Drew Henry, Nvidia's General Manager of MCP products, has said that Intel will allow partners to build netbooks based on Nvidia's Ion platform.
He said that there are still some details to work out, mainly relating to how much Intel will sell the Atom processor on its own for, but it looks like the platform has been given the green light.
Ion is Nvidia's take on the netbook market and combines a full-featured GeForce 9400M GPU core with Intel's Atom processor. It enables netbooks to play back high-definition video at bit rates up to 40Mbit/sec and harness the power of the increasing number of CUDA applications coming to market.
Henry expects Intel to work out a deal with partners, whereby they will pay the same for the Atom processor on its own as it would for the full Menlow kit and just not ship the chipset with the CPU so that they can use the GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chipset instead.
When asked how much Henry expects Ion-based netbooks to cost, he said they would be around US$50 to US$100 more than the current models on the market. At first, that may seem like a lot, but when you factor in the additional functionality afforded by the 9400M graphics core, it looks like it could be a good deal.
Nvidia expects its partners to start delivering Ion-based netbooks in the second half of the year, while small form factor desktop machines will arrive in Q2. We'll have some more on the platform tomorrow.
Looking forward to seeing what the various manufacturers can do with Ion? Let us know in the forums