Nvidia Ion

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Nvidia Ion
Manufacturer Nvidia

Nvidia Ion is a product line of Nvidia corporation intended for motherboards of low-cost portable computers. It uses graphics processing units and chipsets intended for small products.

Description[edit]

Nvidia Ion products include a GeForce 9M (9xxxM) series MCP79MX (with integrated GeForce 9400M G GPU) chipset, DDR3-1066 or DDR2-800 SDRAM, and the Intel Atom processor. The original reference platform was based on a Pico-ITXe motherboard designed for netbook and nettop devices. In February 2009, Microsoft certified the Ion-based platform for Windows Vista.[1] The small form factor Ion-based computers were released in mid-2009. Ion systems were DirectX 10.0 and OpenGL 3.3 capable. This allowed playback of full 1080p high-definition video with true-fidelity 7.1 surround sound audio output with VDPAU or the Third Generation PureVideo HD feature.[2] Ion systems can also use CUDA (Nvidia's General-Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units technology),[3] as well as OpenCL. ION-LE–based systems shared the same basic hardware as ION but lacked Vista and DirectX 10 support.[3]

It was originally believed to be unlikely that Ion systems would ever enter into mass production and were thus unlikely to pose competition to Intel's own chipsets for the Atom platform, due to Intel's unwillingness to supply Atom processors separate from the 945GSE and 945GC chipsets with which the CPUs are usually supplied.[4] While manufacturers could still buy an Atom-plus-chipset package and remove the CPU for use on an Ion board, it hardly seems likely given the costs involved, especially given the low-cost leanings of the nettop and netbook market.[5] However, Intel later denied those claims, and a spokesperson for Intel said Intel sells Atom as a stand-alone processor.[6]

Nvidia announced that it would release the Ion platform for the VIA Nano processor some time in Q4 2009.[7]

For full-sized laptops, the Ion platform promised 5x faster graphics and video transcoding with an 80% lower CPU cost when compared to the Intel GM45 graphics. For netbooks and nettops 10x faster graphics and video transcoding when compared to the Intel 945GSE graphics. For all-in-ones, the Ion platform is capable of displaying resolutions up to 2560 × 1600.[3]

Acer announced the release of their Aspire Revo which is the first[citation needed] model available for retail purchase to be built on the Ion platform.

Zotac International launched four Nvidia Ion-based motherboards in Mini-ITX form factor. An Ion system based on their IONITX A-U dual-core Atom 330 motherboard draws 30 watts total from the AC line cord, including hard disk and DVD drives, while playing and upscaling a DVD.[8]

Specifications[edit]

Ion (first-generation Nvidia Ion)[edit]

Zotac motherboard
Rear connectors of Zotac motherboard
  • Chipset: MCP79MX (with integrated GeForce 9400M GPU)
  • Intended Operating System: (Ion): Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Linux; (Ion-LE): Microsoft Windows XP, Linux, MacBook
  • Memory Interface: DDR3-1066 or DDR2-800
  • DirectX 10 Support: Yes, No (Ion-LE)
  • Graphics Cores: 16
  • Core/Shader Clocks: 450/1100 MHz
  • Texture Fill Rate: 3.6 Billion/second
  • Maximum Anti-Aliasing (AA) Sample Rate: 16x
  • RAMDACs: 300 MHz
  • Maximum High-Dynamic Range (HDR) Precision: 128-bit
  • Maximum Analog Resolution: 2048 x 1536
  • Maximum Digital Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Graphics APIs: DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.3
  • Full HD decode (1080i/p): Yes, 3rd Generation PureVideo
  • Display Options: HDMI, Dual-link DVI, DP, or VGA (any 2)
  • HDMI Version: 1.8 (according to the manual of the zotac ION itx-f board)
  • PCI-Express 2.0: 20 lanes (1×16 and 4×1)
  • SATA Drives: 6
  • SATA Speed: 3 Gbit/s
  • RAID: 0, 1
  • Networking: 10/100/1000 BASE-T
  • USB Ports: 12/2C
  • PCI Slots: 5
  • Audio: HDA (Azalia)

Ion 2 (next-generation Nvidia Ion)[edit]

