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Tapwave opts for ATI Imageon

Other partners named too

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Having yesterday said it has licensed Palm OS 5 for its upcoming handheld entertainment console, Tapwave today said it will be using ATI's Imageon graphics chip in the device. Or rather ATI announced it on Tapwave's behalf.

According to Tapwave co-founder Bryan Connell, the company chose Imageon after "intensive research", apparently.

The Imageon 3200 chip - not that Tapwave has said it's using that part, but it'll give you an idea of what ATI is offering - provides accelerated 2D graphics, and MPEG and JPEG decoding. The die contains an LCD controller (supporting displays of up to 320x240 using 16-bit colour), 384KB of embedded video memory, 16/32-bit SRAM controller, and supports SDIO and USB - plus the USB On-the-Go peer-to-peer connection technology.

The chip can also digitise video at up to 640x480. Since Tapwave has said one of it handhelds will contain a camera, it's a good bet that it has the 3200 - or an as yet unannounced successor - in mind.

Imageon supports Pentium M-style power saving technology: un-utilised units on the die can be powered off dynamically. Different parts of the die operate at different voltages: the core runs at 1.2-1.8V; the I/O controllers and buses at 1.5-3.3V.

Tapwave has already said it will use Motorola's ARM-based Dragonball MX1 chip and the company's Bluetooth technology. It will be using Fathammer's X-Forge 3D gaming engine, which is already included with Nokia's 7650 smartphone and upcoming N-Gage, and Sony Ericsson's P800 smartphone. Audio hardware for the handheld will be provided by Yamaha.

Games will be provided by Infogrames, Midway and Activision. ®

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