Apple is building its own GPU architecture, but why? Rather than being motivated by simple cost savings, evidence points to the timing of a significant technical leap forward that could be as big of an advance as iOS was ten years ago.
Apple is ramping up its efforts to create its own GPU designs, following the iPhone producer's decision to stop working with the U.K.-based Imagination Technologies, by advertising a number of job postings within the graphics field in London.
On the heels of the 2013 Mac Pro price improvements, Nvidia has announced a brand new Titan Xp video card using the Pascal architecture, with a driver release coming soon allowing any Nvidia Pascal-based video cards to be installed in compatible older PCI-e Mac Pros.
Apple's plan to decisively migrate iOS to its own internally-developed GPU within the next two years obviously shocked Imagination Technologies, its current supplier of PowerVR graphics technology. It should also rattle Nvidia. Here's why.
Apple with a single sentence in an interview has acknowledged the existence of external graphic processing units — and continues to not put more than casual blocks in place to prevent them from functioning.
Ten years after Apple effectively created a viable, high-end mobile graphics business for Imagination Technologies—and a year after the iPhone maker publicly declined to acquire the company—the British graphics technology firm now appears to be in full panic mode that its mobile technology may end up abandoned like MIPS, PowerPC, Nvidia's Tegra and Texas Instrument's OMAP.
Apple is pulling out of a partnership with Imagination Technologies, the British company behind the graphics technology used in iOS devices, with Apple's decision to stop using Imagination's intellectual property within two years prompting the UK firm's shares to plunge in value by more than 60 percent.
New third-party hardware releases make the external GPU situation for macOS both less expensive, and slightly less "hacky" to install. AppleInsider examines the PowerColor Devil Box — so far the best way to get your MacBook Pro to Mac Pro tower GPU speeds and even give older hardware a significant boost without doling out the cash for a new computer.
In email response to a customer regarding GPU anomalies associated with the Touch Bar MacBook Pro, Apple's senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi suggested that the problem is solved in the latest macOS 10.12.2 beta.