Apple has one big reason to move to a homegrown GPU: It wants full control over the hardware and software in its devices.
The device maker is apparently developing its own GPU from scratch after Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR architecture, which is being used in the iPhone 7. The smartphone runs on the PowerVR A10 Fusion chip.
It’s not certain when Apple’s homegrown GPU will appear in devices, and the company didn’t respond to request for comment.
Apple has made graphics improvement a priority in its iPhone and iPad models, so users should get better gaming experiences.
of the GPU in the iPhone 7 led to a conclusion that the company was likely on its way to making a homegrown GPU. He found Apple making big changes in the GPU in the A10 chip’s PowerVR architecture, such as a redesigned shader core. At the time, Kanter Apple “could continue to customize more and more of their GPU – eventually designing out Imagination Technologies.”
There are also rumors about Apple putting its ARM-based chips in Macs, which demand more graphics power. Designing a more powerful GPU that consumes more power can be complicated, and it’s perhaps something Apple won’t be chasing for now, Kanter said.
Apple’s approach to developing a homegrown GPU is similar to that of Google. Google picked up data center hardware from regular suppliers, customized it, and eventually, made the hardware itself.
But challenges for Apple remain, particularly legal challenges from Imagination, which has questioned Apple’s claim of developing an independent GPU technology.
Imagination did not accept Apple’s claims, saying it would be “extremely challenging to design a brand new GPU architecture” from scratch without Apple infringing on Imagination’s IP rights.
“Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property, and confidential information. This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it,” Imagination in a statement.