It was a bit of a shock to see yesterday that Apple will be moving to in-house GPU designs for all their mobile products. They’ve had a good run of products on the back of Imagination Technology’s IP. It left me wondering how long they’ve been working on this, and if any acquisitions had quietly set the stage for the move. Perusing their recent acquisitions, I didn’t really see anything that obviously foreshadowed the move.
But then I looked at hiring. This piece on Apple hiring a spate of employees from Imagination Technology looks downright prophetic. They’ve been hiring away employees from Imagination Technology for some time, including a COO, VP of Hardware Engineering, and other rolls that worked on their PowerVR line such as GPU Architect, Engineering Manager, and Design Manager. I’m also assuming they’ve made a lot of hires outside of Imagination to complete their staff.
That’s still a lot of people who knew about Imagination’s roadmap, had access to designs, and were familiar with proprietary information. With so much of their revenue dependent on Apple licensing their IP, I can only image they will look for any reason to be litigious in the coming years. Not that Apple to worry much with their coffers, but I expect the lawsuits to come on fast and furious.
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