LONDON – Imagination Technologies Group plc continues to ramp both licensing agreements and unit shipments of chips containing its intellectual property due to its position in graphics with its PowerVR line of graphics cores and its design win pipeline for chips destined for smartphones and tablet computers.
In its financial results for the first half of its financial year the company said that it expected to maintain market leading positions as a provider of graphics cores and other IP in the mobile device markets and was on-course to reach its goal of a billion shipments per annum of chips containing its IP within five years.
Partner chip unit shipments were 123 million units in the first half year to Oct. 31, 2011, up from 107 million in the equivalent period in 2010. Imagination (Kings Langley, England) said a "substantial acceleration" is expected in the second half, post October product launches.
As a result the company made a net profit of £7.7 million (about $12.0 million) on annual revenues of £56.3 million (about $87.7 million) that were up 28 percent on £44.1 million (about $68.7 million) in the equivalent period a year before. The net profit was down on the equivalent period a year before because of tax bill of of £2.9 million in contrast to a tax rebate of £3.9 million received a year before.
The full results are based on both technology licensing and royalies and a separate digital audio broadcast (DAB) radio equipment business. The later continued to suffer due to the uncertainty in the global economic market.
On the technology side Imagination enjoyed growth in chip design wins and now has 125 active partner chip designs, compared with 98 at the equivalent time in 2010; of which 54 are in production compared with 42. In addition Imagination was able to enjoy an increased average royalty rate per chip on its IP.
The company said it had added MStar, Ricoh, Qualcomm, and Rockchip as partners and extended agreements with existing partners including Sony, Intel, Mediatek, Renesas, Samsung, Sigma and Realtek.
Imagination CEO Hossein Yassaie said: "The continued strong demand for our technologies has again resulted in a material jump in our half-year revenues and profits. As demonstrated by very strong licensing revenue growth, our technologies, due to technical and ecosystem advantages, are in demand and are being adopted more widely across new and existing partners, creating a solid base for continued momentum in future volume growth.
"Most of these markets are still at early stages of transition and/or development and have large growth potential, making our stated goal of 1bn annual unit shipment within five years a realistic objective," he added.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.