NVIDIA Ion 2 now official; Acer, ASUS and Lenovo at the ready

NVIDIA's Ion 2 chipset -- or "the next generation of Ion" as the company clunkily calls it -- hasn't exactly been a secret, but NVIDIA is finally signing on the dotted line and giving up the deets on the new Intel Atom-compatible graphics chipset. It hasn't been a secret that Ion 2 uses NVIDIA's new Optimus GPU switching tech to automatically toggle between the Pineview chipset's integrated GMA 3150 and a discrete NVIDIA Ion GPU, but we can now confirm that both the 16-core Ion chip for desktops and eight-core unit for netbooks are based on the GeForce G210 GPU. That means Ion 2 should support HDMI out, 1080p Blu-ray and Flash playback, Windows 7 Home Premium, and mainstream gaming out of the box. (Take that, Broadcom Crystal HD.) And unlike Ion numero uno, NVIDIA's also promising up to 10 hours of battery life on netbooks -- thanks to Optimus the system knows when to shut off the discrete GPU when not in use to save power.

How about some actual systems? While the Acer Aspire 532G netbook already popped up at MWC, NVIDIA is promising 30 more Ion netbooks, nettops and all-in-ones before the summer. To kick it off, NVIDIA confirmed that ASUS will update its Eee PC 1201PN netbook, Eee Top 2010P, and Eee Box with the new graphics solution, while Lenovo's C200 and Acer's Aspire Revo will also get in on the action. We got to see the Revo strut some Blu-ray playback, so hit the break for some video footage and the full PR.

Show full PR text

New NVIDIA ION Netbooks Deliver 10x Faster Graphics And Up To 10 Hours of Battery Life Thanks to Acclaimed NVIDIA Optimus Technology

Acer, ASUS and Lenovo Among Leading Vendors to Introduce Next-generation ION PCs

CEBIT-HANOVER, Germany-March 2, 2010-NVIDIA introduced the Next-generation NVIDIA® ION™ graphics processor today, which will supercharge netbooks with 10 times the graphics performance of standard netbooks1 and enable up to 10 hours of battery life2 thanks to NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology.

The new ION graphics processing unit (GPU) vastly outperforms basic netbook graphics by delivering rich HD media in games, movies, and Internet-based video. Unlike netbooks with Intel integrated graphics, ION netbooks have the power to play amazing HD video smoothly from sites like YouTube and support popular PC games like World of Warcraft.

The new ION netbooks also feature NVIDIA's highly acclaimed Optimus technology, which automatically selects the best graphics processor for running any given application – seamlessly routing the workload to either an NVIDIA discrete GPU or Intel integrated graphics. The result is great battery life and superior performance when you need it.

More than 30 products featuring the new ION GPU are expected to launch by this summer including netbooks, small form factor desktops, "barebones" systems, motherboards, and discrete add-in cards. The Acer Aspire One 532G (10-inch) and ASUS 1201PN (12-inch) are expected to be the first new ION netbooks to be introduced. New all-in-one PCs powered by next-generation ION will include the ASUS EeeTop 2010PNT and Lenovo C200. Channel partners including AOpen, AsRock, Asus, Foxconn, Giada, J&W, Jetway, Pegatron, POV, Shuttle, and Zotac also plan to introduce new ION-based products soon.

Facts about Next-generation NVIDIA ION graphics: 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.

"Most netbooks have lousy performance, but ION changed all that. ION netbooks let you do all of the things people expect from a notebook. Now, with Optimus they give you super long battery life too. It's the best of both worlds."
- Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, one of the most influential technology experts in the world
"With Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support for GPU acceleration of video, consumers with NVIDIA ION netbooks can enjoy smooth, high definition video from sites like YouTube, Hulu and millions of other web sites. It's amazing to see flawless 1080p video streaming live from the web on ION PCs."
- David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business at Adobe
"CyberLink applications are optimized to run faster on ION netbooks. This makes ION netbooks with CyberLink software incredibly useful multimedia devices. You'll enjoy faster video file conversion with MediaShow Espresso and smooth video playback with PowerDVD on ION netbooks."
- Alice H. Chang, CEO of Cyberlink
"ION systems are a great way to enjoy Internet-based video from a PC. ION PCs with Boxee deliver flawless entertainment from a small, low-powered, and affordable PC."
- Avner Ronen, CEO, Boxee
"ASUS recognizes that not all consumers are satisfied with the basic netbook experience. Our Eee PC with ION graphics raised the bar for netbook performance, and now it's getting even better with Optimus. EeePC netbooks with ION graphics are perfect for users who want great media capabilities and all-day battery life."
- by S.Y. Shian, Vice President and General Manager of Notebook Business Unit, System Business Group , ASUS Corp
"If you want a netbook with the horsepower to play HD video and PC games, your only choice is ION. The new ION netbooks deliver an unbeatable combination of performance and battery life. We continue to raise the standard for what a netbook should be."
- Drew Henry, General Manager of GeForce and ION GPUs
1 Tested with 3D Mark 06 using a Next-generation NVIDIA ION GPU, Atom N450 CPU, and 1GB DDR2 memory versus Intel GMA 3150 graphics with an Atom N450 and 1GB DDR2 memory.
2 Based on MobileMark 2007 productivity mode with a 6-cell battery pack. Battery life varies by system, model, configuration, applications, power management settings, operating conditions, and utilized features.

Video of the Next-generation NVIDIA ION GPU
NVIDIA ION Channel on YouTube

Tags / Keywords:
Netbook, laptop computers, battery life, NVIDIA, ION, GPU, mobile graphics solutions, Optimus, gaming netbook, Atom, Pine Trail, nettop, all-in-one

NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) awakened the world to the power of computer graphics when it invented the graphics processing unit (GPU) in 1999. Since then, it has consistently set new standards in visual computing with breathtaking, interactive graphics available on devices ranging from portable media players to notebooks to workstations. NVIDIA's expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing which make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible. Fortune magazine has ranked NVIDIA #1 in innovation in the semiconductor industry for two years in a row. For more information, see