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ATI today introduced its latest mobile phone graphics chips with a view to seeing the products appear in handsets "from leading manufacturers" later this year.

The company also announced the acquisition of Hyderabad, India-based digital media technology developer CuTE Solutions.

Indeed, CuTE's technology delivers some of the new Imageon 2182 and 2282 chips' features, including 13 codecs to deliver MP3, AAC, AMR, Real Audio, WMA, MIDI and other audio formats. The new processors also support CD-quality 3D sound ringtones, and stereo recording.

Both chips support cameras with resolutions of up to three million pixels, and can handle video playback and recording good enough for camcorder usage, ATI claimed. The high-end handset-oriented 2282 improves on this basic 2182 spec. with additional support for videostreaming and conferencing with picture-in-picture.

The chips are complaint with the 3GPP (3G Partnership Project) scheme to develop foundation technology sepcifications that allow GSM/GRPS and 3G handset makers and networks to ensure a level of compatibility between each others' services, yet still have room to differentiate their offerings.

The 2182 and 2282 incorporate ATI's PowerPlay power management system to help maximise battery life.

ATI didn't say which if any mobile phone makers have committed to the new Imageon processors, but past customers include Motorola, LG and Fujitsu.

Meanwhile, the completion of the CuTE acquisition will see ATI convert the company's HQ into its India digital media R&D centre, retaining all of CuTE's workforce in the process. ATI described the purchase as a way to build on its own video and graphics expertiose with CuTE's audio skills. ®

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