Apple in advanced talks to buy British graphics chipmaker Imagination Technologies

Apple is in advanced talks to buy British graphics chipmaker Imagination Technologies (IMG), local technology news and information website Ars Technica today reported, citing a source with knowledge of the discussions.

Its market value today rose in early morning trading by almost 20 per cent following Ars Technica's report on the potential acquisition.

IMG, in which Apple already holds 8.38 per cent stake, currently has a market value of £596 million ($855 million).

IMG is known for its PowerVR line of GPUs, which Apple has used in its mobile A-series SoCs (Systems on Chips) since the A4, which powered the iPhone 4 and 4th-generation iPod Touch, the report said.

Besides Apple, its other major client is South Korean smartphone giant Samsung.

In 2008 Apple had acquired PA Semi, a fabless chip design company, in order to design its own processor. 

That acquisition eventually led to Apple designing its own CPU cores for its A-series SoCs, starting with the Swift CPU core used by the A6 SoC in the iPhone 5, the report added.

IMG, based in Hertfordshire, was founded in 1985 as VideoLogic and originally focused on graphics, sound acceleration, home audio systems, video-capture and video-conferencing systems.

The  the London Stock Exchange-listed company has a broad range of silicon IP (intellectual property) including the key processing blocks needed to create the SoCs that power all mobile, consumer and embedded electronics.

Its software IP, infrastructure technologies and system solutions enable its customers to get to market quickly with complete and highly differentiated SoC platforms.

IMG's licencees include many of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who make some of the world's most iconic products.