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ARM absorbs graphics processor firm

Published: 24th Jun 2006, 21:58:17 | Permalink | Printable

Mobile 3D acceleration plus Castle Nvidia news

Graphics from Falanx chipsEmbedded 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.

Links

ARM buys Falanx mobile GPUs from The Register

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Discussion

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Re the new Castle/ NVidia graphics cards am not sure how much effort they should put into sorting out the dual head support now now large 20"and 24" wide screens are coming down in price but if is done all well and good what would be nice though is to get the DVI output to work.

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 26/6/06 1:39PM
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Speaking as someone who owns both a 17 inch LCD and a 17 inch CRT monitor, I think it's vital that Castle support (and continue to develop) dual-head support, including DVI support. DVI support is vital, because most Geforce FX 5200 and 5500 cards have one D-SUB output alongside a DVI output.

Alex.

 is a RISC OS Useralex on 26/6/06 1:49PM
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Pete: To drive widescreen LCD monitors you need dual head DVI support. For example the 30" 2560x1200 Dell widescreen is driven as two 1280x1600 screens, and the 24.4" 3840x2400 IBM/Samsung widescreen is driven as two 1920x2400 or four 1920x1200 screens. Only the old Sony widescreen CRT is driven from single analogue output, usually at 1920x1200 but will do up to 2304x1440 if you find a graphics card that will go that high.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 4:40PM
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I have a 24" widescreen 1920 X 1200 am trying to display this on the Inoxix but on the Risc Pc with Viewfinder I just type in what I want and it just sets the display no problem, both single head.

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 26/6/06 4:56PM
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1920x1200 isn't really widescreen, its just not as tall!

In my previous post the 30" Dell should be 2560x1600 of course.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 5:02PM
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Druck:

You say 1920x1200 (a 4.8:1 ratio) "isn't really widescreen" but all of the widescreen displays you mention have a 4.8:1 ratio! Just thought I'd point that out. ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 26/6/06 5:32PM
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VinceH: eh? 1920x1200 = 1.6:1 2560x1600 = 1.6:1 3840x2400 = 1.6:1

They are all the same aspect ratio, but generally with the lower resolutions you are better off going for a 4:3 without the premium prices. Widescreen comes in to its own when using higher resolutions.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 6:33PM
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Druck:

Erm, yeah, I /meant/ to write 4.8:3 (twice) which is the same as 1.6:1. I'm too lazy to reduce it to the lower number - and it's not the first time I've accidentally put :1 instead of :3

The point, though, was that they were all the same. You declared a 1.6:1 ratio resolution as not being widescreen while at the same time detailing some widescreen displays with the same ratio.

Lower res vs higher res? "That's not a knife... THAT'S a knife."

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 26/6/06 8:07PM
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the main problem is finding graphics cards that'll do 2560x1600 & are PCI :-(

I have had to get a low res 1920x 1200 monitor cos the dell & IBMs are DVI-D only...

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 26/6/06 10:32PM
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I was trying to say that their are affordable wide screen displays 1920 x 1200 arround from abbout £550, so why would you want to use 2 smaller screens, it is just annoying I know as that is what I am using at work, 2 x 19" and as for the higher res higher price screens if you have the need and the money go for it.

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 27/6/06 10:50AM
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This sums up Intels failure to captialise on the StrongARM pretty well [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/6/06 9:22AM
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