Feeds

ATI buys Bitboys

Golden child of desktop GPUs to become ATI handset R&D team

Intelligent flash storage arrays

ATI has acquired Bitboys. The Finnish graphics chip developer now focuses on handset GPU designs but is perhaps best known for pledges made in the late 1990s to ship desktop graphics cards that it claimed would massively out-perform rivals from the likes of ATI and Nvidia.

Bitboys is now going to form the basis for a European ATI design centre. ATI is paying €35.2m ($44.5m/£24.3m) for the company, subject to certain unspecified performance-related conditions. Bitboys people, premises and intellectual property will be "fully integrated" into ATI's Handheld Business Unit.

Bitboys said the deal furnishes its team with the sales and financial resources to compete in an increasingly crowded market, while ATI gets the addition engineering expertise it needs to do the same thing. In particular, the move will help ATI combat arch-rival Nvidia in this arena. Nvidia likewise acquired handset graphics middleware developer Hybrid Graphics in March this year.

Bitboys began making headlines in the late 1990s when it announced its Glaze 3D super-chip, though the name was subsequently dropped. It claimed the part would deliver desktop 3D graphics acceleration way beyond its rivals' products in part thanks to the use of embedded DRAM technology licensed from Siemens - an approach Bitboys called its Xtreme Bandwidth Architecture - but also by using multiple GPUs to render scenes co-operatively.

The company originally said it would ship the first Glaze GPUs in Q1 2000, but when the time came, the deadline was put back to Q3. By Q2, however, Bitboys announced it had pushed back the release again, to H2 2001.

Bitboys never shipped the part so far as we can tell, at least not in the form originally intended, and at some point in the early 2000s decided to focus instead on handheld-oriented GPU designs which it would license ARM-style rather than produce itself. It launched the first of these Acceleon core designs in June 2003. It has regularly updated the designs ever since and winning business from handset vendors, most notably NEC, which agreed to build the GPU cores into its mobile phone SoCs. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.