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Apple rumored to be working on its own GPU

Published Dec 10th, 2015 10:30PM EST
Apple GPU Development
Image: David Sandoz

It’s no secret that Apple prefers to own and control as much of the underlying technologies in its products as possible. The number of examples that illustrate this are seemingly endless, and even stretch back all the way to the iPod.

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Most recently, evidence of Apple’s penchant for control can be seen in the company’s in-house designed A-x processors which have graced the iPhone ever since the A4 was introduced with the iPhone 4. As a more recent example, Apple made a point not to license the underlying technology of TouchID from Authentec, but made it abundantly clear that it wanted to own it in its entirety, culminating in a $356 million acquisition.

With that as a backdrop, Fudzilla is reporting that Apple’s thirst for complete control hasn’t been quenched just yet. Specifically, the publication, citing sources within the graphics industry, relays that Apple has been developing its own mobile GPU “under extreme secrecy for a few years.”

As for the benefits of Apple spending tremendous engineering resources to develop their own GPU, AppleInsider has a particularly good take.

Controlling every aspects of its processors could let Apple further optimize the efficiency and power consumption of its devices, a special concern as it forces designs thinner at all costs, and ventures into wearables. Many rival phone and tablet makers use third-party CPUs and GPUs from companies like Qualcomm and Nvidia, limiting how tuned they can be for a particular OS or set of demands.

While this is an admittedly sketchy rumor, it’s not necessarily the craziest thing in the world. After all, the notion of Apple releasing its own programming language would have seemed absolutely ludicrous even three years ago.

As a final point, and while we’re on the topic of iPhone internal components, there has also been some murmurs of Apple potentially replacing Qualcomm as the supplier of its LTE modem chips with Intel.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.