Intel have taken their netbook chipset fight against NVIDIA into print, with the release of the “NVIDIA Ion Competitive Position Guide”. The document attempts to address several aspects of Ion which, Intel claim, make it a sub-par compared to their own chipsets. One such reason is the fact that Ion is a development of the existing MCP79M/NCP7A chipset family, rather than a brand new product, with Intel conveniently forgetting that their 945GSE chipset is close to four years old itself.
Intel also attack the Ion’s cost-effectiveness, highlighting the fact that adding the NVIDIA chipset will “unnecessarily” add to the bill of materials. While this is correct (if you’re looking to make the very cheapest netbook you can), it overlooks Ion’s 1080p high-definition and entry-level gaming capabilities, which exceed those of the 945GSE and GN40 Intel products.
Finally Intel use the opportunity to flag their upcoming Pineview platform, expected in Q1 2009, which will combine both CPU and GPU on the same chip. Early Pineview evidence, though, suggests that it will still fail to match Ion’s graphical performance, leaving a niche for the NVIDIA chipset.
While it’s not particularly surprising that Intel are anti-Ion, given their own graphics chipset intentions, the way they’ve gone about communicating that seems guaranteed to cause them bad publicity. At least one site quoted in the Intel document has taken issue with being cited both out of context and without prior permission.