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TI licences PowerVR phone graphics core

Extends MBX licence to MBX Lite

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Texas Instruments has extended its PowerVR MBX Lite graphics engine licence, the chip maker said today.

TI signed its first PowerVR MBX licence in April 2003, partnering with the graphics core's UK-based developer, Imagination Technologies. The results of the deal were announced less than a year later, in February 2004, when TI unveiled its OMAP 2 processor core, which incorporates the PowerVR technology.

A year on, and TI wants to develop further mobile OMAP 2 family members which it also plans to add PowerVR MBX Lite to. The Lite version is pitched at battery-powered machines like phones, PDAs and handheld consoles, whereas the regular MBX core is intended for systems connected to the mains, such as set-top boxes, Internet appliances and the like.

Chip maker Freescale last week sub-licensed PowerVR MBX Lite through Imagination licensee and mobile processor developer ARM. Indeed, that connection with ARM has helped Imagination become one of the leading suppliers of low-power graphics core technologies to device vendors. However, that leadership is increasingly being challenged by lesser-known players, such as Falanx and Bitboys, and established graphics chip makers Nvidia and ATI.

Other PowerVR MBX licensees include Intel, Sharp, Hitachi, Samsung and Philips. ®

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