Apple will wind down its use of PowerVR IP in future SoCs

In an explosive press release this morning, Imagination Technologies revealed that Apple, a long-time customer of its GPU designs, will no longer be using PowerVR GPU technology in its A-series SoCs. Imagination says that Apple will wind down its usage of PowerVR graphics IP within "15 months to two years time." That move will end Imagination's revenue stream from royalties on Apple SoCs.

According to Imagination, the reason for this split is that Apple will be working on its own graphics processor technology for future A-series SoCs. That in-house development "will be reducing [Apple's] future reliance on Imagination's technology," according to the press release. That unusually frank disclosure from an Apple supplier might suggest that Apple's in-house GPU development is yet to come, but we've known that custom development work has been under way for some time already. David Kanter showed that Apple is shipping a custom-designed shader ALU in the A10 SoC's GPU late last year.

This parting of ways will likely be rancorous. Imagination doesn't believe that Apple can carry out its mission to bring GPU development in-house without violating or replicating a wide swath of its "patents, intellectual property, and confidential information." Imagination is also skeptical that Apple has the chops to design a ground-up GPU architecture without infringing on its intellectual property. Accordingly, Imagination "does not accept Apple's assertions" that it can carry out this work without relying on Imagination's know-how.

Should Apple be able to cut its ties with Imagination, the move would be a huge blow to the firm. Imagination called its Apple contract "essential to the business of the Group" in its 2016 financial report. Of the £120 million in revenue Imagination took in for its fiscal 2016, Apple represented £60.7 million of the pie. Imagination stock is down about 64% as of this writing.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Just a thought. Why can’t Imagination reenter the discrete PC graphics space? Would be very cool to have a third player again instead of the duopoly we have now (I don’t really consider Intel to be a real option as someone who thinks proper gaming ability is a necessity).

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      Nvidia’s mindshare (which years ago existed for good & valid reasons) is to large.
      Granted, AMD also shot themselves in the foot shelving ATI.

      I would still love to see Imagination Technolgies do it. Sell the MIPS anchor.

      The second problem I see is they have spent years only scaling up so much. Even now I think they largest design will ‘only’ scale to 1TFLOP FP32 at 1Ghz.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      The reason is that it needs to build the software momentum and that’s significant. Even if they had the cash to throw at it, its not just about that. Also, drivers.

      Nvidia and AMD has plenty of that. Intel is still struggling.

      The difficult part is actually doing optimizations that makes games work the way people in the mature PC gaming market expect. That’s…. hard. Gamers are probably the pickiest people to cater to.

      That’s assuming PowerVR has significant architectural advantages over Nvidia. Its probably not significant at all.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t think the discrete PC graphics space is big enough to support a third major player.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 2 years ago

    So, the company that designs the massively powerful GPUs that have given Apple a significant edge in graphics smoothness and fidelity for almost as long as smart phones and tablets have existed… only had £120 million in revenue in 2016 and only £60 million of that was from Apple? Compare this to Apple’s $200+ *billion* revenue in 2016…

    Sounds like a pretty shoddy deal to me.

    Hopefully Imagination Technologies can refocus their efforts on providing the level of performance they’ve given Apple to all of their competitors.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      And on that 60 million pounds, Imaginationtech has between 95-99% pure profit.
      Welcome to licensing.

      ARM charges a license of <1-3% typically. For a customer Apple’s size, about 1% for the GPU seems right.

      Indicating average cost per SoC to Apple is about 35 dollars.

    • Pancake
    • 2 years ago

    Wow. Apple will take CPU/GPU integration to the next level as the only end-to-end hardware/software developer in the world. They design their own silicon, how all the bits integrate on it, create their own operating system and APIs, even their own languages. Expect some amazing products in the next few years that the likes of Microsoft, Intel, Samsung can barely ape. I write this as an avowed Apple hater even though I have an iPad and Mac Pro in my menagerie of everything computing.

      • bfar
      • 2 years ago

      For all their capability they still don’t always get it right. For example, the other day I tried to set up a playlist in the video app, but that basic functionality isn’t available.

