Report: Apple contracts chips for new mobile multimedia device

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Scoop! Brit chip designers score coup as Apple picks chips for next gen mobile multimedia device...the m-Pod?





By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher



A British team of chip designers has won one of the most coveted of customers in the chip industry--Apple Computer. SiliconValleyWatcher has learned that Apple has contracted to use the powerful video, image, and music chips designed by Alphamosaic, in Cambridge, UK, in a future multimedia mobile device.





While the kudos goes to the Alphamosaic teams, the money from the deal goes to Broadcom, the US communication chips leader. Broadcom acquired the 57 person Alphamosaic for about $125m in September 2004.



From Silicon Valley Watcher:



http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/...convalleyw.php
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    The die is cast...
  • Reply 2 of 38
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    Praise be to Kormac! The i**** cometh!
  • Reply 3 of 38
    merlionmerlion Posts: 143member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by murk

    Praise be to Kormac! The i**** cometh!



    Yes sir! The K-man once again opens the eyes of the non-believers.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    Do you think Apple will try to compete with Sony's PSP & Nintendo's DS? The

    article mentioned that it can handle complex 3d easily? I hope Apple can

    compete on the price? You can get a PSP for $200 I believe. If Apple has the

    40 or 60 gig hardrive in it, you're looking at somewhere between $400 to

    $700 bucks. It would be cool to have an iPod, portable game system, image

    & video storage plus an 8 megapixel camera smooshed into a small & very

    cool looking device though. I just bought the 8 megapixel Canon Eos Digital

    Rebel XT though. It would be sweet to be able to hook up my camera directly

    to the new device to preview & transfer the pics over.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Think tablet.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Think tablet.



    The article mentions:



    Quote:

    Building on the success of the VC01, Alphamosaic is now sampling VC02, the world's most advanced mobile multimedia processor. The VC02 can display video on 3.5 inch color LCDs and capture 8 megapixel images



    I thought tablets had much larger screens than 3 1/2".
  • Reply 7 of 38
    wow, this is very cool.

    haha

    I"d buy some broadcom if I wasn't one of those starving student types
  • Reply 8 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mello

    The article mentions:



    I thought tablets had much larger screens than 3 1/2".




    The comment in the article makes very little sense... 3.5" LCDs at *what resolution*? 72dpi? 144? 300? I can only assume that it is a foul-up on the part of the author, since the resolution will determine the chip's capabilities, not the display size.



    Also, the current 12-15" tablets are too unwieldy. About half of a standard sheet of paper, with an extremely thin bezel around the screen is nearly perfect for most handheld/tablet applications. (Also ties into the report about 10.4 having screen rotation capabilities...) Any smaller than that, it's not usable. Any larger than that, it's too bulky.



    Just a thought. I don't believe Apple will jump into this market any time soon, but if they do, that's my speculation on what the form factor would be like.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    Cool! Combine this news with that of the new high-volume hard drives.



    I'm thinking part of a new iMovies service, which is like iTunes for movies.



    Make an iPod that can store HD movies and play them back, with jacks for connecting to HDTV, and it could revolutionize the movie rental industry. Imagine downloading movies with limited playbacks, and after x playbacks they become unplayable until one buys a new code! Of course hacks will be available to just rent the movies for one playback and then play them infinite times, which would totally rule. For slow internet connections, just take your iPod to Blockbuster and pay the fee to plug in and download a movie file.



    This iPod could also capture HD DV from a camera.



    iPod HD, or iPod Film, or iMove, or whatever.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Merlion

    Yes sir! The K-man once again opens the eyes of the non-believers.



    You fool. Do you know when that idiot said he was making the plastics for that thing? It was like 6 years ago. Oh yeah, the k-man knows sh*t.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    merlionmerlion Posts: 143member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    You fool. Do you know when that idiot said he was making the plastics for that thing? It was like 6 years ago. Oh yeah, the k-man knows sh*t.



    Sorry but I believe you are confusing him with Kim-Pak-Sol.

    K-man = Kormac77
  • Reply 12 of 38
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Merlion

    Sorry but I believe you are confusing him with Kim-Pak-Sol.

    K-man = Kormac77




    No I'm not. I was here back then Merlion. I remember that clown saying that the prototype was done, and would be appearing at MWNY 1999, (or so)



    Kormac, and his i**** is the longest running joke in AI history.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    AppleInsiderAppleInsider Posts: 43,188administrator
    Apple Computer has reportedly made a major commitment towards the development of a mobile multimedia device.



    The iPod maker has recently contracted the use of powerful video, image, and music chips from British-run Alphamosaic, SiliconValleyWatcher is reporting.



