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CNCTC Articles - Excellence in IT TRAINING

The Nvidia Ion: Early Dose of Technology

by: Ryan Elvin O. De Guzman | 12 Feb, 2010 11:34:07

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Nvidia is the world’s leading developer of complex, high performance GPU (Graphic Processing Unit), a visual processing technology that delivers high performance graphic solution in your desktop PC, gaming consoles and mobile devices.

Focusing in the world of mobility, Nvidia has created a much higher level of integrated graphics technology for small computers because most of our operating system today is high in graphics interface. Perhaps this technology is the stepping stone to the next level of high performance mobile devices such as laptops and tablet PCs.

So what makes the Nvidia Ion the first of its kind? This Nvidia’s GPU was named after ion because of its miniature- like CPU, created to maximize the potential of computing power of netbook, a small sized laptop; an inch thick and has a screen of about 10 to 12 inches wide.

Here are some technical specifications of Nvidia Ion:

1. DDR3 Memory Interface: shared memory from system, this memory interface has the ability to maximize computing twice faster compared to DDR2.

2. DirectX 10 Support: Nvidia Ion is now ready for new applications that are handling task like multimedia, Windows platform, and game programming.

3. 16 Graphics Cores: This is responsible for better performance of visual computing.

4. 16x maximum Anti-Aliasing Sample Rate: The anti-aliasing enables smoother visual details of an object.

5. 128-bit maximum High-Dynamic Range (HDR) Precision: This enables more realistic photo images by using a technique that is called dynamic range or luminance.

6. 450/1100 MHz of Core/Shader Clocks: This involves with calculations of rendering effect.

7. 3.6 Billion/second Texture Fill Rate: This is responsible on how much is rendered and written to the video memory per second.

8. 2048 x 1536 of Max. Analog Resolution: The maximum resolution of Nvidia Ion

9. Display options for HDMI, dual-link DVI, or VGA: Nvidia Ion supports high definition display options and Digital Visual Interface for better visual quality on digital display such as LCD monitors or projectors.

When netbook was released to the market, almost all of these computers are equipped with Intel’s integrated graphics running on Windows XP. In this early release of technology, people find Intel’s integrated graphics has a limited graphics capability while Microsoft Windows Vista are on the middle of world market. Netbooks and laptops have their big differences when it comes to performance.

With Ion GPU together with Intel atom processor, the majority of running application are reduced its physical memory and processor usage. Thanks to the new technology of Nvidia Ion because most of the graphics interface are now processed by its own Ion GPU allowing the system to do more task, maximizing application that are on-demand of heavy graphics. Example: Windows Vista, we all know vista slows down most of computers running a traditional Intel GMA hardware, or otherwise, it won't allow you to install or run the operating system. But when you do, Vista runs quite slow because of its limited computing capability to process large graphics. I saw a netbook with Intel graphics and it’s loaded with Windows Vista and it really slows down the system, making the start-up very slow, can't even play heavy games like Call of Duty, ending up very frustrating to use especially for gamers.


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