Nvidia is already hard at work on a second-generation version of its ION platform for netbooks with a need for high-end graphics. Word of a second generation ION follows news of Intel’s next-generation Atom line.
Nvidia’s ION has a bit of a love-hate relationship with Intel. The ION itself is powered, at its core, by an Intel Atom processor, so the whole point for Nvidia is that it has to stay nice and tight with Intel when it comes to compatibility and getting its hands on processors. At the same time, the company is competing directly with Intel in the netbook space for graphics with its GMA line.
Still, none of this stops Nvidia from running some fairly aggressive anti-Intel campaigns, including its ongoing series of cartoon jabs at Intel for its apparently dubious situation with the FTC. It’s hard to imagine that position being anything but untenable, but Nvidia seems content to walk that line.
According to Gizmodo, the upcoming revision to the ION will see compatibility with Intel’s next-generation Atom processor, codenamed “Pinetrail.” Still, apparently unwilling to miss an opportunity to put the boot in, the folks at Nvidia have draw up a comparison chart between the two, showing off the fact that ION-based “premium netbooks” will run Windows 7 Home Premium, and boast 1080p playback from Blu-Ray, which is always hard to argue with.
They’re also touting the new ION’s ability to play “mainstream games” though for now we haven’t any real indication of just what constitutes “mainstream” so we imagine we’ll have to wait and see on that one. Still, Intel has been trying to commission people to develop games specifically for its netbook line-up, so we’re equally curious to see what emerges on that front.