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.