Intel ups stake in Imagination following Apple's buy-in

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Two days after Apple purchased a 3.6 percent share in Imagination Technologies, Intel increased its own stake in the British graphics chip design firm to a comparable share, filings show.



Working through its strategic investment arm Intel Capital Corporation, the world's largest chipmaker acquired a further 934,422 shares in Imagination to boost its aggregate holding to 6,934,422 shares, representing 3.04 percent of Imagination's total issued voting rights.



Like Apple, which licenses Imagination's graphics technology for use in current and future iPhones as well as the iPod touch, Intel is also a licensee of the company's upcoming 3D technology, which it plans to incorporate into its Atom processor for netbooks and other mobile internet devices (MIDS).



It remains unclear what prompted Intel to boost its stake in the developer of PowerVR chipsets less than 48 hours after Apple.



Apple's multi-year, multi-IP, multi-use licence to Imagination's current and future portfolio of PowerVR mobile graphics components includes the next generation PowerVR SGX VXD video IP cores. Those parts will introduce OpenGL ES 2.0 support, along with a Universal Scalable Shader Engine that will provide future Apple mobile devices with highly efficient, shader-based 3D graphics.



In addition to being backwards compatible with code developed for the current iPhone and iPod touch, the new cores will also run that code with better performance and efficiency.



When combined with the assets it recently acquired from fabless chip design firm PA Semi and the tools of its current system-on-a-chip (SoC) manufacturing partner Samsung, Apple is expected to use its licenses to Imagination's portfolio to build a new breed of unique mobile SoCs that will power future versions of its handheld products like the iPhone and iPod touch.



It's unlikely that rival device makers will be able to match the advantages of Apple's new offerings with off-the-shelf parts and generic software platforms such as Android, Windows Mobile, and Symbian.



Additional Reading



Apple suspected in new deal for PowerVR graphics in multi-touch devices



Apple's bionic ARM to muscle advanced gaming graphics into iPhones



Apple's PA Semi working on ARM chip for next-gen iPhone
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    I can hear the champagne bottles popping at Imagination.



    Intel must be pleased with the PowerVR product they're using today.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    not clear what the phrase 'comparable controlling share' means in this article. I am used to reading about a company taking a controlling stake in another company, which implies they own a majority of voting shares, or through some more complicated arrangement, have some type of 'golden share' that gives them certain veto rights. is there some more information in the referenced filings that indicates both apple and intel have such rights? If that isn't the case, why include the word controlling in this context? apologies in advance if i'm missing something obvious.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    Imagination didn't know Apple loathes press releases involving Apple without their consent? Where have they been?
  • Reply 4 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StrangeThingInTheLand View Post


    not clear what the phrase 'comparable controlling share' means in this article. I am used to reading about a company taking a controlling stake in another company, which implies they own a majority of voting shares, or through some more complicated arrangement, have some type of 'golden share' that gives them certain veto rights. is there some more information in the referenced filings that indicates both apple and intel have such rights? If that isn't the case, why include the word controlling in this context? apologies in advance if i'm missing something obvious.



    STITL;

    My eyes may deceive me, I too thought I saw the word "controlling", or, am I just getting used to reading such text?



    On re-read, I see the word "controlling" nowhere. Nor, at the percentages of stock owned, should it be.



    Oh well.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    play nice you two
  • Reply 6 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacOutlaw View Post


    STITL;

    My eyes may deceive me, I too thought I saw the word "controlling", or, am I just getting used to reading such text?



    On re-read, I see the word "controlling" nowhere. Nor, at the percentages of stock owned, should it be.



    Oh well.



    its on the RSS feed, and prolly was on the article initially.

  • Reply 7 of 24
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Thanks Trev!



    I knew I wasn't going nuts....



    Well okay bad wording...



    I knew I wasn't seeing things...



    Hmmm maybe thats not right either.. lol



    But anyway thanks for showing us that controlling WAS in the story at one time and edited out after the fact.



    Dave
  • Reply 8 of 24
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    While I admire all the tech jargon, it would be nice if someone explained what kinds of capabilities this all brings to Apple's next iPhone. Especially since the article mentions that Android competitors will be 'unable to match' them.



    Are we talking about video chats? better gaming abilities? something else?
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    While I admire all the tech jargon, it would be nice if someone explained what kinds of capabilities this all brings to Apple's next iPhone. Especially since the article mentions that Android competitors will be 'unable to match' them.



    Are we talking about video chats? better gaming abilities? something else?



    Agree! Tell us "regular" folk just exactly what these millions of new-fangled doo-hickeys Apple bought will allow the iPhone to do that it can't do now...



    please...
  • Reply 10 of 24
    Think that IMG have not taken away any reference to the listing its merely been moved to another part of their website. Also I doubt tey'd have gone public without Apple's blessing on the associated press release.



    http://www.imgtec.com/corporate/news...asp?NewsID=424
  • Reply 11 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    While I admire all the tech jargon, it would be nice if someone explained what kinds of capabilities this all brings to Apple's next iPhone. Especially since the article mentions that Android competitors will be 'unable to match' them.