    • DavidC1
    • 2 years ago

    As someone pointed out, this is likely done to have things their own way. It may or may not turn into profits, but Apple has done pretty good job of that in the past decade, so it may work out for them financially too.

    The phrase “millionares see the world as their playground but to billionaires see it as a proving ground” rings true.

    Also the reason that companies go for acquisitions rather than just cooperating with them. Different heads at different companies mean conflicting interests.

    The NIH(not in house) mentality usually attributed to Intel is seeping to Apple management too.

    I think long-term its bad for companies to intimately work with Apple, because eventually they’ll do the same as they did with Imagination.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]I think long-term its bad for companies to intimately work with Apple, because eventually they'll do the same as they did with Imagination[/quote<] [url<]https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion[/url<]

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      Apple doesn’t seem NIH to me. They instead want the best fot for their devices.
      Like few strong cores instead of many Mobile cores.

      Given they order direct from foundry, probably cheaper than paying Qualcomm to make such a design.

      This mobile GPU is probably the same. Customizing another’s architecture can only get you so far.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 2 years ago

        An example, say Apple did semi custom with low margins, so Say Qualcomm makes $5 per SoC. 15-20% margins for a large SoC on bleeding process.

        Some 250 million iDevices sold in 2016. That’s a 1.25 dollars.

        Apple’s SoC team probably is <300m a quarter. At least the parts doing mobile designs.

        • DavidC1
        • 2 years ago

        Look, I am not saying NIH is a bad thing. It can go both ways. Done well, it probably works best for the world we know and live in today. The key is in conflicting interests. Separate companies just seem to have disadvantages because of that. Management one company X wants different goals from company Y. I think Intel’s NIH is “NIH” just because, while at least for the moment it seems Apple does it because its “for the best”. Eventually it turns out to be the same thing.

        blastdoor: I am not sure whether you are saying IMG went the route of cooperating with Apple because they though it was better than having no business or you are saying the route of loss aversion is a better thing.

        Regardless we have seen and will see what Apple is doing. They have such a force, they make the suppliers reveal information and roadmaps that are normally not revealed. Then they use that force to take your employees and key management over time, and eventually they have enough resources to completely replace them. Is that the best way to go?

        NoOne ButMe: I have to think Apple has greater worries than just a few hundred million dollars. Driving the way they want is I think worth far more than that. Your own “vision”. Who knows what they heck that is for Apple. It’s also possible that they are just full of bean counters by now and do worry about every dollar but as a company worth more than 1/2 trillion dollars they have at least a brain cell to know its not the best way to go?

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 2 years ago

    Apple’s bananas

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 2 years ago

    So the upcoming 11th generation iPhone has a good chance of not using imagination technologies PowerVR. Given Apple sells N and N-1 generation typically.

    24 months may also be longer than that. And indicate the 12th generation iPhone will be the first to leave PowerVR.

    Add one more to each generation if you choose to count the SE as it’s own generation.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    It seems Imagination holds some patents that are the heart of Apples TBR based GPUs, so I do wonder what Apple is going to do. Maybe they’ll still licence some parts of the IP from them or others. You *could* hide such features within the GPU, Nvidias GPUs were partially doing it without us knowing for quite some time, but that sort of deception to get around a patent would be sleazy.

    I think they’re going to licence some IP then, from either AMD, Nvidia, or indeed Imagination.

    I don’t see Imaginations wording as a barb here, more a signal to stockholders that they may still get a lesser revenue stream from Apple from patents.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 2 years ago

    See folks, this is what happens when you have one or two contracts that make up the bulk of your revenue stream.

    Unfortunate choice for Imagination, but if Apple thinks they can pull it off, well, there was some skepticism when they started spinning their own ARM cores, but that turned out all right. Maybe this will, too.

    Apple’s continued push to consolidate everything top-to-bottom in house has been interesting to watch.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      Better to have had Apple’s business than not. The key is to keep that big customer happy and also to plan for the potential loss of the business.

