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Apple, a leading maker of portable digital media players as well as personal computers, has reportedly invested £3.128 million ($4.7 million) into Imagination Technologies, a graphics and multimedia technologies license firm. The observers think that the transaction could lead to emergence of Apple products with very advanced graphics capabilities.

Apple has subscribed for 8.2 million new shares of Imagination Technologies Group at 39p per share, the mid market close price on 17 December 2008, subject only to listing and admission of the new shares. Following the share placement, Apple will have an ownership interest of 3.6%. Imagination also confirmed that Apple is a licensee of Imagination’s technology.

The fact that Apple is a licensee of Imagination is hardly too surprising: the latter licensees its graphics processing technologies to numerous consumer electronics makers. What is important is that Apple considers Imagination a rather important partner and wants to support it amid difficult times.

Many share the belief that the investment is a result of Apple’s very close collaboration with Imagination and ongoing plans to integrate its graphics technologies into its future products that need to have high-performance graphics cores. This may easily be true as Apple is known for having different technology options and suppliers for its products. For example, despite the official transition to x86 micro-architecture, Apple acquired developer of Power processors earlier this year to develop ARM-based chips.

Tags: Apple, PowerVR, Imagination

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