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Intel to Close Its Jerusalem Chip Factory

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An Intel center in Jerusalem. Credit: Courtesy

Intel to close its Jerusalem chip factory

Intel said yesterday it will close its manufacturing plant in Jerusalem by the end of the year and transfer its operations to the company’s main Israeli factory in Kiryat Gat. Most of the chip plant’s 170 employees will move to the Kiryat Gat location, but a small number of workers will be laid off, the company said. The move comes as the global semiconductor giant is laying off 11% of its global workforce and realigning its businesses due to its sagging core PC business. “Intel is acting to increase investments in growth areas and consolidate operations to make the company more efficient, flexible and profitable,” it said. “Therefore in concentrating prepackaging in a reduced number of sites, as a result of which we are ceasing operations at the Jerusalem site.” Intel Israel employs about 1,400 people in Jerusalem among its 10,000-strong workforce in Israel, but the remaining 1,200 Jerusalem employees, who work in research and development, are not expected to suffer any layoffs. (Eliran Rubin

Avanan raises $14.9m for cloud security

Avanan, an Israeli startup developing cloud-based computer security technology, said Tuesday it had raised $14.9 million in from investors led by Greenfield Cities Holdings, a joint investment vehicle controlled by Texas-based TPG Growth and Israeli entrepreneur Yuda Doron. Existing investors Magma VC and StageOne Ventures joined the round, which the company said brought its total capital raised to $16.4 million. Taking its name from the Hebrew for a thick cloud, Avanan was founded two years ago by CEO Gil Friedrich together with Roy Rotem, Avi Zelovich and Michael Landewe, all of whom had been senior managers at the Israeli cyber-security company Forescout, and emerged from stealth mode in November. “Our former customers were moving to the cloud and asking for the same protection in the cloud that we were providing on the network,”’ said Friedrich, explaining why they left Forescout. Avanan’s platform gives businesses using Amazon AWS, Box, Google, Office 365 or any other software-as-a-service product antivirus, file encryption and advanced persistent threat technologies. (Eliran Rubin)

Broadcom buys MagnaCom for $50 million

Broadcom, the Singapore-based semiconductor company, has bought the Israeli startup MagnaCom for a reported $50 million as it moves to develop products for next-generation 5G mobile networks.  The acquisition was completed about two months ago, but only revealed this week. Founded in 2012 by CEO Yossi Cohen and Chief Technology Officer Amir Eliaz, MagnaCom developed a new modulation technology called WAM that the company hopes will be incorporated into future 5G networks. That would make MagnaCom a perfect fit with Broadcom, which has been refocusing its business away from internet of things and wireless backhaul and toward 5G since it was acquired in February for $37 billion by Singapore’s Avago Technologies. Avago has since renamed itself Broadcom. The original Broadcom had been a serial buyer of Israeli startups. With offices in Petah Tikva and California, MagnaCom raised $8 million from investors before being sold. (Eliran Rubin)

Tech pioneer Shlomo Kalish urges unions, government to stay out of high-tech

Shlomo Kalish, a pioneering Israeli high-tech venture capitalist, warned on Tuesday that state or labor union interference would hurt the startup phenomenon. “The future belongs to startups. What began as a small sector in the 1990s and has grown a lot now has too many bodies trying to get involved. All outside intervention, like attempts by the Histadrut to organize workers, will cause us to be less competitive and harm the industry,” he said at a ceremony at which the Israeli chapter of the Ayn Rand institute gave the Atlas Award to the developers of the Moovit transportation app. Kalish said the state should restrict itself to creating a high-quality education system or a business-friendly regulatory environment.  But Yoram Yaacovi, the head of research and development of Microsoft Israel, said state  subsidies to Intel had paid off for the economy and the industry. (Eliran Rubin)

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