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.

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11 replies on “NVIDIA ION 2 could just be an NVIDIA GeForce G310 graphics card”

  1. Good morning. I´m the owner of an hp mini 311, the g310 (a.k.a nvidia ion 2) is gonna be compatible with nvidia ion?. Or is better buy an intel CULV with dual core and then when the ION2 releases put in this?. What do u think?.

  2. I don’t see why this would be a bad thing. The first ION was just a 9400M paired with the Atom. The 9400 isn’t anything special except when compared to integrated graphics, in which case it wins by miles. This is probably the same case with the 310m. I’m sure there has been a die shrink since the 9400 so there is less heat and energy usage, and as long as it outperforms the 9400 this is a win situation.

    1. The ION replaced the Northbridge and Southbridge, giving itself 20 PCIe 1x lanes, 16 is all that is needed for full PCIe 1.0 bandwidth and the other 4 provide the remaining connectivity for other devices. But Mini PCIe only has 2 lanes (250MB/s each) and only usually uses one with the other reserved.

      The Broadcom Crystal HD uses nearly all of the bandwidth of a single lane as is. But a Graphics Card will require significantly more.

      So either ION 2 will either be specialized to assist and not take over from the GMA or they’ll have to create a dedicated connector like the upcoming mSATA.

      And the lack of a license to use the DMI link suggests that ION2 may only be for CULV.

  3. Is it possible that ION2 will be released as a mini PCIe add-on for existing netbooks and CULV notebooks? Broadcom did it first, and now another company called Quartrics is coming out with a similar add-on called Qvu. I hope NVIDIA is considering this option.

    1. I would love to see that. That said, I’ve seen several compelling arguments that it’s not technically feasible. There are a number of issues mostly surrounding heat dissipation and the bandwidth limitations of the mini-PCIe standard… So I’d LOVE it if this actually happened and it were able to perform… I’m just not going to hold my breath. It would take a ‘Magic Happens Here’ kind of deal for nVidia to pull something like that off…Now if there were a lot of customer demand, and something like the plan Shuttle was trying to implement in order to standardize laptop motherboards ever took off so that each laptop board wasn’t custom engineered for the product, or at a minimum, the product line it was going into, then maybe it’ll happen someday. Right now I just think Laptops are too customized for easy consumer upgrade, and I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of that is by design.

    2. I don’t think mini pcie has enough bandwidth for a graphics card. The Broadcom chip is simply a hardware decoder which requires less bandwidth to operate. There is a standardized graphics slot for notebooks but it’s not widely used, especially on smaller form factor notebooks.

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