Great tech innovators: Hossein Yassaie

A man with plenty of Imagination…

  • Age: 57
  • Company: Imagination Technologies
  • Best known for: Hardware, graphics
  • Quote: "I believe in and hope for making a real difference. I consider ignorance the biggest danger to the human race's progress."

Hossein Yassaie is CEO of Imagination Technologies, and he has been head of the graphics company for quite some time – since 1998, in fact.

Born in Iran, he became a UK national at the age of eight, and studied at Birmingham University where he got his PhD and became a Research Fellow. His first steps into the tech industry saw him work at STMicroelectronics and Inmos for the best part of a decade, where he was in charge of digital video and DSP, before he moved to Imagination Technologies in 1992 as CTO.

The UK-based graphics giant has seen much success during his tenure as chief exec, and its PowerVR mobile GPUs are used by many of the world's leading device manufacturers, including Apple, Sony, Samsung and LG.

Yassaie also kicked off the firm's Pure division when he saw a gap in the digital radio market, and while the initial intention might not have been to shift products to consumers – the first radio was really meant as a demo platform for Pure's DAB chip – success quickly led to a range of DAB radios (like the Evoke), portable wireless speakers, iPhone docks and the like.

Under Yassaie Imagination Technologies is also firmly angling itself towards the Internet of Things market, with its MIPS processors boasting high levels of performance efficiency, and Ensigma IP solutions for radio comms slotting in neatly with the frugal power requirements of wearables and IoT-connected hardware.

Yassaie is clearly a driven man and in interviews has lamented the fact that Britain no longer has enough giant tech firms like Imagination Technologies and ARM – and we need to get back to grass roots and innovate to breed further success, something Imagination isn't afraid to do.

He was also given a knighthood back in 2013 for his services to the tech world.

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