Apple Poaches Imagination Technologies COO and Graphics Engineers After Passing On Acquisition
Earlier this year, it was reported Apple was in "advanced talks" to acquire British semiconductor designer Imagination Technologies, just one week after the chip maker announced job cuts. Apple subsequently confirmed the talks, but said it did not plan to make an offer to purchase the company at the time.
Nevertheless, over the past year, Apple has been recruiting talent away from the company, according to multiple LinkedIn profiles. Imagination Technologies COO John Metcalfe, for example, left the company in June and is now listed as a Senior Director at Apple, where he started in July.
Imagination Technologies engineers Dave Roberts, Jonathan Redshaw, and Benjamin Bowman are also now employed by Apple. Likewise, a fourth engineer Simon Nield joined Apple as a Design Manager just this month. A search of former Imagination Technologies employees now working at Apple yields 25 results.
Apple poaching employees from Imagination Technologies could be part of its efforts to build out an in-house graphics team.
Many of the employees continue to be based in the London, England area, although some have relocated to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. An anonymous tipster informed us that Apple has established a new team in London to work on GPUs in house, but the information remains unconfirmed.
Imagination Technologies traditionally supplies the PowerVR graphics architecture found in Apple's range of iPhones and iPads. Apple has been a licensee and stakeholder in the company since at least 2008, and it became a key investor in mid-2009 when it raised its stake in the firm to 10 percent.
In 2014, Imagination Technologies announced an extended licensing agreement with Apple, providing the iPhone maker with access to current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores as part of a multi-year deal. These technologies are incorporated into Apple's own A-series chips like the A10 Fusion in iPhone 7.