Apple is in “advanced talks” to acquire British chipmaker Imagination Technologies, a move that could see it bring the design of graphics chips for its iPhones and iPads in-house alongside the design of its A-series processors, according to a source speaking to Ars Technica.
A spokesperson for Imagination Technologies told International Business Times it didn't comment on market speculation while Apple has not responded to a request for comment. The potential move would not be a huge surprise however. Apple already uses the company’s best-known PowerVR GPUs in its iPhones and iPads, and it holds a 8.38 percent stake in the British company.
Apple, which unveiled the iPhone SE and a smaller iPad Pro on Monday, moved the design of its processors in-house with the purchase of P.A. Semi in 2008, which led to the company’s first homegrown chip — the Swift CPU core in the iPhone 5’s A6 processor — in 2012. Imagination Technologies chips have been part of Apple’s A-series SoCs since the iPhone 4’s A4 chip.
Imagination Technologies was founded in 1985 as VideoLogic and originally focused on graphics, sound acceleration, home audio systems, video-capture and video-conferencing systems. It currently has a market capitalization of over $700 million but considering Apple’s cash pile is now over $200 billion, price is unlikely to be a major consideration for the company.
Imagination Technologies announced last week that it was cutting around 20 percent of its workforce — about 350 people — as part of its multimillion-dollar cost-cutting efforts. Besides Apple, Samsung is among the company’s other high-profile clients.