Apple has been using GPUs from British company Imagination. Well, today, Imagination is a company in crisis as their key customer has decided to move on and roll their own GPUs. Given Apple’s acquisition of other chip makers and their desire to “control the whole widget” this is hardly surprising. But there’s a lesson for all us about eggs and baskets.
Apple has been licensing Imagination’s PowerVR GPU technology in the A-series chips used in its iOS devices and Apple TV. And while the Mac uses GPUs from the usual suspects in that market, the S-series chip in the Apple Watch uses licensed tech from Imagination.
With news of the switch by Apple, Imagination’s market value plummeted by 70 per cent. That’s a big hit that highlights the risk of putting all your eggs in one customer’s basket.
Whether you’re a buyer or seller of technology, it’s a good idea to spread your risk around so that the impact of one supplier or customer withdrawing doesn’t kill your business.
I hope Imagination comes out of this OK. They have developed some great tech and had more in the pipeline. But without the funds provided by their biggest customer, their capacity to develop new products may be stymied.