Apple has reportedly sealed a deal to buy flash storage technology company Anobit for as much as $500m.

Hebrew-language newspaper Calcalist reports that management of the Israeli company was in the process of informing staff about the acquisition today. 

As well as buying the company, Apple will also open a research and development centre in Israel, the first outside the US, Calcalist said.

Anobit has developed technology that is capable of improving the performance of solid-state flash memory and is already used in several Apple products including the iPhone, the iPad and the MacBook Air.

It has also reportedly developed a way of increasing the memory volume of flash drives that could apparently double the storage capabilities of Apple's products, Calcalist reported last week.