It looks like on top of making their own mobile processors, Apple is looking into creating their own graphics chip as well. Imagination Technologies, a company that has been providing GPUs for the iPhone and iPad, recently reported that Apple told them that they would stop using their chips within 15 to 24 months.
While this may sound like an exiting move for consumers, it is a major blow for Imagination Technologies. Within hours of releasing its statement about this matter, its share price plunged by a whopping 69%. Needless to say, Imagination Technologies isn’t happy with the move, and is fully prepared for a patent battle as they do not believe that Apple would be able to make its own GPU without infringing on its intellectual property.
“Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information. This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it.
Further, Imagination believes that it would be extremely challenging to design a brand new GPU architecture from basics without infringing its intellectual property rights, accordingly Imagination does not accept Apple’s assertions.”
Apple currently holds an 8% share in Imagination Technologies. About a year ago, it was reported that the Cupertino company considered buying Imaginations. Sadly, the deal did not come through. Instead, MacRumors reported that Apple poached several engineers from Imaginations.
If this report is true, we could see Apple’s very own GPU as soon as next year’s iPhone. Apple’s own A-series CPU is already very impressive, often outperforming its competitors, so it’ll definitely be exciting to see what the company can come up with on its own graphics processor.