Graphics group makes its first serious attempt to thrive in a netbook era

Nvidia releases ?10x faster? netbook GPU

As the PC industry continues to adapt to the shock success story of netbooks, graphics group Nvidia has announced it is mass-producing a new custom graphics chip for the popular devices.

Known as Nvidia Ion, the GPU is designed to work in compact, energy-efficient systems and with the kind of low-power CPUs that almost always appear in netbooks.

“By processing data-intensive applications in parallel with the CPU, Ion-based PCs offer many of the same capabilities as full-sized notebooks including full support for Windows 7,” the company said in a written statement.

The company claimed that the Ion GPU provides “up to 10x faster graphics performance than typical netbooks”. The group based the claim on tests using PC benchmark suite 3DMark06, comparing the Ion with an Intel 945 GPU.

The most recent device to use Ion will be Samsung’s new N510 range of netbooks, which the manufacturer boasts can play 1080P HD video.

Nvidia says that there will be around 50 ION-based products released this year, from motherboards to other netbooks.

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