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Anobit acquisition could be the biggest purchase of a hardware maker in Apple's history

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) can't hide its love flash.  Apple is immersed in a over decade long passionate affair with NAND flash memory, which it uses for storage across all of its mobile devices and in its computer SSDs.

I. Apple Pulls an OCZ

Now Apple is reportedly in talks to absorb a major part of its flash supply chain, and is reportedly in talks to purchase Israeli flash memory fabless chipmaker Anobit.

Anobit is a small firm founded in 2006 in Herzeliya Pituach -- an affluent beach-side district on central Israel's Mediterranean coast.  Today the company operates subsidiaries in the U.S. and South Korea.  Its core business is the tiny chips that allow super-fast, reliable access to flash memory, flash memory controllers.

Apple already licenses Anobit's controllers for use in its iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.  

Anobit wide

A good flash controller is incredibly valuable to SSD makers or companies who use flash components in their devices.  Just ask OCZ Technology Group Inc. (OCZ), whose SSDs have been dominating the enthusiast market, thanks to their slick Indilinx controller, which suffers little of the bugginess of LSI Corp. (LSI) subsidiary SandForce's controllers.

OCZ apparently found the South Korean controller maker Indilinx so invaluable that it bought it (and its 20 patents) for $32M USD in stock. This purchase was followed in turn by LSI's $322M USD acquisition of SandForce, a deal driven by SandForce's broad market base, which offset its poor controller stability.

Now Apple is expected to follow in suit, potentially folding in Anobit to prevent competitors from gaining access to its technology.  News of the deal broke [translated] from the the Israeli publication Calcalist.

Reportedly the acquisition price could hit as high as $400M-$500M USD, a boon for Anobit investors, who have thus far poured $97M USD in venture capital into the startup.  The acquisition would also grant Apple control of Anobit's 21 patents (and the 74 more currently in the submissions process).

II. Longevity, Performance Differentiate Anobit's Mobile, Enterprise Controllers

Thus far Apple's only past hardware acquisitons have been slightly smaller -- a $278M USD purchase of PA Semi in 2008, and a $121M USD purchase of Intrinsity in 2010.  If the purchase of Anobit proceeds, it would be the first major acquisition in the young tenure of new CEO Tim Cook.

Anobit has a very valuable specialty, which could drive Apple to make the purchase.  Reportedly, its technology for detecting "bad" memory cells in MLC (multi-level cell) flash memory is the best in the industry.  That allows cheap MLC to replicate the typically far-better endurance of expensive SLC (single-level cell) flash.  Long-term longevity is still a concern for flash drives, so this is a very valuable technology.

That comes in handy for Anobit's enterprise offerings, which promise "4 Terabytes write per day for 5 years".  With Apple increasingly deploying storage-heavy large-scale data centers to support technologies like the iCloud, this could come in handy.  If the reliability issues could be removed, Apple could switch its servers over to using solid state drives (flash prices allowing) removing one more piece of the latency equation for its cloud users.

iCloud plus Anobit
Anobit's enterprise-ready SSD controllers could give a boost to Apple's iCloud.

The core specs on Anobit's embedded controller (used in the aforementioned MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone) are pretty sweet to:
  • 666 MB/s data transfers
  • Works with up to 256 GB / 16 dies of NAND
  • "Ultra low" power consumption
  • Support for 20nm and sub-20nm NAND
  • Dual host interface (provides faster data piping to the rest of the system)
Anobit claims its controller is the "highest performance" tablet or smartphone flash storage controller.  We're sure some other companies would disagree with that assessment, but it's at least safe to say that Anobit is no performance slouch.

Anobit is a fabless firm, which means it lacks chip production capacity of its own, instead paying third parties chip fabricators like GlobalFoundries Inc. to actually put its proprietary designs onto chips.

We'll keep you updated if Apple goes through with its reported plan to fold in this crucial piece of its flash supply chain.

Sources: Calcalist [Translated from Hebrew], TechCrunch



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The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/14/2011 8:34:22 AM , Rating: -1
Apple wants to control the whole stack, everything that goes into their products and into the experience that their customer have. That's because Apple's business strategy is simple. Don't make too many different products and models, focus on trying to make each Apple product work really well and if possible be the best in the market. Above all make the customers experience a good one, from the retail experience right through to how a device feels when you hold it.

So Apple want to control all the hardware, where possible, and all the software that goes into their products. Hence their development of their own custom silicon. The Anobit purchase is part of that process, it allows Apple to more closely tailor flash chips in it's devices so that they work differently and better than their rivals.

