Could the Israeli startup Provigent be heading for a major exit? Industry insiders say the company management is negotiating its sale, for between $300 million and $400 million. No names have been mentioned, but the rumor is the putative buyer could be Broadcom. If so, it would be that American company's eighth acquisition in Israel.

In late November 2010, it made its seventh purchase - buying the Netanya-based firm Sightic Vista, which engages in software and hardware aspects of image processing, for an unknown sum. The month before, Broadcom snatched up Percello, operating out of Yakum, which provides system-on-a-chip (SoC ) solutions for femtocells. Femtocells are devices that communicate with a service provider's network through broadband connections, enabling continuous mobile connectivity for users. Percello's purchase price was known: $88 million.

In 2009, Broadcom bought Dune Networks for $178 million. Dune makes scalable networking chipsets that connect computers inside corporate data centers.

Broadcom's other acquisitions in Israel were of Octalica, in 2007 - which produces networking technologies for the home and office - for $31 million. In 2005 it bought Siliquent Technologies, a maker of network interface controllers; that set it back $84 million. The year before, Broadcom acquired M-Stream for $10 million; and then there was the quarter-billion dollar acquisition of Herzliya's VisionTech in 2000, which made digital/audio MPEG-2 compression and decompression chips.

According to industry insiders, Broadcom made an offer to Provigent months ago, and the Israeli company didn't say no, but it didn't say yes either.

In 2008, Provigent held a fourth financing round, raising $20 million. At that stage the venture capital fund Stata joined its backers. Provigent was founded in 2000. It is presently headquartered in Santa Clara, California.