Apple Acquires Swedish Mobile Device Data Compression Startup AlgoTrim

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    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.
    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
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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    #2
    Wow, a lot of acquisitions lately. This sounds like good technology that will eventually make its way to Apple products.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Yeah, it's very exciting, especially the low-power Bluetooth chipset company and this data compression company.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

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    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    #5
    This means yep.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    #6
    How many companies has Apple purchased over the years?
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    attila

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    #7
    not the menubar clock, that's for sure ;)
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    #8
    good move by Apple...

    Fingers crossed that this acquisition helps leads to much better iPhone/iPad battery life soon!
     
  9. macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Hwy everyone let's startup a company and get bought out. Let's think of something together.
     
  10. macrumors member

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    #10
    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...
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    #11
    Since Steve Jobs returned in 1997, Apple has acquired 40 companies.

    Google has acquired 127 since 2001, for comparison
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple

    ----------

    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.)
     
  13. macrumors regular

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    #13
    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?
     
  14. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

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    #14
    Perhaps, but we don't know :D

    ----------

    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.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #15
    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.

    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.

    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).
     
  16. jont-fu, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013

    macrumors regular

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    #17
    I bet the writer of this was excited to finally be able to use the word 'taciturn.'
     
  18. macrumors member

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    #18
    Anyone else catch all the errors on AlgoTrim's web site? Surprising to a point even if they are ESL.
     
  19. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

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    #19
    Sure. Decompressing (RAM -> hardware -> RAM -> processor) will run faster than executing the code (RAM -> processor). :cool:

    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

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    #20
    This acquisition = 4K Apple Television streaming PERIOD! :cool:
     
  21. macrumors 6502

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    #21
    yes, but i hope they introduce the new tech soon, you know, others are catching up.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

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    #22
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