The iPad and iPhone graphics processor maker buys MIPS' CPU tech, ARM bags its patents

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.

source: Reuters

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9 Comments

1. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

What Apple can do if it happens, divorcing ARM CPUs (which they called the CPUs "designed" by themself) or divorcing PowerVR GPUs (which made Apple SoCs be the best in graphic benchmark results)? Quite hard huh?

2. asulect

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 27, 2012

Can't be that hard. Apple's frenemy, Samsung, is still making screens and processors for Apple.

3. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

As well as use ARM designs for their Exynos chips which are beasts in their own right. This just means better things are on the way from ARM.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

saaay what??? no seriously, I've read it like 4 times and I have no idea what your saying. Apple and Imagine will never separate. Apple has leaned very heavily on PowerVR to be able to keep its CPU needs low. It would have to have an OS paradigm shift at this point to break away from its simple OS (not CPU intensive) and its high quality games (very GPU intensive) routine.

5. murali_v_2000

Posts: 36; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

Why the hell do you refer to Imagination Tech as "The iPad and iPhone graphics processor maker". Can't you post an article without referring to iCrap ?

6. sonnyt

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 06, 2012

Thanks for pointing that out too. I couldn't believe author couldn't just say MIPS instead. I love PA pictures and stuff, but probably will just scan through writing in the future..

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30955; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

U guys sound like two big babies

8. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

The PSP uses a MIPS processor, so the capability and potentional performance is there.

9. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

uuhhmm... so apple really want to do it their own?! good luck to that!

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