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AMD 890GX Architecture  (Source: AnandTech)

Next-Gen ION Architecture  (Source: AnandTech)
AMD 890GX and next-gen ION platforms launch officially the same day

Today marks the official unveiling of a couple important new platforms in the technology world. The platforms come from rivals AMD and NVIDIA. AMD has made official its new AMD 890GX chipset that is aimed at digital entertainment fans and NVIDIA has pulled the wraps off its next-generation ION platform

AMD's new 890GX chipset is aimed squarely at the HTPC enthusiast looking to build an HD capable machine on a budget and incorporates the ATI Radeon HD 4920 integrated GPU. The chipset is DirectX 10.1 complaint and in addition to the integrated graphics, boards using the chipset will support up to two discrete ATI Radeon video cards in CrossFire.

The HD 4920 GPU is powerful enough to support 1080p video playback online or via Blu-ray. Standard DVD video can be upscaled with post processing for better picture quality. The GPU supports MPEG2, VC-1, and H.264 formats. AMD also reports that many of the motherboards using the new 890GX chipset will also support USB 3.0.

Other supported features in the 890GX chipset include Gigabit Ethernet, HyperTransport 3.0, and PCIe 2.0. The chipset is going to launch in products starting in Q2 2010 and the platform is compatible with the coming Phenom II X6 six-core processor. 
AnandTech has reviewed the new 890GX chipset and says in a nutshell the platform has the same graphics and a better south bridge than previous platforms.

NVIDIA's next-generation ION platform, previously referred to as ION 2, also officially launched today. The new ION GPU offers significantly improved performance compared to the previous ION platform it is replacing according to NVIDIA. Big green goes so far as to claim that the next-generation ION GPU is ten times as powerful as integrated GPUs from Intel. The new platform will let users watch 1080p video and play 3D video games smoothly on a netbook machine. 

"If you want a netbook with the horsepower to play HD video and PC games, your only choice is ION. The new ION netbooks deliver an unbeatable combination of performance and battery life. We continue to raise the standard for what a netbook should be," noted Drew Henry, General Manager of GeForce and ION GPUs.

The new ION GPU is discrete and attached to Intel
Pine Trail platforms via PCI express. The new ION GPU will make use of NVIDIA Optimus technology to change on the fly between the ION GPU and the integrated GPU. The first netbook to turn up using next-generation ION is the Acer Aspire One 532G which is set to debut in April. NVIDIA's new ION platform will also find its way into nettops and all-in-one systems as well. The architecture of the ION GPU will vary depending on the system -- larger netbooks and desktops will have 16 CUDA cores, while 10.1-inch machines will get 8 CUDA cores.

NVIDIA reports that the there will be more than 30 different products coming with next-generation ION by this summer. Among the 30 products coming with the new ION platform are the ASUS EeeTop 2010PNT and Lenovo C200 all-in-ones. ASUS is also getting a 12-inch 1201PN netbook ready with ION inside. 

AnandTech has reviewed the new ION platform calling it "impressive."





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