Nvidia Ion – Play Call of Duty on Your Netbook

nvidia_netbook_ionIf you opt for a netbook you do so with the knowledge that it will crumble when faced with Crysis, Left4Dead and the likes.

Well, Nvidia plans to introduce “chip technology” that could allow low-cost netbooks run those lovely high-def games and media.

The Ion platform, announced on Thursday, effectively combines Nvidia’s GeForce 9400 graphics processing unit (GPU) with Intel’s Atom chipset. According to Nvidia, this combination will provide “up to ten times the graphics performance” of other graphics chipsets currently used with Atom in small, low-cost PCs.

The GeForce 9400 has 16 processing cores and is more than suited for graphics-intensive apps such as Adobe’s Photoshop CS4.

It’s already chugging under the hood of Apple’s latest MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

“Until now, a high-definition, affordable PC was an oxymoron,” said Drew Henry, general manager of Nvidia’s media communications processor business unit, in Thursday’s statement. “The Ion platform pairs the GeForce 9400 with a truly great Intel Atom CPU and lets consumers surf the Internet, play top games, edit photos and watch videos — all in high definition.”

Nvidia said that the new Ion platform will be designed to support the full Windows Vista user interface, however, and the upcoming Windows 7.  That news may be exciting to some of you I guess……….

In addition, it will be capable of running “full-spec 1,080 [pixels]” high-definition video and games as graphically intensive as Call of Duty 4.

According to Nvidia, “the GeForce 9400 GPU does all of this in about half of the space of today’s Atom CPU-based solutions, with minimal effect on battery life”.

The Ion platform will also let netbook users experience full Blu-ray playback on the smallest PCs and laptops, according to Alice Chang, chief executive of optical-drive maker CyberLink, who was quoted in Nvidia’s statement.

A spokesperson for Nvidia told ZDNet UK yesterday that the company expects manufacturers to offer netbooks using Ion sometime towards the end of the first half of 2009.

Portable gaming a-go-go! FTW! 🙂