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By | Chris Mellor 13th December 2011 10:19

Startup's enviable flash stamina 'attracts Apple's gaze'

New rumour: Anobit could be bought for $500m

Apple is rumoured to be considering buying Anobit, a flash controller startup whose signal processing technology makes cheap non-volatile memory as reliable as the more expensive stuff.

Anobit's signal massage therapy can entice usable information from old flash cells that other controller technology would write off, thus extending the working life of the memory chip. The company says it can make generally shorter working life 3-bit multi-level cell (MLC) flash last as long as 2-bit MLC, and 2-bit MLC last as long as single-level cell flash.

The company recently introduced a second generation Genesis SSD, which doubled the performance of Genesis 1 to 70,000 random read IOPS and 510MB/sec sequential read bandwidth. Its maximum capacity is 400GB but 800GB and larger capacities are promised.

Anobit controllers are apparently used in the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.

Techcrunch reports that Apple wants to buy Anobit for $400 to $500 million. It's basing its story on a Calcist report - which is in Hebrew.

Total funding for Anobit is $76 million and there are some 200 employees. We presume they would transfer lock, stock and barrel to Apple. This would be Cupertino's first acquisition in the post-Jobs era and be in tune with the company's desire to control more of its technology stack.

There is a report here that says Anobit is thinking of an additional funding round, which, it is suggested, Apple could join as a strategic investor.

Buying flash controller companies could become a trend. SanDisk has bought Pliant and LSI splashed out on SandForce recently. ®

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