NVIDIA wants to radically boost the performance of Intel Atom-powered netbooks. They plan on combining their GeForce 9400M chipset (graphics included) with Intel’s Atom CPU to create a new platform – Atom + GeForce 9400M. It’ll be called the NVIDIA Ion platform.
The result will be very similar to the chipset you see in the latest Apple Macbooks, with the CPU being the major change.
NVIDIA is claiming that it will deliver up to 5x faster graphics performance and 10x faster video performance than typical Atom-based netbooks running on Intel’s 945/950 chipset. Battery life is supposed to be on par with current netbooks as well.
Unfortunately it’ll be sometime around the middle of 2009 before we see netbooks based on this platform. That could mean a formal introduction of Atom + GeForce 9400M netbooks at Computex 2009 which is going to have a large netbook presence. As far as price, they are looking at “within $50” of current netbook pricing. Such a machine would make for a great Apple netbook, given how closely it would resemble the current MacBook platform (minus the CPU differences).