      From the outside, it certainly seems that Imagination’s board/management has made a grave miscalculation. But who knows — maybe SoftBank will swoop in and buy them up for more than Apple was wiling to pay.

    • Wirko
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]In an explosive[/quote<] This has become a bit of a buzzword in mobile-related news, huh?

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      At least it wasn’t called “disruptive”.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      This disruptive explosion in synergy will really shake the market!

        • Redocbew
        • 2 years ago

        I say it will be disruptive and transformative(is this even a word?) leading to a paradigm shift which will cement their position on the cutting edge of a vital, customer-facing demographic.

        Ugh. Yuck. Gak.

      • oldog
      • 2 years ago

      Courageous?

    • llisandro
    • 2 years ago

    Assuming the will to do so is there, which is the more significant hurdle (GPU or CPU) holding Apple back from converging to OS to run across all platforms?

    That is, do you think this betrays a step toward converging the OS, or is more about maximizing margins on mobile?

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      CPU for sure, GPUs are more abstracted away from the core OS. But it could certainly indicate a small step.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      It can’t be directly about margins with Imagination getting so little revenue from Apple. Apple probably is frustrated with the various GPU makers having their own priorities, and would rather make hardware to solve their exact problems.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      The most significant hurdle is the will to do it.

      But to answer the question…

      I’d say CPU, just because some people run Windows on Macs. Microsoft does support ARM, but in reality most of the Windows apps that people want to use are x86 only. Some might run ok under emulation, but there are many notable exceptions (for example, games).

      If Apple were to decide they don’t care about losing some Mac customers who needs native x86 Windows support, then the CPU issue is still the relatively bigger issue, but it’s not a very big issue in an absolute sense. Apple’s software stack is vastly more conducive to switching CPUs than it was the last two times Apple switched CPUs, and both of those switches went very smoothly. Apple also has vastly more financial resources to make the switch, too.

    • w76
    • 2 years ago

    Interesting that Imagination could do what they do on 120 million in revenue. Maybe that’s why AMD and Nvidia aren’t in the mobile space? There’s no appreciable money to be made? Competition among smaller players like these guys has already eliminated large net margins?

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      Based on imagination technologies ~85M dollars licensing, the TAM tam Is probably near 500 million dollars.

      But that is based on marketshare. Which Is invalid as Qualcomm is inhouse, and Mali is cheaper for the large section of “a penny increase is to high” segment as well.

      Consider Nvidia’ reference deal was 264 million dollars a year from Intel. Can you think why their patent licensing was basically trolling. If not in intent, than in prices quoted.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 2 years ago

      Well they only sell and make designs, so i’d guess most of their costs relate to running their design labs, offices and paying their staff.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    In this instance I think it’s unlikely that Apple will be criticized for a lack of Imagination.

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    I wonder if Imagination will get bought up by someone after this. Maybe Samsung wants some GPU design teams?

      • 223 Fan
      • 2 years ago

      Perhaps Imagination is angling for a buyer with a) the desire to prosecute patent infringement claims against Apple and b) the deep pockets required to pursue such infringement claims. Microsoft would seem to fit the bill.

      Edit: dare I say I had a lack of imagination? Google would fit the bill better.

    • yogibbear
    • 2 years ago

    Bananas is buying LEG confirmed.

    • vikas.sm
    • 2 years ago

    Apple is buying AMD, CONFIRMED!!
    Strike that….
    Apple is buying ARM, CONFIRMED!!
    Either ways they are buying someone with the know how.
    They’re not gonna license GPU tech from anyone. Why stop licensing from one vendor and then license from another vendor?

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Wasn’t there news that Intel was going to switch from licencing Nvidia patents to AMD patents? AMD could have been providing much better terms, for their weak bargaining position.

      Not that there’s evidence that’s what Apple is doing.

        • blastdoor
        • 2 years ago

        Certainly possible! Apple has been curiously “loyal” to AMD in its use of GPUs in Macs. And Apple seems to like OpenCL.

