Apple Acquires Swedish Mobile Device Data Compression Startup AlgoTrim

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 11.58.37 am 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.

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.

Top Rated Comments

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93 months ago

- I'm sorry but I'm not allowed to comment on anything, he says to Rapidus.

This means yep.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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93 months ago

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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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93 months ago
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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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