Apple, Imagination Technologies extend iPhone, iPad graphics chip license pact

article thumbnail

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

British 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.

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.