IMEC, INT Create First MPEG-4 3D Graphics Player for Mobile Phones

IMEC, Europe’s leading independent nanoelectronics and nanotechnology research institute, and INT, Institut National des Télécommunications in France, have jointly developed the first 3D graphics player for mobile phones based on MPEG-4 3D graphics coding tools.

The player is implemented on a Nokia 6630 mobile phone.

A demonstration of the technology was first presented at the 76th MPEG meeting in Montreux, Switzerland from April 3-7 2006. The features of the player can now be experienced online in the Software section.

The MPEG-4 3D graphics player is based on a reduced set of MPEG-4 BIFS (BInary Format for Scenes) nodes to describe the object graph and meshes. Textures are encoded in JPEG2000 format to exploit scalability features.

The player supports the decoding and rendering of static and animated 3D graphics objects making MPEG-4 an excellent vehicle for representing 3D content for mobile applications such as games.

“This realization is based on IMEC’s longstanding expertise in cost-efficient implementation of advanced multimedia systems for embedded platforms, which resulted already in several contributions to MPEG standardization initiatives,” said Rudy Lauwereins, Vice President Design Technology for Integrated Information and Communication Systems, IMEC. “Mobile multimedia industry can now benefit from core technologies standardized in an open international framework. The player is the result of the synergy between INT’s MPEG-4 standardization activities and one of INT’s current research trends on on-line gaming in heterogeneous environments,” added Prof. Françoise Prêteux, head of ARTEMIS department.

MPEG-4 is the standard for multimedia for the fixed and mobile web. MPEG-4 video has been selected by several industry groups which set standards for next-generation mobile communication. It is being utilized to develop solutions for video on demand and related applications.

The player was developed as part of the IST OLGA project by IMEC and INT. OLGA targets to provide a unified framework to develop scalable 3D game content enabling roaming of games on a variety of terminals and networks. The project is funded under the Sixth Framework Program of the European Union.

About IMEC
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.

As an expansion of its wireless autonomous microsystems research, IMEC has created a legal entity in the Netherlands. Stichting IMEC Nederland runs activities at the Holst Centre, an independent R&D institute that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for autonomous wireless transducer solutions and systems-in-foil.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1450 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2005, its revenue was EUR 197 million.

About INT
The Institut National des Télécommunications is a public reference pole for higher education and research in IST. It interacts very closely with the world of business, through research contracts and life-long learning programs, and also through its consulting, standardization and business start-up support activities.

ARTEMIS (Advanced Research and TEchniques for Multidimensional Imaging Systems) department scientific expertise covers the broad spectrum of visual content technologies, including analysis, modeling, animation, interactivity, adaptation, indexing, compression, protection, transmission. ARTEMIS actively contributes for ten years to the MPEG standardisation process and has in charge the official French mandate at the CEN and SC29 level.

For its scientific achievements and long-term experience in research-oriented education, ARTEMIS was labeled as a Marie Curie Training Site. ARTEMIS is also involved in French competitiveness clusters (a governmental initiative grouping industrial and institutional players to strengthen R&D effectiveness).