Tessera Technologies announced that it will purchase certain assets of Shellcase Ltd. Shellcase is the world’s leading provider of commercially available wafer level image sensor packaging technology. Shellcase’s broad technology portfolio includes wafer-level packaging for image sensors and other devices. The world’s largest cellular phone manufacturers utilize image sensors packaged in Shellcase technology for cellular phones that integrate highly reliable, miniaturized digital cameras.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tessera will pay approximately $33 million in cash for certain assets of Shellcase. This transaction is subject to various standard closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2005.
“Tessera is one of the world’s leading technology development and licensing companies. This, in combination with the Shellcase technology and team, will enable us to grow the new business substantially,” said Bruce McWilliams, Tessera’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Furthermore, it solidifies our position in the wafer-level packaging market for image sensors and MEMS devices, which we believe to be among the semiconductor industry’s fastest growing market segments.”
“We are creating a center of excellence whose charter is to develop next-generation wafer-level packaging technologies for fast growing markets,” continued McWilliams. “We are excited to be adding this world-class team to our company.”
According to Prismark, the image sensor market is expected to grow from approximately 520 million units in 2004 to approximately 1.3 billion units by 2009. Tessera anticipates the rate of adoption of Shellcase’s technology will outpace the growth of the market as a whole. As the image quality requirements of cameras continue to increase, Shellcase’s technology provides a compelling solution to meet the industry’s quality and cost challenges. According to Prismark, in 2004, approximately 80 million image sensors were packaged in Shellcase’s technology. Prismark projects this number to reach 115 million units by year end, a 44 percent growth rate over last year.
The MEMS market is an emerging market with high packaging costs that can be substantially reduced by Shellcase’s technology. According to In-Stat, the MEMS market is expected to grow from 2.4 billion units in 2004 to nearly 6 billion units by 2009. As a result of this transaction, Tessera will be positioned to address this large growth opportunity.
Shellcase is headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel, and was founded in 1994.