updated 06:25 am EST, Tue December 13, 2011
Apple may acquire Anobit in $500 million deal
Apple is rumored to be in talks to buy an Israeli startup called Anobit in deal said to be valued up to $500 million. The fabless semiconductor company has developed a flash memory controller technology that makes cheap non-volatile memory work as well as more expensive memory. The company claims to be able to make 3-bit multi-level cell MLC NAND flash, which typically has a shorter working life, last as long as 2-bit MLC, and 2-bit MLC function as long as single-level cell flash.
Anobit controllers are already said to be in use in the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. Hynix, which supplies the flash memory in the iPhone 4S, is reported to use Anobit's tech in its chips. The Anobit technology uses signal processing algorithms that adjust for the physical limitations of NAND flash. In total, the company says it has 21 granted patents and 95 in total. It has previously raised $76 million in venture capital from Battery Ventures, and Pitango Venture Capital, while it has 200 staff on its books.
If the rumored acquisition comes to fruition, it would be the first major acquisition that Apple will have undertaken post-Steve Jobs. The company has solid credentials, being led by CEO Professor Ehud Weinstein who had co-founded and led Libit Signal Processing that was acquired by Texas Instruments in 1999. [via TechCrunch]