Apple has long used Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPUs in its custom A-series chipset. However, that is about to change in the coming years as the company has informed Imagination Technologies that it will stop using its GPU in its consumer devices within the next two years.
The news led to Imagination Technologies stock tanking by as much as 70 percent since Apple has traditionally been the company’s largest customer.
The official announcement from Imagination says that Apple 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.”
The British-based GPU company had requested information from Apple to ensure that it was not violating any of its patents, but Apple declined to provide any such information. The GPU maker believes that it is extremely challenging for Apple to create a new GPU design and architecture right from scratch without violating any of its patents and IPs.
This revelation from Apple has also led to Imagination Technologies discussing its current licensing and royalty agreement with Apple. For the year ending April 30, 2017, Apple’s royalties to Imagination Technologies are expected to be in the range of £65 million.
While Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPUs are extremely powerful and have long been used by Apple, the company has struggled to stay afloat. It was reported last year that Apple was in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire the struggling GPU maker but the talks apparently fell apart.
With Apple already designing its own CPU for its A-series chipset, it will be interesting to see what the company is able to cook up in the GPU department for its future devices. By designing its own CPU and GPU, Apple will be able to offer a level of integration and optimisation between hardware and software that will remain unrivaled in the mobile smartphone space for a very long time.