According to published reports Thursday, Apple has acquired chip development firm Passif.
The move may be the latest clue yet that Apple is working on a wrist-worn technology that could manifest as the “iWatch” product that’s been rumored for months.
According to Jessica Lessin, who first reported news of the acquisition, Passif is an important purchase for Apple.
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.)
Lessin noted this morning that it remains unclear how much Apple paid for Passif, but the Cupertino, California-based company has been hot on the heels of Passif in pursuit of the company for several years.
Sources close to the deal tell Lessin that Apple “tried to buy Passif a few years earlier for a price in the mid-tens-of-millions of dollars.”