Update 3/22/2016 1:10 PM: Apple told British regulators that it had entered preliminary takeover talks with Imagination Technologies before deciding against an offer, Bloomberg reports. Our original story is below.
Imagination Technologies is going through a bit of a rough patch right now, but it may have a savior waiting in the wings. Apple already licenses Imagination's PowerVR graphics technology in its custom SoCs, and now it seems as though Cupertino may be ready to purchase the British chip designer outright. A report by Ars Technica UK suggests Apple is in "advanced talks" with Imagination to hammer out a takeover deal. Imagination didn't deny that talks were taking place when Ars UK asked for comment.
Bringing Imagination in-house would add significant chops to Apple's already-impressive internal SoC development team, perhaps leading to significant increases in mobile graphics performance for the company's iDevices. Apple kicked off its own silicon development efforts with the acquisition of PA Semi in 2008, and its A-series chips with custom ARM CPU cores have become market-leading performers since that time. Imagination Technologies shares are up about 20% on the news.