Imagination Technologies got a nice New Year's gift, as it announced that it has replaced the multi-year, multi-use license agreement with Apple, first announced on February 6, 2014, with a new multi-year license agreement under which Apple has access to a wider range of Imagination’s intellectual property in exchange for license fees.
Imagination is best known for its GPU technology that Apple did its best to reverse engineer as it also poached several of Imagination’s employees. Imagination also offers IP-designs for image signal processors (ISP), display processors (DP), AI engines, ray tracing engines, and a dozen other clever bits and pieces.
Apple, of course, won’t say a single thing about this new arrangement, they won’t even acknowledge its happened. Imagination can’t give any of the details because that’s how Apple writes contacts.
We can’t comment on today’s announcement, but I think it’s one of several things Imagination has to feel good about as we head into 2020. We feel resurgent. Great new leadership, some excellent new senior talent, a groundswell of engagement in China, the launch of our best GPU ever to date in A-Series, and the industry starting to understand the value of ray tracing. And we’re excited about new opportunities in the coming year. – David Harold, CMO, Imagination Technologies
But all of Imagination’s lawyers are a little sad now since their major advisory is being taken off their to-do list.
The folks at Apple are probably a little sad to have to eat crow and acknowledge that they aren’t the super design powerhouse they’d like people to think they are.
The questions to ask are why would Apple who so publicly say that they did not need Imagination in the first place, and why, now, the change of heart? What might Imagination have that Apple needs a ‘wider’ license for? They aren’t the sort to make big public reversals without good cause.
2020 is going to be an amazing year, no doubt about it.