    Are we talking about video chats? better gaming abilities? something else?



    The PowerVR SGX would benefit Apple in some key ways.



    1. It allows Apple to move from OpenGL ES (embedded) 1.1 to version 2.0. OpenGL ES 2.0 implements GL Shader Language in an embedded product. It means games look more realistic and are more efficient. It also boosts 1.1 code as well because it's %100 backwards compatible.



    2. Imaginations VXD chip is a decoding chip that can litterally kick out a HD picture that is Blu-ray quality (High Profile AVC and VC-1) yet it sips power so efficiently it can work in a phone. I doubt the iPhone rev 4 gains an output (unless they change the docking capabilities) to a monitor but that's where we're headed.



    Apple will likely mate the PowerVR SGX and VXD product to a nexgen ARM processor and add another chip like the Broadcom BCM4329 (11n Wifi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, FM)



    to deliver an iPhone that is of course faster but looks better and paves the way for portable HD content. Now your iTunes content isn't confined to your home but can be taken elsewhere and displayed on suitable TV.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 17,207member
    Wow, this is boring.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    By the way, I looked at their jobs openings and they have the following positions:



    POWERVR Software:

    OpenCL Compiler Senior Design Engineer (JM72) - United Kingdom

    OpenCL Driver Design Engineer (JM73) - United Kingdom

    OpenCL Compiler Design Engineer (JM74) - United Kingdom



    So they are also working to have this openCL working in embedded systems like phones, etc. I think Apple brought some stocks from them to ensure they have openCL ready when Snow Leopard goes out and in that way the use just one base OS (or at least the kernel) for Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iNetbooks???.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 706member
    Apple's iPhone/iPod touch are very sensitive to hardware improvements. I recently played Frenzic on my wife's iPhone and it was noticeably slower than the new iPod touch.



    The difference in the speed rating of the chips isn't that great, but yet it's something you can feel when playing games.



    I look forward to what sound like huge leaps forward in graphics and performance. I just hope they include battery life!
  • Reply 15 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alejmrm View Post


    By the way, I looked at their jobs openings and they have the following positions:



    POWERVR Software:

    OpenCL Compiler Senior Design Engineer (JM72) - United Kingdom

    OpenCL Driver Design Engineer (JM73) - United Kingdom

    OpenCL Compiler Design Engineer (JM74) - United Kingdom



    So they are also working to have this openCL working in embedded systems like phones, etc. I think Apple brought some stocks from them to ensure they have openCL ready when Snow Leopard goes out and in that way the use just one base OS (or at least the kernel) for Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iNetbooks???.



    Good find!



    I think we tend to forget that OpenCL was created to be beneficial from phones all the way up to workstations.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    ksecksec Posts: 1,487member
    Honestly, Imagination cost merely 200 milliion Dolloars. If Apple could spend that on PA Semi, why not Imagination?



    Anyway, PowerVR SGX is NOT backward compatible with PowerVR MBX. Hardware wise it is a completely new design, therefore it needs new driver development.



    And may be Apple is evaluating the possibilities of PowerVR on Desktop?
  • Reply 17 of 24
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    Honestly, Imagination cost merely 200 milliion Dolloars. If Apple could spend that on PA Semi, why not Imagination?



    Maybe Imagination did not want to be acquired. When a company's assets are mostly

    its people, trying a hostile takeover is a bad idea.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    I never trusted Intel's work ethics. I can see them snooping into Apple's technologies. What was that device they demonstrated a short while ago that resembled a loooong iPhone, right before they started trash talking about ARM and the iPhone's technology?
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Clearly, Intel doesn't want Imagination to do anything for Apple that it can't also have for Atom. Makes sense for them, and for Imagination.



    I wonder if Apple now regrets selling off its very large stock holdings in ARM? Granted, they made a killing by doing so, back when they needed the cash.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    Honestly, Imagination cost merely 200 milliion Dolloars. If Apple could spend that on PA Semi, why not Imagination?



    Anyway, PowerVR SGX is NOT backward compatible with PowerVR MBX. Hardware wise it is a completely new design, therefore it needs new driver development.



    And may be Apple is evaluating the possibilities of PowerVR on Desktop?



    http://www.imgtec.com/powervr/sgx.asp



    Fully backwards compatible with the de facto standard POWERVR MBX



    Careful someone might belive u ;-)



    IMG have over 20 licencee/partners, Intel and Apple being the two most prominent, but the likes of TI,NEC and Renesas have been there for a while, whilst Sony are rumoured to be the new kid on the block..
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