Apple has reportedly taken over the Israeli company LinX, which creates and sells diminutive cameras meant for tablets and smartphones. The acquisition, which came to light on Tuesday, cost the iPhone maker around $20 million, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Apple Inc. Acquires LinX, Israeli Camera-Sensor Developer [REPORT]

LinX could help with better camera

Apple confirmed the acquisition with its usual statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” LinX refrained from saying anything regarding the matter, says the Journal.

The Israeli company is famous for developing thinner camera sensors than those manufactured by its competitors. Moreover, the cameras made by the company are efficient in measuring the depth of images captured and thus could develop 3D image maps. This is achieved by a range of sensors that utilize several lenses to concurrently capture a number of images which are, in turn, used in conjunction with some algorithms to obtain a 3D effect. Also LinX claimed that its small cameras are integrated with single-lens-reflex (SLR) camera technology, which enables them to take better quality images in dim light and indoors.

Such technologies developed by the camera-sensor manufacturer can help in automatic background removal, 3-D object modeling and facial recognition, suggests the company’s news releases. Along with this, the company can also now aid Apple in manufacturing thin cameras capable of taking better pictures for upcoming iPhones. For now, the iPhone company has been using Sony camera sensors in its smartphones.

Acquisition could reinforce Apple in Israel

Further, the purchase of LinX could strengthen Apple’s hold in Israel, which according to the company’s CEO, during a visit in February, is a major source of research and development for Apple, apart from the U.S. Apple has about 700 workers in the country, a few of whom have been employed as a result of various mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to LinX, Apple has bought a number of other Israeli companies in the past. One is Anobit Technologies, a flash-memory developer, which the iPhone maker bought in 2011. Followed by this, in 2013, the company took over PrimeSense, which created the 3D sensor chip used in the Kinect controller for Microsoft’s original Xbox gaming console. In the same year, Apple also provided employment to Israeli workers of a chip-design subsidiary of Texas Instruments in Ra’anana city. That facility was shut down in 2013.