Apple Renews Licensing Agreement With GPU Designer Imagination Technologies

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Apple and Imagination Technologies have extended and renewed their multi-year licensing agreement. It will give Apple access to a wider range of Imagination’s IP for the coming years.

Imagination Technologies announced this in a short statement on Wednesday. Imagination Technologies says that it has replaced the 2014 multi-year, multi-use licensing agreement with a new one. The new multi-year licensing agree will give Apple access to a wider range of Imagination’s intellectual property, in exchange for license fees. No further details about the agreement were announced.

In December, Imagination announced a new A-series GPU architecture which the company described as its most important GPU launch in 15 years. While it is unlikely that Apple will adopt the architecture as it merely licenses Imagination’s IP, the new agreement could perhaps entail IP from Imagination’s new architecture. It is unknown if that would have been a driver for the new agreement, or if Apple perhaps needs Imagination’s IP longer than it had thought.

Apple was Imagination Technologies’ biggest customer of its PowerVR GPUs until Apple started to use its own GPUs in 2017 with the iPhone 8 series, reducing Imagination’s income from Apple to royalty payments. Imagination at the time said Apple was "working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination's technology". Consequently though, Imagination was acquired in 2017 for 550 million pounds.

The new agreement and the new architecture could give Imagination Technologies a brighter outlook as it appears that Apple isn’t completely able to cut off its reliance on Imagination.