NVIDIA’s ION platform started off as a way to provide high quality graphics on low power netbooks and nettops by bundling a GeForce 9400M GPU with an Intel Atom CPU. While NVIDIA has been talking about expanding the platform to include chips from VIA, one thing I didn’t really expect was to see NVIDIA start using ION as a description for higher end systems with faster CPUs.
But you know what? It turns out that ION sounds cooler than GeForce 9400M. And so NVIDIA is giving PC makers the go-ahead to slap an ION label on any system that uses a GeForce 9400M GPU, even if the computer has an Intel Core 2, CULV, or other processor.
In other words, from now on, seeing the NVIDIA ION logo on a computer isn’t necessarily going to mean that it has a low power Atom processor. And it’s certainly not going to mean that the computer will carry a netbook-like low price.