Monday, 3 April 2017

Apple working on its own GPU for future iPhones

Apple already designs it own SoCs (system on chips) for iPhone, iPads and other devices. Now the company is planning to develop its own Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) in-house, as the Cupertino giant is breaking ties with its long time GPU supplier, Imagination Technologies.

Apple has announced that it will stop using graphic chips provided by UK based Imagination Technologies for its iPhone in 15 months to two year time. Instead, Apple is working on its own GPUs, which are based on separate, independent graphic design, a move which would help the company to have more control over its products. 

However, Imagination Technologies is doubtful, if Apple has the ability to design its own GPUs without breaching the chip makers intellectual property rights. 

Imagination said in a press statement ― 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. 

Imagination also warns that it has "reserved all its rights in respect of Apple's unauthorized use of confidential information and Imagination's intellectual property rights and that a further announcement will be made in due course".

Apple has used Imagination Technologies' GPUs in most of its devices including iPhones, iPads, iPods, TV and watches. Apart from Apple, the British based chip designer' designs are used in wearable devices, virtual reality headsets, cars and consumer multimedia.

However, Apple is one of the biggest customers of Information Technologies, and losing it is a big blow for the company. Shares of Imagination plunged as much as 69 percent following Apple's announcement. 


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