        No doubt Imagination now regrets rejecting Apple’s buyout terms (if those rumors were true).

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          Yes. Turns out threatening to sue Imaginationtech GPU users was a bad idea for Nvidia. Who would have though…

          Especially with the just amazing power consumption of Mobile Maxwell. 4W less power for 400mhz less clock. Truly a great mobile competitor.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          I think Apple’s loyalty to OpenCL is why they’re loyal to AMD, not the other way around. Nvidia was looking for some help in that department [url=https://techreport.com/news/30711/rumor-nvidia-and-apple-may-reunite-for-future-mac-gpus<]a while back[/url<] but so far nothing has come of it.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      Apple are building their own GPU. They already heavily customise the PowerVR GPU in their latest chips (see article on Real World Tech for more), and have poached away tonnes of graphics engineers.

      • melgross
      • 2 years ago

      Over the years, Apple has bought at least three GPU IP design firms that I know of. They may have bought more. Also, they have applied for at least twelve GPU related patents, and possibly more, in just the last two years alone.

      They have a GPU design center in London, and others in different places. They hired over a dozen AMD GPU engineers in 2013, I believe it was, and they been hiring engineers from Imagitation as well, particularly after the purchase negotiations fell through.

      There is no doubt that they’ve been working on GPU and GPU firmware design for years. Much of the current iOS based GPUs that Apple uses are already of their design, and so this would complete it. If Apple has told them this, they must be pretty confident that this is something that they can do, and that they’re close to releasing it, possibly by late this year with the A11, or possibly even an A10X.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 2 years ago

    That was only costing Apple £60 million? Why would they even bother?

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      If they think that making their own fully custom GPU (and probably more tightly integrated with the rest of the SoC and software stack) will make a considerably better iPhone.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      “Even bothering” is kind of their thing 😛

      Why create a costly custom CPU core rather than licence ARMs for chump change? Same reason, they think they can create a better experience going on their own.

      But golly, With about 300 million iPhones and IPads being sold a year, they are paying 25 cents per device, which is nothing on lofty 35% profit margins.

        • blastdoor
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]"Even bothering" is kind of their thing 😛 [/quote<] Tell that to Mac Pro users 🙁

          • tipoo
          • 2 years ago

          *zing*
          But also 🙁

          I wonder if this new GPU uArch could scale up to that though. Now that would be interesting. But also another year or two without a Mac Pro update.

            • blastdoor
            • 2 years ago

            Yeah… at this point the data on the Mac Pro seem consistent with one of two hypotheses:

            1. Apple doesn’t give a cr@p about the Mac Pro
            2. Apple has some major, super-duper, amazing plans that have taken longer to implement than expected, resulting in an embarrassing situation; but when the plans are revealed all Mac Pro users will rejoice

            #1 seems more likely, but #2 is far from impossible. If there’s an amazing plan, though, I think we’ll find out about it this year. I don’t think the amazing plan would depend on this future Apple-designed GPU. That GPU would go first to iOS devices. I’m sure the Mac will continue using AMD graphics for the foreseeable future.

            • NoOne ButMe
            • 2 years ago

            I was surprised it didn’t convert to a single Underclocked Hawaii card.
            Lower TPD than dual Tahiti and faster FP64. Big lower FP32. But given how Apple is about power…

            • Ninjitsu
            • 2 years ago

            i’m very skeptical that they can match AMD/Nvidia in performance in 5 years.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            Maybe, but otoh, if anyone can it’s them. They were taking PowerVRs mobile leading architectures and topping them, that should place them at least in the efficiency ballpark of Pascal. Throw their monumental funds behind it and they could stick with the best.

            That said, I’m not sure if they could top GPUs as much as they topped ARM CPUs, since they’re inherently smaller repetitive units.

            • NoOne ButMe
            • 2 years ago

            They’ve been working on it for at least 4-5 years already.

