Nvidia’s nifty pico-ITX motherboard platform, Ion, is set to get a refresh within the next two months. The first generation ion was a promising platform for netbooks and nettops, featuring the Geforce 9400M chipset, which is about 10 times faster than the pathetic 945 graphics that normally ship with Intel chipsets for Atom. The big advantage is it does make HD playback possible.

We can expect Ion 2 to support Pinetrail CPUs and provide a faster IGP, though current details are obscure.

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Nvidia’s nifty pico-ITX motherboard platform, Ion, is set to get a
refresh within the next two months. The first generation ion was a
promising platform for netbooks and nettops, featuring the Geforce 9400M
chipset, which is about 10 times faster than the pathetic 945 graphics
that normally ship with Intel chipsets for Atom. The big advantage is it does make HD playback possible.

We can expect Ion 2 to support Pinetrail CPUs and provide a faster IGP,
though current details are obscure.

When first announced, many doubted if Ion would ever go into production, as Intel would object. However, later Intel confirmed that they sell Atom CPUs separately. Ion 2 will only extend the performance gap, and we can expect more netbooks/nettops featuring Ion 2 motherboards.

Ion is the last part of Nvidia’s chipset business. Once Atom moves away from the ancient FSB, Nvidia might be forced to stop producing Intel chipsets.

A VIA Nano based Ion platform was also announced for Q4 ’09.

Meanwhile, AMD is expected to launch their Congo platform by November. It will feature several advantages over as we have discussed before. It remains to be seen how the dual-core Conesus CPU + M780G combination performs versus single-core Pinetrail CPU + 9400M.

Things are finally heating up in the netbook arena, after months of the same identical, and rather boring, Atom platforms.

Reference: Fudzilla