Maxim: Broadcom displacing EZchip at ZTE

|About: Broadcom Limited (AVGO)|By:, SA News Editor

Maxim's Ashok Kumar reports ZTE will use a Broadcom (BRCM +2.9%) network processor (NPU) in upcoming edge routers, displacing traditional ZTE supplier EZchip (EZCH -6.6%). While EZchip slumps thanks to Maxim's note and an Oppenheimer downgrade, Broadcom is heading in the opposite direction.

In its Q2 CC, EZchip stated its sales to ZTE fell 21% Q/Q and 54% Y/Y to $1.7M. However, that was still good for 10% of the chipmaker's Q2 sales. CEO Eli Fruchter added his company "[continues] to see a lot of activity at ZTE," and predicted EZchip's sales to the Chinese networking firm would be up significantly Y/Y in 2013.

Broadcom's NetLogic unit (recently the subject of a $461M write-down) announced its XLP980 NPU this June to favorable commentary. The chip leverages TSMC's 28nm manufacturing process and delivers 160Gbps of throughput. EZchip's NP-4 chip offers 100Gbps of throughput, and the next-gen NP-5 240Gbps.

Prior to the XLP980 announcement, SA contributors Value Bulldog and Kerrisdale Capital were already arguing Broadcom's NPU efforts threatened EZchip.

Discussing its EZchip downgrade, Oppenheimer predicts EZchip's Juniper sales will fall 52%, offsetting a 36% increase in sales to Cisco and a 15% increase for everyone else. It also thinks EZchip's profits could be hurt by 20%-25% if Cisco uses the nPower X1 in future edge routers.