Apple Acquires Low-Power Wireless Chip Developer Passif Semiconductor

Apple has purchased Silicon Valley-based wireless chip developer Passif Semiconductor, reports technology writer Jessica Lessin. The company, which Apple has reportedly been after for several years, specializes in low-power communication chips that could be used to improve battery life in wearable devices such as Apple’s rumored iWatch.

bluetooth

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.)

Apple has confirmed the acquisition, with Apple spokeswoman Amy Besette giving AllThingsD the following statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

According to rumors, battery life is one area where Apple has struggled in its iWatch development. A report in March suggested that the batteries in Apple’s iWatch prototypes were only lasting a couple of days, with the company targeting at least 4–5 days of battery life.

After trademarking the iWatch name in a number of countries, Apple has been pouring its resources into the smart watch in recent months. The company hired a number of new employees to join the iWatch team, including health sensor experts, as the iWatch is said to focus on health related applications and biosensors.

Passif's low-power chip technologies could also be used in other Apple products going forward, improving battery life across the board. In addition to Passif, Apple has acquired a number of other small companies in recent months, including Locationary and HopStop.

Top Rated Comments

jyen Avatar
107 months ago
As excited as I am for this new iProduct, I don't know if I could ever justify letting go of my ******, banged up, deteriorating, orange, plastic watch that I've had for half of my life.


Simple, just wear the iWatch on your other wrist. ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
107 months ago
Apple should incorporate some small solar cells embedded in the strap to charge the iWatch's battery as much as possible. While solar may not provide 100% of the necessary energy for never having to plug in your iWatch, it could mean more time in between charges.

Heck, offer the straps in colors and make it a stronger MagSafe type of deal, and you've got a hot 1st party accessory.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klae17 Avatar
107 months ago
Love to see a kinetic battery in the watch. That would motivate me to wear it and actually go to the gym.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
12vElectronics Avatar
107 months ago
Am I the only one who has the 'who cares' mentality about this whole iWatch thing. I'm usually excited about anything Apple releases but could care less about this..
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Georgij Avatar
107 months ago
I think it may be used as an NFC alternative
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
107 months ago
As excited as I am for this new iProduct, I don't know if I could ever justify letting go of my ******, banged up, deteriorating, orange, plastic watch that I've had for half of my life.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

beats updater

Apple Officially Retires Beats Updater Utility in Favor of Over-the-Air Firmware Updates

Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:30 am PDT by
Apple has officially retired Beats Updater, the software utility that lets users update the firmware of their Beats Wireless headphones, earphones, and speakers. Beats Updater allows users to plug their Beats product directly into the USB port of their computer to check for firmware updates online, but with Apple's growing tendency to deliver over-the-air updates to wireless products via iOS ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...