The next generation version of Nvidia's Ion platform is likely to feature a significant performance boost according to industry sources.
As revealed over on Fudzilla
, the as-yet unnamed second generation Ion platform will not only feature a die shrink but also see the integrated graphics chip enjoying double the shaders of its predecessor.
The original Ion, aimed at portable devices like notebooks and netbooks that needed acceptable 3D acceleration without drawing too much power, used a modified GeForce 9400M processor with 16 shaders. Industry sources are claiming that the graphics chip to be used in the Ion 2 will feature 32 or more – giving the system a significant increase in 3D rendering performance.
Thanks to a die shrink, the new platform is expected to run at around the same power draw as the original Ion – and isn't thought to require any more advanced cooling. In theory, the Ion 2 will represent a drop-in solution for OEMs that want to give their portables a bit more poke.
It's not just about the gaming, either: with Microsoft hoping to get netbook distributors hooked on the joys of Windows 7, the need for a more powerful graphics chip in the ultra-small devices is likely to become pressing. Additionally, anyone wanting to mess around with packages capable of offloading processing onto the GPU via Nvidia's CUDA will likely want to get their hands on an Ion 2 for the potential speed boost offered.
Nvidia has, for its part, not confirmed any of the rumours currently circulating regarding the successor to the Ion – but the industry expects products based around Ion 2 to be available before the end of the year.
Tempted by a netbook with a bit more poke in the graphics department, or is Ion a losing concept even with double the shaders? Share your thoughts over in the forums