Upcoming Apple Event? Plus Possible Netbook/iPhone News

A couple of smaller Apple/Mac-related sites are reporting that there will be an upcoming event held by Apple to introduce new products. They have received tips that it would be towards the end of March – Maybe March 24th. Chances are it’s going to be … Read more

NVIDIA to Intel on the Ion: Where’s Your HD Now?

Recently, there’s been some heated rhetoric from Intel over the upcoming NVIDIA Ion platform. Intel made a lot of arguments (and the NetbookNews.it covers the Intel slides) against using the NVIDIA Ion platform, ranging from the age of the chipset to costs and performance. NVIDIA … Read more

Intel and NVIDIA Ion – It’s Looking Ugly

NVIDIA Fudzilla is discussing a document released by Intel called “Nvidia Ion Competition Position Guide”, and it’s definitely not a good sign of things to come. Intel goes after the Ion platform.

As Fudzilla points out, some of the arguments don’t make much sense – Intel mentions that Ion is not a new chipset, and is instead derived from the MCP79M/NCP7A chipset family.

Let’s stop and think about this for a moment. Intel’s 945GSE/GM chipset is nearly 4 years old. At this time last year, we were still a few months away from Intel Atoms being widely available, and were still using older Intel Celerons (that probably predated the 945 chipset). From the beginning, these devices were based on older technologies in order to keep the costs down. As shocking as it may seem to some, the whole point of these devices was not to include the latest and greatest technologies – most of those would severely impact the battery life on these devices, given that the batteries are smaller.

Intel also argues that Ion will consume more power and add to the cost (or Bill of Material). So what? The Ion has been positioned from the beginning as being for people wanting better performance than what’s currently available and what will be available later this year (Intel’s GN40 chipset). I include myself in that group – I would gladly give up a little battery life for something that can spit out smooth HD video and that has a much better graphics chipset than anything we currently have. That does fall well outside of the range of what netbooks were originally meant for, but there shouldn’t be a problem with having offerings that are $50-$100 more, unless you are worried about it really eating into conventional low-end laptops powered by normal laptop CPUs (which I can see Intel being concerned about that).

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NVIDIA Ion – Certified for Vista, Runs Windows 7

There was a joint press conference held today in Taipei, Taiwan between Microsoft and NVIDIA, showcasing the new NVIDIA Ion platform for netbooks/nettops and other ultraportable or low-power devices. It was hosted by NVIDIA’s general managers for their MCP and notebook business units, and involved Microsoft’s Senior Director for OEMs and Senior Manager for the Windows client business group. It was announced that the Ion platform (NVIDIA’s GeForce 9400M graphics chipset and Intel’s Atom CPU) has been officially certified by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows Vista Premium.

NVIDIA also showed off the Ion running Microsoft Windows 7. Existing chipsets (namely the Intel 945G) do not fully support DirectX 10 and other graphics features, while the Ion platform/chipset is able to handle them very well. In fact, the demonstration involved running a full 1080p move in the background while NVIDIA was giving the Powerpoint demonstration. They also described being able to encode/transcode video in the background while watching HD video. They also demonstrated “Left 4 Dead” running in 720p video (the game is very graphics-intensive).

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