iPhone News Desk
Apple Reportedly Wants to Buy Flash Memory Maker
Anobit’s widgetry is used in cell phones and tablets including some iPhones, iPads, iPods and the MacBook Air
By: Maureen O'Gara
Dec. 14, 2011 07:45 AM
Apple is in talks to buy five-year-old fabless Israeli flash storage maker Anobit Technologies for $400 million-$500 million according to a story in the Hebrew-language financial daily Calcalist repeated by Reuters, Bloomberg, TechCrunch et al.
That seems like a lot of money for an Apple acquisition, which are generally software-related, but it's previously bought processor design talent, which is how it comes by its own ARM chip. Of course Apple's got a ton of money so it could easily peel off a half-billion and not even notice it.
Anobit's widgetry is used in cell phones and tablets including some iPhones, iPads, iPods and the MacBook Air.
The start-up's memory signal processing technology uses proprietary signal processing algorithms combined with advanced error correction and flash management schemes to improve flash performance, endurance and cost. Apparently it could double the memory in iPads and MacBooks.
Apple doesn't currently have any properties in Israel. Calcalist said the operation could become an Apple R&D center.
Anobit is funded by $76 million from Battery Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, Intel Capital, Micron Technologies and unidentified strategic investors. Half the investment came from Intel, suggesting the operation has legs.
Anobit is also reportedly considering a large round from an Asian flash memory maker.
Its chip is used by Samsung and Hynix, both Apple suppliers.
It's got 21 patents and another 74 applied for.
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