Nvidia has announced its latest family of Fermi laptop graphics chips this week, balancing support for 3D with decent battery life.

Nvidia's new GeForce 400M series of graphics chips will be used by a number of major laptop manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba.

Switchable graphics

All of those aforementioned brands will bring out laptops with Nvidia's 'switchable graphics' Optimus technology, to allow users to switch effortlessly (in the background) between the graphics chip on the motherboard and the more powerful discrete (but power-hungry) discrete graphics chip when needed.

A lot of new laptops from these manufacturers will also be supporting stereoscopic 3D under the Nvidia 3D Vision brand, with the likes of Asus and Toshiba already marketing such products.

Nvidia released seven new graphics chips today, with the GeForce GTX 470M and GTX 460M at the top of the range for hardcore gamers and power users.

The Fermi family

The chips are all based on Nvidia's Fermi architecture, with Nvidia claiming that they are 40 per cent faster than its previous GeForce 300M series chips.

Nvidia also says its new graphics chips for laptops are three times faster than Intel's integrated graphics chips for tasks such as editing and sharing high-definition video.

Look out for a number of new 3D Vision laptops on the way later this year, including the Asus G53Jw, with a GeForce GTX 460M graphics chip, and the Acer Aspire 5745DG with a GeForce GTX 425M chip. Asus is also set to launch its 3D all-in-one PC, the Asus ET2400XVT which will feature a GeForce GTX 460M graphics chip.

Via Nvidia