NVIDIA's Ion Platform: Bringing High Def to Netbooksby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 17, 2008 9:00 AM EST
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NVIDIA expects designs based on the Ion platform to debut in the first half of 2009, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t see something in the first quarter. Not only can Ion make netbooks a lot better, but the design is small enough that it can be used elsewhere.
NVIDIA has been arguing that the GPU is more important than the CPU and with Ion is the chance to prove its case. Intel’s slowest CPU paired with a more expensive graphics solution than what Intel would rather you buy with Atom. My opinion has always been that you need a balanced approach, but the Ion platform should open up some interesting usage models: netbooks that can transcode and play HD video?
It's an interesting move, one that simply makes sense. If the prices of SSDs would drop to where they could be an affordable alternative to a regular hard disk you could actually build a very quick and quite portable PC out of Ion. One thing is for sure: NVIDIA just raised the bar for the minimum level of performance you can expect from PCs in 2009, regardless of price point.
Between NVIDIA’s most recent coup pushing Intel's chipsets out of Apple’s new notebook lineup, constant PR offensive against Larrabee and now the Ion platform that capitalizes on an Intel CPU at the expense of an Intel chipset, I wonder how many times you can poke a resting lion before it gets up.