Imagination Technologies announced this week that it has bought ray tracing graphics firm Caustic Graphics for $27 million:
Caustic has developed unique and patented hardware and software technologies to radically lower the cost and dramatically increase the efficiency and performance of ray tracing. This opens up the potential of highly photorealistic computer generated animated imagery to a host of new real-time applications and markets not possible previously. Caustic technology also allows the coexistence of traditional polygon based rendered objects (e.g. objects created using OpenGL ES) and life-like ray-traced elements in the same scene.
By acquiring Caustic, Imagination gains access to unique and patented technology which enables real-time ray traced and cinema quality 3D graphics to be implemented in a novel and highly cost-effective manner. According to the company, this capability can be efficiently added to the firm's successful PowerVR graphics processing units (GPUs).