Last week, Hebrew-language news organization Calcalist reported that Apple, Inc. was in talks with Israeli-based Anobit for purchase of their flash memory solutions company.
Today, AllThingsD has gotten wind of a tweet from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcoming Apple to the country. Presumably, this is in reference to the buyout since this is the first time Apple has purchased a company in Israel.
According to AllThingsD, Apple’s decision to acquire the flash memory solution company for a reported half a billion dollars has to do with longevity issues. Flash memory doesn’t have a long life. Individual cells begin to lose their ability to store data after significant usage. Retail consumers of flash memory-based devices may not see the effects of this data-endurance issue for years, even decades, but enterprise could be effected by it much sooner. Enterprise data centers may see millions of read-and-write cycles per day on a chip.
Anobit has designed a solution that significantly increases a flash memory’s chip endurance with a technique known as memory-signal processing. According to AllThingsD, the company’s solution involves “The use of some secret-sauce memory-processing error-correction algorithms, plus some management tricks for moving data around a flash chip in more efficient ways, in order to make them last longer.”
Apple is the world’s largest consumer of flash memory, using it for the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple TV and MacBook Air. The company stands to gain significantly if Anobit continues to focus on flash memory solutions that could eliminate endurance issues altogether.