Orange County Business Journal

Microsemi Gets Chips, Boards, Engineering Team From Maxim

Chris Casacchia Thursday, January 19, 2012

Aliso Viejo chipmaker Microsemi Corp. has bought key assets from a Silicon Valley competitor in a deal that builds on its recent buy of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

Microsemi acquired lines of chips and evaluation boards that specialize in timing and synchronization, and will integrate members of the engineering team that design them for Sunnyvale-based Maxim Integrated Products Inc.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Investors sent Microsemi shares up more than 1% today, to a market value of about $1.7 billion.

The acquired products help speed up and deliver voice, data and multimedia traffic over wireless and land lines in communications equipment.

In one application the technology can sync clocks from various electronic devices.

The buy compliments Microsemi’s October acquisition of Canadian-based Zarlink, which created inroads in the communications and medical markets—key segments in its growth plan.

Microsemi’s acquired Zarlink in a $632 million hostile takeover.

Its largest acquisition to date added more than 300 employees.

Microsemi employs about 265 people in Orange County and 3,100 companywide.

With the Zarlink buy, Microsemi could challenge Tower Semiconductor Ltd. this year for the No. 2 spot among local chipmakers in employment.

Tower, which operates under the brand name TowerJazz, is based in Israel with operations in Newport Beach.

The company employs about 700 people in Newport Beach and 3,300 companywide.

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. is the county’s largest chipmaker in both revenue and employee count.

Maxim was ranked No. 8 last year among chipmaker operating here with 100 employees in Irvine, according to a Business Journal list on the industry published in November.