Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) has signed an agreement to purchase the Imaging business of National Semiconductor Corp.
(NYSE:NSM), which develops and manufactures complimentary metal oxide semiconductor image sensor (CIS) devices. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
As part of this agreement, Kodak will acquire certain assets, including intellectual property and equipment, and plans to hire approximately 50 employees currently supporting National's Imaging business. Most of the employees are based in Santa Clara, Calif. These assets will become part of Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions organization, which currently designs and manufactures image sensors for professional and industrial imaging markets.
Kodak is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance charged coupled device (CCD) image sensors, and has a long history of image sensor innovation in both CCD and CIS technologies. Through this acquisition, Kodak now adds additional resources and technologies (including advanced mixed-signal circuit design) that will further strengthen Kodak's ability to design next generation CIS devices that promise to deliver improved image quality with complex on-chip image processing circuitry. When combined with Kodak's existing CCD design and manufacturing capabilities, Kodak is now positioned as one of the premier developers of both CCD and CIS devices.
"The growing popularity of digital cameras, camera phones and other imaging-centric consumer electronics products has created a significant opportunity for Kodak to leverage its portfolio of CIS technologies," said Chris McNiffe, general manager of Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions organization and vice president of its Display & Components division. "This acquisition demonstrates Kodak's continued commitment to CIS products, and accelerates our longer term goal of providing CIS devices that offer the image quality of CCD sensors while still taking advantage of the power, integration and cost benefits traditionally associated with CMOS technology."
As a result of the acquisition, Kodak will open a new office for the Image Sensor Solutions organization in Sunnyvale, CA. Staffed by the former National Semiconductor employees, this group will collaborate on CIS design and commercialization with the existing team located at Kodak's headquarters in Rochester.
"Kodak's reputation for high-quality digital imagers makes it an ideal fit for National's imaging customers," said Michael Polacek, vice president and general manager of National's Imaging Group. "Kodak's rich legacy in imaging and its focus on innovation will help to assure both high-quality products and support following this acquisition."
The companies expect to close the acquisition, pending regulatory approvals, in the next few weeks.