Graphics chip maker Nvidia is introducing new technology that promises to improve battery life while increasing the performance of mobile computers.

On Tuesday the company unveiled a way for laptops to switch  between a standard low-power graphics chip, and a high-performance chip depending on demand.

Typical notebook computers have technology that consolidates many functions onto a single chip.

These integrated solutions handle graphics, among other things, and give consumers lower costs and decent performance. They also don't require much power, giving mobile computers more battery life.

Users that want more performance can get a specialized discrete graphics chip, at the expense of battery life.

Consumers no longer have to choose whether they want great graphics performance or sustained battery life, said Rene Haas, general manager of notebook products at Nvida.  Optimus gives them both -- great performance, great battery life and it simply works.

Optimus Technology instantly directs the workload through the most efficient processor for the job, extending battery life by up to 2 times  compared to similarly configured systems equipped with discrete graphics processors , Nvidia said.

Some notebooks, such as Sony's Z series laptop, already feature both integrated and discrete graphics, but users should manually switch which is active.

Nvidia hopes the new automatic technology appealing to a wider audience.

Notebooks with NVIDIA Optimus technology will be available shortly, starting with the Asus UL50Vf, N61Jv, N71Jv, N82Jv, and U30Jc notebooks.