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Imagination coughs up $27M for Caustic graphics

Posted: 16 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:acquisition? graphics? multimedia? ray tracing?

Imagination Technologies Group plc has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Caustic Graphics Inc. for a cash consideration of $27 million. The developer of real-time interactive ray tracing graphics technology will cost the multimedia, communications and embedded processor technology company $27 million.

Ray tracing is a technique for rendering 3D graphics with complex and more natural lighting models to achieve cinema quality 3D and a level of near photographic realism that is impractical with traditional 3D graphics techniques.

Currently, ray tracing is used in applications such as special effects and computer animated movies, industrial design, mechanical and architectural modelling to create life-like and photorealistic imagery.

Caustic has developed unique and patented hardware and software technologies to radically lower the cost and dramatically increase the efficiency and performance of ray tracing. This opens up the potential of highly photorealistic computer generated animated imagery to a host of new real-time applications and markets not possible previously.

The ray tracing approach has the added benefit of substantially simplifying the process and cost of content creation. Caustic technology also allows the coexistence of traditional polygon based rendered objects (e.g. objects created using OpenGL ES) and life-like ray-traced elements in the same scene.

The acquisition is seen as a means for Imagination to gain access to unique and patented technology which enables real-time ray traced and cinema quality 3D graphics to be implemented in a novel and highly cost-effective manner. The capability can be efficiently added to the Group�s highly successful POWERVR Graphics Processing Units.

Caustic technology operates fully in conjunction with and complements Imagination�s existing graphics processing IP, It helps ensure Imagination stays at technological forefront, driving major innovations in the growing 3D graphics market. The acquisition enables Imagination to bring further disruptive technologies, as part of its roadmap, to its mainstream graphics markets across mobile, embedded, console and computing segments

The acquisition provides access to professional and specialised markets that take advantage of Caustic�s much more efficient photo-realistic and cinema quality graphics solution

And, the combined technologies from Imagination and Caustic will dramatically change the price-performance point of these solutions and enable real-time operation.

Also, the acquisition will enable Imagination to extend its ecosystem to include very advanced graphics content and tool developers, and ultimately bring such content and tools to mainstream markets

Hossein Yassaie , CEO, Imagination said �The most exciting consumer technologies have always started in the professional industry until someone finds the right way to cost engineer and optimise power consumption of those technologies." He added that �We have a proven track record of disrupting markets by bringing new and high-end technologies to consumer and embedded products, such as our POWERVR graphics IP cores.

�Ray tracing is a key additional technology that traditionally has been regarded as the exclusive domain of specialised markets and non real-time applications. We intend to change that. We are therefore delighted to have reached agreement to acquire Caustic with its outstanding engineering team. The acquisition will enable us to accelerate our plans to be the leading supplier of all forms of graphics technologies in all markets and to continue our mission of delivering the most advanced graphics technologies to mainstream markets.?

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