    The publication says Apple could use the chips to build a family of advanced iPod and mobile hand-held digital devices equipped with wireless communications.



    In a September press release, the UK-based Alphamosaic described its next generation VC02 chip as "the world's most advanced mobile multimedia processor." The chip can display video on 3.5 inch color LCDs and capture 8 megapixel images, making it ideal for watching TV, making videos or taking studio-quality photos on a cellphone.



    Meanwhile, Broadcom, which acquired the 57 person Alphamosaic for about $125M last September, says the VCO2 chip uses very small amounts of battery power and "excels in high-quality 3D graphics performance." It's capable of supporting pixel shading and volumetric lighting with low power consumption, "making it ideal for use in mobile gaming applications and comparable in performance to home consoles."



    The SiliconVallyWatcher believes Apple could use Alphamosaic chips as the foundation for a new family of iPod devices that could include camera, gaming and wireless connectivity features.



    "The Apple device could be ready in volume quantities by the end of 2005 or early January 2006 if Apple gets the ball rolling now," the publication said.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg

    For slow internet connections, just take your iPod to Blockbuster and pay the fee to plug in and download a movie file.





    Killer idea. Blockbuster have a wide coverage and are about to lose their business over the next 10 years. They'll be looking for a way into online distribution, and Apple could be a major player.



    Right now the biggest problem with a vPod is getting movies on it legally, this could be a good part of the solution.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    staudtestaudte Posts: 13member
    With a chip this powerful and hard drives as big as they are now, why stop at songs, pictures, and video? Why not set aside a gig and a *few* clock cycles for personal info management, web browsing, and av ichatting?



    Yes, the name is already attached to a Griffin device, but I think Apple just aquired the brains of the PowerPod. It's one of the only "i" series products without a matching "power" end. Yes, it's far-fetched, but can you imagine video-conferencing in a wi-fi hotspot through a device that's actually sleeker than an iPod?



    If they can only figure out data entry.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    denmarudenmaru Posts: 208member
    iChat on the iPod? Nice idea, really nice... I agree with you, that would be a killer idea, and I think Apple could come out with a good idea regarding the data entry (Maybe you would have to use a Mac or PC for this...)



    Anyway, this news looks very much like theres gonna be a video iPod someday - Apple said it would have a close look on how the PSP does, so I don´t think that´s to farfetched.



    And who has 60gigs worth of Music anyway? Video makes much more sense with these capacities...
  • Reply 17 of 38
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,907member
    I don't understand why Apple didn't buy this company. This is a chip design firm, not a manufacturing company. If these chips are that good, you would think that Apple would want to own them. The same thing would be true with the iPod wheel, etc.



    It's not as though they seem to have any better uses for all that cash. The $175 million Broadcom paid is about the same size as the increase to Apple's hoard every quarter.



    Owning these companies would give Apple independence from a supplier who might decide to go in a direction that Apple wouldn't like. Broadcom, whose stock I used to own, is large enough that Apple's needs might not mean much if they want to use these chips for some broader purpose to advance their own agenda.



    Apple has bought chip design companies before, though not for that amount of cash. They seem to be afraid to purchase anything larger than a couple dozen million.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 916member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    The comment in the article makes very little sense... 3.5" LCDs at *what resolution*? 72dpi? 144? 300? I can only assume that it is a foul-up on the part of the author, since the resolution will determine the chip's capabilities, not the display size.





    I agree. This made no sense to me. And why limit the chips to the mobile space? The Mini, laptops, and even iMac are all designed to run cool = low power. Why not throw one of these chips in a HT Mini, or add them to the motherboards of the laptops?



    Not reading the techincal details, it's unclear to me how these new chips relate to current graphics cards. Or do they offload processing from the CPU? Can anyone offer clarification?



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Sounds interesting--but trying to guess WHAT Apple will do with it is a losing proposition.



    Just because it has the power to do all those things, doesn't mean Apple NEEDS all those things.



    Maybe it's just the fastest, lowest-power, cheapest, solution to provide power for something much more mundane--like playing music or displaying photo slideshows.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jasenj1

    I agree. This made no sense to me. And why limit the chips to the mobile space? The Mini, laptops, and even iMac are all designed to run cool = low power. Why not throw one of these chips in a HT Mini, or add them to the motherboards of the laptops?



    Not reading the techincal details, it's unclear to me how these new chips relate to current graphics cards. Or do they offload processing from the CPU? Can anyone offer clarification?



    - Jasen.




    Go to this page. It has the Tech specs:



    http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/po...NEWSART_112272



    The display capabilities are intriguing:



    Display: Multiple LCDs up to XGA resolution plus PAL/NTSC analogue output
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