Feeds

ATI buys Bitboys

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?