            I don’t think Apple will strive to beat AMD or Nvidia on anything except performance per watt. And I imagine Apple’s custom GPU Architecture beats PowerVR. As pref/watt seems to be Apple’s priority.

            Which means it crushes Nvidia’s “low power” GPUs. (Which means i of course demolishes AMD even worse).

            • blastdoor
            • 2 years ago

            Depends on how you define two words in that sentence: “can” and “performance.”

            If by “can” you really mean “will” and if by “performance” you mean “FPS in the latest Windows shooter”, then I agree with you. Apple is not entering the market for discrete GPUs.

            But if by “can” you mean “is capable of” and by “performance” you mean things that Apple actually cares about, then I don’t agree with your skepticism.

            I think what Apple cares about is performance/watt in mobile gaming and, more importantly, mobile compute. I think they are fully capable of beating everyone on the things they care about. They’ve clearly got the money and they’ve shown they can convert money into success.

            • the
            • 2 years ago

            Skepticism is well within reason but Apple was able to capture the ARM performance crown with their first custom core and haven’t bothered looking back. Now they’re nipping at Intel in performance/clock and an impressively low total power. I wouldn’t doubt that Apple’s custom hardware would be competitive with AMD, nVidia and Imagination otherwise they wouldn’t join the game with so many options available.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            On the pessimistic but somewhat likely side, 3) Apple internally found the new Mac pro to be a G4 Cube-ish flop in sales, and now don’t know if they should update it or completely start over

            • blastdoor
            • 2 years ago

            I suspect that you are correct that it was a G4 Cube-ish flop in sales.

            But I think we’re beyond a simple update. I think they’re either going to dump it completely or completely start over. In my mind, that’s just a different way of stating my two hypotheses.

            • the
            • 2 years ago

            3) Apple is just waiting for new releases of parts to align for an update. This however ignores that Apple has so far skipped an entire generation of parts of every major component in the Mac Pro design. 2011-3 Haswell/Broadwell CPU, DDR4 memory, AMD Hawaii/Fury, several SSD controllers and Thunderbolt 3 controllers.

            The next alignment of parts should come in the summer with Intel releasing Sky Lake-EP and AMD’s Vega GPU.

            • NTMBK
            • 2 years ago

            Or with a Zen/Vega HPC APU.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      I doubt it’s the money and more likely they just want total control in order to implement new features with better perf/watt.

      Many moons ago (I think it was late 90s), Steve Jobs talked about the advantages of making “the whole widget”. Back then it was just talk — there was very little discernible technical advantage to Apple’s vertical integration. But today it really is true. Controlling the silicon, OS, compiler, programming language, etc. really does have tangible benefits, particularly in mobile devices.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 2 years ago

      Someone brought up in a comment thread over at Ars that it could also have to do with getting away from depending on a UK business with brexit looming. Not sure if that actually factored into it, but it’s something that isn’t obvious at first glance.

      I think it’s more a matter of getting more top-to-bottom control of their own devices.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    I don’t get the point of making this announcement. There’s zero chance this threat is going to affect Apple’s plans.

    If any company has shown it can come out of nowhere and design something excellent on the first try, it’s Apple. Its hardware as a whole isn’t really all that exciting anymore, but its silicon has been executed as well as Nvidia’s these days, and it’s doing more and more without anyone’s help.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]I don't get the point of making this announcement.[/quote<] Imagination is a publicly traded company. There are legal requirements for them to disclose information like this to the public (they would rather not tell anybody until the last possible minute if they could).

      • w76
      • 2 years ago

      Imagination made the announcement because, uh, it’s a public company and it’s a pretty big freakin’ deal for it’s owners? 😉

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      It’s their responsibility to stockholders to let them know of a big deal like this, Apple was probably their bread and butter.

      The added dig at Apple was a warning shot not to breach patents.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      Thanks, everyone, for piling on. :p

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        DID YOU KNOW THEY HAVE TO TELL STOCKHOLDERS?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          BUT I THOUGHT THEY WERE A PRIVATE COMPANY

          Seriously, I know that stuff has to be announced, but I didn’t know it had to be announced more than a year in advance.

