At MWC 2013, Imagination Technologies has reinvented itself with a brand new company logo offering a new identity and a refreshed image to partners, investors, and analysts. The new branding represents Imagination’s diversification and growth due in large part to recent acquisitions of several key companies such as Caustic Graphics, HelloSoft, MIPS Technologies and Nethra Imaging.

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A history of Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies has been around for almost three decades and has gone through several reincarnations and evolutions. Imagination was originally founded in 1985 under the name VideoLogic. Its early products focused on graphics and sound acceleration, home audio systems, video-capture and video-conferencing systems, powering popular arcade gaming platforms like Sega’s Dreamcast console.

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The Dreamcast console had a PowerVR Series 2-based GPU from NEC, codenamed CLX2

In 1994, the Imagination Group plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange where it quickly became one of the most profitable FTSE250 companies.

By 1999, Imagination Technologies was creating a large numbers of innovative technologies and decided to make these available to the wider market by becoming an  IP licensing company. Consequently, the company was split into two operating business units – one focused on consumer electronics and the other on semiconductor IP. VideoLogic’s consumer product brand first became Pure Digital, and later simply Pure. Pure has now become a world leading consumer electronics manufacturer and leads the way in mainstream wireless music and radio systems and entertainment cloud services as well as innovating in new areas such TV set top boxes with advanced graphical UIs.

Imagination Technologies is run by an executive management board headed by Hossein Yassaie who serves as CEO and CTO and has been recently knighted for his services to the technology and semiconductor industry. Prior to joining Imagination Technologies in February 1992, he was with STMicroelectronics and Inmos for eight years. Hossein was technical director at Imagination Technologies before becoming Chief Executive Officer in June 1998.

The company is famous for its PowerVR graphics and video IP cores, as a rapidly-growing ecosystem of technology partners and developers rallied around the mobile industry’s leading GPU IP solution; PowerVR cores quickly became a standard for computing and consumer architectures in the mobile and embedded markets. Over time, Imagination has invested in other key multimedia and connectivity technologies like its Ensigma radio processors, Meta CPUs, HelloSoft V.VoIP and Caustic ray tracing solutions and, more recently, MIPS CPUs.

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Apocalypse 5D Sonic was a PCI card integrating the high-end PowerVR-based NEC PCX2 processor

Since going public in 1994, Imagination has continued to grow in terms of revenues and staff levels as it continues to push towards becoming a top three provider of design IP worldwide. Another medium term goal is to achieve 1 billion annual unit shipments with the help of its partners by 2016.

Do you remember Imagination from its VideoLogic days? Did you own a PowerVR-based PC card like the VideoLogic Apocalypse 3Dx or the STG4000 KYRO back in the day? What about the Dreamcast console from Sega?

Tell us about your favorite PowerVR-based device in the box below and make sure you follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR) for the latest news and announcements from Imagination.

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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