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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:30 AM   #1
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Apple Acquires Swedish Mobile Device Data Compression Startup AlgoTrim




Swedish news agency*Rapidus reports (via TechCrunch) that Apple has acquired AlgoTrim for an undisclosed sum. The company is based in Malmö in southern Sweden and specializes in data compression algorithms for mobile phones, which have been developed for lossless compression of processing instructions in operating systems and applications. These algorithms increase processing power and reduce dependence on flash memory for more efficient performance.

The company has been focused on Android-based devices for the past few years and reported at the end of 2011 that its technology was present in around 100 million devices around the world. Despite its large user base, the company reported a mere 3 million SEK ($462,327) revenue in its latest year-end report.
Quote:
In February of 2013, all of AlgoTrims shares were acquired by the anonymous Delaware-based holding company Wedgwood Industries LCC. But according to solid information revealed to Rapidus, Apple is the real buyer behind the deal.

Anders Holtsberg, head of software development at AlgoTrim, recently moved to Silicon Valley, a mere 15 minute car ride from Apples headquarters in Cupertino. When Rapidus calls him via Apples central switchboard, he confirms that he is now working for Apple but declines to comment any further. Anders Holtsberg, former CEO of AlgoTrim, is also very taciturn.

- I'm sorry but I'm not allowed to comment on anything, he says to Rapidus.
AlgoTrim is one of a string of companies acquired by Apple this year. Last week it was reported that the company had bought Embark, presumably to integrate its mass transit navigation system into Apple Maps.*Embark currently has*ten iOS apps*in the App Store, focused on transit systems in the Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco Bay areas. Other Apple acquisitions revealed over the past few months have included video discovery service Matcha.tv, Bluetooth Low-Energy chip company Passif Semiconductor, transit navigation service HopStop, and local business search firm Locationary.

Update: In an update to its original post, TechCrunch reports that Apple has confirmed the acquisition.

Article Link: Apple Acquires Swedish Mobile Device Data Compression Startup AlgoTrim
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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Wow, a lot of acquisitions lately. This sounds like good technology that will eventually make its way to Apple products.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ValSalva View Post
Wow, a lot of acquisitions lately. This sounds like good technology that will eventually make its way to Apple products.
Yeah, it's very exciting, especially the low-power Bluetooth chipset company and this data compression company.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:44 AM   #4
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Nice to see another technology company snapped up, rather than just a software company! I hope this tech leads to increased battery life as well as speed improvements.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:51 AM   #5
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- I'm sorry but I'm not allowed to comment on anything, he says to Rapidus.
This means yep.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 07:53 AM   #6
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How many companies has Apple purchased over the years?
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:20 AM   #7
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How many companies has Apple purchased over the years?
not the menubar clock, that's for sure
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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good move by Apple...

Fingers crossed that this acquisition helps leads to much better iPhone/iPad battery life soon!
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 08:55 AM   #9
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Hwy everyone let's startup a company and get bought out. Let's think of something together.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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I am sure this acquisition has something to do with, "iWatch". It was rumored that Apple wanted the, "iWatch" to have a minimum of a week long battery life. Only TIME will tell...
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by shardey View Post
How many companies has Apple purchased over the years?
Since Steve Jobs returned in 1997, Apple has acquired 40 companies.

Google has acquired 127 since 2001, for comparison
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shardey View Post
How many companies has Apple purchased over the years?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tions_by_Apple

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abobrek View Post
I am sure this acquisition has something to do with, "iWatch". It was rumored that Apple wanted the, "iWatch" to have a minimum of a week long battery life. Only TIME will tell...
That was my thinking as well. Of all the products in Apple's portfolio, that seems the one that could benefit most from a tailored data compression scheme.

It's also possible that Apple is FINALLY willing to move its standard "public-facing" codec from JPEG to JPEG2000. (Compare with Google, which has claimed that it wants to make its WebP a replacement for JPEG; Google at least accepts that there are alternatives to JPEG that provide substantially better quality and more features, but there are obvious problems with forcing the world to move to a proprietary rather than open standard.)
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 10:45 AM   #13
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Looks like some companies Apple tries to buy through other companies. Are there some companies that Apple bought and we don't know of them yet?
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Georgij View Post
Looks like some companies Apple tries to buy through other companies. Are there some companies that Apple bought and we don't know of them yet?
Perhaps, but we don't know

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This all looks quite similar to technology that Apple is introducing in Mavericks. Except that according to the article, this would be specialised in compressing ARM instructions. Myself I would have thought that compressing data would be more important. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the article is wrong.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
This all looks quite similar to technology that Apple is introducing in Mavericks.
No, Mavericks uses the WKdm algorithm, developed by Wilson & Kaplan (performance of WKdm). Apple used this algorithm in the past for the sleepimage file, IIRC.

