Nvidia targets Netbooks
With Apple under its belt, Nvidia is taking target at Netbooks.
On Wed. , Nvidia is launching its GeForce 9400M “Ion” graphics chipset for Netbooks and little desktop designs.
And the Santa Clara, Calif, company is hoping for another coup like the one it staged at Apple, where Nvidia bumped Intel silicon out of the Apple MacBook due to underperforming graphics. The goal this time is to replace the Intel silicon that supports the Atom processor.
Now , Netbooks from corporations like Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell use the Atom and accompanying Intel silicon called a chipset. Nvidia has always stayed well before Intel on the graphics performance curve. “Nvidia does have superior graphics, and it is a double annoyance for Intel,” claimed Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, a firm that tracks the graphics chip market.
“First, because Nvidia is in competition with ( Intel ), and 2nd, because it’ll permit Netbook makers to build larger-screen Netbooks, that will encroach into the thin-and-light segment, and probably cannibalize Intel’s bigger mobile CPUs,” he claimed. Momentarily Nvidia wants to bring full-fledged Computer features to the Netbook. “What we would like to bring to the Atom-based platform is true visible computing,” David Ragones, product chief at Nvidia, declared in an interview last week.
“For example, high-definition video where Blu-ray ( Disc video ) processing now occurs on the GPU ( graphics processing unit ), not the CPU ( central processing unit ), where you get a much more smooth experience.”. ( Nvidia had originally intended to go into the Netbook market with Thru Technologies–an statement made in April–but it later dropped the concept. ).
“Some of the limitations Intel has established around Atom platforms actually 0 ( in ) on inadequacies the underlying chipset has–the ( Intel ) 945 chipset,” Ragones declared. “For example, you can’t pair a GPU with these platforms due to the limitations of PCI Express bandwidth,” he claimed. PCI, or Marginal Element Interconnect, is a data trail employed in all Computers today.
Netbooks today have a comparatively low-performance version of this technology.
Nvidia’s Ragones further said Netbooks are limited artificially to displays of ten or fewer diagonal inches. This sentiment echoes up to date statements from sophisticated Micro Devices, which is anticipated to pronounce its Yukon platform at the electronics Show in Jan . Yukon will probably target a new class of cheap ultraportable portables that have screen sizes larger than Intel-based Netbooks. Ragones says that its one-chip design is more space-efficient than Intel’s two-piece chipset. He further said the GeForce 9400M silicon would offer tougher support for Windows Vista and the impending Windows seven operating system. The price premium over the standard Netbook won’t be enormous, Nvidia claims. However, the corporation’s success with the Atom processor–which powers just about all Netbooks today–has put a bull’s-eye on it and the platform. As well as Nvidia and AMD, firms like Qualcomm and Freescale Semiconductor are now targeting the Netbook space. And, naturally, all are saying that they can outdo Intel. From the start, Intel has maintained the view that Netbooks are not notebooks and do not need the high-octane graphics found in top end laptops. Step up from this, and a Netbook is not a Netbook any more, but rather a cheap notebook, according to Intel statements during the past.
And cheap notebooks are plentiful–such as this Dell Inspiron listed at Best Buy for $499. According to Peddie, in competing against rivals in the Netbook space, “Intel’s weapon will be.