Imagination Technologies


'Imagination Technologies' Articles

Apple Hits Back at Supplier Imagination for 'Inaccurate and Misleading' Statements in Contract Dispute

Apple today hit back at disgruntled chipmaker Imagination Technologies for questioning whether it can develop new graphics technology without using the supplier's intellectual property, calling the British firm's response to Apple's decision to part ways with it "disappointing, inaccurate, and misleading." Back in April, Imagination Technologies announced that Apple had told the U.K. firm it planned to stop using its graphics processors in consumer devices over the next two years. The news came as a shock to investors and the company's shares fell by 60 percent on the day. At the same time, the company criticized Apple, claiming that it doubted the tech giant could go it alone without violating Imagination's patents, intellectual property, and confidential information. One month later, the company opened a "dispute resolution procedure" with Apple after failing to resolve the disagreement. On Friday, Apple responded to the graphics chip supplier by claiming that the firm had known for nearly two years that it was winding down the relationship. In an email statement received by Bloomberg, Apple said it first informed Imagination in late 2015 that it would no longer be buying the U.K. company's latest technology, but that it would still use its older systems. Apple claimed that it told Imagination in 2016 that it was further reducing the relationship by initiating a clause in its contract that allows Apple to pay a lower royalty rate for using a smaller amount of intellectual property. By February 2017, Apple said it had told Imagination it was ending the

Imagination Technologies Remains For Sale as No Progress Made in Dispute With Apple

British chipmaker Imagination Technologies today disclosed that its formal sale process continues, despite successful restructuring and a return to profitability in its fiscal year ended April 30, 2017. It also said it is reviewing options in its dispute with Apple, but added that no progress has been made. "The management team have done a tremendous job over the last year, turning the business around, returning it to profitability and with a clear strategy for growth," said chairman Peter Hill. "It's therefore highly regrettable that this progress has been so severely impacted by the stance taken by Apple." Earlier this year, Apple informed Imagination that it plans to stop using the company's patented PowerVR graphics technology in devices like the iPhone in between 15 months and two years. Accordingly, Apple said it will stop making royalty payments to the British firm by late 2018 or early 2019. Apple instead plans to use its own in-house graphics architecture, eliminating the need to pay royalties for the PowerVR technology. Apple is Imagination's biggest customer, reportedly accounting for up to half of the company's revenue. The chipmaker's stock plunged as much as 70 percent after it revealed Apple's plans, as analysts predict the company could become loss-making within two years without royalties from iPhone sales. Imagination insists that Apple is making "unsubstantiated assertions," as the iPhone maker has supposedly yet to present any evidence to prove that it will no longer require the British firm's technology, at least not without violating

Imagination Technologies Up for Sale Following Apple Dispute

British chip maker Imagination Technologies, which lost 70 percent of its value following a dispute with Apple, has put itself up for sale, it was reported on Thursday (via Reuters). Apple informed Imagination in April that it plans to stop using the company's PowerVR graphics technology over the next two years as it begins using its own in-house chips for products like the iPhone and iPad. The news came as a blow to the firm whose contract with Apple accounts for half its revenue. "Imagination Technologies announces that over the last few weeks it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group," it said. "The board of Imagination has therefore decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders."When Apple announced it was ending its supply deal with Imagination the British firm's shares plunged 70 percent. Imagination said at the time that it doubted Apple could go it alone without violating patents, intellectual property, and confidential information. In May the group said it had started a "dispute resolution procedure" with the American tech giant. The company said it was also selling MIPS and Ensigma – two of its three major businesses – in an attempt to shore up cash, allowing for a renewed focus on its PowerVR graphics technology. Imagination said on Thursday that it had received proposals for both businesses. Apple has been a licensee and stakeholder in the company since at least 2008, and became a key investor in mid-2009 after

