Qualcomm Buying CSR Israel Imaging Unit for $45 Million

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A Qualcomm booth at a trade fair.Credit: Bloomberg

Qualcomm, the U.S. maker of semiconductors for mobile phones, is buying the Israeli operations of CSR for about $45 million, TheMarker has learned.

Buying the local operations of CSR, gives Qualcomm imaging technology, which includes wireless photo transfer to geo-tagging. CSR’s Israel’s 15-person team will move to Qualcomm’s Haifa offices.

CSR announced last week it had sold the unit but didn’t disclose the buyer. On Tuesday, a spokesman for Qualcomm confirmed it was the buyer.

“We are glad to have competed the acquisition of the assets from CSR, including CSR’s imaging team … Joining our team, we are creating collaboration between experts in the field that together develop intellectual property in imaging of major importance to the end-user,” Qualcomm said.

Last December CSR Israel laid off scores of staff, saying it was exiting the camera-in-a-chip business to focus on automotive applications wearable technology. The cutbacks left only 200 employees in Israel. The sale was the final step in divesting its camera and imaging business, whose research and development operations were based in Israel.

CSR bought the Israeli operations from Zoran in 2011 for $484 million but has since pared back operations.

“The telephone is quickly becoming the consumer’s main camera so that the camera function is increasingly becoming one of the main factors differentiating cellphones,” Qualcom said. “Camera functions are right now one of the main considerations of consumers when they buy a phone. This acquisition will enable us to continue successfully developing cameras so that smartphones will provide the same quality as a digital camera.”

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