NVIDIA is currently working with the top ten PC manufacturers in order to bring their graphic chips to Netbooks for the first time, says an executive from the company. Further more, an important part of this push is getting their silicon working with Microsoft’s Windows 7 which is a Netbook friendly operating system compared to Vista. Nvidia would soon release Windows 7 beta drivers for Ion Netbook silicon which it will be handling over in the market. Additionally, Nvidia also demonstrated the applications running on windows 7 while also announcing that their Ion platform is also certified for Windows Vista.
The Ion chipset strengthens its base from GeForce 6400M graphics chipset of Nvidia which can easily handle graphics tasks in MacBook line of Apple. Their aim is to replace Intel silicon which supports the Atom process and also make the notebook perform much like a standard laptop. Currently the Netbooks form companies like Asus, Acer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard use Atom with a supplementary Intel chipset. Dan Vivoli the senior vice president of Nvidia said in an interview that there is no use in purchasing a notebook that cannot do what a PC can do.
In fact, Intel has taken a small step towards this direction. The company increased their ante by shipping a new chipset and Atom N280 processor on an Intel based Atom system for the first time which is capable of running 720p high definition videos. The graphics silicon which can handle this 720p video is considered a small requirement for the large mainstream laptops. However Nvidia, the largest chipmaker in the world probably believes that minimal graphics would not be good enough. Vivoli said that, according to his when Intel had introduced their 740 graphics chip in 1998 there was a worry about not wanting anything beyond that but it did not happen.
The 740 graphics chip ultimately faded away as a chip from 3dfx, from the ATI Technologies and later Nvidia defeated it in the marketplace. As companies generally tend to exaggerate the prospects of any new products, Nvidia also falls in the same category. However there seems to be much at stakes than usual as getting graphics of Nvidia into small devices, where their graphics have always been almost entirely absent it is imperative for their growth.
Vivoli said that he had never seen a product since long which generated so much of excitement that Ian at Apple and at Microsoft, and with anyone they exposed it said they had no idea of Nvidia bringing this type of experience on a platform that is so small and inexpensive. He further said that the big names you have come across are currently working on the Ion design, which is among the top ten companies. However the CEO of Nvidia Jen-Hsun Haung, claimed that Nvidia had the Ion notebook project taking place throughout the world and so most of this actually depends on the success of their customers and the new platform that is chosen.