ARM absorbs graphics processor firmPublished: 24th Jun 2006, 21:58:17 | Permalink | Printable
Mobile 3D acceleration plus Castle Nvidia newsEmbedded chip giant ARM has bought up graphics processor designers Falanx. ARM hopes to make full use of the freshly acquired Norwegian company's Mali graphics chip family, which boasts 3D OpenGL graphics, MPEG 4 video decoding, 2D acceleration, and more besides.
Falanx focuses on producing graphics processor cores suitable for mobile and embedded gadgets, and their typical output is pictured left. Hand-held device manufacturers are demanding an increase in the graphics capabilities of future portable products, and it's expected that ARM will combine their RISC processor cores with Falanx's technology for future system-on-a-chip devices.
ARM exec Mike Inglis said: "The graphics market for mobile, automotive and home applications, is increasingly important to ARM due to the rapidly growing usage of electronic devices with graphics capabilities; the estimated total available market for embedded 3D hardware is set to grow from 135m units in 2006 to more than 435m units in 2010.
"The acquisition of Falanx will enable us to build upon our existing graphics activity and to drive the adoption of feature-rich, multimedia embedded solutions with a complementary ecosystem for developers."
The sudden interest in mobile 3D graphics hardware could in future benefit the RISC OS scene, as it clings to the embedded ARM world for its next generation processors.
• Castle are understood to be preparing a new graphics card bundle for their XScale powered desktop machine. Sources say they will sell NVidia Geforce FX 5200 and 5500 cards with an updated version of RISC OS 5 that can drive the products. Newer machines will come with the kit as standard, we're reliably told. Dual-head mode support is said to be working, although DVI output and colour swapping is still in the works. The new Nvidia driver module is hoped to be compatible with as many cards as possible.
ARM buys Falanx mobile GPUs from The Register
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