Apple likes to control as much of the technology that powers its products as possible, because the more control it has, the more efficient and optimized its products can become. That’s why the A-series chipset that powers most of Apple’s mobile devices is developed almost entirely in-house, but there are still a few areas where Apple relies on third-party technology. One of these areas is the chipset’s built-in GPU, but according to a report from Fudzilla, Apple has secretly been working on its own GPU for a few years now. The report doesn’t mention when the GPU will make its way into Apple’s products, and it’s important to note that this is only a rumor.
Apple is allegedly at work on its own graphics processor technology, which — if completed — would bring almost all of its mobile processor design in-house. The company has been developing a mobile GPU “under extreme secrecy for a few years,” according to Fudzilla graphics industry sources. There doesn’t apperar to be a firm timeline for when the technology will reach shipping products, and indeed Fudzilla suggested that there’s a chance it might not reach fruition. While Apple relies on a custom ARM-based CPU design for the A-series chips in iOS devices and the Apple TV, the GPUs in those products are often slightly modified PowerVR units supplied by Imagination Technologies. The iPad Air 2, for example, uses a PowerVR GXA6850 octa-core processor. The iPad Pro, though, appears to be using a special 12-core GPU design. That could back the notion that Apple is building towards its own graphics hardware. 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.