NVIDIA have officially confirmed that the next-gen “Ion 2” (not the final name) graphics chipset is in the works, but it won’t be arriving quite as soon as many had hoped. The company told Fudzilla that the Ion 2 won’t see an official launch until later in Q1 2010, as opposed to the Q4 2009 unveil we’d expected; that’s apparently because hardware manufacturers want to milk a few more sales out of first-gen Ion devices before the new chip arrives.
There will, however, be Ion 2 based devices on show at CES 2010, only it doesn’t sound like they’ll be found on the NVIDIA stand. Fudzilla also tips that the number of shaders in the next-gen chip could actually be more than the original “double that of Ion” number; some sources have suggested as many as 40 (compared to the original’s 16).
Ion 2 should arrive alongside Intel’s next-gen Pinetrail processors, since the current-gen Ion won’t work with the new Pinetrail-M netbook and Pinetrail-D nettop chips. That’s because Intel’s new Atom processors bring the Northbridge onto the CPU die, and currently NVIDIA don’t have a version of the Ion chipset that omits the Northbridge.