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ARM and Imagination Technologies Collaborate To Offer Greater Support For Advanced 3D Graphics

23 February 2004

PowerVR technology-based PowerVR MBX Embedded Graphics Accelerators to support the OpenGL ES standard for embedded systems

CAMBRIDGE, UK AND LONDON, UK – Feb. 23, 2004 – Imagination Technologies, and ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq:ARMHY)], the industry’s leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions, announced today at the 3GSM World Congress, Cannes, France, compliance with the OpenGL ES standard in PowerVR MBX graphics accelerator cores.

The OpenGL ES (OpenGL for Embedded Systems) standard is an open standard, graphics application programmer interface (API) between software applications and hardware or software graphics engines.  It is derived from the widely supported desktop OpenGL standard.

By adding OpenGL ES driver support to the PowerVR MBX product line, Imagination Technologies and ARM have made it easier to access the enhanced 3D graphic performance, high-end feature set and enhanced rendering capability offered by this unique architecture which is ideally suited to embedded environments.

“With the OpenGL ES standard, a programmer can write a program that requires graphics support completely independent of the underlying mechanism that actually produces the graphics output – be it hardware or software,” said Ed Plowman, 3D Graphics program manager, ARM. “The OpenGL ES standard will substantially simplify and improve the cost effectiveness of offering advanced and graphically rich software for mobile and embedded systems.  This is particularly useful to developers producing mobile games, as they now have a common method of access a platforms graphics capability. This significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to target and optimize for new platforms.”

John Metcalfe, VP Business Development (PowerVR), Imagination Technologies said: “The next generation of mobile phones and PDAs will require PowerVR MBX's advanced graphics performance and capabilities to enable the applications needed to draw in new consumers and maintain the phone-replacement market. PowerVR is committed to the development of open standard APIs that allow manufacturers to incorporate these new graphics capabilities into their products. The PowerVR MBX family with OpenGL ES support lets manufacturers engage with software and application developers now to enable this vital content.”

“OpenGL ES is an important component of an overall strategy for rich downloadable 3D gaming in the Java environment,” said Dr Mike Grant, vice president, Marketing at 3D Games and Technology specialists, Superscape. “Superscape is working closely with Imagination and ARM to increase still further the richness of 3D gaming on Java mobile handsets through the use of our Mobile 3D Graphics engine, Swerve, running on top of OpenGL ES enabled MBX.”

Bill Pinnell, Multimedia and Games Product Strategist, Symbian said: "The combination of PowerVR MBX, Symbian OS and OpenGL ES will allow handset manufacturers to support the advanced multimedia content which will drive the next market cycle. The provision of this open standard graphics API on Symbian OS with underlying 3D hardware acceleration such as PowerVR MBX provides developers and handset manufacturers with a dramatic increase in multimedia capabilities and is an important step forward for the market."

"OpenGL ES, combined with high performance graphics acceleration cores such as the ARM MBX, represent a major milestone for the games industry and will dramatically raise the bar for rich mobile gaming," said Adrian Sack, CEO, Ideaworks3D. "Together with our ARM MBX optimized Segundo3D™ platform, which allows rapid and picture perfect porting of PC and console games to mobile platforms, major game publishers now have an unparalleled opportunity to bring a wave of 3D blockbuster games to mobile devices that will take the industry by storm."

MBX cores are based on Imagination Technologies’ unique PowerVR tile-based rendering architecture, which enables a very small die to deliver higher performance and higher image quality at lower power consumption.  The MBX architecture has been specifically designed to reduce memory traffic making it ideal for use with the unified memory architectures (UMA) found in today’s highly integrated systems. The unique MBX architecture also enables complex features to be supported in a single rendering pass, improving overall image quality through increased performance and the reduction of wasted bandwidth.

Availability
PowerVR MBX 2D and 3D accelerators are available now and offer very high quality, full-featured, high performance graphics acceleration for embedded and mobile devices. They are suited to applications in wireless devices and PDAs, as well as automotive and consumer applications. MBX cores are based on the PowerVR 3D technology from Imagination Technologies.

OpenGL ES drivers for PowerVR MBX graphics cores will be available in March 2004.

About ARM
ARM is the industry’s leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions. The company licenses its high-performance, low-cost, power-efficient RISC processors, peripherals, and system-chip designs to leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive support required in developing a complete system. ARM’s microprocessor cores are rapidly becoming a volume RISC standard in such markets as portable communications, hand-held computing, multimedia digital consumer and embedded solutions. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies Group plc – a leader in SoC IP – develops, licenses and supplies market-leading graphics/video cores, real-time multi-threaded DSP/RISC processors and communication and broadcast technologies for the consumer entertainment and PC markets. It supplies both licensable IP (Intellectual Property) and related advanced development tools to leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies worldwide. Imagination Technologies Group plc has its corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE:IMG). See: www.imgtec.com .

ENDS

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM” is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and Nasdaq: ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; and ARM Belgium N.V.

Contact Details:

ARM PRESS OFFICE: 0208 996 4141

Drennan du Plooy
Text 100 Public Relations
0208 996 4131
drennan.duplooy@text100.co.uk

 Michelle Spencer
ARM
01628 427780
Michelle.Spencer@arm.com
Imagination Technologies
David Harold
PR Manager
01923 277 354
david.harold@imgtec.com
 




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