from the December 2010 issue

Broadcom buys Sightic Vista for $10-$20m

Semiconductor giant Broadcom Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCM) made its seventh acquisition in Israel, acquiring image-processing company Sightic Vista Ltd. The acquisition was reportedly for $10-20 million, less than Broadcom normally spends and below the threshold requiring notification. Sightic president and CEO Noam Sorek, VP product management Ron Fridental, and VP R&D Dr. Ilia Vitsnudel founded the company in 2001. The three specialists in video and imaging processing had worked together for a decade, before co-founding the company.

Sightic develops software and hardware image processing and enhancement solutions, for integration into high quality, miniature digital cameras and video applications. The solutions include algorithms for processing images and multimedia applications for mobile devices. Relatively little was invested in the company by private investors, with no involvement by venture capital funds.

Geographically, Sightic's premises are close to Broadcom's Israel development center at Yakum, a few kilometers north of Herzliya. Strategically, however, the companies operate in different worlds. Sightic's image processing will fit in with Broadcom's mobile division, which oversees the company's multimedia operations. Broadcom will integrate Sightic's technology into its telecommunications processors, making Broadcom's products more interesting for mobile telephone manufacturers now that multimedia has become a core feature of mobile phones. Broadcom's Israeli development center has grown rapidly in the past year. Its previous acquisition was Percello Ltd., a developer of telecommunications processors for short-range networks, for $88 million, in late October. Last year, Broadcom acquired Dune Networks Inc., a developer router technology for enterprise networks, for $180 million.

According to Israel Venture Center, Sightic has begun to show revenue, and has customers from among the world's top consumer electronics manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KSX: 5530) and LG Electronics Ltd. (KSX: 66570; LSE: LGCD), both relevant for Broadcom in this market. The company has several dozen employees.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report December 2010

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