Apple developing graphics chips for iPhone, to soon end relations with Imagination Technologies

Imagination doubts that Apple would be able to come up with chip technology that wouldn't infringe upon its patents

Imagination Technologies, the British chip designer company that provides Apple with the PowerVR graphics processors to be used in iPhone and iPad, have issued a public statement saying that they have been notified that Apple will "no longer use the Group's intellectual property in its new products in 15 months to two years time."

Reuters/Michael Dalder

Apple has also informed Imagination that they are working on their independent graphics design "in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination's technology," read the statement.

According to The Verge, this is going to hit Imagination hard, as half of its revenue comes from Apple and apparently the company will stop receiving royalties on iPhone and iPad devices that will be launched within 15 to 24 months from now. Imagination Tech's shares have already plummeted more than 60% following the announcement.


It currently, holds 8% of Imagination. About a year ago, Apple had held acquisition talks with Imagination but decided against a full takeover, reported the Financial Times.

If Apple develops its own graphics processors then we could expect an A-series chip with both a fully Apple-designed CPU and GPU as early as next year's iPhone range.

Apple has already found success in CPU designing, with ARM-based processor cores that usually outperform those of competitors. However, Imagination doubts that Apple would be able to come up with chip technology that wouldn't infringe on its patents.

"Further, Imagination believes that it would be extremely challenging to design a brand new GPU architecture from basics without infringing its intellectual property rights, accordingly Imagination does not accept Apple's assertions," read the statement.

Also, Imagination said that both the parties at this moment are discussing "potential alternative commercial arrangements", which might turn out to be another agreement before the launch of new range of Apple products after 15 months from now.