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NVIDIA notebook boss discusses the new Ion platform

by Scott Bicheno on 19 December 2008, 18:31


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The best of both worlds?

Possibly NVIDIA's most significant product launch of this year was the GeForce 9400M IGP for notebooks.

The highly publicised adoption of this component into all new Apple MacBooks was a very positive endorsement and we wondered at the time if this launch marked a turning of the corner for NVIDIA after a tough year.

Then, earlier this week, NVIDIA announced it had adapted the 9400M to work with Intel's Atom processor, which is currently almost ubiquitous in the fast-growing "netbook" mini-notebook form factor, in a new platform it named Ion.

In his preview of the Ion platform, editor Tarinder Sandhu concluding that it will be really, really interesting to see how systems based on the Ion platform compare to those built around AMD's imminent Yukon mini-notebook platform, and we had to agree.

So we spoke to Rene Haas, the GM of notebook products for NVIDIA, pictured below at the 9400M launch, to find out more about what we can expect from Ion. "Notebooks are starting to get some traction so we've taken the 9400M - essentially a full-powered GPU - and married it to the Atom processor," he said.

 "The Atom is a fine processor, but in the way it was being delivered it was quite limited. With a good GPU you get the best of both worlds: the balanced PC that we've been promoting for some time now."