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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
Except that according to the article, this would be specialised in compressing ARM instructions.
Preprocessing filters allow a better compression of the instructions. 7-zip (the LZMA/LZMA2 compression/decompression utility) for example has filters for stereo audio files and for i386, x86_64 (32-Bit and 64-Bit Intel/AMD) code. The AlgoTrim solutions are very fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlgoTrim
From:
http://www.algotrim.com/

AlgoTrim™ develops advanced solutions for mobile devices within the fields of data compression, mobile imaging and video, and computer graphics.

These solutions are designed to excel in terms of high performance and small memory requirements, making them ideal for mobile devices. Many solutions offered by AlgoTrim are codecs that are the fastest on the market, for example, the lossless codec for general data compression and the imaging codecs.

Computational Challenge

You might expect that one of these multicore ARM Cortex™, GPU-accelerated, GHz-chipsets will automatically make your Android smartphone super-fast. Well, these new complex chipsets with all these processor cores and dynamic power saving mechanisms, actually provides a very challenging computational task for any software solution provider.

AlgoTrim started out providing super fast codecs for mainly feature phones. These ran on a single core and rather slow processor speeds. One these machines fast codecs for data compression or handling MP camera images were a necessity. Founded on that expertise, AlgoTrim's engineers have successfully scaled their solutions to fully explore the computational power of complex multicore processors used in today's smartphones.
And they offer an optimized zlib (deflate algorithm based compression/decompression library), which Apple uses for the compressed HFS+ file system. As far as i know, Apple optimized already the zlib decompressor in OS X (used for the HFS+ file system and other areas).
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 03:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
This all looks quite similar to technology that Apple is introducing in Mavericks. Except that according to the article, this would be specialised in compressing ARM instructions. Myself I would have thought that compressing data would be more important. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the article is wrong.
RAM memory is slower than the processor. Because of that, the processor may need to wait for instructions to arrive from memory. Compressing the memory (with hardware) will thus speed up execution and also make more efficient use of RAM, so that less memory will be needed to run the system. RAM chips need constant supply of power to not lose their contents, so the compression will also help with battery life. That may be one reason why iOS devices have been equipped with fairly low amounts of RAM.

EDIT: Maybe I was getting a bit ahead of it - probably they are just supplying Apple with efficient software codecs. But given that Apple now designs it's own chips, the idea of compressed memory is plausible at least in the future.

Last edited by jont-fu; Aug 28, 2013 at 07:32 PM.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 11:59 PM   #17
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I bet the writer of this was excited to finally be able to use the word 'taciturn.'
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:42 AM   #18
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Anyone else catch all the errors on AlgoTrim's web site? Surprising to a point even if they are ESL.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 11:48 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jont-fu View Post
RAM memory is slower than the processor. Because of that, the processor may need to wait for instructions to arrive from memory. Compressing the memory (with hardware) will thus speed up execution...
Sure. Decompressing (RAM -> hardware -> RAM -> processor) will run faster than executing the code (RAM -> processor).

What you would do: Store compressed code on the drive. Read it from the drive (faster because there is less data to read) and decompress it as you read. All in software, because software is free once it's written, unlike hardware. You could put instructions that help with decompression into the processor if you design it yourself (like Apple does) to make it faster. You might even add the ability to execute compressed instructions into the processor.

But I think data compression is actually more important. There's significantly more data than code around.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:31 PM   #20
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This acquisition = 4K Apple Television streaming PERIOD!
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 07:55 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ValSalva View Post
Wow, a lot of acquisitions lately. This sounds like good technology that will eventually make its way to Apple products.
yes, but i hope they introduce the new tech soon, you know, others are catching up.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 08:00 AM   #22
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We know the game and we're gonna play it

I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling
Gotta make you understand

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