Intel: Ion is too big and expensive for netbooks

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Many companies respect Nvidia's Ion graphics chipset as a more powerful alternative to Intel's integrated solutions. The chipset has seen relative success in portable computers across the board this year, and that could continue with Nvidia preparing to launch the Ion 2 next quarter.

Given the increasing friction between Intel and Nvidia, it's interesting to hear what the Santa Clara-based chip-maker has to say about its competition. According Laptop Magazine, Intel netbook marketing director Anil Nanduri offered his two cents, and he's unimpressed by the Ion.

"To run multimedia you don't need a huge graphics chip. And that's what those third-party decoder solutions will show in the marketplace," Nanduri said. He continued by saying that there are more innovative ways to achieve multimedia capabilities while remaining power-conscious, noting, "netbooks are not meant for gaming."

While that last bit about gaming is true, HD video playback, as well as OpenCL support and more comes with a discrete GPU, and shouldn't be overlooked. Even sites like YouTube are adopting HD streaming options. That said, products like Broadcom's Crystal HD decoder chip can meet some of those demands.

"We believe (Ion) adds unnecessary additional cost and the other trade-offs make it less desirable. Our customers have the option to design netbooks how they want to but ultimately the market is going to decide." The future is never set in stone, but some PC manufacturers are already betting that you'll want an Ion 2 in your Pine Trail-based devices.

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