Hynix, Micron turn to Taiwan following Apple’s Anobit buy

By on December 23, 2011 at 6:45 PM.

Hynix, Micron turn to Taiwan following Apple’s Anobit buy

News broke earlier this week that Apple has acquired Israel-based fabless flash memory firm Anobit for as much as $400 million according to TheMarker, adding another leading chip maker to the company’s portfolio. Anobit’s NAND flash memory is already used in Apple products including the iPhone and iPad, and the firm’s technology is said to offer several advantages over that of its rivals. As DigiTimes pointed out in a recent report, the move also means Anobit’s other clients are now forced to look elsewhere as Apple becomes the exclusive owner of Anobit’s chip technology. Major players including Hynix and Micron were Anobit partners in the past, taking advantage of the company’s proprietary technology that improves the performance and lifespan of its flash memory products. Hynix, Micron and others are now reportedly looking to Taiwan-based companies including Phison Electronics and Silicon Motion Technology following the acquisition. Direct gains from Apple’s Anobit buy include the company’s technology and talent, but another advantage over rivals now emerges as a clear secondary benefit — smartphone vendors that used NAND flash memory chips made by soon-to-be former Anobit clients will no longer be able to utilize Anobit’s class-leading technology. More →

No Comments

Apple acquires Israeli flash memory firm Anobit for $500 million

By on December 20, 2011 at 8:50 AM.

Apple acquires Israeli flash memory firm Anobit for $500 million

Apple has reportedly completed its acquisition of Israel-based flash memory firm Anobit in a deal worth up to $500 million. Hebrew-language financial newspaper Calcalist on Tuesday claimed that a deal had been reached after reporting earlier this month that Apple was in late-stage talks to buy the fabless chip maker. Apple has not confirmed the acquisition. Anobit’s website says its proprietary technology “significantly improves endurance, performance and cost of flash storage products and systems,” and Apple already uses Anobit’s chips in a number of its mobile devices and notebook computers. More →

No Comments

iPad 2 and iPhone 4 shortages expected in wake of Japan earthquake, tsunami

By on March 17, 2011 at 10:49 AM.

iPad 2 and iPhone 4 shortages expected in wake of Japan earthquake, tsunami

Two of Apple’s component suppliers, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co and Toshiba, have reportedly shut down some of their operations in Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, this could result in shortages of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in March, through the rest of the first quarter, and into June. Toshiba manufactures 40% of the world’s flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co is believed to be Apple’s go-to company for BT resin — which is used on circuit boards. Munster says Apple’s strategy to buy from multiple component suppliers could help soften the blow. “This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses; moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases,” wrote Munster. “Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors.” Apple’s stock traded down sharply yesterday on the news of an analyst downgrade and potential supply shortages. More →

18 Comments

Apple to become Samsung’s No. 1 customer with $7.8 billion in parts purchases this year

By on February 14, 2011 at 12:29 PM.

Apple to become Samsung’s No. 1 customer with $7.8 billion in parts purchases this year

According to an unconfirmed report originating in the Korea Economic Daily newspaper, Apple will become Samsung’s largest customer in 2011. Citing anonymous industry sources, the report states that Apple is poised to spend $7.8 billion on parts from Samsung, which is one of the largest component suppliers in the world. Apple is known to have parts contracts in place with Samsung, but this staggering sum would make the Cupertino-based company Samsung’s single largest customer this year. The report states that liquid crystal displays, mobile application processors and NAND flash memory chips are among the parts Samsung has been contracted to supply for Apple. Apple and Samsung are also rivals in the mobile space, of course, with Apple’s iPhone and iPad competing directly with Samsung’s mobile phone and tablet lines. More →

22 Comments

New MacBook Air benchmarked

By on October 26, 2010 at 8:30 PM.

New MacBook Air benchmarked

Have you been twiddling your thumbs, contemplating whether or not to get the svelte new MacBook Air? The folks over at Macworld might just have what you’ve been looking for — benchmark scores. The website has published benchmark results for all four variants of the new Air and as it turns out, all four outperformed previous generation models. The new 11.6-inch MacBook Air, even with its 1.4GHz processor, managed to outperform the older 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo models thanks to its speedy flash storage. The new 13.3-inch 1.86GHz model even managed to marginally outperform the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. So, if you are still sitting on the fence, check out our hands-on and then hit the read link for detailed benchmark results. More →

33 Comments

Samsung investigates high cancer rates at chipmaking plants

By on April 15, 2010 at 9:04 AM.

Samsung investigates high cancer rates at chipmaking plants

samsung-logo

Samsung, the world’s largest manufacturer of flash memory chips, announced today it is launching an independent investigation into high rates of cancer amongst its employees. From 1998 to 2010, some 22 employees who assembled flash memory chips were diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma, with 10 of the workers eventually succumbing to the disease. An investigation led by the South Korean government ultimately concluded in 2008 that the various chemicals used in the manufacturing of the chips were not to blame, but continued protests over the objectivity of the findings have forced Samsung’s hands. For its part, Samsung admits it should have done a better job calming fears that its workers are exposed to carcinogens, but vowed to “do our best to improve the working environment and better communicate from now on.” All workers who assembled the chips were required to wear an assortment of safety paraphernalia. More →

10 Comments

Samsung pushes microSD to 32GB capacity, mass production starting February 2010

By on January 13, 2010 at 5:02 PM.

Samsung pushes microSD to 32GB capacity, mass production starting February 2010

32GB_Samsung_microSD_CU

Samsung has pushed the limits of microSD technology, doubling the available flash memory from 16GB to 32GB. The new cards use 30-nm class 32GB NAND flash memory in a casing that is 1mm thick and a mere 0.7mm high. Currently in the hands of OEMs for sampling, Samsung will start to mass produce the 32GB card starting next month. No word on pricing but like most memory products, it will presumably start high and fall quickly. Full press release after the break. More →

40 Comments

Fourth generation iPhone and iPod touch getting double the memory capacity?

By on December 16, 2009 at 6:17 PM.

Fourth generation iPhone and iPod touch getting double the memory capacity?

Ever since the iPhone and iPod touch were released, it seems like a trend that its memory capacity doubles every single year: 8GB, 16GB and 32GB for the iPhone and twice that for the iPod touch. Now that Toshiba can pack 64GB of NAND flash memory onto a single chip, it’s easy for us to imagine this technology finding its way into the next generation iPhone and iPod touch. If you’ve been one of those people holding off on buying an iPhone or iPod touch because of your massive iTunes library, your decision might get a little easier this coming summer. More →

113 Comments