Broadcom

Here’s another sign of Qualcomm’s domination in mobile phones -Broadcom wants out of cellular baseband chips

Chris Nuttall

Broadcom is set to make indoor navigation easier and our online lives faster with two developments – the networking chipmaker is launching a new location-finding platform and acquiring the Israeli fibre-optics company BroadLink for $195m.

On a visit to San Francisco, Scott McGregor, chief executive (pictured), discussed the new moves and the prospects for a company that claims 99.9 per cent of all internet traffic and 100 per cent of smartphone data goes across at least one Broadcom chip. Highlights after the jump: 

Chris Nuttall

TVs, Ultrabooks and smartphones may have grabbed the headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show this past week, but there was a quieter wireless revolution also taking place that is set to provide important connectivity benefits for all our devices this year.

2012 could be the year of 5G – the 5th-generation of Wi-Fi - along with the maturity of a number of other wireless and wired technologies that will provide a major leap in speeds and easier ways to transfer video and other content from device to device. 

Scott McGregor

There are not many chief executives who would volunteer the results of their personal psychological tests. But Scott McGregor, the boss of chipmaker Broadcom, is clearly into brutal honesty. “My personality tests show my conflict-avoidance score is zero,” he confesses. “I have to be careful about it; I will upset people and I will cause unneeded friction.”

The comments say a lot about the 55-year-old as well as the company he heads. He relishes directness. While his manner comes across as amiable – perhaps partly a result of the effort he says he has made to pay more attention to “the human aspect of things” – there is a precise and carefully controlled edge to his delivery.

 

Chris Nuttall

Roku added a mixed martial arts channel to its lineup on MondayWith Google, Intel, Logitech and Sony expected to announce a new internet TV platform on Thursday at Google’s annual developer conference, the latest View from the Valley column in the FT’s Digital Business section looks at how companies are fighting over the keys to the digital home:

“You can seal up the letterbox and lock all the doors, but it won’t help you resist the next digital revolution invading your home. Technology companies, retailers, content makers and service providers are fighting over the digital keys to the house, but their mode of entry will be subtle and largely invisible to the consumer.” 

Chris Nuttall

Qualcomm’s lengthy legal battles mean no rest for the leading wireless chipmaker’s general counsel Don Rosenberg (pictured).

After a sleepless night dealing with the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s decision to fine it a record $207m for its “unfair” business practices, he told me about the remaining outstanding complaints facing the San Diego-based company. 

David Gelles

David Gelles

  • Mozilla released the latest version of its Firefox internet browser, warming up a battle between competing browsers that is dramatically increasing the speed with which web pages are viewed. The 3.5 version of the Firefox software was released to the public on Tuesday, with a capability of loading web pages more than twice as fast as its 3.0 predecessor, thanks to advances in JavaScript, the scripting language.
  • The Chinese government backed away from its Wednesday deadline for new computers sold in the country to come equipped with Green Dam/Youth escort, an internet filter ostensibly aimed at pornography sites that also blocks users from reaching some Web pages devoted to politically sensitive topics. While authorities said they would continue to move forward with the initiative, computer companies were encouraged and said strong domestic opposition and international pressure might shelve the harsh controls for good.

 

  • Verizon Communications has held talks with Apple about selling versions of either the iPhone or other Apple devices in the US. Currently AT&T is the exclusive distributor of the iPhone in the US, and the company was reportedly trying to extend that deal for another year. A lucrative deal with Apple would be a coup for Verizon, which reported strong quarterly profits from its growing mobile business.
  • Qualcomm, the world’s biggest maker of chips for mobile phones, put an end to legal wrangling by settling a four-year patent dispute with rival Broadcom. Qualcomm has agreed to pay Broadcom $891m over four years in exchange for the dismissal of all court cases and Broadcom withdrawing its complaints about Qualcomm’s business practices.