Apple, Imagination Technologies extend iPhone, iPad graphics chip license pactBritish semiconductor design firm Imagination Technologies, whose PowerVR graphics processors are a key component of Apple's iOS devices, on Thursday announced an extension of its multi-year licensing agreement with the Cupertino company.
Apple's latest A7 SoC. | Source: Chipworks
Terms of the extension were not announced, but Imagination did say that the agreement spans multiple years and covers a variety of uses. The contract "gives Apple access to Imagination's wide range of current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores," Imagination said in a release.
Imagination shares rose by as much as 20 percent on the London Stock Exchange following news of the deal.
As compensation for use of Imagination's technologies —whose powerful PowerVR S-series chips have powered every Apple mobile device since the third-generation iPhone 3GS —Apple will pay ongoing licensing fees as well as royalties for each SoC that includes Imagination's intellectual property.
Apple's new state-of-the-art A7 chip, which sits at the heart of the flagship iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina dislay, uses Imagination's PowerVR Series 6 graphics cores alongside a customized, 64-bit ARM-compatible application processor. The A7 offers nearly twice the performance of its predecessor, the A6X.
In addition to the license, Apple is a minority investor in Imagination Technologies. Apple owns nearly 10 percent of the company.