Other recent Broadcom buys in Israel include Percello Ltd. for $86 million and Sightic Vista Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.
The Israeli connection hits home for Samueli, who is Jewish and supports related causes and charities. But personal factors don’t drive any of Broadcom’s decisions, he said. Acquisitions typically stem from existing business lines and the need to improve them, according to Samueli.
Tech companies here benefit from many of the same advantages as their Israeli counterparts, according to Dalit Dahan, vice president of human resources and information technology at Israel’s Tower Semiconductor, which runs Newport Beach chipmaker TowerJazz.
“The Israeli-U.S. high-tech connection has its roots in the strengths of our two countries’ cultures and talent pools,” Dahan said.
Tower bought what was Newport Beach’s Jazz Semiconductor Inc. in 2008 for $40 million plus an additional $129 million in debt.
Israel ranks first in research and development as a percentage of gross domestic product, first in startups per capita, second in qualified scientists and engineers and third in venture capital availability, according to the International Institute for Management Development’s World Competitiveness Report.
Israel has a population of about 7 million, roughly the size of Massachusetts. It’s about the same geographic size as New Jersey.
Serving the defense industry has been a common bond for OC and Israeli companies.
Tech companies here, including Broadcom, Microsemi and TowerJazz, have roots in or current business ties to the defense sector.
Israel is regarded as one of the world’s security leaders and requires everyone to serve in the military.
“They have a very strong defense industry,” said Samueli, who likened Israel’s economic development to that of Broadcom’s.
Samueli and cofounder Henry Nicholas started their careers as engineers at TRW Corp. working on chips for the military.