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ATI, Nokia converge on phone multimedia

Heralds major Imageon design win?

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ATI may have scored a major design win for its mobile phone graphics chips: the world's leading handset maker, Nokia. The pair today announced they are to make it easier for developers to create multimedia material for phones, giving content creators a "12-18 months" heads-up, presumably a launch target for ATI-powered Nokia handsets.

The two companies described today's announcement as the start of a "long-term strategic relationship to bring enhanced mobile multimedia experiences to Nokia customers". While the pair's statement focused on providing a development framework to simplify the delivery of such content, there'd be little in it for ATI if it wasn't expecting to sell a chip or two on the back of the deal. That suggests a design win for its Imageon handset GPU line.

The announcement of the Nokia partnership comes two days after ATI said it was acquiring mobile graphics specialist Bitboys to boost its work in that segment and to create a European R&D centre. Bitboys, like Nokia, is based in Finland.

ATI and Nokia said they plan to promote a 'write once, run anywhere' - now where have we heard that one before? - approach to multimedia, to push "open standards and to offer developers "integrated hardware, software and tools". The first code will come next autumn: ATI said it will deliver a tool chain and SDK in that timeframe. Both will run development workshops in the second half of the year. ®

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