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Report: Apple buys chipmaker PrimeSense

Apple has reportedly purchased Israel’s PrimeSense for $345 million, a move which would give Appe access to the company’s tiny 3D sensors that can be embedded in mobile devices. PrimeSense makes a sensor called Capri that can be embedded into mobile devices to enable users to leverage its 3D capabilities for gaming and design applications. For example, PrimSense envisions users taking 3D pictures with one device and sending them to another, or incorporating a real-world environment into a video game.

Apparently Apple has some of the same visions, according to the Israeli newspaper that first reported the deal. Negotiations between Apple and PrimeSense are said to have started last July when a group of Apple engineers visited the company in secret.

An Apple acquisition would be soft landing for PrimeSense, which lost a big chunk of potential business when Microsoft decided not to use its 3D chip technology in the latest version of the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor. PrimeSense worked with Microsoft on the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor, according to published reports. In 2011, PrimeSense was named one of MIT Technology Review’s 50 most innovative companies, and it also won a Design Team of the Year award from EE Times.

This will not be the first time Apple has secured chip technology through an acquisition. In 2010, Apple bought Instrinsity, an Austin-based startup, for $121 million, and in 2008 it bought PA Semi for $278 million. Both of those companies had been working closely with Apple competitors prior to the acquisitions. Intrinsity was working with Samsung, and PA Semi was working with Intel.


Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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