Apple Buys Silicon Valley Based Chip Maker ‘Passif Semiconductor’

Apple spokeswoman Amy Besette has just confirmed company’s acquisition of Silicon Valley-based wireless chip manufacturer ‘Passif Semiconductor’, AllThingsD is reporting (via WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin). “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”, said the spokeswoman.


Passif was founded several years ago by Ben Cook and Axel Berny, two PhD students from the University of California, Berkeley. Apple’s acquisition of Passif is quite clear as the company is known for developing communication chips that use very little power. With companies like Apple looking to pack more battery-draining features into handhelds, technologies that preserve and extend battery life are now more critical than ever.

Radios are some of the biggest battery drainers. Passif’s technology, which includes a radio that works with a low-energy version of Bluetooth called Bluetooth LE, is promising for health-monitoring and fitness devices that need extra-long battery life. Apple, of course, is working on one of those.

There is no doubt that Apple has been picking up the pace of small tech acquisitions. (CEO Tim Cook said so in May.) Apple recently purchased indoor Wi-Fi company Wifislam and mapping data providers Locationary and Hopstop.

It seems the Passif deal could just be the answer to low-energy components for Apple’s future generation iOS devices.