR2.
Nevertheless, Nvidia’s chief executive officer does not take expensive memory as well as higher power consumption, which means that netbook makers should install higher capacity battery to maintain battery life normal levels, into account when talking about prices for Ion-based netbooks.
“It is hard to guesstimate [how much would Ion add to the cost of a netbook], but our GPUs have a price range from $30 to $40. It replaces two other chips, the north bridge and south bridge, and will certainly be less than that,” Mr. Huang is reported to have said.