As first reported by Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin, Apple has acquired chip development firm Passif. The company develops chip technologies focused on utilizing low-power and work with low-energy Bluetooth technologies.
As Apple moves towards smaller devices, the talent and resources of Passif will be critical. Apple reportedly tried to buy the firm a few years earlier, but was only able to strike a deal within recent months. We previously reported that Apple has been poaching several employees from other chip makers to work on the upcoming iWatch.
Apple has confirmed the acquisition, as Apple spokeswoman Amy Besette gave AllThingsD the usual statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The acquisition of course has fueled speculation as to what Apple will do with the technology it gains, with most observers leaning toward the belief it is ‘iWatch” bound.
Rumors in the past have said that Apple is having problems with battery life in its iWatch development efforts, with a report in March suggesting that batteries in Apple’s iWatch prototypes were lasting a mere couple of days, while the company was shooting for at least 4–5 days of battery life.
Update: Apple has now provided an official statement to AllThingsD confirming the acquisition:
Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette confirmed the deal with the company’s standard statement on small acquisitions: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Passif’s expertise lies in low-power communication chips with very small footprints, something Apple could presumably bring to bear on future iPhones and iPads — or as-of-yet unannounced wearable devices like, say, a watch or band.