Computer chip designer ARM today announced that it has acquired a start-up called Geomerics that is aiming to take its computer gaming graphics technology to mobile platforms like smartphones and mobile gaming devices.
ARM is hoping that the acquisition of Geomerics, which provides lighting technology for gaming and entertainment industries, will expand its position in the visual computing and graphics industries.
"The innovative technologies being developed by Geomerics are already revolutionising the console gaming experience and are set to rapidly accelerate the transition to photo realistic graphics in mobile," said Pete Hutton, EVP and GM media processing division at ARM.
"Empowering Geomerics' portfolio with ARM's graphics capabilities and market reach will be transformative for the user experiences in future mobile and entertainment devices," he claimed.
ARM said that Geomerics has the world's first fully real-time global illumination technology, known as Enlighten.
Global illumination is a term used to describe advanced, photorealistic lighting effects in 3D graphics. Typical graphics applications today are limited to simple, direct lighting effects only. With global illumination, effects such as compound reflections, refractions, shadows and other advanced effects are enabled, providing more life-like graphics quality.
"With a focus on time-saving workflow features and a lightweight runtime, Enlighten is the only solution proven to deliver fully dynamic lighting on today's PCs, game consoles and mobile platforms," it said.
The technology has been used as the lighting solution for games including Battlefield 3 and 4, Need for Speed Rivals, Eve Online, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
"With lighting technologies developed by Geomerics, graphics artists can achieve truly realistic global illumination and other advanced lighting features in real time across multiple platforms today. This combination of ARM and Geomerics accelerates the realisation of our vision to bring next generation console graphics to mobile devices," said Geomerics COO Chris Doran.
"Being part of ARM will allow us to accelerate our advanced developments for console and mobile platforms while also providing us with unmatched insights into the platforms and devices of tomorrow."
"Enlighten has helped EA provide new levels of realism and gameplay experience in titles such as our highly popular Battlefield franchise," said Carl Almgren, Head of Development, Frostbite Game Engine.
"We're delighted that ARM is committed to on-going development on all the key game console platforms and graphics architectures, as well as the on-going development of Geomerics' technologies."
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
In August, ARM acquired Finnish start-up Sensinode in a bid to provide technology and processors for the "Internet of things," consisting of a variety of low-power and inexpensive devices including sensors communicating with the internet and one another.
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