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ARM, a developer of microprocessor architectures, has announced that it had acquired Logipard AB, a Sweden-based video intellectual property company. The deal enables ARM to provide a portfolio of technologies to its customers who develop multimedia-oriented applications, including portable digital media player and more advanced electronics.

The privately-owned designer of power-efficient video encode and decode acceleration technologies for the mobile and consumer markets is a provider of video IP to one of the world’s leading mobile technology suppliers for platforms used by LG Electronics and two other leading mobile handset OEMs. The Logipard video IP has shipped in more than 30 million mobile phone units to date. The acquisition enables ARM to bring to market the ARM Mali-VE multi standard video engine family of products.

“Video acceleration and processing technologies have become critical for the development of many consumer electronics products, complementing the ARM Cortex CPU and ARM Mali GPU IP already incorporated into many high- performance mobile devices. Through the adoption of Mali-VE technology, ARM Partners will be able to complement their use of ARM graphics and CPU IP to deliver more efficient system-on-chip (SoC) solutions, whilst reducing risk and accelerating time-to-market,” said Lance Howarth, vice president and general manager of media processing division at ARM.

The highly flexible and scalable Mali-VE architecture offers the optimum combination of high performance, efficient die size, programmability and low power consumption, making it ideal for mobile solutions and converged consumer applications. The Mali-VE technology offers full encode support for H.264 at baseline and main profiles, H.263 and MPEG-4SP, making it suitable for a wide range of end user devices such as mobile phones, portable media players and camcorders. In addition, the flexible architecture enables decoding of high profile H.264 and all profiles of VC-1 as well as MPEG-2. The programmable nature of the architecture also allows for future standards and new codec tools to be implemented using firmware upgrade only.

The ARM Mali-VE family provides encode and decode codec capabilities for image resolutions from QCIF up to High Definition (1080p) as used in the latest high quality camcorders, digital televisions and Blu-ray players.

The small silicon area and efficient memory bandwidth solution results in low-power consumption operation, whilst the programmable and scalable architecture enables flexible support for multiple video image formats, both now and in the future. The solution is fully compliant to the ARM AMBA interconnect standard and operates autonomously, thereby minimizing the load on the host CPU. The Mali-VE3 video engine is available today supporting resolutions up to D1 whilst the high definition 1080p Mali-VE6 solution will be available in the second half of 2009.

The acquisition of ARM adds world class video and imaging technology to the ARM portfolio, making ARM the only IP provider with the in-depth experience and understanding required to meet the market need for an entire range of system elements, from memory controllers, interconnect, application and embedded processors to graphics processors, video engines, physical IP and embedded firmware.

Tags: Cortex, Mali, Logipard

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