            • ddarko
            • 2 years ago

            As a UK company trading on the London Stock Exchange, this disclosure is specifically required by the UK’s Listing Rules Sections 9.1 and 9.2. Companies must immediately disclose any new developments that may lead to substantial movement in the price of its stock. Given that Apple accounted for half of Imagination’s revenue, the development that Apple was ending its relationship qualified under the Listing Rules for public disclosure.

            [url<]https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/6-101-7488?__lrTS=20170403145959584&transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1#co_anchor_a198373[/url<]

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            Very useful, thanks!

      • HERETIC
      • 2 years ago

      Don’t know about the”without anyone’s help”
      I’m surprised it’s taken this long-remembering how many ATI guys
      went to work for apple………

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Poaching is a reality (at least now that there aren’t anti-poaching agreements). I’m talking about from-scratch designs.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    I wonder if the GPU could start on mobile and make its way to the Mac, now that would be more interesting.

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      Presumably when they ditch Intel they’ll also move to their internal GPU.

    • Peter.Parker
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<] ... the reason for this split is that .. [/quote<] Kudos for not using "the reason for this is because" form. And about this Apple move, Imagination shouldn't be upset, it's not personal, just business.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Yowza, this is a big deal. I had always thought Apple was capable of this, but like Imagination is saying, I figured they kept Imagination around for the patents. I wonder if they can create a ground up GPU without infringing on any of the many GPU makers patents, at this point in time.

    Or what if they licensed patents from AMD or something, that could also be interesting.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      I wonder if its risky for Apply to leave Imagination laying around with potential legal ammo, if the company isn’t going to be profitable by any other means, it seems like someone could come along and weaponize the patents. Maybe after the company burns for a while, it will be worth Apple’s while to make an offer.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Fair point. Since Imagination says they would be hard pressed to make a GPU without their patents, imagine if, say, Samsung snapped them up.

          • blastdoor
          • 2 years ago

          I hadn’t thought of that angle! Very good point!

      • the
      • 2 years ago

      I was under the impression that Apple had some cross licensing or outright licensing deals in place with the relevant players: AMD, Intel, nVidia etc.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      Apple can go to AMD, and Intel to for patent protection/licensing.

      ARM is an iffy candidate.

      Nvidia/Qualcomm are long shots.

      There is IP to go around for Apple to license as a “shield”

    • nico1982
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]This parting of ways will likely be rancorous. Imagination doesn't believe that Apple can carry out its mission to bring GPU development in-house without violating or replicating a wide swath of its "patents, intellectual property, and confidential information."[/quote<] 1. Make shares drop like a stone. 2. Buy out Imagination (and its intellectual properties) at discount. 3. Profit.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Imagination put out the press briefing though, Apple said nothing. Unless they have an inside Elop.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        Might wanna google their stock ticker (IMG)
        [url=http://www.fudzilla.com/news/graphics/43287-imagination-a-case-study-of-apple-dependence<]Imagination lost 70% market share overnight[/url<] Step 1 complete.

          • tipoo
          • 2 years ago

          Doesn’t change what I said, Imagination put out the press briefer, Apple would have gone silently but gave Imagination a year and a half notice. Besides, any buyout from Apple now would probably run into stock manipulation rules regardless.

      • Hattig
      • 2 years ago

      Enjoy fines for market manipulation that far exceed the savings.

        • maxxcool
        • 2 years ago

        That is SHORT term loss. Apple is in for the long con. A piddling 4-5 billion dollar penalty to be license independent and have the ability to lease out their resulting IP family they would inherit (pillage) would pay dividends in the long run.

        I’m just shocked they have not bought up ARM at this point. Maybe they are planing on this after getting all the other chunks of the SoC nailed down and in house… I do not like apple products or culture, but a fully independent in house Soc with little or NO royalties would be ideal for them.

        I’d do it ..especially since Samsung has yet to pay anything close their ‘billion dollar’ penalty ..

