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Maxim: Broadcom displacing EZchip at ZTE

  • 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.
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