Apple Inc. is acquiring Passif Semiconductor Corp., a developer of communications chips, which could lead to more energy-efficient device innovations.
Apple confirmed the deal with Passif to Bloomberg.
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“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.
Passif's chips require less power for devices to exchange information with each other, and the company joins a group of small chip companies that have been snapped up by Apple in recent years, including the 2008 acquisition of P.A. Semi Inc., a designer of low-power processors that deliver more computing power per watt of electricity. More efficient energy usage is critical for mobile products such as the iPhone and iPad, as well as an anticipated product category of wearable computers. Apple has a team of more than 100 working on a wristwatch-like device, people familiar with the company’s plans said in February.
Apple also bought another chip designer, Intrinsity, in 2010, gaining technology to speed up computing tasks. Apple is also exploring ways to replace Intel Corp. (INTC) processors in its Mac personal computers with a version of the chip technology it uses in the iPhone and iPad, people familiar with the company’s research have said.
Semiconductor development was part of Apple’s management overhaul announced in October. In the statement announcing leadership changes, Apple said its semiconductor teams have “ambitious plans for the future.”
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