Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies Group plc
Public company
Traded as LSE: IMG
Industry Technology
Founded 1985 (1985)
Headquarters Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, UK
Key people
Bert Nordberg (Chairman)
Andrew Heath (CEO)
Guy Millward (CFO)
Revenue £170.8 million (2014)[1]
£0 million (2014)[1]
£0.8 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
Divisions PowerVR, MIPS, Pure, Ensigma, IMGWorks, IMGSystems

Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE: IMG) is a British-based technology R&D company, focussing on semiconductor and related intellectual property licensing. It is most noted for its PowerVR mobile graphics processors, MIPS embedded microprocessors and for its Pure consumer electronics division. It also supplies radio baseband processing, networking, DSP, video and audio hardware, VoIP software solutions, cloud hosting and silicon and system design services. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange.


The Company was founded in 1985 as VideoLogic and originally focused on graphics, sound acceleration, home audio systems, video-capture and video-conferencing systems.[2]

It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in July 1994.[3] The following year it entered into a licensing agreement over its PowerVR technology with NEC (now Renesas) who took a 2.29% stake in the Company for £1.6 million and acquired the rights to manufacture and sell the chip.[4] On 2 December 1997, NEC subscribed 2.3 million (1.5%) new shares at a price of 56.5p, taking its total stake to 3.5%.[5] In 1999, the Company refocused on intellectual property licensing generally and changed its name to Imagination Technologies.[2]

Since the 1990s, VideoLogic has provided chips for digital television set-top boxes,[6] and is a member of the Digital TV Group.[7] During the late 1990s to 2000s, Sega utilized VideoLogic chips for the Dreamcast home video game console and several Sega arcade systems. Namco also utilized PowerVR chips for the Namco System 23 arcade system board in the late 1990s.

On 23 March 2000, Imagination Technologies acquired Ensigma, a private company specialising in Digital Signal Processing, for a maximum consideration of £5 million.[8]

On 26 September 2001, Imagination Technologies acquired Cross Products Limited, a company designing and producing development tools for META DSP IP cores and Renesas's SuperH architecture processors under CodeScape brand, for £4.2 million.[9]

In October 2006, Intel Corporation acquired a 2.9% stake i.e. 6 million shares in the Company for £5.28 million.[10]

On 24 November 2008, Imagination Technologies announced a license agreement it signed with a new partner, then undisclosed, for a high-performance version of its PowerVR SGX graphics processor chip: this was later revealed to be Apple Inc.[11] In December 2008, Apple Inc purchased a 3.6% stake in the company for £3.2 million.[11]

In June 2009, it was announced that Intel's stake had increased to 14% after it had acquired 25m shares.[12] One week later, Intel acquired another 5m shares from the Saad Group (based in Saudi Arabia), and its shareholding rose to 16.02%.[13]

Days later, Apple Inc announced it had subscribed for 2.2m new shares at 142.75p each and made market purchases of another 11.52m shares, raising its stake to 9.5%;[14] Saad Group, who had held 44.6m shares i.e. 20.3% of the Company as at 30 June 2008, was thought to be the vendor of these shares, and had been reportedly forced to divest after its bank froze its accounts.[15]

On 17 November 2010, Imagination Technologies announced its intention to acquire HelloSoft, one of the world’s leading providers of Video and Voice over Internet Protocol and wireless LAN technologies, for a maximum consideration of $47 million.[16]

On 14 December 2010, Imagination Technologies acquired Caustic Graphics, developer of hardware/software real-time ray-tracing graphics technology which was founded by a group of former Apple engineers, for $27 million.[17]

On 14 December 2011, Imagination Technologies announced that it had signed a licensing agreement with Qualcomm. The company signed an agreement for the display IP from its PowerVR portfolio.[18]

On 3 January 2012, Imagination Technologies announced that it will invest totalling £5 million, in Toumaz Microsystems, a wireless intercom spinout of Toumaz Ltd., and will own 25% of the business.[19]

In June 2012, Imagination Technologies acquired Nethra Imaging, a semiconductor and systems company focused on delivering video and imaging solutions.[20]

As of November 2012, over 1 billion SOC units had shipped containing cores developed by Imagination Technologies.[21]

On 17 December 2012, Imagination Technologies beat Ceva Inc in the race to buy processor technology firm MIPS Technologies with a knockout offer of $100 million.[22]

On 29 December 2012 its Chief Executive Officer, Hossein Yassaie, was awarded a knighthood in the 2013 New Year Honours. The award was given in recognition of his services to technology and innovation.[23]

On 8 February 2016, Imagination Technologies announced that Sir Hossein Yassaie had stepped down from the company after 18 years as CEO.[24] Andrew Heath was appointed as interim chief executive before taking the role on a permanent basis on 26 May 2016.[24] Additionally, the company announced its intention to sell its Pure digital radio division.[24]

Operations and Products

The Company has several activities:[1]

Semiconductor intellectual property

Consumer electronics

System on Chip

Software services

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 Analyst Report 9 July 2008
  3. London Stock Exchange Archived 29 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. NEC Announces Investment in VideoLogic; Companies Sign Joint Development and License Agreement on Advanced 3D Games and Virtual Reality Technology Business Wire, 27 March 1995
  5. NEC ups Videologic stake, Computer Business Review, 2 December 1997
  6. "The Investment Column: Imagination Technologies". The Independent. 10 November 1999. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  7. "Digital Television Group". Imagination Community. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  8. Imagination Technologies buys Ensigma
  9. "Imagination Technologies buys Cross Products". Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  10. "Intel invests $9.88 million in PowerVR producer". Register Hardware. 2 October 2006.
  11. 1 2 Athow, Desire (21 December 2008). "Why Has Apple Invested In Imagination's PowerVR?".
  12. "Intel boosts stake to 14%". Bloomberg. 18 June 2009.
  13. Fletcher, Nick (23 June 2009). "Intel raises stake in UK chip group Imagination". The Guardian. London.
  14. Fletcher, Nick (June 2009). "Imagination Technologies up as Apple stake hits 9.5%". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  15. Marshall, Rosalie (26 June 2009). "Apple follows Intel in grabbing extra Imagination stake".
  16. Imagination Technologies targets HelloSoft in move to bolster technology base Stockopedia, 17 November 2010
  17. Imagination Technologies acquires Caustic Graphics Vizworld, 14 December 2010
  18. Sylvie Barak, EE Times. "Qualcomm becomes Imagination Technologies licensee." 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  19. Imagination Technologies buys into Toumaz Tech Eye, 3 January 2012
  20. "From Thursday 13 September 2012". Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  21. "Over 1 billion units shipped by Imagination partners". Imagination Technologies. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  22. "Imagination Tech to buy MIPS Tech for $100M". Associated Press. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  23. "The New Year Honours Lists 2013". UK Government. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  24. 1 2 3 "Pure radio up for sale as Imagination Technologies' boss departs". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
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