Nvidia planning PCI-Express ION 2 solution?

December 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm

ION 2Despite the popularity of Nvidia’s ION chipset, it cannot be used on Intel’s new Pine Trail Atom platform. The move from a three-chip to two-chip processor platform means that Nvidia needs to revise its ION chip to be compatible with upcoming netbooks sporting Pineview CPUs.

Nvidia’s next-generation ION part (ION 2) is expected to launch in Q1 2010, although it’s still an unknown as to what form it will take. Intel’s new Atom platform does not offer HD video acceleration or Adobe flash acceleration with its GMA 3150 GPU and judging by the reviews seen today, won’t offer an improvement in performance over the current Atom platform.

The new Intel Pine Trail platform uses the DMI bus to connect to the Pineview processor and NM10 express chipset. However as Nvidia doesn’t have a license to create chipsets around the DMI bus, ION 2 is likely to be a discrete graphics part. This may come in the form of a PCI-E solution that could use the PCI Express lanes of the Intel NM10 chipset to interface with the Pine Trail platform. This would be a possibility as the NM10 has an integrated PCI-E controller.

ION 2 is already rumoured to be compatible with other processor manufacturers including VIA, therefore this PCI-E solution seems to make sense. There would still be questions around heat though. Judging from the rumours seen so far, Nvidia seems confident in being able to compete. We really hope that is the case, if not for any other reason to push Intel in offering better HD compatibility in future Atom chips.

Via Blogeee.


7 Responses to “Nvidia planning PCI-Express ION 2 solution?”

  1. jackbronsky said:
    December 21st, 2009 1:28 PM

    Does this mean that Ion graphics can be added to netbooks as an aftermarket upgrade?

  2. Defaultluser said:
    December 21st, 2009 3:54 PM

    I don’t think Nvidia will get many takers. That DDR 667 memory has plenty of bandwidth for a decent shared-memory accelerator chip, but Nvidia can’t get to it.

    The DMI bus is limited to 1GB/s on these new N-series chips, which is equal to PCIe 2.0 x2 – this means Nvidia’s Ion2 will require it’s own local ram to function, because the DMI interface will be stressed enough just passing shader programs and scene data.

    So, let’s say Nvidia adds a 64-bit local memory for ION2 (256 or 512MB local ram) – that’s THREE chips required (ION2 + 2 DRAM), and the cost goes up to add it to systems. That’s a tough cost to justify for a dirt-cheap platform like Ion.

    Intel has almost completely cut Nvidia out of the market, the sly devils.

  3. Me said:
    December 22nd, 2009 3:27 AM

    I really like the idea of video switch mode of asus ul30vt, on basic usage you can use crappy intel IGP to save battery and if you need more horsepower then just hit the button and boom you’re rdy to kick some ass on games.

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    January 6th, 2010 9:47 AM

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