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Apple's future iPhones and iPads will be powered by Imagination graphics

Two firms sign a multi-year agreement
Fri Feb 07 2014, 10:56
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BRITISH CHIP DESIGNER Imagination Technologies has signed a multi-year agreement with Apple that will see its graphics processors appearing in future iPhones and iPads.  

Imagination Technologies announced news of the extended agreement with Apple on Thursday, saying in a statement, "Apple has extended its multi-year, multi-use license agreement, which gives Apple access to Imagination's wide range of current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores.

"Under the terms of the above licensing arrangement, Imagination will receive on-going license fees, and royalty revenues on shipment of SoCs (Systems on Chip) incorporating Imagination's IP."

Further terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the announcement means that Imagination chips will be found in Apple's upcoming iDevices, likely including the iPhone 6 and the firm's next generation iPad tablet.

It also confirms that Apple doesn't plan to develop its own graphics chips anytime soon, putting an end to the ongoing rumours that the firm is planning to develop in-house graphics, and quashes speculation that Apple was eyeing British chip designer ARM. This isn't all that surprising however, given that Imagination Technologies' PowerVR S-series graphics chips have powered every Apple smartphone since 2009's iPhone 3GS.

Thanks to this ongoing agreement between the two companies, Apple accounts for around 30 percent of Imagination's revenues and is its biggest customer, so the British firm is no doubt very pleased that Apple has agreed to extend the deal.

The news comes just days after Apple revealed that it is facing a lawsuit over its A7 chip, with the Univeristy of Wisconsin having claimed that the processor infringes its patented technology.

Shares in Imagination Technologies rose 10 percent on the London Stock Exchange following the news of the firm's extended partnership with Apple. µ


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