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Apple To Be Parting Ways With Imagination Graphics

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  • Apple To Be Parting Ways With Imagination Graphics

    Phoronix: Apple To Be Parting Ways With Imagination Graphics

    Apple has been the largest customer of Imagination Technologies with continuing to rely upon PowerVR graphics IP in their chips, but it looks like that is changing and Apple could be rolling out their own GPUs...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...o-More-PowerVR

  • #2
    And they'll opensource the drivers. Or not.

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    • #3
      Wow, so they can finally enforce their "WebMetal" and never mention Vulkan or OpenGL again.

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      • #4
        They probably already own the IP from their other cross licensing deals now, so why pay Imagination when they already have it themselves?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by edwaleni View Post
          They probably already own the IP from their other cross licensing deals now, so why pay Imagination when they already have it themselves?
          Imaginations tech is their own and unique.

          As for Apple there are a number of possibilities here, they could have teamed up with Nvidia or AMD for IP to incorporate into their SoC. Or they could be going it alone as the article suggests. There have been plenty of rumors of Apple hiring a massive number of AMD engineers.

          In the long run I suspect Apple has no choice here as they will need access to hardware to drive AI features into its chips. Some of those AI features map well on to GPU architectures and would only become more efficient if optimized. jOf course the big problem here is that with all the engineers they have hired from other GPU manufactures they have to be very careful about not infringing. It will be very interesting to see what Apple comes up with.

          As for Imagination Tech., they can go to hell for all I care. Their attitude with respect to drivers sucks and frankly it is good reason to drive the company into receivership. Too bad AMD never followed through on ARM based chips integrated with their GPU's.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by juno View Post
            Wow, so they can finally enforce their "WebMetal" and never mention Vulkan or OpenGL again.
            I really doubt that is the goal.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
              I really doubt that is the goal.
              And why not? It is certainly not the reason for this move, but you can't doubt it is the track they are following on the software side.

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              • #8
                I knew Apple was big, but I just noticed their revenues have almost caught up with those of the entire global semiconductor industry
                Test signature

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                • #9
                  Not exactly surprising as they're already designing their own CPUs and have poached a load of Imagination Tech's engineers over the years. I think the writing has been on the wall for over a year already so I don't think this should have come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the relationship between the two companies. The only real surprise here is that they announced their in-house efforts this way and not trough an actual product like they usually do.

                  As for the talk about them having to infringe on Imagination Tech's patents to create their own competing chips, they're known to not care about other companies' patents. They usually offer the patent holders pennies on the dollar compared to what they should pay when the patent holders try to negotiate licensing agreements outside of courts and then settle when the patent holders sue them after negotiations go nowhere. Just look at their history with Nokia if you want to see what they think about other companies' patents.
                  "Why should I want to make anything up? Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it."

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                  • #10
                    Seems Imagination felt differently about this parting......from their press release, a lawsuit in the making. It's that last line that makes me think we will see this go to court.

                    https://www.imgtec.com/news/press-re...nse-agreement/

                    Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE: IMG, “Imagination”, “the Group”) a leading multimedia, processor and communications technology company, has been notified by Apple Inc. (“Apple”), its largest customer, that Apple is of a view that it will no longer use the Group’s intellectual property in its new products in 15 months to two years time, and as such will not be eligible for royalty payments under the current license and royalty agreement.

                    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.

                    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.

                    Apple’s notification has led Imagination to discuss with Apple potential alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement.

                    Imagination has reserved all its rights in respect of Apple’s unauthorised use of Imagination’s confidential information and Imagination’s intellectual property rights.

                    A further announcement will be made in due course.

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