Imagination Technologies hit mainstream success when Apple chose to use their technology in the iPhone. For years Apple would design their own CPUs while licensing Imagination’s PowerVR GPU technology in the company’s A series chips. This obviously was quite a successful partnership for them, but just like the custom CPUs that Apple uses, they eventually decided to design their own GPUs as well. This year we saw three new iPhones announced that decided to move away from Imagination’s PowerVR GPUs.
We first learned about this split up earlier this year and it resulted in the company’s shares dropping by nearly 70% overnight. When you’re making money hand over fist like that, it can be easy to forget that you have put all of your proverbial eggs in one basket. You can see how devastating it was for the company to hear that Apple would not be licensing the company’s GPU technology anymore. This resulted in Imagination Technologies’ June announcement about how they have put the company up for sale.
This hasn’t stopped them from developing new technology though, as we recently learned about their jump into the neural network market with the PowerVR Series 2NX Neural Network Accelerator. So after many meetings, they have decided to accept an acquisition offer from the Chinese-backed investment firm Canyon Bridge. This deal is for £550m and seems incredibly low for the company who supplied the sole GPU in Apple’s iPhone for years.
The two are satisfied with this acquisition as the boss of Imagination Technologies, Andrew Heath, says it was a good outcome and it would allow the team to remain in the United Kingdom and continue their work. Not only that, but there doesn’t seem to be any plans to cut jobs at the Hertfordshire-based offices once the takeover has been completed. It will be interesting to see what they can do with this team and the technology they produce now that Apple is no longer the biggest customer for their GPUs.