Apple’s custom iPhone and iPad GPU plans now include offices near Imagination Technologies headquarters.
The company claims that after using its graphics technologies for so many years, there’s no way that Apple could create its own GPUs without infringing on Imagination’s patents.
Apple’s former mobile GPU partner Imagination Technologies has fallen on hard times and is putting itself up for sale.
It looks like Imagination Technologies and Apple haven’t found a way to kiss and make up because now they’ve entered into a formal dispute process. Imagination said on Thursday it started the process because it hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with Apple over licensing its tech for iPhone GPUs.
Apple’s in-house GPU plans have the company on a hiring spree in London, which happens to be pretty close to where Imagination Technologies is based. That’s the company Apple partnered with for iPhone and iPad graphics processors before deciding to go it alone—and more than 20 employees have already left to join the Cupertino-based company.
It’s no secret Apple likes using its own chips in products like the iPhone and iPad, and Imagination Technologies is learning that in a painful way. Apple currently uses Imagination’s GPU chips in its mobile devices, but that’s changing within two years when they move to in house designs—and that could lead to a patent fight.