Imagination Tech Starts 'Dispute Process' With Apple Over Chip Licensing Rights

Long-time Apple chip supplier Imagination Technologies has started a "dispute resolution procedure" with Apple after failing to resolve a disagreement over licensing between the two companies (via Reuters). Last month, Apple informed the British chipmaker that it plans to cease using its graphics technology in consumer devices over the next two years as it transitions to using its own in-house chips for products including iPhones and iPads. The news came as a major blow to Imagination, which receives a small royalty on every device sold, amounting to up to half of its revenue. The company's shares fell by 70 percent on the day and have barely recovered. Imagination stated in April that it doubted Apple could go it alone without violating Imagination' patents, intellectual property and confidential information. On Thursday it said it had been unable to make satisfactory progress with Apple on an alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement. "Imagination has been unable to make satisfactory progress with Apple to date regarding alternative commercial arrangements for the current licence and royalty agreement," it said. "Imagination has therefore commenced the dispute resolution procedure under the licence agreement with a view to reaching an agreement through a more structured process. Imagination has reserved all its rights in respect of Apple's unauthorised use of Imagination's confidential information and Imagination’s intellectual property rights."Analysts have predicted that Imagination will become loss-making by

Apple May Cut Imagination Tech Royalties By Two Thirds as it Winds Down Chip Deal

Apple is likely to pay out just one third of its current royalty rate to Imagination Technologies as it begins winding down its supply deal with the chipmaker over the next two years, according to analysts at UBS financial services (via Reuters). The prediction includes the expectation that British-based Imagination will become loss-making by 2019 without any Apple royalties to fall back on, and that the firm will have to work out a cost-cutting strategy if it is to survive. Earlier this month, shares in Imagination plunged after Apple informed the company that it plans to stop using its graphics technology in Apple consumer devices in up to two years' time. The news delivered a huge blow to Imagination Technologies, which provides the PowerVR graphics architecture found in Apple's full range of iOS devices and receives a small royalty on every sale, amounting to up to half of the British firm's revenue. Imagination said Apple had made the decision because the tech giant was developing its own independent graphics processing chips, which would reduce its reliance on the company. Imagination is reportedly in talks with Apple over a new licensing deal, but UBS analysts forecast that Apple is likely to bring down the royalty rate, currently at around $0.30 per unit, to closer to $0.10, which is the rate Imagination currently charges customers such as MediaTek. Valuing Imagination based on discounted cash flows, UBS estimated the company's Apple business is worth 75 pence per share. Without Apple, the stock tumbles to just 35 pence. That totals 110

Imagination Tech Shares Plunge as Apple Ends Deal With British Firm

Shares in Imagination Technologies plunged by nearly 70 percent on Monday, after Apple informed the British firm that it plans to stop using its graphics technology in Apple consumer devices in up to two years' time. Imagination said Apple had made the decision because the tech giant was developing its own independent graphics processing chips, which would reduce its reliance on the company. The news delivers a major blow to Imagination Technologies, which traditionally provides the PowerVR graphics architecture found in Apple's full range of iOS devices and receives a small royalty on every sale, which amounts to up to half of the British firm's revenue. In a press release posted on the company's website, Imagination said it doubted that Apple could go it alone without violating Imagination' patents, intellectual property and confidential information. Apple has used Imagination’s technology and intellectual property for many years. It has formed the basis of Graphics Processor Units ("GPUs") in Apple’s phones, tablets, iPods, TVs and watches. Apple has asserted that it has been working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology. 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.The firm said that Apple's

Future iPhones Could Support 4K Graphics and Much Faster Gaming With PowerVR Furian

Imagination Technologies today announced PowerVR Furian, its next-generation GPU architecture that promises significant improvements in graphics performance and power efficiency that could benefit future iPhones. PowerVR Furian architecture will offer up to a 70-90% improvement in real-world gaming performance by density, including 35% better shader performance and 80% better fill rate, compared to a similar sized and clocked Series7XT Plus GPU based on current-generation PowerVR Rogue architecture. Meanwhile, with lower power consumption, an iPhone with PowerVR Furian architecture could have longer battery life for graphics-related tasks. Imagination Technologies confirmed to MacRumors that PowerVR Furian architecture supports 4K graphics, laying the foundation for future iPhone models to support higher-resolution gaming and other graphics-intensive tasks such as augmented or virtual reality and machine learning.“We created Furian to address a new class of emerging applications, with a focus on efficient scalability that will extend to multiple generations of PowerVR IP cores. We’re excited to start rolling out the first 8XT IP cores based on Furian. These cores will further cement the leadership of PowerVR at the high end of mobile performance.”Apple's graphics chip in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is a custom-designed version of the Series7XT Plus, and many earlier iPhone models are also based on PowerVR Rogue architecture, so it is reasonable to assume that future iPhone models may use at least some of the PowerVR Furian architecture. Imagination

