Communications chip vendor Broadcom Corp is paying $127m in cash and shares for Alphamosaic Ltd, a Cambridge, UK-based multimedia chip developer that targets mobile handset makers.
Alphamosaic, which boasts Samsung as a key customer, offers high-quality, low-power video optimized for wireless communications by changing picture quality according to the bandwidth available.
The acquisition will add multimedia capabilities to Broadcom’s product range which currently includes EDGE/GPRS/GSM baseband processors and Bluetooth and 802.11 processors.
Initially Alphamosaic’s products will be offered as discreet co-processors but Broadcom eventually plans to integrate them into its cellular baseband and application processors to meet the requirements of converged multimedia handsets.
Alphamosaic claims that competitors use general-purpose processors running at high clock speeds to achieve performance which causes higher power consumption.
It is now sampling its latest VCO2 processor which can display video and capture 8 megapixel images on a 3.5 inch color LCD that makes it possible to watch TV, make videos or take studio quality photos on a cellphone.
It also claims that the programmable nature of its Videocore product family allows scaling to new video and audio standards such as H.264 video compression and aacPlus.
It integrates image processing functionality and can be directly connected to CMOS/CCD camera sensors, eliminating the need for a separate image processing chip.
Alphamosaic was spun out of Cambridge Consultants Ltd in 2001.