NVIDIA ION 2
The Nvidia ION 2 (GT218-ION-A3 / GT218-ILV-A3) is a dedicated graphics card for the new Pinetrail Atom CPUs (e.g., N450, D510, D410 announced Dec 2009) Generation. The ION2 is based on the GT218 chip (GeForce 305M, 310M) with dedicated memory (compared to the old ION that was a chipset graphics card). Because of the limitations of the Pinetrail chipset, it can only be connected with PCIe 1x. Therefore, the performance of the chip is slower than a similar GeForce G210M e.g.
The ION 2 comes in three versions, that differ in core speed and shader cores.
10" Netbook ION
The ION chip in 10" netbooks with Pinetrail Atoms offers only 8 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 Watt is rather low, and therefore fully suited for small netbooks.
12" Netbook ION
The 12" version features all 16 cores of the GT218 chip and is clocked at 475 MHz. The performance should be above the old ION platform.
Desktop & Netbook ION
The desktop version is clocked even higher at 535 MHz as no power restrictions have to be met.
First benchmarks by netbooknews.de on a pre-sample of the Acer Aspire 532g with the 8-shader-core version resulted in about 3000 points in 3DMark03. That would be noticeably slower than a ION 1 netbook. The relative low result can be explained by the early sample and the PCIe 1x bus. Still, compared to a GMA 3150 the performance is a lot better.
As the integrated GMA 3150 graphics in the Atom CPU is quite limited (slow 3D performance, no HD video acceleration, no digital monitor output), the ION 2 is intended to adress these weak points. It offers a better 3D performance, (digital) monitor outputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and VGA), video acceleration with PureVideo HD (since Flash 10.1 also for Internet Videos in HD) and CUDA for using the computing power of the GPU.
The netbook ION 2 versions also supports Optimus to automatically switch between the dedicated (ION) and integrated (GMA 3150) graphics card. Therefore the battery runtime without GPU load should be equal to a non ION netbook. The HDMI port however always triggers the use of the ION card, as the port cant be used with the GMA 3150.
The power consumption of 6-12 Watt TDP is quite high for an Atom system, but the ION 2 should be switchable (with the integrated GMA 3150) which still can lead to high battery runtimes.
|Pipelines||16 - unified|
|Core Speed||405 / 475 / 535 MHz|
|Shader Speed||? / 1100 / ? MHz|
|Memory Speed||790 MHz|
|Memory Bus Width||64 Bit|
|Memory Type||DDR2, DDR3|
|Max. Amount of Memory||512 MB|
|DirectX||DirectX 10.1, Shader 4.1|
|Date of Announcement||10.01.2010|
|Link to Manufacturer Page||http://www.nvidia.com/object/sff_ion.html|