Apple Buys Stake In Mobile Graphics Chip Firm

Apple has purchased a minority stake in Imagination Technologies, a UK firm that is known mainly through its Pure Digital DAB radio brand, but also happens to produce (and owns) some really smart graphics technology.

PowerVR owns intellectual property rights to most of the technology found in many recent smartphones, mobile internet devices and mobiles llike the N95, Sony's P1 and the iPhone, thereby becoming the standard for mobile 3D.

The MBX graphics processor unit is unrivalled when it comes to delivering the best video performance per unit watt although competitors like Nvidia are already preparing products destined for the mobile market.

Given Apple's nitpicking nature, one can expect the company to work closely with Imagination Technologies, having prior knowledge of next generation technology and influencing strategic decisions within the company.

Shares of the company rose by 11p (or 28 percent) as Apple bought 8.2 million shares for £3 million, bringing its ownership to 3.6 percent, and is likely to purchase more in due time.

Back in April 2008, Apple purchased PA Semi, a microprocessor design firm, and has yet to release any products built around it.

However, it is very likely that Apple could be looking to bring both CPU and Graphics technology closer as it looks to increase performance while keeping power consumption as low as possible.

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Our Comments

Apple is sitting on billions of pounds of cash and with interest rates current around zero in the US, investing is probably the wisest choice. An Apple Netbook that would combine PA Semi CPU technology and PowerVR graphics expertise could change the Netbook market especially if the battery life is significantly more than the rest of the competition.

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