Apple has indeed been working on its own iPhone GPU design, and Imagination isn’t happy
It’s no big secret that Apple likes to control as much of its products’ manufacturing and design process as possible, and it’s been rumored for quite some time that the Cupertino-based tech giant was looking to get into the iPhone GPU-creating business.
After carefully considering an acquisition of longtime partner Imagination Technologies last year, the world’s largest publicly traded corporation went on an obviously related hiring spree, and now it’s all practically etched in stone.
The “leading multimedia, processor and communications technology company” behind the PowerVR GPU family wants us to know Apple has been working on a “separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products”, aiming to reduce its “future reliance on Imagination’s technology.”
Sounds like an unusual admission of imminent revenue loss, especially since the move is still 15 to 24 months away, but the point Imagination is trying to make is this won’t go down without a fight. Apple’s “assertions” that it will “no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information” are currently unsubstantiated by evidence, thus making the GPU veteran skeptical of Apple’s abilities to “design a brand new GPU architecture from basics without infringing its intellectual property rights.”
In a nutshell, Imagination thinks its technology might be unlawfully used by Apple’s in-house graphics processing unit for the iPhone… 9 (?), proposing “alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement.” Before any such deal is reached however, the company’s stock price has plummeted over 60 percent.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to prove its ambition knows no bounds, having been in charge of A-series CPU designs for roughly seven years now. This is the logical next step, but it still takes guts and more money than we can wrap our heads around.