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August 2, 2013

Apple acquires low-power and wireless chip maker Passif

The startup builds low energy communication chips that deliver more computing power per watt of electricity

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple has reportedly acquired low-power wireless chip developer Passif Semiconductor, as part of efforts to build its own chips.

Established by two UC Berkeley PhD students, the firm builds low energy communication chips that deliver more computing power per watt of electricity.

Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette said: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Passif’s technology, which incorporates a radio that works with a low-energy version of Bluetooth low energy, can act as potential for mobile products including iPhone and iPad as well as future wearable computers.

Apple had also acquired another chip designer, Intrinsity, in 2010. Its acquisition of biometric security startup, Authentec, in 2012 hinted on plans to introduce fingerprint identification in iOS 7.

The iPhone maker is also exploring ways to swap Intel processors for its Mac PCs.

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