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

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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 discussions with Imagination, but we do not plan to make an offer for the company at this time.
Article Link: Apple in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire GPU Supplier Imagination Technologies [Update: No]
 

soupcan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
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Interesting to see what's coming out of this. Also interesting to see what other companies using PowerVR think of this.
 

chrmjenkins

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Oct 29, 2007
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This would not be a small deal. ImgTec recently acquired MIPS and have some interesting proprietary ray-tracing technology. I'd be curious to see if those assets just sit there, are sold off, or something else.
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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I saw this happening after the earlier article about Imagination. After seeing the quote they wanted to reduce their reliance on Apple because of low profit margins, I figured Apple would step up to make an acquisition.
 

err404

macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
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While I am cautiously optimistic, I question whether Apple has the focus to drive a highly standards based GPU technology forward. This is an area that they have been notoriously poor at on the Mac side of the house.
 

ReneR

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2008
342
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ouhm, that is unexpected and big, ... while it would limit Apple's competitors a bit there is still plenty of other ARM GPU SoC silicon around (Mali, Vivante, ...) - many developers say PowerVR is the least elegant vintage architecture though. Saying is Vivante and Mali are nice modern architectures to work with, ...
 

2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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I like the move if true. Continue to integrate vertically. Add to your patent portfolio while able to develop truly unique solutions for your products that can set you apart from everyone else that is using generic chips.
[doublepost=1458655793][/doublepost]
I saw this happening after the earlier article about Imagination. After seeing the quote they wanted to reduce their reliance on Apple because of low profit margins, I figured Apple would step up to make an acquisition.
Well I hope you invested in Imagination if your crystal ball was so clear. :D:p
 

Jakeoster

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2010
153
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If it makes sense, Apple will close the deal.

If it doesn't make sense, Apple will walk away.

They know what they need or don't need better than anyone else.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,345
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In between a rock and a hard place
I like the move if true. Continue to integrate vertically. Add to your patent portfolio while able to develop truly unique solutions for your products that can set you apart from everyone else that is using generic chips.
[doublepost=1458655793][/doublepost]
Well I hope you invested in Imagination if your crystal ball was so clear. :D:p
The stock market is witchcraft and voodoo.:eek:

More importantly, are you going to catch the game today? The Rays vs The Cuban National Team. Progress man. Progress.
 

2457282

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The stock market is witchcraft and voodoo.:eek:

More importantly, are you going to catch the game today? The Rays vs The Cuban National Team. Progress man. Progress.
Unfortunately I grew up with parents that failed to teach me the baseball fanaticism of the Cuban people. Instead I became a fanatic of futbol like my other Latino brethren. But I will keep an eye on the score. There was a time when the Americans could not beat the Cubans, but I think a lot of the "A" players have defected already.
 
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macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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I think this is a great idea and makes a lot of sense. iOS devices have always led in graphics performance—ever since the original iPhone and the smooth UI animations that everyone fell in love with. Apple relies heavily on these chips, and considering they design their own A-series chips in-house, and all of the custom work that Imagination does for them, it makes sense to own the technology and acquire the talent.
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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Ohhhhh boy... We all know that the clock is ticking on Intel Macs... Only a matter of time now before ARM-based Macs start rolling out.
This is absolutely true, and although it's really tricky to guess, I'd put my money on 3-5 years out. I think Apple is really taking their time to get things right. The iPad Pro is the first step in this direction. The A9X is a beast of a chip, and as I recently mentioned in another thread, just think of three or four of those on the same die using a 10nm process. I think Apple is waiting for Mac OS and iOS to slowly blend together and then we'll see something.

--

It's sad that there was an update about this not being true. I think Imagination makes great custom chips for Apple and it makes sense for Apple to control the tech that is such a huge part of every iOS device. Perhaps they're designing something in-house to replace them? Perhaps Imagination was just posturing with their statements the other week to try to get Apple to budge? IDK. But it's never smart as a business to rely so much on one customer so it makes sense why they would strategize that—which is something completely different from announcing it publicly. We need to remember that everyone has an agenda. Hopefully Apple has everything sorted because they have been a great partner for what I think has been the entire life of iOS, and possibly even the iPod days if I'm not mistaken (which I may be lol).
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Well I hope you invested in Imagination if your crystal ball was so clear. :D:p
The stock market is witchcraft and voodoo.:eek:
"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."

See, witchcraft and voodoo... and speculators just making up stuff. But mainly witchcraft and voodoo.
 
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emm386

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2016
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Imagination had really good technology at their time. Namely the PowerVR and later the Kyro II - architecture using (Yes, I'm gonna say it) pretty innovative ideas, like not rendering obstructed areas. It never really took off, due to their lack of hardware T&L...

long story short: I sincerely HOPE they will buy them and get to develop some decent notebook GPU's for their MacBook - lineup! :)
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
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I think this is a great idea and makes a lot of sense. iOS devices have always led in graphics performance—ever since the original iPhone and the smooth UI animations that everyone fell in love with. Apple relies heavily on these chips, and considering they design their own A-series chips in-house, and all of the custom work that Imagination does for them, it makes sense to own the technology and acquire the talent.
So, the don't licence any designs from ARM then?
They totally design their OWN CPU's from scratch do they?

Hmmmmm.

Well in that case there is no need to buy this company is there?
They can just design their own GPU's from scratch, and be easy to find people who wish to fabricate them.

Shame reality does not live up to what people think Apple can do isn't it?

Please take note..... I LOVE the way Apple designs items.
I just wish they would focus more on the function.

Or, at least have the balls to make a range that does.
It's funny, they know the market is screaming out for something they refuse to make.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,967
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So, the don't licence any designs from ARM then?
They totally design their OWN CPU's from scratch do they?
They do in most cases today. You do realize that ARM was started as a joint venture by a few companies, including Apple, right? Some of you kids need to do your homework. As for the rest of your comment (the part I didn't quote), I don't understand what you're going on about. I was saying that Apple didn't have the capability to build their own GPUs from scratch, so it would make sense to pick up talent and designs from Imagination and integrate them into their existing chip teams so that they can better streamline their entire process and more completely own the technology that makes their devices so fast and energy efficient.
 
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