Apple has purchased Israeli flash memory technology company Anobit for a reported $500 million. It marks the largest acquisition Apple has made since acquiring NeXT from Steve Jobs for $472 million. It will be the first acquisition for Apple in Israel. The office of the Prime Minister of Israel was quick to congratulate Apple this morning, welcoming Apple to Israel via Twitter.
Anobit has developed a technology called Memory Signal Processing (MSP), which increases stability and performance of less expensive types of flash memory:
Anobit’s MSP™ (Memory Signal Processing) technology is comprised of proprietary signal processing algorithms combined with advanced error correction and innovative flash management schemes, resulting in a dramatic improvement in endurance, performance and system cost. Specifically, MSP™ enables SLC (one bit-per-cell) endurance and performance with MLC (two bits-per-cell) NAND, and MLC endurance and performance with TLC (three bits-per-cell) NAND, resulting in a significant reduction in cost per-bit.
The financial daily Calcalist reported that this chip is already incorporated in some of Apple’s devices, including the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. With this acquisition, it appears as though Apple is positioning itself to use more and more flash memory in future devices.
Key in this acquisition is the ability to increase efficiency of lower cost memory units, boosting their performance and reliability to that of more expensive memory types, and that could mean a significant savings for Apple moving forward.
Apple is also reported to be setting up its first international R&D facility in Israel, near Haifa. It would join other tech companies that have set up development facilities there, including Google, Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm.