We've mentioned Nvidia's Ion 2 many times throughout our recent news coverage, but only very limited details about the chip have been available. The company has now officially unveiled the GPU, which is destined for use in low-powered Intel Pine Trail-based systems, such as netbooks and nettops.
The Ion 2 platform is based on Nvidia's GeForce G210, and will ship in two iterations: one with 16 cores (13W TDP), and a more energy efficient eight-core chip (6W TDP). It is 40% smaller than the original Ion, and offers up to 10 hours of battery life when paired with Nvidia's Optimus automated graphics switching technology. Nvidia says the Ion 2 can handle HD video playback, 3D games (StarCraft II and World of Warcraft for example), and Windows 7's Aero interface.
The Acer Aspire One 532G and Asus 1201PN are expected to be the first Ion 2 netbook to hit shelves. NetbookNews recently sneak tested the AAO 532G, and its performance wasn't on par with the original Ion, but that seems to have been a circumstantial anomaly. You'll be happy to know that the Asus 1201PN was tested with 3DMark06 and scored 2013 3DMarks, which compares its first-gen Ion counterpart with 1,580 3DMarks.
Nvidia says over 30 Ion 2-equipped products will launch by this summer, including netbooks and nettops from Acer, Lenovo, and Asus. Other channel partners include AOpen, ASRock, Foxconn, Giada, J&W, Jetway, Pegatron, POV, Shuttle, and Zotac.