As first reported by Jessica Leesin, Apple has recently purchased Passif Semiconductor, a company that focused on building low-power processors. The firm was started by a pair of former PhD students at the University of California Berkeley, and had been funded by Khosla Ventures.
The acquisition makes sense for Apple, which has been making more of its own proprietary chips in recent years, choosing to run iOS devices with processors designed in Cupertino rather than contracting outside the company for its mobile chip designs.
Passif’s work on low-power processing would be a boon for battery life in small, wearable devices, like a rumored iWatch. In addition, Apple has been continually interested in shrinking the size of its devices as much as possible as well as extend their battery life. Low-powered processors could help the company achieve both of those goals.
In addition, it will help the Cupertino-based company compete with Samsung, a veteran of the chip-making space.
Previously on GeekWire: Apple buys Canadian startup Locationary to boost maps
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.