Nvidia scored a much needed win for its mobile graphics with the release of the 9400M GPU, which Apple has chosen to use in its refreshed MacBook line. Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave credit to the 9400M for offering better performance in the new MacBooks, ultimately leading the company to choose Nvidia over Intel.
One could argue that vendor confidence in Nvidia had been more than a little rattled after it came to light that the company's 8M series might have a more serious design flaw than initially thought. What started off as a bad batch of GPUs quickly turned into speculation that the problem could be widespread among Nvidia's silicon, affecting not only mobile parts but desktop solutions as well. But Apple could be just what Nvidia needs to turn this perception around.
"We've updated the materials we're using to manufacture our chips," said Bill Henry, director of notebook marketing at Nvidia. "Apple was fully aware of the issue during the MacBook development program, and they are satisfied that Nvidia has implemented corrective actions to ensure there will not be an issue in the future."
With Apple in its corner, Nvidia manages to both steal a bit of market share away from Intel and give other vendors a confidence boost that any GPU woes are a thing of the past, killing two birds with one stone.
As to the 9400M , the 65nm part boasts 16 parallel processing cores capable of 54 GFLOPs of processing power, which the company claims ultimately leads to a 5x performance boost over Intel's Centrino 2 (GM45) integrated core-logic chipset.
Image Credit: Nvidia