Nvidia says Microsoft has validated Ion platform with Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) drivers for Windows Vista Home Premium that will give little much bigger graphics capabilities.

A combination of Intel's Atom processor and Nvidia's GeForce 9400M GPU on a single Pico-ITXe motherboard, Nvidia claims ION delivers an outstanding computing experience on small, low power PCs.

With Nvidia's small and sexy ION graphics acceleration netbooks can run games, graphics, and Blu-ray movies. Nvidia Ion enables DirectX 10, hardware-accelerated high-definition vide playback as well as some other advantages over currently available Intel Atom-based platforms.

Nvidia expects Ion-based mini-notebooks and desktop PCs will hit the market by mid-year with price points as low as $299 while others will break through the $500 barrier.