Google has acquired GraphicsFuzz which is a company specializing in mobile graphics benchmarking tools, for an undisclosed amount. GraphicsFuzz is a three-person team-Alastair Donaldson, Hugues Evrard, and Paul Thomson and they will be joining Google’s Android Graphics Team to integrate their specialist graphics driver testing technology within the Android ecosystem.
The company’s flagship product ShaderTest GLES uses shaders that run in the graphics pipeline and guide the rendering process. It will also help in detecting bugs in drivers through a process called metamorphic testing.
The reference shaders produce an image, post which ShaderTest GLES applies semantics so to preserve transformations to the source code and compares the output. If the two results don’t match, ShaderTest GLES’s “intelligent reducer” feature reverses the transformations to narrow down the bug’s cause.
This technology is being used to detect vulnerabilities in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 where the GraphicsFuzz discovered an exploit in Qualcomm’s Adreno 630 graphics driver that let malicious WebGL webpages to trigger a reboot with Samsung’s stock internet browser.
The GraphicsFuzz technology was developed by Alastair, Hugues, Paul and Andrei Lascu from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, with funding support from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the TETRACOM EU project.
Google’s Spokesperson in a statement said:
The technology developed by GraphicsFuzz helps graphics technology vendors to build more reliable products, which is in high demand in today’s technology-driven world,” Lamia Baker, a senior licensing executive at Imperial Innovations, one of GraphicsFuzz’s development partners, said. “This acquisition is an endorsement of the company’s progress, as well as a unique opportunity for GraphicsFuzz to have a positive impact in one of the world’s leading mobile operating systems.
Alastair Donaldson, Director of GraphicsFuzz, said:
The acquisition by Google is a fantastic opportunity to maximise the worldwide impact of our graphics driver testing technology.