Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rumored to be acquiring Anobit, an Israeli fabless semiconductor company that specializes in flash storage for between $400 and $500 million. This would be Tim Cook’s first big acquisition since taking over as CEO. Apple also rarely buys hardware companies as they tend to focus more on software acquisitions.
Anobit provides flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile companies based on their proprietary Memory Signal Processing technology. Their technology is used for improving speed, endurance, and performance of flash storage systems. Apple currently relies on Anobit’s solutions for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air. South Korean company Hynix uses Anobit’s solutions for a flash memory chip that you can find inside of the iPhone 4S.
Anobit has 21 granted patents and 95 in total. Anobit has raised a total of $76 million from Battery Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, and Intel Capital. Anobit started in 2006 and is led by co-founder, chairman, and CEO Professor Ehud Weinstein. Before starting Anobit, Weinstein was co-founder and CEO of Libit Signal Processing. Texas Instruments acquired Libit in 1999.
Anobit co-founder and president Ariel Maislos previously co-founded Passave, which was acquired by PMC Sierra in 2006. Anobit currently has about 200 employees.