Samsung purchased TransChip Israel Ltd. and turned it into one of its research and development centers, said Samsung spokeswoman Lee Eun-hee. The purchase took effect Oct. 1, she said.
The Korea Economic Daily newspaper reported Wednesday Samsung paid US$70 million (EUR48.5 million) for TransChip. Lee said she could not disclose the purchase price.
Lee said Samsung bought TransChip "to enhance our competitiveness" in CMOS image sensors, which are incorporated into semiconductors used in mobile phones and digital cameras.
Lee said TransChip, which is now known as Samsung Semiconductor Israel R&D Center Ltd., was a privately held company based in Tel Aviv.
She said it was Samsung's first acquisition since 1997, but could not immediately provide complete details about the previous purchase.
Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung is the world's largest manufacturer of computer memory chips. It also makes an array of components and consumer electronics items, including liquid crystal displays, mobile phones, televisions, personal and laptop computers and digital music players.
Samsung shares rose 1.1 percent to 550,000 won (US$611; EUR423). The company's stock price has languished this year, falling 10 percent, compared with the broader South Korean stock market's 44 percent gain.