Texas Instruments Enables New, Enhanced Levels of Graphics Support on Symbian OS

5/1/2003 - TI and Symbian announced that they have developed a plug in library for the Symbian multimedia and graphics framework to enable superior graphics handling on TI´s OMAPTM processor family, the leading wireless platform for smartphones, PDAs and mobile internet devices. As a result, 3D mobile games developers will be able to access more of the available MIPS of the dual-core (DSP and ARM) OMAP processors to offer superior frame rates and graphics effects.

TI´s 3D Graphics Library is an early implementation of the forthcoming OpenGL ES standard which currently works on Symbian OSTM. This is a precursor to a fully compliant leading-edge, 3D graphics OpenGL ES 1.0 Library, expected to be available in July 2003.

"3D Graphics support is a key product requirement for all Symbian OS licensees who want to enable advanced games and multimedia applications on Symbian OS smartphones," said Bill Pinnell, Multimedia and Games Product Manager, Symbian. "TI has taken a major step forward in enabling fast, fluid hardware accelerated 3D graphics on Symbian OS-based phones. This provides an excellent demonstration of the progress made by the Khronos Group on the OpenGL ES 1.0 standard. We're looking forward to seeing more games from Fathammer and other companies showing cool accelerated graphics based on the OpenGL ES 1.0 standard!"

The TI graphics library splits the graphics functions between the DSP and the ARM on dual-core OMAP processors, thereby maximizing performance for 3D graphics in both 2D and 3D high-end gaming. By running the transform and lighting functions on the ARM processor and the MIPS-intensive rasterizer on the high performance DSP, frame rates can be greatly improved and can even reach a full frame rate of 30 fps. In addition, millions of pixels per second can be displayed on screen and a broader range of graphics features such as flat and Gouraud shading as well as per pixel perspective correct texture mapping can be made available, making it superior to many current 3D-accelerated mobile offerings.

Symbian Platinum partner and TI OMAP Developer Network member Fathammer has integrated the TI Graphics Library into its X-ForgeTM 3D Game Engine SDK, enabling significantly improved performance and superior gameplay on TI OMAP processor-based mobile devices.

"Fathammer has done an excellent job in delivering new standards of content for the underlying Symbian OS/OMAP platform," said Paul Werp, worldwide director of marketing for TI's OMAP platform. "They have taken our early DSP-enhanced OpenGL ES 1.0 OMAP platform implementation and will show vast improvement in game performance, reaching the levels expected by a mature gaming audience."

Fathammer´s X-Forge is the industry-leading middleware product and SDK (Software Development Kit) in powering next generation mobile gaming. X-Forge is a comprehensive set of technologies and tools, which enables the creation and deployment of advanced console quality 3D games and other rich 3D content on all major mobile platforms. It is the ideal solution for game publishers and developers as well as mobile device manufacturers and mobile operators to catapult themselves to the next level of mobile gaming. The X-Forge SDK is available for licensing by professional game developers and publishers as well as device manufacturers and mobile operators who want to offer a complete game development solution through their developer programs.

"Fathammer is very excited about the outcome of our long-term co-operation with TI and Symbian. We are now able to offer our customers a significant increase in 3D rendering performance and an efficient and complete game development solution for both mobile device manufacturers and game developers wanting to provide world class 3D games and content to mobile devices based on TI's OMAP processors and Symbian OS," said Fredrik Kekalainen, CTO of Fathammer Ltd.

Fathammer's Advanced 3D Mobile Gaming running on an early implementation of the OpenGL ES 1.0 standard will be demonstrated at Symbian Exposium03, April 29-30, 2003, in London. Exposium03 provides an open environment in which technology suppliers, hardware vendors, network operators, enterprise solution providers and software developers can meet to do business and take advantage of the growing opportunities being created around Symbian OS for the entire mobile industry.

"We are excited to see this early implementation of the OpenGL ES 1.0 standard by key Khronos Group Members, Symbian, TI and Fathammer," said Elizabeth Riegel, marketing director of the Khronos Group. "Their participation in the behind-the-scenes development of this open standard is enabling them to be among the first to market with next-generation 3D graphic mobile technologies." The Khronos Group is a consortium dedicated to creating open standard APIs, including OpenGL ES, to enable the authoring and playback of rich media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.

The wireless games market is expected to account for a major portion of operators' revenue in the coming years. By enabling enhanced mobile gaming content and performance for end users, TI, Symbian and Fathammer hope to accelerate the introduction of next generation mobile gaming applications and rapidly generate new revenues for the mobile communications industry.

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