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Nvidia snags cross-platform tech to boost GameWorks PC project

The chipmaker is acquiring TransGaming's proprietary cross-platform portability technology to boost its gaming division.

Nvidia's investment into cross-platform gaming could see our future smart TVs unbound from individual operating systems. Sarah Tew

Nvidia is acquiring TransGaming technology designed to tie the disparate worlds of PCs, game consoles and smart TVs closer together.

The US chipmaker's acquisition, announced on Thursday, adds TransGaming technology to Nvidia GameWorks, a project designed to improve the gaming industry. The GameWorks team includes over 300 mathematicians, physicists and artists who develop software including PhysX, which improves the rendering of game objects and models. The deal is worth $3.75 million and is subject to regulatory approval.

Playing games specifically designed for a particular operating systems, such as Windows or Mac, on a different OS is not impossible, but often requires a level of technical knowledge and the use of emulators or virtual desktops. Nvidia's acquisition may indicate the firm wishes to increase compatibility between operating systems -- and should Nvidia become the backbone of cross-platform gaming, this could prove to be a lucrative future revenue stream.

TransGaming is the developer of the GameTree television platform and on-demand cloud gaming services. The company's platform connects PC and console games to smart television sets and is compatible with millions of smart TVs and set-top boxes worldwide.

TransGaming's technology likely appealed to Nvidia considering the chipmaker's foray into console gaming, namely the Nvidia Shield handheld console, Android gaming tablet and Android TV console range.

Announced in March this year, Nvidia's TV console is a 4K-compatible Android gaming product, equipped with the Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, and is capable of running games that require high computational power. The acquisition of TransGaming's cross-platform technology is part of the Graphics and Portability Group and includes Cider, software which supports the play of Windows games on Apple's Mac operating system.

However, the purchase does not include TransGaming's SwiftShader 3D rendering technology or patents.

Dennis Ensing, chief operating officer and Interim CEO of TransGaming, commented:

"This acquisition will allow TransGaming to focus on the rapidly growing opportunities within its Digital Media Group. The company will invest in the continued deployment of GameTree TV with MSO's, as well as the monetization of its Smart TV footprint, to reap the benefits of subscription-based scalable revenue. We also plan to pursue both the launch of new premium content across our network and strategic partnerships or acquisitions to drive the company's revenue growth trajectory."

TransGaming is headquartered in Toronto. In addition to the announcement, Nvidia said the GameWorks Studio will be opening a Toronto studio with the support of the TransGaming cross-platform portability team.

Approximately 15 employees from TransGaming will be joining Nvidia's team.

Nvidia says that Toronto is also a strategic area to launch an office due to the Canadian city being a "leading force" in deep-learning, another area in which Nvidia has a keen interest.

This story originally posted as "Nvidia snaps up TransGaming tech in $4m deal, launches Canada office" on ZDNet.