When nVidia broke into the netbook chipset market is started a great deal of speculation, chest thumping and even a minor war between Intel and nVidia.
But the one thing it did not do was force a major change in the netbook market. There are a few reasons for it; the first is of course price. Intel typically bundles the chipset with the purchase of the Atom CPU in addition to reducing the price of the Atom when bundled. So to implement ION an OEM would need to pay considerably more.
Granted the ION performs better than the Intel Chipset, but as netbooks are meant to be low cost the price difference hurts adoption and sales. So how does nVidia counter this? They are launching a reduced price/reduced functionality ION platform dubbed the ION LE.
This new ION flavor will not support DX10 or DX11 but remain firmly tethered to the past with DC9 functionality. This means that you are pretty much tied to XP, yes you can run Vista and even 7 on a DX9 GPU but the performance is not great and you lose all the eye candy without at least DX10 support. The question for this new chipset is how long XP will survive.
nVidia, for their part, claims this is only for XP based netbooks. But with Windows 7 just weeks away XP's days could be numbered.
Further Reading: Read and find more CPU, APU & Chipsets news at our CPU, APU & Chipsets news index page.