Nvidia GeForce 2 Go to ship in a notebook at last

Toshiba puts it into its latest Satellite

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Toshiba has finally begun shipping a notebook containing Nvidia's GeForce 2 Go mobile 3D graphics chip.

About time. When Nvidia launched the GeForce 2 Go last autumn, it highlighted Toshiba is its first customer with the promise that others will follow. They haven't, and it's taken the Japanese notebook vendor the best part of four months to ship a machine that uses the part.

The arrival of the Toshiba Satellite 2805 finally sees GeForce 2 Go make its market debut and suggests that the chip is finally shipping in volume. Today's announcement may be the basis for last week's rumours that Nvidia was about to launch two new versions of the chip, the 100 and the 200. As far as we can tell, the new models differ from the original only in size - 23mm x 23mm as opposed to 36mm x 36mm. Performance and capability, however, are the same: the chip can handle just over 17 million triangles per second and 286 million pixels second with a memory bandwidth of 2.6GBps.

All that suggests that the first version of the GeForce 2 wasn't ready for primetime when Nvidia launched it, which is why no one has shipped a machine containing the chip until now - Apple's PowerBook G4, for example, was expected to use the GeForce 2 Go, but was launched with an ATI part instead.

Then again... "We plan to transform the notebook market with an entirely new level of GPUs in all segments of mobile computing," said a slightly tongue-tied (by the sound of it) Dan Vivoli, Nvidia's senior VP of marketing.

That sounds to us like Nvidia may indeed be readying multiple versions of the basic GeForce 2 Go aimed at the value, mainstream and high-end sectors of the notebook market. Again, that might explain why last week's rumour centred on two versions of the chip.

Either that, or the whole thing - which emerged from an interview with Bill Henry, Nvidia's director of mobile product management, conducted by EE Times - was simply intended to spoil ATI's Radeon Mobility launch... ®

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