Chris Casacchia

Technology Editor/Reporter

Chris Casacchia covers technology, aerospace and defense and sports. He can be reached at casacchia@ocbj.com.

Email: casacchia@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 225

Recent Stories

MSC Sold for $834M

Newport Beach-based MSC Software Corp. will be sold for $834 million to Swedish IT service provider Hexagon AB, the companies said today.

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Razer Buys Phone Maker

Irvine-based video game products maker Razer Inc. has acquired the majority of assets of a San Francisco company that developed a mobile phone that offers unlimited cloud-storage capacity.

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Will Western Digital Benefit From Toshiba’s Woes?

Could Bid on Chunk Of Flagging Firm’s Flash Biz

Speculation is building that Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. is in line to bid on a significant portion of Toshiba Corp.’s flash memory business as the Tokyo conglomerate faces staggering write-downs from its failing U.S. nuclear power business.

Déjá Vu All Over Again for Kofax

TECHNOLOGY: Lexmark puts software operation on block

Reynolds Bish is back at the helm of the software company he positioned for a $1 billion sale to Lexington, Kentucky-based Lexmark International Inc. less than two years ago.

Laguna Beach Outfit Looks to Cash In on Virtual Wall

MEDIA: Shell company takes new tack with acquisition

A Laguna Beach-based shell company has acquired a virtual reality developer that will give backers and opponents of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a chance to purchase portions of a digital version of the edifice—and use the space to express their opinions.

Microsemi Sales Hit Marks

Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. reported revenue in the December quarter in line with Wall Street expectations, and an adjusted profit that beat estimates.

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Software Maker Could Be Latest Purchase Target

MSC Talks Possible $800M Sale to Luxembourg Firm

It appears another sizeable Orange County tech company is in play for a takeover.

Big West's Stabilizer

Irvine-Based Conference Commissioner Guides ‘Mid-Major’ in Era of Power 5

The Big West Conference, like its counterparts across the nation, has been in a state of constant evolution since a sweeping round of college athletics realignment was touched off nearly a decade ago.

China-Based Companies Among Biggest of OC’s Foreign Employers

ECONOMY: First entries reflect growing commercial presence here

China’s continued expansion on the world stage and a strong year for hiring among Orange County’s largest foreign-owned companies combined to bring a jump in overall employment in the category here.

Blackberry Revival Plan Runs Through Irvine

TECHNOLOGY: TCL puts brand in hands of unit based in Spectrum

The plan to resurrect the faltering Blackberry smartphone brand in the U.S. and Canada is being crafted in the Irvine Spectrum.

OC Companies Take Advantage of CES Showcase

They See Value as Others Put Resources Elsewhere

With another CES in the books—that’s No. 6 for those following this column—let’s take a closer look at how some OC companies tried to cut through the clutter in Las Vegas at the world’s largest consumer electronics show:

Delay on Close of Vizio-LeEco Deal Raises Questions

Company Reps Pegged Year-End Sale Wrap

Vizio Inc.’s pending $2 billion sale to Chinese conglomerate LeEco failed to close by year-end, indicating a potential wrinkle in a deal that still needs final approval from Chinese regulators.

Hyundai, Google Voice Controls Debut

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley plans to unveil a new feature tomorrow that allows vehicle owners to control various functions through Google Assistant voice commands.

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Newth Deal

Morris Programmed Telogis for Deal That Fetched Close to $900M From Verizon

Look to Aliso Viejo to find a key component of a new digital strategy crafted by the nation’s largest telecom as it integrates several recent buys into a new business unit.

Ingram Micro Shakes Up Leadership in Wake of Sale

Rising Star Mastantuono to CFO, Board Seat

The $6 billon sale of Ingram Micro Inc. last month to Chinese conglomerate Tianjin Tianhai Investment Company Ltd. ushered in some management and board changes at the world’s largest technology products distributor.

CalAmp CFO to Retire

Rick Vitelle, chief financial officer, corporate secretary and executive vice president at CalAmp Corp., is retiring from the Irvine-based company.

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Game Maker Takes Artsy Approach

TECHNOLOGY: Coloring app diversifies revenue streams

The recent acquisition of thousands of digital jigsaw puzzles signals a new turn for MobilityWare as it diversifies revenue streams beyond traditional card games.

2017 Preview: TECHNOLOGY

The past year was marked by a wave of consolidation in the local technology sector as several big-name companies were taken over.

Year in Technology Highlights New Generation

Consolidation Shakes Up Otherwise Veteran Lineup

It was a dynamic year in Orange County’s diverse technology sector as several young companies made the leap to market-leading contenders.

Peppers Wins Lott Trophy

University of Michigan standout Jabrill Peppers took home top honors at the 13th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards last night at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

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Conexant Climbs on Amazon Deal

TECHNOLOGY: Erstwhile tech star’s chip in Alexa development kit

Conexant Systems Inc.’s new deal with Amazon.com signals a comeback for the Irvine-based chipmaker, which emerged from bankruptcy organization more than three years ago under the ownership of hedge fund billionaire George Soros.

Firm Mulls IPO Hinged on Video Analytics, Other Lines

Irvine Sensors Platform Uses Artificial Intelligence

Irvine Sensors Corp. is exploring an initial public offering as it develops a video analytics platform that incorporates artificial intelligence.

Conexant Chips for Amazon’s Alexa

Chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. in Irvine is supplying key audio and voice technology to Amazon.com as part of a deal announced this morning.

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Microsemi Invests in GE Spinout

Chipmaker Microsemi Corp. in Aliso Viejo is part of a consortium of investors putting $18.7 million into an Irvine startup spun out of General Electric’s Global Research Center.

