The iPad and iPhone graphics processor maker buys MIPS' CPU tech, ARM bags its patents
Hot on the heels of yesterday's news that Apple is thinking of coming up with its own chips to replace Intel silicon in some Macs, now comes a deal from Apple's GPU supplier Imagination Technologies.
Imagination makes the PowerVR graphics processors that have rocked quite a bit of benchmarks in the iPad and iPhone, and now for $60 million it has bought CPU technology in the form of 82 patents, complete with 160 engineers from ARM's smaller UK rival, MIPS.
MIPS does RISC processors, just like ARM, that go into set-top boxes and routers, instead of mobile phones and tablets. but can probably be scaled for that task as well.
ARM didn't stand still and bid for MIPS patents, too, fetching access to a number of them for $160 million. If Imagination manages to pair its monster PowerVR GPUs to processor cores with the performance and frugality of ARM-based designs, Apple can only benefit, as it is a minority owner in the British company.