Back in April, longtime Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier Imagination Technologies (NASDAQOTH:IGNMF) disclosed to investors that Apple -- Imagination's largest customer, by far -- that it would no longer use Imagination's graphics intellectual property in its future applications processors.
Imagination's initial disclosure made it seem as though this was a sudden development, but Apple says that it gave Imagination several years' notice.
Although Imagination is trying to sell itself, it's still a stand-alone company with public shareholders. As such, the company still reports its financial results to the investment public.
In this column, I'd like to go over three things from Imagination's most recent investor presentation that I found interesting .
The Apple situation
Imagination maintains that Apple's "assertions that it had designed Imagination out and that royalties would cease in 2018" are "unsubstantiated."
Unsurprisingly, Imagination says that its "dispute with Apple continues" and that it ultimately hasn't seen any progress toward a resolution of this dispute.
An update on PowerVR
Imagination's PowerVR graphics business generates most of its revenue from Apple, but the company has been working for some time to try to broaden its customer and design win base for its PowerVR graphics technology.
The company said that its "new Furian GPU architecture and high-end Series 8XT [graphics] cores cements PowerVR's technology leadership."
That said, given that Apple has said that it's designing Imagination Technologies out of future chips with the explicit aim of delivering "unique and differentiating" graphics technology, it's not clear if Imagination's future graphics processors will have "technology leadership."
Imagination also said that its mid-range PowerVR Series XE graphics processors represent the company's "most successful product launch to date," with the technology scoring design wins with China-based smartphone chip maker, Spreadtrum as well as with Taiwan-based smartphone chip maker, MediaTek.
And, finally, Imagination claims that its PowerVR graphics technology has "large share of the automotive infotainment market" and that its technology should be extended into automated driver-assistance systems (ADAS).
What's the deal with MIPS?
Imagination purchased MIPS Technologies back in 2012 and, before Imagination put itself up for sale, it had announced that it wanted to sell off its MIPS division to raise cash.
In its presentation, Imagination said that its MIPS business enjoyed "continued design wins in [its] traditional market," which it says includes networking, routers, and set-top boxes/digital TV.
Imagination also let investors know that MIPS "continued to increase [its] presence in the automotive market," noting that Mobileye (NASDAQOTH:MBBYF) "selected the MIPS I6500" for its next-generation EyeQ5 processor and that automotive component supplier Denso Corporation licensed MIPS cores for upcoming chips.
Finally, Imagination says that MIPS processors are gaining traction inside of LTE modems, citing MediaTek as a "key customer for MIPS I-class LTE modems." Mass production of LTE modems with those MIPS cores, Imagination said, will begin "this summer."