Zoran Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., has signed an agreement to acquire PixelCam Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of CMOS image sensors and integrated lens/sensor modules.
Under terms of the agreement, Zoran will acquire PixelCam for $21 million in Zoran Stock, with up to $21 million more in Zoran stock to be paid upon meeting certain performance targets. The transaction is expected to close by Friday, and will be accounted for as a purchase. PixelCam, Campbell, Calif., will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Zoran.
The deal propels Zoran into the burgeoning digital-camera market by providing a leading-edge megapixel CMOS sensor to go with Zoran's Camera On A CHip (Coach) processor, said Levy Gerzberg, president and chief executive of Zoran. Zoran's product lines include JPEG codecs, MPEG and DVD decoders, and digital audio processors.
"With PixelCam, Zoran intends to offer a digital camera solution for the mainstream market that combines the high-quality, low-power advantage, and flexibility of a CMOS sensor with the sophisticated processing power of our Coach product," he said in a statement.
In addition to consumer cameras, the Zoran-PixelCam solution also targets applications such as live Internet connectivity, surveillance, factory automation, security, and bar code scanning. Zoran will offer reference designs, and all the software and firmware needed to bring new camera designs to market.
CMOS image sensors are expected to largely replace charge-coupled device (CCD) sensors in digital cameras and other products. PixelCam's technology is based on a scalable chip architecture that delivers CCD image quality with 1.3 megapixel resolution at one-quarter the power dissipation and twice the integration level of CCD sensors. These products also offer digital camera manufacturers a longer camera battery life and a reduced "time to next shot."
"For PixelCam, this acquisition means our products can leverage the broad international dis tribution infrastructure already built and operating for Zoran," said Kevin Brehmer, PixelCam's founder, president and chief executive. "Our PixelCam team can continue to focus on our superior scalable CMOS sensor architecture for providing higher quality images for digital cameras under normal lighting conditions."