NVIDIA’s Ion brand could be seen in a lot more places from now on, as the graphics company has apparently approved manufacturers wishing to use the name on non-netbook systems. Ion was initially used to describe an Intel Atom processor paired with NVIDIA’s MCP79 GPU, the same chip as the GeForce 9400M.
However the MCP79/GeForce 9400M is also found in many Core 2 Duo and CULV systems, as well as other platforms. Many notebooks in Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro have a 9400M GPU as at least an option, sometimes with a second, more powerful GeForce chip that can be switched to for higher graphical performance.
While there’s no official press release from NVIDIA, the assumption is that they’re looking to build on the initial positive feedback for Ion in netbooks. Manufacturers will now be free to choose between calling the GPU the MCP79 (unlikely, since it’s a codename), the GeForce 9400M, or the Ion.