Orange County Business Journal

Microsemi Buys Northern California Chipmaker

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp. has acquired ASIC Advantage Inc., a Northern California “fabless” chipmaker.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsemi plans to discuss the acquisition later this month during its third quarter conference call.

Microsemi’s chips serve a variety of military, aerospace, consumer and industrial uses. Its products are built into satellites, digital televisions, X-ray body scanners and other devices. Customers include Cisco Systems Inc., Boeing Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

ASIC designs and makes integrated circuits for the aerospace, automotive, communications, industrial and medical markets.

The buy will allow Microsemi “to expand its reach into key markets and provide customers with a wider range of products from a single source,” the company said.

Fabless chipmakers design chips but don’t operate factories, known in the industry as wafer fabrication plants. They typically hire contract manufacturers in Asia to produce their chips.

Microsemi is in the midst of relocating its headquarters to Aliso Viejo to accommodate internal growth as well as personnel brought on from several recent acquisitions, according to company officials.

Last month it signed a nine-year lease for a four-story, 109,000-square-foot building there.

Microsemi is Orange County’s third-biggest chipmaker by sales and reported about $520 million in revenue for the 12 months through October. It’s aiming to grow to $1 billion in annual sales, according to analysts, with acquisitions helping boost revenue.

The company acquired Northern California’s Actel Corp. last year for $430 million, its largest buy to date.

Actel focuses on the aerospace industry and had been a rival of Microsemi’s.

Microsemi also bought Bethesda, Md.-based Arxan Defense Systems and Atlanta’s VT Silicon for undisclosed terms late last year.

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. is the biggest local chipmaker, followed by Newport Beach-based Jazz Semiconductor Inc., part of Israel’s Tower Semiconductor Ltd.