updated 08:30 pm EDT, Wed April 30, 2008
PowerVR SGX-based iPhone
Apple could have exclusive rights to a new 3D chip for its next incarnation from Imagination Technologies – the company behind the current device's Samsung-constructed graphics platform. AppleInsider reveals that the processor manufacturer entered into a secret licensing deal with Apple last July to supply the latter with its new graphics chipset, the PowerVR SGX. Samsung is currently licensing the SGX design for manufacture.
The arrangement seems likely, given current evidence. The anonymous arrangement announced last year noted "the SoCs (system-on-a-chip) to be developed under this license agreement will be produced for this new partner by Imagination’s existing semiconductor partners and/or new chip manufacturing partners."
Apple has since purchased PA Semiconductor, a company that specializes in fabless chip designs. Apple was reportedly more interested in the company's creative minds, rather than purchasing the company explicitly for its existing products.
The SDK Roadmap event also saw 10 separate companies dedicated to offering game content for the device, while Apple itself posted a job position last year related to game development.
While Apple CEO Steve Jobs openly pans gaming, the combination of the aforementioned factors point to a potentially large push into the mobile gaming industry – territory fiercely guarded by Nintendo's DS and Sony's Playstation Portable gaming systems.