Tag - Imagination
Apple may be getting close to boosting its internal chip design efforts, as it is allegedly in talks to acquire the company behind the GPU technology its System-on-Chip employs. A report claims Apple is in "advanced talks" with Imagination Technologies, a British chip design firm known for producing the architecture for the PowerVR line, a GPU used in Apple's mobile SoCs since the A4 initially introduced with the iPad in 2010.
Imagination Technologies has announced a second reduction in its workforce in as many months, as the company attempts to cut costs and restructure itself. Following on from an announcement in February for the loss of 150 jobs, the producer of the PowerVR graphics architecture used in the iPhone and iPad intends to lay off another 200 staff around the world, as the company endures a general slowdown in the semiconductor market.
The A8X chip in the iPad Air 2 uses a semi-custom graphics component, a new report illustrates. Apple has typically used off-the-shelf GPUs from PowerVR creators Imagination Technologies in the past. In the case of the A8X, though, Apple has combined a pair of Imagination's quad-core GX6450s.
Imagination Technologies has announced a multi-year extension of its licensing deal with Apple, allowing continued access to the former's PowerVR technology. While the A-series chips used in the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and iPod touch are internally designed by Apple, the company relies on PowerVR to drive the graphics portion of processing. Specific terms of the deal haven't been announced, but Apple will be paying licensing fees plus royalties for each chip including Imagination IP.
Imagination Technologies is planning to buy MIPS Technologies in a deal costing $60 million in cash, says Anandtech. MIPS produces one of the few standard CPU architectures outside of Intel and ARM; in buying the company, Imagination will get 82 related patents. Another 580 patents and patent applications have been sold for $350 million to Bridge Crossing, a CPU patent holding group with partners like Intel, ARM, HP, and IBM.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE