NVIDIA is expected to launch the next-generation of its ION platform within the next few months. The original NVIDIA ION chipset took an Intel Atom N270 or N280 processor and scrapped the normal integrated GMA 950 graphics to replace it with higher performance GeForce 9400M graphics. But since Intel’s new Pine Trail platform bundles the Atom processor and graphics core onto a single chip, there’s no way to simply replace the integrated graphics. Instead, NVIDIA is expected to offer a discrete graphics chip that can easily and cheaply be paired with a Pine Trail CPU. And French site Blogeee has a pretty good idea of which discrete graphics chip NVIDIA plans to use.
The folks at Blogeee got their hands on a promotional sheet for an upcoming all-in-one desktop from Asus. The specifications mention an Intel Atom D510 dual core processor and “NVIDIA GeForce 310 ION 2 graphics.”
As others have pointed out, the NVIDIA GeForce 310 is basically just a renumbered version of the GeForce 210 card that’s been available for a while. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, at least when it comes to netbooks and nettops. The GeForce 310 has a 589MHz graphics clock speed, 512MB of dedicated video memory, 16 CUDA cores, DirectX 10.1 support, and support for display resolutions up to 2560 x 1600.
It also supports hardware decoding of standard and high definition H.264, VC-1, WMV, DivX, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 videos.
It’s too soon to say whether NVIDIA will make any chances to the platform before launching it as ION 2, or even if the information obtained from Blogeee is correct. But I suspect we’ll know for certain within a few months.