Following our in depth report last night on Apple turning its Anobit purchase into a permanent Israeli  presence, a new report in Hebrew by Israeli daily business newspaper Calcalist says Apple is looking to open a research center in Haifa by the end of February.  This follows its acquisition of NAND flash technology provider Anobit for a reported $390 million. The facility is said to be located at the Matam technology district south of the Haifa city, right in the neighborhood of Intel, Microsoft and Philips who also run R&D centers there.

The company reportedly received “several hundred resumes” for various engineering positions. Specifically, Apple is seeking hardware engineers in chip development with strong emphasis on electrical circuits, analogue and hardware testing and verification. The publication learned that Apple’s new research center in Israel is not related to the Anobit acquisition. In fact, Anobit employees are not expected to participate in the activities of the Haifa research center.

The Yedioth Ahronoth Group is also behind Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most widely circulated newspaper publishes Calcalist. The paper reported in December of last year that Apple dispatched its Vice President of R&D Ed Frank to investigating possibilities of an Apple-run development center in Israel. Apple joins other Silicon Valley firms that operate R&D facilities in the country, such as chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom, Internet giants Google, Yahoo! and eBay, software makers IBM and Microsoft and China-based handset maker Huawei.

Apple CEO Tim Cook shed more light on the Anobit acquisition in a chat with investors during yesterday’s earnings call. Confirming that Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is now in charge of the Anobit team, Cook said Apple is in the process of integrating Anobit’s talent into its workflow. Filling missing bits and pieces, 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple’s Vice President of VLSI Johny Srouji is actively leading Anobit’s staff and resources, and he is reporting to Mansfield. Before joining Apple, Srouji served as Intel’s senior manager for their Israel-based research and development firm. Anobit cofounder, chairperson and CEO Ehud Weinstein will stick around initially during the transition, but he will depart soon after.

Apple’s Cook touched on the Anobit acquisition in yesterday’s conference call. Acknowledging, “Anobit has fantastic technical talent.” Cook added, “We’re really fortunate to have them join us.” Rather than make expensive acquisitions, Apple prefers snapping up smaller startups for their engineering talent or technology. During the holiday quarter, the company added $16 billion to its stockpile of cash and reserves that hit the $97.6 billion mark, $64 billion of which is held offshore. CFO Peter Oppenheimer reiterated that Apple is “actively discussing uses of our cash balance,” contending the company has “big plans” with their money, but noting “we continue to be disciplined with cash, and are not letting it burn a hole in our pockets.”

Apple’s cash reserves. Chart courtesy of Asymco.

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