31 December 2019
Imagination Technologies, a British-based semiconductor company has announced a new multi-year license agreement with Apple. This is the same company that was ditched by Apple back in 2017 but now, the two companies are joining hands together for new prospects. The said deal gives Apple access to a wider range of Imagination’s intellectual property, though it’s unclear exactly what intellectual property Apple gains access to.
Imagination Technologies, previously designed GPUs for Apple’s iPhones and iPads. But, Apple later decided to cut ties with the company in 2017 to develop some in-house graphics chips.
The semiconductors company’s latest intellectual property focuses on a realistic graphics technology called ray-tracing. So, it is believed that Apple wants to add ray-tracing capabilities to its chips. This would allow the iPhones to render ultra-realistic graphics and mimic the real scenes as seen by the human eye.
One of the key beneficiaries of ray tracing could be Augmented Reality and from time to time we have noted that Apple is investing heavily in AR. So, establishing the bond again with the company it left once, strongly hints at the possibility of it looking for utilizing the ray-tracing tech.
But deploying a new system-on-chip with new capabilities is a long process. It goes through a multi-year design, engineering, and manufacturing process. So, if the deal is about utilizing Imagination Technologies’ ray-tracing tech then it would take much time to nurture and eventually become a reality.
Reportedly, Apple’s competitors like Qualcomm is also evaluating the ray-tracing on mobiles as it is openly hiring engineers for the same. So, it’s a good time for Apple to make some plans ahead. Apple is already late in launching its first 5G iPhone, but once it steps in the segment, several other possibilities would get open for it.