• Apple Takes on ARM with its "Imagination"

    Last week we reported on MMI that Apple was interested in purchasing ARM for a potential deal that could have been worth a whopping $8 billion. It has now become clear, however, that Apple won't be purchasing ARM, but that Imagination Technologies, a mobile graphics chip business that Apple owns a chunk of, is teaming with MIPS Technologies to effectively do battle with ARM Holdings.

    The EE Times - a leading chip industry publication - says the move “is essentially a shot across the bow” to ARM. So if it's true that Apple pretty much wants to take over the tech world, it won't be doing so in partnership with ARM. In fact, Apple seems much more interested in competing with ARM and doing things Cupertino style.

    MIPS Technologies, Inc. and Imagination Technologies Ltd. will announce at the Embedded Systems Conference a non-exclusive marketing alliance geared to support chip designers using cores from both companies.
    According to the provocative post in question, the partnership alluded to will assist Imagination in expanding "design wins for its PowerVR graphics cores in a diverse range of wired systems where MIPS is strong." What does MIPS gain, you ask? Well, MIPS, which has been endeavoring to get design wins in handsets, will be teamed with a very helpful partner, one "with cores already used in a broad range of top-tier handsets." And, yes, those handsets include our beloved Apple iPhone.

    Two years ago, Apple bought a 3% stake in Imagination Technologies. One year later, it delved deeper into business and upped its stake to 9.5%. The move by Apple (through Imagination Technologies) represents yet another overture Cupertino has made to the chip industry. And while some outside observers see this latest move as a clear declaration of war on ARM, Tony King-Smith, vice president of marketing for Imagination, says his company will still do cordial business with ARM and its licensees.

    Image via imgtecgroup
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