It’s no secret that netbooks lack the power of larger laptops with more powerful CPUS and graphics processors. NVIDIA is hoping to change that with its ION platform designed for netbooks and nettop computers. The NVIDIA ION platform combines a low power Intel Atom CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chip to offer significantly better performance when playing HD video and rendering graphics in some games. And NVIDIA has announced that around 40 different devices built around the platform could be available by the end of the year. But according to Fudzilla, none of them will be products from netbook pioneers Asus or MSI.
Asus already offers a few mini-laptops with Intel Atom CPUs and discrete graphics cards, such as the Asus N10 series. But Asus doesn’t consider these laptops to be netbooks and doesn’t associate them with the Eee PC brand.
Fudzilla speculates that Asus and MSI would rather stay on Intel’s good side than release ION powered machines. Intel officials have made no secret of the fact that they’d rather see Intel Atom based computer ship with Intel’s integrated graphics solution than an NVIDIA chip. There’s two reasons for this. First, Intel makes a bit more money by selling the whole chipset. And second, Intel kind of wants Atom-based computers to balk at heavy duty tasks like playing video games and HD video so that consumers feel the need to purchase higher end laptops with more expensive processors better suited to those tasks.
One interesting thing is that ASRock is already showing off a tiny desktop computer that uses the NVIDIA ION platform. ASRock was spun off as a subsidiary of Asus a few years back to sell cheap motherboards and other products.