Apple teams up with Imagination in new and wider IP licensing deal
A former Apple partner this morning announced a new relationship with the iPhone maker as Imagination Technologies (“Imagination”) announced the replacement of its multi-year, multi-use license agreement with Apple, first announced on February 6, 2014, with a new multi-year license agreement.
A little imagination
The deal provides Apple with what Imagination describes as “a wider range of Imagination’s intellectual property in exchange for license fees.”
Details are scarce, but it is worth noting Apple’s decision to dump an earlier deal with Imagination caused lots of problems for the UK firm, which was acquired in 2017 by Canyon Bridge, a global private equity investment fund.
Among other recent technologies, Imagination recently discussed its IMG A-Series is a range of ultra-efficient, highly-featured, high-performance GPUs based on tile-based deferred rendering, offering 2.5x the performance of previous shipping PowerVR GPUs.
With Apple’s focus on machine vision and AR, and its building alliance of chip tech developers, it now seems likely Imagintion’s tech will be woven into Apple’s big plans for this decade: Apple Car, glasses and health-related imaging systems.
Apple’s graphics original
After all, when Apple and Imagination confirmed the change in their previous relationship, the UK firm said:
“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,” a statement from Imagination reads.
Apple has continued to develop its own GPU — but it’s possible it hopes to deploy more sophisticated systems based on multiple IP. Imagination had earlier predicted Apple would face difficulties developing its own completely original GPUs — perhaps this new relationship proves that claim? Perhaps not — but Apple’s building partnerships continue to open new opportunities for the PC originator.