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Game App Maker Buys Puzzle Firm

MobilityWare in Irvine bought Critical Hit Software in San Diego on undisclosed terms.

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Irvine Nihon Unit Lands $35 Million Defense Contract

To Supply Patient Monitors For Military, Civilian Use

Irvine-based Nihon Kohden America Inc. has been awarded a $35.3 million one-year contract by the Department of Defense to supply patient monitoring equipment.

Western Digital Joint Venture Provides New Path in China

Data Storage, Products Businesses Stand to Benefit

The much-anticipated joint venture between Western Digital Corp. and China-based electronics manufacturer Unisplendour Corp. Ltd. is up and running a little more than a year after the agreement was first struck.

Ingram Sale Gets China Nod

Ingram Micro Inc.’s $6 billion pending sale to Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co. Ltd. has gained a key regulatory approval in China.

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Kingston Sponsors Top Gamer

The gaming accessories unit of Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Co. Inc. will sponsor one of the world’s top “Street Fighter” players.

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USB Touted as Ultra-Secure Closes In on Retail Deal

Startup Says Device Uses NSA-Endorsed Technology

Irvine startup Webcloak is nearing a deal with a national retailer to distribute its USB device, which it says allows users to anonymously browse the web and prevent viruses, data theft or identity breaches.

Goldman Gets Behind Fast Grower

Leads $39M Round to Join Early Investors Carrick, Toba

Irvine-based Mavenlink Inc. is scouting new headquarters in Irvine to accommodate a hiring push in the wake of raising $39 million from lead backer Goldman Sachs.

Hyundai’s New Take on Tech

AUTOS: Carmaker forms IT ‘subdivision’ at FV headquarters

Here’s what the world didn’t see when Hyundai Motor America Inc. showed off its first self-driving vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week:

NB-Based Team Tennis Franchise Up for Sale

SPORTS: Sold out 6-game schedule at 1,250-seat venue

Orange County’s professional tennis team is up for sale.

Vizio Sale in Spotlight of Chinese Buyer’s Finances

LeEco Tight On Funds After Overextension

Vizio Inc.’s pending $2 billion sale to LeEco bears watching as chatter picks up in analyst circles that the China-based conglomerate has hit a cash crunch as it expands product lines and markets.

Irvine Software Maker Raises $39M

Irvine-based business software maker Mavenlink Inc. has raised $39 million in a Series D round led by Goldman Sachs.

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Team WD

Workload Ranges From Irvine HQ to Silicon Valley, China

Western Digital Corp.’s widespread legal team will head to Northern California this week for their annual global meeting.

Blizzard Puts Spotlight on Existing Games at Fanfest

New Tack on PR Includes Word of e-sports League

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. departed from its standard routine for Blizzcon this year, using the annual fanfest at the Anaheim Convention center to tout upcoming content releases for existing games and plans for a new e-sports league.

Will Shakeup in Chip Sector Include Microsemi?

TECHNOLOGY: Longtime acquirer likely to draw several bidders

Another big shake-up could play out soon in Orange County’s chip sector, which has lost several local headquarters over the last few years amid a growing appetite for consolidation.

Microsemi Posts Record Sales

Microsemi Corp. in Aliso Viejo reported record sales in its fiscal year, and September quarter revenue and adjusted profits that narrowly topped Wall Street expectations.

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Computer Products Maker Shows Off Expanded HQ

Showroom, Training Area Featured in Foothill Ranch

The Business Journal got a sneak peek at Iogear’s new 70,000-square-foot digs at Irvine Spectrum, which are outfitted with a product showroom and training space created to drum up more business for its network of resellers and distributors.

Inside Amazon

E-Tail Giant Continues Content Push at Game Studio in Spectrum

In-house game developers on one team.

Little Company Could Make Big Flight Milestone

AERONAUTICS: Tier 1 copter test proves long-elusive concept

A small engineering firm in Costa Mesa is a step closer to bringing the first battery-powered helicopter to market.

UCI Cybersecurity Director Named

TECHNOLOGY: Expert with federal creds leads new venture

National intelligence expert and corporate attorney Bryan Cunningham has been hired to lead the new Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute at the University of California-Irvine.

Wang’s Consumer Electronics Vision Realized Post-Sale

LeEco Intros Motley Products With Same Brain

LeEco’s recent U.S. launch, which included a long press event in San Francisco, may have provided a glimpse into why Vizio Inc. agreed to a sale in July to the Chinese conglomerate.

Ricoh Cuts 147 Jobs

Ricoh Electronics Inc. will eliminate more than one-third of its employment base at its Tustin headquarters as part of a global restructuring of manufacturing operations.

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WD Tops Earnings Targets

Irvine-based storage products maker Western Digital Corp. reported revenue and adjusted profits in the September quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

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Toba Co-Leads eSports Investment

Newport Beach-based Toba Capital invested in the booming eSports segment, co-leading a $5 million funding round for a Santa Monica company that runs tournaments and related events for amateur gamers.

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Game Maker Plays Fast With Crowdfunder Campaign

InXile Entertainment Blows Past Raise Goal

Newport Beach-based video game maker inXile Entertainment knows how to run an online fundraising campaign.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Santa Ana HM Property LLC sold a restaurant building in Santa Ana to 99 Motel LLC for $3.7 million, or about $1,584 per square foot.

Software Maker Buys Colorado Firm

Flatirons Solutions in Irvine acquired the assets of a Colorado company that specializes in flight operations software.

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