Ion 2 graphics chip to debut next quarter

Alleged anti-competitive tactics or not, Nvidia still aims to complement next-generation Atom processors with its graphics chips. Fudzilla now writes that Nvidia discussed the Ion 2's release schedule openly in a conference call yesterday, saying the launch will take place next quarter.

We can expect to see Ion 2 demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, Fudzilla adds, but Nvidia "went on the record" saying the launch won't take place there. Reportedly, requests from major partners like Asus, HP, Lenovo, and MSI, who are "happily enjoying the good sales of the original ION platform," prompted Nvidia to postpone the release from late 2009 to Q1 2010.

Fudzilla also discusses specifications, quoting anonymous sources as saying the Ion 2 may have 32 or more stream processors—at least double the quantity present in the original Ion (or GeForce 9400M). The Taiwanese rumor mill hinted last week that Ion 2 will also look more like a discrete GPU than the original Ion, which is an all-in-one chipset. That makes sense, since next-gen Atom processors (code-named Pineview) will have memory controllers and integrated graphics already embedded in the CPU die.

The same Taiwanese report said Nvidia had landed an order for Ion 2 graphics processors from Acer, too. As we pointed out at the time, Acer became the world's second-biggest PC vendor in the third quarter. Last time we checked, the firm had the lion's share of the netbook market.

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