      • SuperSpy
      • 2 years ago

      Even if Apple didn’t intend to buy Imagination, this seems like the perfect opportunity to do so.

        • JalaleenRumi
        • 2 years ago

        Funny part would be; Imagination gets bought by another competing firm.

        But hey! If I were ‘Imagination’, I wouldn’t get bought by the Company who screwed us at the first sign of opportunity after years of business together.
        Then again, that’s just me. And that’s not how the Business works.

      • Thresher
      • 2 years ago

      Sounds like a good plan, except that it’s stock manipulation and illegal.

        • nico1982
        • 2 years ago

        It would be stock manipulation if Apple announced the cease of the deal (they didn’t), Apple had not an internal alternative in the work (they have) and Apple will proceed in sweeping IMG.L stocks in the next weeks (they will not).
        Everything else is perfectly legal and/or hard to prove otherwise.

          • stefem
          • 2 years ago

          That is a cheap trick that doesn’t work, and the intent will actually be easy to prove. Public company are required to communicate such info to shareholder in a reasonable short time so Apple saying “I didn’t know that would have happened” or “I wasn’t me to inform investors” simply wont stand in a court.

          Anyway, I would personally keep an eye on Intel…

            • TO11MTM
            • 2 years ago

            Good call as far as Intel is concerned.

            I know at one point they owned more than 10% of the shares, although they have divested all of it last I checked. PowerVR GPUs were utilized for a lot of the Atom chips earlier on. It’s also worth noting that (at least according to Wikipedia,) many of said PowerVR powered chips had a GFLOP performance competitive with the Broadwell based GPU that was used in later gens.

            I do know that the quality of drivers for my Medfield harkened back to the days of the GMA950 however. They were not on par with Intel other drivers or AMD’s at the time, let alone Nvidia.

            I think one problem Imagination may be running into, is that they produced a lot of very cool efficient tech way back in the day. I remember being impressed by the capability of the old Kyro 2 cards. Part of me wonders if some of the patents on their most valuable IP are starting to go away, which is what is leading everyone to divest or end partnerships.

      • maxxcool
      • 2 years ago

      It is indirect but yes. With only 60 million in revenue vs 45+ billion Apple just needs to litigate them to death by appealing over and over. Unless they right screw it up and copy IP outright and suffer a iron clad injunction against them Apple can drain Imagination to the brink of bankruptcy.. then bring them in the fold..

        • Beahmont
        • 2 years ago

        In what world do you think that Intel, Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm, Samsung, and ARM don’t also sue and/or foot IMG’s bills?

        While there may be near infinite ways to build a GPU, there are actually very few ways to build an efficient GPU. Of those, I’d imagine that the aforementioned companies own enough of the patents to close off the avenue to building a mobile SoC grade GPU that functions in anyway remotely efficient.

        Add in that it would be absolutely horrible business practice to let Apple further vertically integrate, and the ultimate out come is going to involve lawsuits for a very long time.

          • maxxcool
          • 2 years ago

          As long as Apple can successfully argue they did not ”willfully” infringe on IMG, they can play the legal stall game and out live IMG’s impending cash loss by appealing as much as legal limits allow based on the judgement, crying a lot, and pulling what samsung did and only pay 1/2 the verdict .. 3 years later. IMG’s ability to survive 2+ years of legal battle + a sudden drop of revenue by 40+% is suspect.

          Overall Apples ”announcement is predatory” to say the least. They intend on building their own and they cannot buy out AMD or NV so it stands to reason they plan to cripple IMG and make a play for them. The question will be who ends up buying IMG.. Qualcom could use a alternate arm ipgu vendor/IP was well as.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 2 years ago

            Patent protection doesn’t require willful infringement.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]This parting of ways will likely be rancorous. Imagination doesn't believe that Apple can carry out its mission to bring GPU development in-house without violating or replicating a wide swath of its "patents, intellectual property, and confidential information." [/quote<] [s<]Cha Cha Cha Chia[/s<] I mean... La La La Lawsuit!

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