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Apple Eying SSD Start-Up Anobit

For half billion dollar

According to Hebrew language financial daily Catalist, Apple Corp. is in talk to acquire Israeli start-up Anobit Technologies Ltd. for as much as $400 million to $500 million, or getting an important financial round of funding from a big Asian flash maker.

It could be the first acquisition ever by Apple of a storage company.

Why Apple is interested by Anobit? Because it has designed a chip enhancing flash performance for mobile devices already incorporated in iPad, iPhone 4S and Mac BookAir. Anobit is a client of Apple, as well as Hynix and Samsung.

MSP2025 Embedded Flash Controller    

It also offers Genesis 2.5-inch 3Gb SATA and 6Gb SAS SSDs demonstrating endurance of 50,000 program/erase cycles, up to 70,000/40,000 IO/s random read/write and 510 MB/s sequential read/write using 2xnm MLC NAND, with capacities ranging from 100GB to 400GB, and 800GB to come. The company claims “4TB write per day for 5 years over all data patterns under worst-case conditions.”

Based on 95 patents (21 granted), Anobit’s Memory Signal Processing technology is comprised of proprietary signal processing algorithms combined with error correction and flash management schemes, resulting in an improvement in endurance, performance and system cost. MSP enables SLC endurance and performance with MLC NAND, and MLC endurance and performance with TLC (three bits-per-cell).

In August 2011, the firm announced over 20 million MSP-powered embedded flash controllers shipped.

Based in Herzliya Pituach, Israel with an office in Marlborough, MA, the start-up already received $76 million in financial funding from Battery Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital and Intel Capital since its founding in June 2006.

CTO Avraham Meir, expert in NAND flash technology, was formerly VP corporate engineering at SanDisk and CTO at M-Systems acquired by SanDisk.

If the deal with acquisition is done, Anobit may become an Apple’s R&D center in Israel, Catalist said.

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