NVIDIA have officially announced the GeForce 9400M graphics chipset, the same found in the new MacBooks that Apple unveiled at yesterday’s event. The chipset differs from existing integrated graphics by virtue of incorporating both the full mainboard chipset, including memory and bus controllers, with the GPU; it promises 5x speed increases on both MacBook and Windows systems.
The GeForce 9400M includes sixteen graphics pipes (twice the amount in the 9300M) but still manages to take up just half the notebook mainboard space. It’s compatible with NVIDIA’s Hybrid SLI system, which allows users to switch between the integrated 9400M and a separate, discrete graphics card for boosted video performance (at the cost of battery life, of course).
It also supports full hardware high-definition video decoding and CPU offsetting, whereby general computing tasks take advantage of free processing cycles in the GPU. However only Apple have publicly signed up to use the GeForce 9400M; while they do not have an exclusivity agreement, Steve Jobs did predict that they would be using “a lot” of NVIDIA’s chips and, as such, could prompt a shortage should other manufacturers desire them.