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December 11, 1987 - Image 122

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DIASPORA

In plain language, DSP
means special computer com-
ponents that can translate
common phenomena such as
images and sounds into
digital forms which can then
be processed by computer. In
practical terms, this means
computers that can reproduce
the human voice and take
commands from it, can trans-
mit photo images and light
waves, and can process com-
munications signals.
DSP is used in a variety of

Silicon Valley companies have
begun to produce chips and
components in Israel, both
for the Israeli market and for
their parent firms. Since it
will be difficult for them to
compete in price with the
American and Japanese chips,
they hope to turn out prod-
ucts of greater sophistication
and quality. Principal among
them is Intel, which is pro-
ducing chips and integrated
circuits in Jerusalem, and Na-
tional Semi-Conductor, which

ly after the Six Day War, he
came to Berkeley, California
to visit his mother, and
stayed on to get a degree at
the University of California in
electrical engineering. He
started his jobs with Mono-
lithic Memories (MM) in
Silicon Valley as a junior
engineer. The comapny, then
just three years old and with
100 employees, now boasts
4,000 employees and over
$200 million annually in
sales.

From Israel
To The
Silicon Valley

About 100 Israeli engineers and
technicians hold key jobs in the
volatile semiconductor industry
based in California Silicon Valley.

VICTOR PERRY

Special to the Jewish News

D

espite numerous ups
and downs, California's
Silicon Valley still
houses one of the world's
most advanced concentrations
of high technology semicon-
ductor manufacturing. Semi-
conductors are the tiny silicon
chips that form the "brains"
of most electronic instru-
ments and computers. 'Ibday,
Silicon Valley accounts for
about one-fifth of the $27
billion world-wide market for
semiconductors.
According to Matt Starr,
associate executive director of
the Jewish Community Fed-
eration of San Francisco,
which encompasses the
southern Bay area of Silicon
Valley, about 100 Israeli
engineers and technicians
hold key jobs in the Valley.
On the whole, says Starr,
the Israelis are supportive of
communal causes though
their major energies are
directed, like those of their
highly competitive American
counterparts, to getting
ahead in their careers. Their
- - - - . • ----

170 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1987

ultimate dream is to start
their own company, and
eventually have it go public.
Levy Gerzberg, 41, an Israeli
who founded Zoran, one of
the newest and most promis-
ing of several hundred semi-
conductor manufacturers in
Silicon Valley, has already
achieved this ambition. Gerz-
berg estimates that Israelis
hold top positions in at least
10 companies in the Valley.
Gerzberg is no doubt one of
the more successful Israelis in
the Valley. He graduated from
Israel's lechnion in 1969,
where he subsequently earned
a masters degree in medical
electronics. He then earned a
doctorate in integrated cir-
cuits at Stanford University
(located not too far from
Silicon Valley), where he
eventually became associate
director of the university's
electronic laboratories. In
1981, he and Yuval Almog, a
former Israel Air Force pilot,
established a company dedi-
cated exclusively to develop-
ing integrated circuits for
Digital Signal Processing
(DSP). They called the com-
pany Zoran, which is Hebrew
for silicon.

Yaacov Dayan, vice president of Monolothic Memories, looks over some of the company's testing equipment.

fields, computer graphics,
telecommunications, enhanc-
ing photos from satellites,
and scanning of food prod-
ucts. The DSP microproces-
sors also have numerous
military applications.
After accumulating $27
million in private venture
capital and expending four
years in intensive research,
the company has only recent-
ly begun to produce and
market its products on a
regular basis. This includes a
branch in Haifa employing 35
people engaged mainly in
design work for the parent
company. Eight Israelis, all
engineers, are employed in the
California plant out of a total
work force of 75 employees.
In the past few years, other

will be producing various com-
ponents in Migdal Haemek.
Zoran's plant in Silicon
Valley is indistinguishable
from the scores of other pre-
fabricated, whitewashed
buildings spread out like
some giant integrated elec-
tronic circuit over former
fruit orchards, 35 miles south
of San Francisco. The inter-
view took place in his board-
room, which is decorated with
photos and artistic renditions
of the integrated circuits
found in the company's
silicon chips.
On a different level, and
perhaps more typical of the
average Israeli in Silicon
Valley, is Jacob (Yaacov)
Dayan. A second cousin of
Moshe Dayan, in 1967, short-

Dayan is now a vice presi-
dent of the company, in
charge of testing and finish-
ing operations. MM sells
some $1 million worth of
products annually to such
companies in Israel as Elbit,
Tadiran and Israel Aircraft
Industries. Six Israelis work
for the company at present,
according to Dayan, in-
cluding its chairman of the
board, Zeev Drori, one of the
firm's founders.
Zoran and Monolithic
Memories are among the
more prosperous companies
in Silicon Valley, where both
success and failure come
quickly. During the past two
years, they have survived a
serious crisis in the American
semiconductor industry

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