Launched earlier this month, NVIDIA's Optimus is a clever solution that could, and probably will, completely turn around NVIDIA's fortunes in the mobile space. It's also extremely likely that, as a new rumor suggests
, the technology will make an appearance in the next revision of Apple's MacBook line of portables.
In a nutshell, Optimus allows seamless, invisible switching between Intel's still-anemic integrated graphics processors (IGPs) and NVIDIA's popular discrete mobile GPUs. On an application-by-application basis, the NVIDIA graphics driver decides if the app can benefit from GPU acceleration and, if it can, it hands off the rendering work to an NVIDIA GPU that sits on the PCIe bus. This behind-the-scenes handoff happens without any user intervention, and without so much as a flicker on the display.
It's likely'actually, I would say it's certain'that Apple will adopt Optimus across its MacBook line as it updates the portables to include the latest round of Intel mobile processors, which feature an IGP and northbridge chipset in the same package as the CPU. Apple's alternative would be to ditch Intel and go with an AMD/ATI platform; this is beyond unlikely.