Intel GN40 to support 1080p but not Blu-ray

March 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Intel has clarified that its upcoming GN40 chipset will support “typical broadband internet content” in 1080p HD – but not Blu-ray playback according to Fudzilla. An official statement from the company slightly clarifies the positioning of the chipset: “GN40 is designed to do 1080p HD playback for typical broadband internet content; it is not designed to enable full Blu-ray capability where the bitrates and demands of multi-layer content are significantly higher than that of internet HD content.” This comes despite claims from Intel that it would be offering “full Hi-Def video decode with HW acceleration with the off-roadmap Mobile Intel GN40 Express Chipset.”

While the GN40 was always going to handle the relatively lightweight 720p HD format, no-one was quite sure whether full-HD 1080p would be on the cards. In our view, the lack of 1080p playback is not too much of a big deal. After all can anyone really tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on a 10-inch screen? This is even more apparent given that no netbooks released so far have a resolution close to 1920 x 1080. In our eyes, this would only be of use to a HDMI-equipped netbook which would allow the connection to an external display. For some this news may come as a disappointment and gives Nvidia’s Ion platform a chance to steal the limelight.