Apple also wants to control it's supply chain and has the cash to do so. This is to ensure that where possible Apple gets the best component price, the first choice and most reliable supply, the first opportunity to deploy a new component technology in a product and, as an added bonus, make it harder and more expensive for their competitors to access components. Apple's own financial projections indicate that they will spend more on the supply chain than ever before in the coming year, substantially more. I wonder what on?




RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 9:11:35 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
as an added bonus, make it harder and more expensive for their competitors to access components
So by shutting out competition by buying up companies others rely on, this is a bonus? You really need to get your fucking head out of your ass and wake up to reality.


RE: The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 11:01:31 AM , Rating: 2
What world do YOU live in. Buying out other companies which OTHER companies rely on, IS SHUTTING OUT COMPETITION. Are you this DENSE?


RE: The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 12:12:14 PM , Rating: 4
You still don't get it...

quote:
That of course it won't licence


TO PREVENT COMPETITION

It's quite obvious you are biased. You claim to have a grasp on reality, when in fact, you don't.

To think shutting out competition is OK is absolutely sickening.

I am done with you and suggest others do the same. You are a sick and demented human being.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/14/2011 1:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To think shutting out competition is OK is absolutely sickening
Yeah tell that to MS when they were shutting out competition by prohibiting alternative operating system installs for OEMs they were dealing with in 1980s-1990s, you hypocritical jerk.

Every single company in business is trying hard to kill competition, this is natural selection working in business, and you only single out Apple because you're a dumb fanatic. MS is no better, Google is no better, or anyone else. They all wanna kill competition as bad as Apple does. You have to grow up to understand this.

Will you cry me a river, baby, because Google refuses to license their page ranking and ad relevance analysis algoritms to Bing? Will you, baby? ;))) You gonna cry now because Google is such a bad boy, they try to kill poor little Bing, boohoo...


RE: The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 2:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be an iTool. Wait, to late already.


RE: The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 6:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
You really are a iTool, plain and simple. Everyone here sees it but YOU . Loser.


RE: The whole stack
By Piiman on 12/14/2011 6:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
Is your penis still in Steve jobs ass.


RE: The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: The whole stack
By spread on 12/15/2011 1:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.

- Apple Service Manual 2010; Dealing with Dissent, Ln63


RE: The whole stack
By retrospooty on 12/14/2011 2:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
Calm down Tony. Apple is just a company, it is not your manhood.

Repeat after me.... "I am not Apple, Apple is a company and I am a person"


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 6:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
He isn't a person, he is an iTool who is a robot for Apple.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/14/2011 8:07:01 PM , Rating: 1
And you are a dumb Apple hater who lost any reasoning skills a long time ago, otherwise you wouldn't single out Apple like they are something special. They are as tough with their competitors as any other US company, why you Apple hating idiots insist they are unique in some way is beyond me.

Hey retro, can you explain this thing to me? Why is cheesy singling out Apple like the other US companies are not tough with competitors and only Apple is the tough one? Do you understand this or are you as lost with cheesy's "logic" as me?


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 8:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
who lost any reasoning skills a long time ago
And you and Tony have any? ROFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! You are much of an idiot as he is.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/14/2011 8:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
Just as*


RE: The whole stack
By spread on 12/15/2011 2:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hey retro, can you explain this thing to me? Why is cheesy singling out Apple like the other US companies are not tough with competitors and only Apple is the tough one? Do you understand this or are you as lost with cheesy's "logic" as me?


Because today's article was about Apple, which is why you find the title at the top of the page saying that.

American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes the Mac OS X operating system; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Aperture, a professional photography package; Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products; Logic Studio, a suite of music production tools; the Safari web browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system. As of July 2011, the company operates 357 retail stores in ten countries.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 3:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because today's article was about Apple
No, it's not because this article is about Apple, it's because cheesy only trolls Apple and turns blind eye to any other US company like MS that behaves the same. Talk about cheesy double standards.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 3:40:36 PM , Rating: 1
Again, you are a moron and have no clue what the fuck you are talking about.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 4:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
You think your swearing and no arguments beside it will make you look stronger? Naive kiddy. Judging by style of the posts alone Tony is looking way more mature than you. Learn to post substance instead of your usual argumentless dirty garbage.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 4:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
Again, please get a clue before you run your mouth. Kid? LOL! If anyone is a KID, it surely is you.


