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The Next-Generation NVIDIA ION Tech Report
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The Next-Generation NVIDIA ION

After a tough year fighting against Intel's chipsets for the Atom platform, NVIDIA is launching a fresh assault with their Next-Generation NVIDIA ION platform. Thanks to the Intel Pine Trail's lacklustre graphics performance, the Next-Generation NVIDIA ION will have a better shot at wresting some market share away from Intel in the super-hot netbook segment.

This is important to NVIDIA as they estimate that about 40 million netbooks will be sold in 2010, and 50 million more in 2011. According to their research, 63% of consumers see netbooks as a very affordable mobile adjunct to their desktop PCs. Instead of buying a full-fledged notebook, they would prefer to buy netbooks which are not only more affordable in these tougher times, but also smaller and lighter.

To do this, NVIDIA is relying on the Next-Generation NVIDIA ION. That is the official name of their latest netbook platform. Not NVIDIA ION 2 or NVIDIA ION FX, but a rather mouthful "Next-Generation NVIDIA ION". NVIDIA decided on this nomenclature because they feel it's more retail-friendly - folks who buy netbooks are not tech-savvy and such descriptive names would resonate better, or so their theory goes.

Whether their new naming scheme works or not, the Next-Generation NVIDIA ION is not being marketed as a cheaper but better alternative to the new Intel Pine Trail platform. Rather, NVIDIA is marketing the ION as a premium product - offering significantly better performance and user-experience for a "small" premium in price.

Put it this way - Intel considers the netbook to be a limited-capability mobile platform, mainly used for web surfing and performing simple tasks. NVIDIA, on the other hand, intends for their ION-based netbooks to work like full-fledged notebooks.


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