U.S. technology companies increasingly have strategic appeal for the Netherlands' Philips Electronics NV. Its latest target is VLSI Technology Inc., a California semiconductor maker for which it is bidding $777 million. The acquisition of VLSI would boost Philips' role in the "system on a chip" technology, something the company needs for future generations of cellular phones and consumer electronics. VLSI is a leader in this field, combining memory and logic devices to create advanced, custom-designed chips. This is the second time in a year that Philips has gone after a company that will strengthen its position as an electronics hardware company. Last summer Philips paid $800 million for ATL Ultrasound, a Seattle maker of diagnostic equipment, to bolster its medical systems division.