LONDON Graphics core licensor Imagination Technologies Group plc (Kings Langley, England) is making a push to persuade chip companies to license its Meta multithreading processor as a housekeeping and operating system host in system-chips for multimedia devices.
Imagination has had Meta processor cores on its books for most of this decade and had a processor core running Linux since 2003, but is best known for the success achieved with its PowerVR series of graphics and video cores. However, the rising significance of Linux and the Linux-based Android could mean that Meta's time has come, according to the company.
The push behind Meta includes a Meta-3 instruction set architecture in planning and a renewed roadmap that will see the Meta line of four-way multithreaded processor cores being divided into three strands.
At the top in terms of performance is the HTP line including the HTP220, 225 and 265 cores. Coming soon, is the middle-tier of Meta MTP cores including the 220 and 260. And at some point further out come the low-end Meta LTP single-threaded cores.
Publicly-held Imagination has a long list of leading chip companies as licensees, mainly for its PowerVR series of graphics and video processing cores. Imagination has also enjoyed some success with its Ensigma range of digital audio and digital TV cores and many of its licensees have taken a meta license as a controller for one of these cores.
Earlier this decade Imagination's graphics cores were introduced to prospective chip company licensees by ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) who touted the benefits of an ARM processor core plus PowerVR graphics core. In June 2006 ARM announced that it had acquired Falanx Microsystems AS (Trondheim, Norway), a developer of graphics processor cores, and that it would be dropping its cooperation with Imagination.