RE: The whole stack
By retrospooty on 12/15/2011 7:37:50 AM , Rating: 2
"Hey retro, can you explain this thing to me? Why is cheesy singling out Apple like the other US companies are not tough with competitors and only Apple is the tough one? Do you understand this or are you as lost with cheesy's "logic" as me? "

Dont get me caught up in your convoluted logic, and you are the last person that should be insulting anyone else's reasoning skills (How's RIM workin out for ya?)


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 1
Working out quite well, thank you, Playbook is still the best tablet, tried some Android HTC tablet yesterday in an AT&T store and Galaxy Tab 10.1 too - both still shitty and slow compared to QNX. Nothing new here retro, move along :)


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 4:28:44 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, to bad it's not selling well, and that RIM is a failing company as of now. Shitty and slow eh? Like your brain?


RE: The whole stack
By retrospooty on 12/15/2011 4:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, now stock has dropped to 1/10th its previous high. From 150 to 15 in 3 years. No problem at all because the palybook is the best tablet on the market. So good they can charge $499 for a 7 incher... Oh, wait. it was selling so badly they had to drop it to $199. ROFL.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 9:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
1. Revenue of $5.2 billion, up 24% from last quarter
2. BlackBerry smartphone shipments of 14.1 million, up 33% from Q2
3. Subscribers up 35% year-over-year to almost 75 million

Now you can keep trollin retro :)))


RE: The whole stack
By retrospooty on 12/16/2011 7:16:19 AM , Rating: 2
Great, keep on with the "pick and choose" facts. Its working wonders for Balsilie and Lazardis. Most noteworthy is revenue. Its absolutely tanking in a majorly bad way , yet, if you just look at 1 quarter, and only present that data, everything is fine. No problem here.

Still the same old song. Just like the Iraqi minister of communications, insisting they are winning the war and have beaten the US troops back to the border as US tanks roll by outside of his office.


RE: The whole stack
By retrospooty on 12/16/2011 7:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Wow... I just took a look for fun. Rim's stock dumped another 10% overnight.

http://quotes.wsj.com/rimm

Earnings down 71%
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111215-71659...

Exactly as I predicted QNX that was already delayed from Q1 to "mid 2012" is now put off until late 2012. And that is early on. Expect more delays as the time gets closer.

http://www.fudzilla.com/mobiles/item/25233-no-blac...

Keep on fiddling Nero. Its working wonders for Balsilie and Lazardis.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/16/2011 9:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
Oh the irony....

quote:
After years of inferior product, sagging earnings, recent unexplained multiple continent outages and product delays, RIM executives this week capped off a disastrous 2011 with more bad news. The company shattered any hope of seriously competing with iOS and Android in 2012 with the news that their Blackberry 10 smartphones, originally slated for "early 2012" are delayed until late 2012 (read: 2013). The company also took an un-needed PR hit last week when two drunk executives were forced off a flight for being violently and ridiculously drunk. The reality-TV meets AOL level of total dysfunction has more than a few people wondering exactly how RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie still have jobs.


http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/People-Wonderin...


RE: The whole stack
By retrospooty on 12/16/2011 10:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
It boggles me how long this is taking them.

IOS was intro's in early 2007 and released in June 2007. Even slow as molasses Palm came out with a competing offer 2 years later (WebOS) - and they are totally disfunctional. Its now been almost 5 years and RIM still has no Phone OS to match.

Beyond that, what is taking them so long with QNX. It WAS released on the playbook earlier this year in at least decent form. Its not getting great reviews, but it is a good OS with alot of promise. What is taking 1 1/2 years from Playbooks working QNX release to get it on a freegin phone? WTF!!! , by the time they release it, we may not be looking at IOS6 and Android 5 like I originally thought... We will be looking at IOS7 and Android 6.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 5:52:17 PM , Rating: 1
Hold it cheesy, hold it right there, otherwise you'll go too far by saying RIM doesn't sell 'cause it's shit and hence Apple sells so much stuff because their stuff is the best! Then you'll look like a total dumbo 'cause you also troll them all the time hehehe :) Wanna look like an idiot one more time eh cheesy?


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 10:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wanna look like an idiot one more time eh cheesy?
You look like an idiot enough for both of us, so I'll let you handle it since you are the master of it.


RE: The whole stack
By ati666 on 12/14/2011 12:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You iPhobes are such pussies, whining and weeping about everything Apple does when what really twists your guts is that Apple plays to win and mostly does, that Apple are simply better at what they do than their competitors.


Yes, like PATENT TROLLING ...


