Imagination Technologies officially for sale
IoT solutions include graphics processors and radio processing units
Imagination Technologies says several companies are interested in buying the troubled chip designer, and therefore the board has decided to formally put the company up for sale. The company’s MIPS and Ensigma operations were put up for sale early last month, and that process continues.
The value of Imagination Technologies plummeted earlier this year when Apple, Imagination’s biggest customer by far, said that it will stop using the British company’s intellectual property to create graphics processors. Apple itself has become the world’s largest designer of silicon, according to analyst Patrick Moorhead.
Imagination Technologies says its solutions are “are designed to target every level of IoT device and system.” The company says its PowerVR graphics, video and display processors can handle advanced node-based graphics and video processing requirements and deliver the advanced user interfaces that some emerging IoT applications will require.
Imagination’s MIPS architecture is already used in gateway and router applications, and could be well positioned for IoT gateways. In IoT network architectures, gateways are often used to consolidate data traffic from endpoints and send that data to the cloud via Ethernet or a cellular network. Intelligent gateways can often process or analyze some of the data themselves instead of sending everything to the cloud. In addition, gateways often act as protocol converters, connecting endpoints that use a low-power wide area protocol like LoRa with cell towers that can backhaul traffic to the public internet.
Imagination says its MIPS M-class processors are ideal microcontrollers for 32-bit embedded applications that need high performance in a small footprint. MIPS I-class processors are appropriate for embedded Linux and high-end real-time operating systems and for systems requiring significant local intelligence.
The Ensigma radio processing unit division of Imagination, which has been for sale since May, developes RPUs that enable efficient integration of connectivity across all classes of IoT devices from the smallest sensor to the largest multimedia system, according to the company.