  • CUDA cores: up to 16
  • Standard Memory configurations: 512 MB of DDR2, 256 MB of DDR3, 512 MB of DDR3
  • Memory Interface Width: Up to 64-bit
  • Hardware Video Decode Acceleration: Yes, 4th Generation PureVideo
  • nVidia CUDA Technology: Yes
  • Certified for Windows 7: Yes
  • Microsoft DirectX: 10.1
  • OpenGL: 3.3
  • Audio: HDA
  • Maximum digital resolution: 2560 × 1600
  • Maximum VGA resolution: 2048 × 1536
  • Netbook supported display connectors: HDMI
  • Desktop supported display connectors: Dual-link DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA
  • Multi-monitor: Yes
  • HDCP: Yes

The ION chip in 10-inch netbooks with Pinetrail Atoms offers only eight shader cores and a clock rate of 405 MHz. According to Nvidia, the performance should still be similar to the first generation of ION. The power consumption of 6 watts is rather low, and therefore fully suited for small netbooks. The 12" version features all 16 cores of the GT218 chip and is clocked at 475 MHz, with a power consumption of 12 watts. The performance should be above the old ION platform. The desktop version is clocked even higher at 535 MHz as no power restrictions have to be met, since the desktop versions don't communicate through a PCI-Express x1 bus, as the netbook versions do, thus not being restricted to x1 bandwidth.[citation needed]

Existing products[edit]

This list is non-exhaustive.

Motherboards[edit]

  • ASRock A330ION motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, DDR3, PCI Express x16 slot)
  • ASUS AT5IONT-I motherboard (Intel Atom D525 CPU, DDR3, USB3, PCI Express x4 slot @ x1 speed, with latch)
  • ASUS AT3N7A-I motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU)
  • ASUS AT3IONT-I motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, DDR3, PCI Express x16 slot)
  • ASUS AT3IONT-I DELUXE motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, DDR3, PCI Express x16 slot, DC power connector, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth, Media remote)
  • IEI Industrial Motherboard KINO-PVN D5251 ION2, DDR3, HDMI, Dual GbE, SATA, PCI/ PCI Expr.x1 slot, mini-PCI, CF TypeII
  • Jetway NC63-230 ITX board (Intel Atom 230 CPU, 20-pin ATX power connector)
  • Jetway NC63-330 ITX board (Intel Atom 330 CPU, 20-pin ATX power connector)
  • Jetway NC63P-230 ITX board (Intel Atom 230 CPU, 12V DC Power Onboard)
  • Jetway NC63P-330 ITX board (Intel Atom 330 CPU, 12V DC Power Onboard)
  • Point of View POV/ION230 motherboard (Intel Atom 230 CPU)
  • Point of View POV/ION330 motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU)
  • ZOTAC IONITX A-B motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, 90w DC power connector, Wireless PCIe module installed)
  • ZOTAC IONITX A-U motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, DC power connector, Wireless PCIe module installed)
  • ZOTAC IONITX B-E motherboard (Intel Atom 230 CPU, 20-pin power connector)
  • ZOTAC IONITX C-U motherboard (Intel Atom 230 CPU, DC power connector)
  • ZOTAC IONITX D-E motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, 20-pin power connector, Wireless PCIe module installed)
  • ZOTAC IONITX F-E motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, 20-pin power connector, Wireless PCIe module installed, PCI Express x16 slot)
  • ZOTAC IONITX G-E motherboard (Intel Atom 330 CPU, 20-pin power connector, PCI Express x1 slot, mini-PCIe x1 slot).[citation needed]

Desktop systems[edit]