Apple's Custom Mobile Chip Designs Gradually Expanding to Include Graphics Hardware

After years of recruiting graphics architects, Apple has gradually shifted from licensing PowerVR graphics to designing its own custom GPUs for iPhones, according to David Kanter at Real World Technologies. The new graphics processor is said to have first shipped with the A8 chip in the iPhone 6, with successive versions built into in the A9 and A10 Fusion chips powering the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 lineups respectively. For context, Kanter said a modern GPU has three major components that work together in harmony to render graphics:The first is the fixed-function graphics hardware, which is responsible for tasks like processing API commands, triangle rasterization, and raster output. The second is the shader core, which is the heart of the GPU and executes programmable shaders (e.g., vertex, geometry, pixel, and compute shaders). Last, the graphics driver is the software that runs on the CPU and ties everything together, coordinating the activities of the GPU. The driver transforms graphics applications written in the Metal or OpenGL ES APIs into a series of commands for the fixed-function hardware and programmable shaders that execute on the shader cores.Apple previously relied on PowerVR chipmaker Imagination Technologies to supply fixed-function graphics hardware, shader cores, and drivers for older-generation iPhones, but Kanter said Apple has since replaced the programmable shader cores with its own more efficient and higher performance design, and developed its own driver and compiler to emit code for its architecture. While Apple's GPU architecture has

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

Apple in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire GPU Supplier Imagination Technologies [Update: No]

Apple is reportedly in "advanced talks" to acquire British microchip designer Imagination Technologies, according to The Verge this morning. The information is said to come from "a source with knowledge of the discussions". When asked for comment, Imagination Technologies refused to deny the planned takeover. The report follows the UK firm's announcement just last week that it was making additional cuts to its business as part of a significant restructuring program, which saw 350 jobs axed in the process. Imagination 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 became a key investor in mid-2009 when it raised its stake in the firm to 10 percent. In 2014, Imagination announced an extended licensing agreement with Apple. Imagination Technologies currently has a market capitalization of around £500 million ($714.5 million). The acquisition, if confirmed, would likely mean Apple could design future graphics architecture for its iOS devices in-house. Update 8:25 AM: Apple tells CNBC it "did hold some talks" with Imagination but does not intend to make an offer to acquire it. Despite earlier reports, Apple says it doesn't plan to make an offer to buy Imagination Tech. but it did hold some talks with the company.— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 22, 2016 Update 8:31 AM: Apple's full statement has been published by the London Stock Exchange.From time to time, Apple talks with companies about potential acquisitions. We had some

Apple GPU Supplier Imagination Technologies Announces Cuts Amid Slowing iPhone Sales

British microchip designer and major Apple supplier Imagination Technologies announced additional cost cuts this morning, following a significant restructuring program unveiled by the UK firm only last month. The company, which supplies the PowerVR graphics architecture in Apple's iPhones and iPads, said it would reduce its cost base by an additional £12.5 million ($18 million) by April 2017, on top of the £15 million in cost cuts announced in February. Two hundred staff now face redundancy as a result, adding to the 150 job cuts announced last month. Tough trading conditions and a slowdown in iPhone shipment growth is said to be behind the decision, after the company posted an operating loss for the year to the end of April. "This swift and decisive action will put us back on a sound financial footing and will enable us to have the necessary resources to further strengthen our three core businesses," the company's interim chief executive Andrew Heath said in a statement. "The ongoing operational review will identify clearly where we need to focus, building on our current strengths and allocating the right capital to ensure growth and attractive returns." Imagination Technologies has reported financial difficulties for several years, despite repeated expectations that iPhone sales would boost its revenues. Shares dropped 10 percent last year when the company reported a first-half loss, and nosedived as much as 18 percent when the restructure was announced in February. The company has also put its digital radio business Pure up for sale. Apple has been