Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC) has acquired Israeli WiMAX fabless semiconductor vendor Comsys Communication and Signal Processing Ltd. for $30 million. Comsys declined to comment on the report.
According to IVC, the largest investor in Comsys is Eitan Wertheimer's Microdent, which invested $20 million in the company. Other investors include Genesis Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, and Koor Corporate Venture Capital. Although Microdent is a winner from the deal, Genesis and Pitango will not see much a return on their investments.
Comsys was co-founded by Giora Yaron in 1994, who was the first investor in the company and served as its chairman for several years, Ron Cohen, and Dr. Eli Plotnik. The company sold its first product, a modem for PCs to Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT). Comsys then changed direction to develop processors for 3G mobile devices, which it sold to its strategic partner, Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TSX) in 2007. Comsys then entered the WiMAX business.
Herzliya-based Comsys CEO is Elkana Ben-Sinai. The company has 80 employees, who will join Intel Israel's R&D centers for wireless communications in Haifa and Petah Tikva.
The acquisition casts an interesting angle on the wireless processor market. Intel is considered the most ardent supporter of 4G mobile WiMAX, whose market has not grown as hoped, as most mobile operators chose LTE. In response to the LTE challenge, Intel also has to provide compatibility to 2G and 3G protocols and files, which is where Comsys comes into the picture.