Bad news for the NVIDIA Ion platform that was shown off last week. DigiTimes reports Intel wants to keep Atom for itself, and refuses to validate the NVIDIA MCP79 chipset for Atom-based nettop or netbook platforms. Intel told hardware makers the Atom CPUs are only to be bundled with its 945GSE and 945GC chipsets.
Nvidia's push for the Ion platform, which combines its GeForce 9400 mGPU with the Intel Atom CPU, is heavily reliant on Intel being willing to abandon its current Atom pricing system. Under the existing scheme, Intel will only sell Atom CPUs and corresponding chipsets in a bundle, but if hardware vendors are unable to buy just the Atom CPU, the Ion platform becomes too expensive for most applications. Nvidia executives recently visited local PC makers, in an attempt to drum up support for allowing its MCP7A and MCP79 chipsets into the Atom ecosystem.
However, in an internal statement distributed to hardware makers recently, Intel reiterated that Atom CPUs for netbooks and nettops are only available bundled with its 945GSE and 945GC chipsets, the makers said.