Apple acquires AlgoTrim, maker of compression tech, report says

The iPhone maker has snapped up a small company specializing in technology to help mobile devices decode images, squeeze software file sizes, and process video, according to a media report.

AlgoTrim develops software for decoding image formats including JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP.
AlgoTrim develops software for decoding image formats including JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP. AlgoTrim

Apple has acquired AlgoTrim, a Sweden-based specialist in algorithms for tasks like compressing images, video, and software, the Swedish publication Rapidus reported Wednesday.

The company got its start creating algorithms for feature phones but expanded to smartphones. AlgoTrim's Web site says its technology is used for fast decoding of images in Google's Gallery app for the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android and to compress firmware updates for Android phones for some device makers.

Asked about the report, Apple said in a statement, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

CNET contacted AlgoTrim for comment and will update this story with its responses.

But it's not hard to think of benefits of AlgoTrim's technology for a company like Apple. Squeezing the file size of software updates could be a big plus for Apple, whose App Store must constantly issue numerous updates to countless apps. And any technology built into iOS that could render images on the screen faster would be a boon for any app that shows graphics -- which is to say almost any app ever written.

The company has products for many compression and decompression tasks, for processing video in real time. In imaging, the company says on its Web site that it's working on the marriage of computing and image processing: "AlgoTrim also provides more advanced imaging solutions such as super resolution and will soon offer other imaging solutions that will bring modern computational photography to mobile devices."

Among AlgoTrim's employees are two programmers, Chief Software Architect Anders Holtsberg, who got a Ph.D. in work on signal processing for sonar on submarines, and Chief Technology Officer Martin Lindberg, who researched radar image processing.

The company is based in Malmo, Sweden.

Via TechCrunch

Updated 8:18 a.m. PT with Apple comment.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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