by Brent Dirks
August 1, 2013
Apple has recently purchased Passif Semiconductors, which specializes in producing low-energy chips. The news was first reported by technology writer Jessica Lessin on her blog. According to the report, Passif’s technology appears to be a great fit for the long-rumored iWatch, which will apparently include a number of fitness and health tools:
The company in recent months purchased Silicon Valley-based wireless chip developer, Passif Semiconductor, according to people briefed on the deal. Passif develops communication chips that use very little power. Its 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.) It isn’t clear how much Apple paid. The people said Apple tried to buy Passif a few years earlier for a price in the mid-tens-of-millions of dollars. Presumably it would be higher now. An Apple spokeswoman said “Apple buys small technology companies from time to time.”In mid-July, a report claimed that Apple is “aggressively” hiring for the iWatch team and that the product will launch sometime in late 2014.