Home / news / There's A Storm Brewing Over The Graphics Chip Inside The iPhone

There's A Storm Brewing Over The Graphics Chip Inside The iPhone

Why it matters to you

A future may have a custom designed graphics chip inside, but a patent battle may precede it

There’s a over the graphics processor (GPU) used in the , the iPad, and various other mobile devices. At the moment, uses a PowerVR chip from Imagination Technologies, usually alongside its own custom A10 processor; but this is likely to change in the next two years, and it’s believed may be designing its own GPU for use in future devices.

It’s speculation for now, but it comes from Imagination Technologies itself. In a press release, it’s stated, “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 will stop using Imagination Technologies chips in 15 months to two years time, it says.

More: Drool over these pictures of the new iPhone 7 (RED)

Where’s the problem? If it happens, the existing license agreement between the two will end, and when the time comes, Apple will stop paying royalties to Imagination Technologies. It’s bad news as Imagination takes around half of its revenue from Apple, which has an eight percent stake in the company.

However, Imagination believes Apple is mistaken if it thinks by developing its own chip, it can do so without using its patents, intellectual property, or information previously shared. It has asked Apple to provide evidence proving it doesn’t need Imagination’s technology to build its own chips, but none has been provided yet.

This means Imagination Technologies and Apple may be on the brink of a patent war, if Apple can’t defend its own chip design, or a new agreement between the two cannot be reached. Imagination makes it clear that, “alternative commercial arrangements” are being discussed with Apple, ensuring licenses and royalties continue in the event the pair split up. Imagination says more announcements on the matter will be made in the future.

It’s a drastic reversal of the events of last year, when Apple confirmed it had discussed an acquisition deal with Imagination. No offer was made, but it’s evidence Apple has been considering the idea of designing, or at least controlling, its own GPU for some time.

Check Also

Kobo's New Aura H2O Can Survive a Dunk in the Pool

Why it matters to you If you’re in the market for an affordable, durable new …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *