Imagination Technologies is widely known for one thing: the company creates the graphics processors that power the iPhone and iPad.
Now, however, the hardware manufacturer has announced the end of its manufacturing agreement with Apple. In a recently released statement, Imagination Technologies says that Apple has plans to replace the PowerVR GPU that runs its iOS devices, with new graphics silicon designed in-house.
“Apple has used Imagination’s technology and intellectual property for many years. It has formed the basis of Graphics Processor Units (GPUs) in Apple’s phones, tablets, iPods, TVs and watches. Apple has asserted that it has been working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology,” writes Imagination in the press release.
While Apple’s iPhone originally used a generic, Samsung-manufactured ARM processor powered by Samsung’s chip, the company has slowly moved towards building its own silicon, leaving the PowerVR one of the few processor related components the Cupertino, California-based company did not maintain full control over.
Losing its primary customer is a significant blow to Imagination and the company says in its statement that it already has plans to take the matter to court. Imagination is likely concerned that in order for Apple to build its own GPU hardware from scratch, the company will borrow concepts and groundwork from its PowerVR GPU>
Imaginations stock is already in a free fall, dropping between 60 and 70 percent over the last few hours.