Apple after acquiring Anobit, a NAND flash technology provider, for around $490 million, has decided that it will open a research and development centre in Haifa. The centre will be located in the Matam technology district, in the same neighborhood as Philips, Intel and Microsoft who also run R&D centres in the same location.
The giant firm has in recent days gotten several hundred resumes for a number of engineering positions. This is because Apple is looking to hire hardware engineers to help in chip development. Furthermore, the R&D centre will lay a strong emphasis on hardware testing and verification, and on analogue and electrical circuits. However, Apple has assured the public that the new research and development centre is not in any way related to the acquisition of Anobit and that employees of the firm will not be expected to take part in any work in the new research centre in Haifa.
Recruitment of employees for the new R&D center began in March, but the real recruitment drive is expected to be carried out in the coming weeks. The giant firm will however rely on the expertise of a headhunter who will carry out the hiring of more than a dozen candidates at once. New employees of the research centre at Haifa will therefore, join the over 200 employees currently working at Anobit.
The development center at Haifa will be managed by Aharon Aharon, an Israeli veteran technologies expert; and, he will be aided by Etai Zaltsman, who at one time was the deputy Chief Executive Officer of Texas Instruments, in Israel. The recruitment drive by Apple is predicted to be tough, and it is the reason even before the drive was declared public; Apple had already started collecting resumes, and sending feelers to sample the caliber of workers that it would get.
The new research and development center is the first strategic development project carried out by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) outside of Cupertino, Calif., the firm’s home base. In fact, all activities that had been carried out by Apple so far had been based on marketing, support and sales. Additionally, the acquisition of Anobit was seen as a move that was predicted by many analysts as one that Apple was making so that it could be able to secure capacity to produce flash memory for devices like the iPad, MacBook devices and the iPhone. In fact, Tim Cook who publicly confirmed the take over of Anobit has been a bit evasive on what they will do with the new addition to Apple.
However, Apple’s new R&D center project started in December last year when Ed Frank, the VP of Research and Development visited Israel in order to check out the possibility of having an Apple run R&D center in Israel.
By making this move Apple has been the latest Silicon Valley firm that operates a research and development center in Israel such as Internet giants Google, and Yahoo!, eBay, software makers Microsoft and IBM, and chipmaker Intel. Other firms in Israel’s Matam technology district include China’s mobile phone maker Huawei.