Apple is in talks to acquire Israeli flash maker Anobit for a rumored $400-$500 million, according to a report by Calcalist. If completed, the deal will potentially make Anobit and its 200 employees in Herzliya the first Apple R&D center in Israel.
Apple has never bought non-software companies, so this deal would be a first for CEO Tim Cook in many ways: first hardware acquisition for Apple, first acquisition in Israel and first M&A deal for the new Apple leader. However, perhaps this acquisition was prompted while Jobs was Apple’s legendary CEO. In one of his last earnings call in 2010, Jobs didn’t hide his support of Flash memory:
Even Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs loves his flash memory, he said during the Apple earnings conference call. It was an attempt to dodge a question about running Flash animation on the iPhone, but the principle is the same. Apple, and many other companies, have come to use flash memory as the de facto storage mechanism in their gadgets.
According to the company’s website Anobit’s secret ingredient is its proprietary Memory Signal Processing technology which “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.”
For Apple, this means Apple faster and higher capacity memory for its iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. In August this year, Anobit announces a new high-performance, ultra-low power embedded flash controller for Smartphones and Tablet Computers, the MSP2025. As an example of the company’s capabilities, this product is the highest performing low power embedded flash product available today, supporting up to 256 GB of NAND flash, and delivering an unprecedented 666 MB/sec data transfer rate.
Founded in 2006, Anobit’s management team include several of Israel’s top high-tech entrepreneurs: chairman and CEO Prof. Ehud Weinstein; president Ariel Maislos; and Ofir Shalvi. Intel Capital Pitango Venture Capital, Battery Ventures Micron Technologies and other strategic investors have invested $76 million in the company to date. Anobit has 21 granted patents and subsidiary offices in United States and Korea.