LONDON Apple has hired a veteran technologist to help it set up an R&D center in Israel, its first R&D center outside California, according to a Globes report that references "sources."
The move is additional to but may be complementary to Apple's reported intention to acquire Anobit Technologies Ltd. (Herzliya, Israel), a developer of memory controller ICs that it is claimed can enhance the endurance of NAND flash memory.
It also appears to be in line with an Apple policy of taking more control of its technology base. The company has made purchases of P.A. Semi in 2008 and Intrinsity Inc. in 2010 to help with its IC design capability. Apple taking a stake, or 100 percent, of Anobit fits that strategy.
Apple has recruited Aharon Aharon to lead the Israel development center, the report said. Aharon is currently chairman of Camero Technology Ltd. (Kfar Netter, Israel), a developer of through-the-wall radar imaging technology, having previously been CEO there for six years. He was also previously chairman of Discretix Technologies Ltd. (Kfar Netter, Israel) and prior to that was with Zoran Corp. rising to the position of COO. Aharon spent 13 years from 1983 to 1996 as a researcher and then senior manager at IBM's Haifa research laboratory.
It was not stated what the location or focus of the Israel R&D center will be. Aharon will spend several months in Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, before returning to Israel to begin recruiting staff, the report said. This will happen regardless of whether Apple acquires Anobit or not, the report added.
The move is significant because, at present, Apple does no strategic development outside its California headquarters, and the planned Israel center will be Apple's first offshore research.
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