An ASRock ION 330HT-BD
  • Acer AspireRevo Nettop Media Server w/Remote
  • Aleutia H1 Hotel PC (with the above ZOTAC IONITX A-U), fanless in the single core version.[9]
  • aOpen GP7A[10]
  • ASRock Ion 330 series[11]
  • ASRock Ion 330HT series w/Remote[12]
  • ASRock Ion 330Pro
  • ASUS Eee Box EB1012U (ION 1)
  • ASUS Eee Box EB1012P (ION 2)
  • ASUS Eee Box EB1501
  • Asus S1-AT5NM10E
  • Foxconn NetBox-nT330i [13]
  • Giada Mini PC series [14]
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 - 40816AU [15]
  • MSi All-in-One PC Wind Top AE2220
  • Myka ION
  • Orbit Micro Helix A58 Sleek NVIDIA ION/N330 desktop system[16]
  • Orbit Micro Helix A5W Fanless IP waterproof dustproof Nvidia ION system[17]
  • Sapphire EDGE HD [18]
  • Shuttle XS35GT, fanless system with ION2 and Atom D510[19]
  • Viewsonic VOT132 [20]
  • ZaReason Ion Breeze[21]
  • Zotac Mag [22]

Netbook systems[edit]

Discontinued support[edit]

NVIDIA will cease driver support for Nvidia ION series on April 1 2016.[33]

  • Windows XP 32-bit & Media Center Edition: version 340.52 (WHQL) released on July 29, 2014; Download
  • Windows XP 64-bit: version 340.52 (WHQL) released on July 29, 2014; Download
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8 32-bit: version 340.52 (WHQL) released on July 29, 2014; Download
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8 64-bit: version 340.52 (WHQL) released on July 29, 2014; Download


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NVIDIA Collaborates With Microsoft To Make Premium, Low-Cost PCs A Reality". News release. Nvidia. February 11, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ Computerbase.de: Test: Zotac IONITX-A (Nvidia Ion), page 2: "Im Videobereich verlässt sich Nvidia beim Ion auf PureVideo HD der dritten Generation [...]"
  3. ^ a b c "Next-Generation NVIDIA ION Graphics Processors". Nvidia web site. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20081223PD216.html
  5. ^ http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/12/26/intel-says-no-to-nvidia-s-ion/1
  6. ^ http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3793391/Intel%20Denies%20Squeezing%20nVidia%20Out%20From%20Atom.htm
  7. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/20/nivida-ion-platform-to-support-via-nano-processors-this-year/
  8. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/11292615@N02/3714919608/in/set-72157621353465380/
  9. ^ http://www.aleutia.com/products/h1
  10. ^ http://usa.aopen.com/Products.aspx?id=74
  11. ^ http://www.asrock.com/nettop/overview.asp?Model=ION%20330
  12. ^ http://www.asrock.com/nettop/overview.asp?Model=ION%20330HT-BD
  13. ^ http://www.foxconnchannel.com/ProductDetail.aspx?T=NanoPC&U=en-us0000014
  14. ^ http://www.giada.cc/chanpinzhongxin/minipc/
  15. ^ http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087&current-category-id=7989AA4D07004515BEDB0E93AED8B49D
  16. ^ http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/build.php?products_id=11431
  17. ^ http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/build.php?products_id=11433
  18. ^ http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?leg=&psn=000106&pid=1088
  19. ^ http://www.shuttle.eu/products/ultra-small/xs35gt/overview/
  20. ^ http://www.viewsonic.com/products/vot132.htm
  21. ^ http://www.zareason.com/shop/product.php?productid=16205&cat=0&page=1
  22. ^ http://www.zotacusa.com/products/mini-pcs
  23. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/15/acer-aspire-one-532g-first-to-feature-nvidia-ion-2-switchable-gr/
  24. ^ http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=30dqaE10a0LUo9XJ
  25. ^ http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-Eee-PC-1015PN-Netbook.40432.0.html
  26. ^ http://www.notebookcheck.net/Newsentry.153+M54ad54f1b63.0.html
  27. ^ http://gadgetmix.com/index/asus-1201-nl-review/
  28. ^ http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=HrglRhH8D60Rmlv3
  29. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/24/hps-ion-infused-mini-311-netbook-now-on-sale-starts-at-400/
  30. ^ http://www.netbookchoice.com/2009/10/22/lenovo-ideapad-s12-ion-now-on-sale-in-us/
  31. ^ http://www.pointofview-online.com/showroom.php?shop_mode=product_detail&product_id=114&site_id=2
  32. ^ http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Samsung-N510-Ion-Netbook.21362.0.html
  33. ^ EOL driver support for legacy products

External links[edit]