RE: The whole stack
By spread on 12/15/2011 1:58:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You iPhobes are such pussies, whining and weeping about everything Apple does when what really twists your guts is that Apple plays to win and mostly does, that Apple are simply better at what they do than their competitors.


Oh boy, you sure showed everyone. Damn, with all this knowledge about Apple you must be making so much money. No? Well at least you're an informed investor trading their stock. No? Well at least you're an investor. No? You're just wasting your life worshipping a plastic toy? I bet when your family and your children (haha you won't breed) look back they will say "Damn, that Tony he really did something important with his life."

No? Not that either?

Loser. You're the definition of loser. You dedicate yourself to a for profit company that offers you nothing in return. You're like those losers that waste their time and money showing up to every Apple store opening. It's like a religion. Except there's only one rule. Worship a plastic toy that makes fart sounds, sends email and that you can play terrible games on. All the good feelings and self importance you give yourself when you talk and experience things Apple are creations of your own delusional and desperate mind. Why? Because your life sucks.

I pity you, loser. I really do feel sorry for you.


RE: The whole stack
By Tony Swash on 12/15/2011 5:35:25 AM , Rating: 1
You know nothing about me except that we have different opinions about some consumer durables. That's all. Do people who disagree with you always upset you so much?


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 8:23:11 AM , Rating: 2
We all know you are an iTool loser. That's all we need to know.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 3:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
We know you are a dumb anti-Apple troll. That's all we need to know. You can't even counter Tony's arguments intelligently, you just swear at him. Grow up.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 3:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
His responses are the SAME EVERYDAY , there is NO intelligence, and you certainly have none and that has been proven over and over. Yet, you still keep yapping your flap like you have something to contribute. Also, 99.9 percent of your posts are for, guess what? APPLE! You aren't liked here by ANYONE, the sheer amount of -1's should give you a clue of that. I swear, you and Tony both have some serious MENTAL issues.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 4:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
You can swear all you want but your unobjectivity shines here, the fact is that you only troll Apple and never troll any other US company that behaves the same speaks eveything about who you really are.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 4:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
The fact is, and I told you this already, you don't have a CLUE what or what I don't do. And again, and I pointed out, 99.9 of your posts are on APPLE subjects, yet I am the troll. LOL!


RE: The whole stack
By spread on 12/16/2011 11:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
I know you're a loser who worships a shiny toy. Every time I read an article here, yup you're always talking about Apple.

You must put in so much time an effort into this. Don't lie. We know you do. You're like that Zune guy, remember him? Here:

http://media.photobucket.com/image/zune%20guy/OKSt...

You're like that but replace Zune with anything Apple. It's scary and I feel sorry for you. But you're not alone, there's many losers like you worshipping Apple. Not many people (except for Zune guy) will do the same for Microsoft because they realize that it's just a product. It's meant to be used for work.

But you don't. You're so passionate to the point where you troll these forums. I don't think I've ever seen an article without you commenting in some way or form about Apple.

I feel very very sorry for you. I pity you. It must suck living your life as a loser and your only source of passion and happiness is talking about Apple products and Apple Corporation.


RE: The whole stack
By ati666 on 12/14/2011 11:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
You are a nitwit , as always....


RE: The whole stack
By Thomaselite14 on 12/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 9:34:59 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but repeating the same crap day after day after day such as Tony does, that's not intelligent conversation. Repeating the same useless drivel each day does nothing but make him look like an idiot. Have fun in your little fantasy world.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 3:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, like your anti-Apple crap you post here day after day is any better. Fix your mental problems first and start talking like a smart person before pretending that you are somehow better than Tony, when in fact you are way worse.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 3:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
Day after day? I think you need to get a clue...

Mental problems? LOL! Look in the mirror.

I am certainly smarter than you and Tony combined.

Unlike you 2, I think on my own, I don't allow other companies/websites to dictate my thoughts.

When you can grow up, come talk to me.


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 4:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
Also, maybe you should get a job and experience the real world because it's obvious you have no clue about that either.


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/15/2011 6:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Blah blah blah. When will you present any decent arguments besides your senseless swearing? Do you just like swearing and this is the only reason you post here?


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/15/2011 10:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
You
are
an
idiot

That's all there is to it


RE: The whole stack
By Pirks on 12/18/2011 7:47:25 PM , Rating: 1
Keep fucking yourself, I like the way you do it


RE: The whole stack
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/18/2011 9:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
Great come back, no, really, it was.

/me rolls eyes...

It's amazing how stupid you make yourself look with each and every post.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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