Wed, Mar. 11, 6:24 PM
- French broadband/IPTV service provider Free (Iliad) is deploying a set-top that supports Google's recently-launched Android TV platform, and which is powered by Broadcom's (NASDAQ:BRCM) BCM7252 set-top SoC. The device, declared by Broadcom to be first 4K video-capable Android TV set-top, also features the company's Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radio ICs.
- Last year, the BCM7252 was designed into 4K-capable set-tops deployed by Indian satellite TV provider Tata Sky. At CES in January, Broadcom launched the BCM7252S, which contains a more powerful CPU and support for 60fps 4K video decoding.
- During its Q4 CC (transcript), Broadcom noted set-top chip sales (along with broadband and wireless connectivity chips) were a strong point for the company, with both emerging markets and 4K demand providing a lift. The company appears to be grabbing share from leading set-top SoC rival STMicroelectronics.
Sat, Feb. 28, 3:33 PM
- Plenty of chipmakers and related IP providers have unveiled new products this week in tandem with the industry's ISSCC conference, and in advance of the Mobile World Congress (runs from Monday-Thursday).
- ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) has furthered its embedded/IoT push by launching IFC (short for Intelligent Flexible Cloud), a hardware/software framework for creating intelligent, reliable networks of Web-connected, ARM-powered devices.
- IFC includes networking protocols for ARM-based processors, as well as support for software-defined networking (SDN - the offloading of network management to software-based controllers) and network functions virtualization (NFV - allows commodity hardware to be turned into a networking appliance). It complements ARM's mbed IoT platform for embedded/wearable devices.
- ARM server CPU vendors Cavium, Marvell, and AppliedMicro support IFC, as does network processor vendor EZchip's (NASDAQ:EZCH) Tilera unit, which just unveiled a new line of processors (the TILE-Mx family) that supports up to 100 64-bit ARM cores and 200Gbps of throughput; it begins sampling in 2H16. Benchmark is upbeat about the TILE-Mx line's potential.
- Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) has launched: 1) A smartwatch platform featuring an app processor with 2G/3G modem support, a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip, a GPS SoC with an integrated sensor hub, an NFC radio, and a wireless charging IC. 2) An SoC for virtual (software-based) broadband customer premise equipment. 3) Two SoCs for wireless backhaul hardware that are declared to be the first to support 5Gbps of throughput.
- NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI) has launched: 1) Embedded microcontrollers with advanced security features meant to protect against theft/cloning. Targeted products include smart meter hubs, home/factory automation devices, and aftermarket auto hardware; SemiAccurate likes what it sees. 2) An RF transceiver that enables fully wireless earbud headphones (no wires between earbuds).
- Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) has refreshed its UltraScale+ FPGA and programmable SoC lines with chips made using TSMC's next-gen 16nm FinFET+ (3D transistor) process. The chips improve performance/power draw via SRAM integration and new interconnect optimizations, begin shipping in Q4, and aim to keep Xilinx competitive on the high-end as Altera launches FPGAs using Intel's 14nm process.
- IDT (NASDAQ:IDTI), an early leader in the wireless charging IC market, has rolled out new charging transmitter and receiver ICs that can respectively handle 15W and 10W of power. The transmitter contains a low-power ARM Cortex-M0 CPU core, and is contained within a tiny 5mm x 5mm package.
Mon, Feb. 2, 10:13 AM
- Intel (INTC -0.7%) is acquiring Lantiq Semiconductor, a German developer of modem/transceiver chipsets and SoCs for home/office broadband hardware and carrier access equipment. Terms are undisclosed; presumably, the deal will be paid for with offshore cash.
- Lantiq's product line includes chips for DSL infrastructure gear, VoIP devices, GPON fiber-to-the-home networks, and DSL/Wi-Fi, Ethernet/Wi-Fi, and DSL/4G home gateways. The company has over 2K patents and design wins for hardware used on 100+ carrier networks.
- Intel declares the acquisition will "expand Intel's success in the cable residential gateway market and broaden its offering to other gateway markets, including DSL, Fiber, LTE, retail and IoT smart routers," and that pairing Intel's cable modem/gateway chip ops (i.e. the Puma line) with Lantiq's tech and talent "can allow global service providers to introduce new home computing experiences and enable consumers to take advantage of a more smart and connected home."
- Broadcom (BRCM -3.5%) isn't reacting well to the news. The company counts Intel as a major competitor in the cable modem/gateway and Wi-Fi chip markets (among others), and Lantiq as a major rival in the DSL and GPON chip markets. Shares rallied last Friday in response to Broadcom's Q4 beat.
- The purchase comes six months after Intel agreed to buy LSI/Avago's Axxia network processor unit (competes against Broadcom and several other firms) for $650M.
Fri, Jan. 30, 1:29 PM
- Following 16% Q/Q growth in Q3 (driven by iPhone-related orders), Broadcom's (BRCM +4.3%) broadband/connectivity chip sales only fell 2% Q/Q in Q4 to $1.475B, less than expected and driving the company's Q4 beat. Infrastructure/networking chip sales fell 4% Q/Q to $625M, in-line with expectations.
- On the CC (transcript), CEO Scott McGregor stated broadband/connectivity upside was "across the board, including set-top box, broadband access and particularly wireless connectivity." Wireless benefited not only from new phone launches, but also a growing mix of higher-ASP 802.11ac and 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi combo chips.
- McGregor added Broadcom is "seeing significant customer interest in our 4x4 multiuser MIMO 5G WiFi chip targeted for retail routers, broadband access gateways and set-top boxes," and has scored its first wireless charging IC design win. Q1 broadband/connectivity segment sales are expected to be down Q/Q, in-line with seasonality.
- In infrastructure/networking, data center sales were stronger than enterprise (campus LAN) and carrier sales. Strong design win activity is claimed for both Broadcom's new 3.2Tbps StrataXGS Tomahawk switching chip. Segment sales are expected to be flat Q/Q in Q1.
- Q4 gross margin was 54.7%, +60 bps Q/Q and +240 bps Y/Y, and even with a guidance midpoint of 55% after factoring stock compensation. Thanks to job cuts and the baseband wind-down, R&D spend fell 18% Y/Y to $530M, and SG&A spend rose by just $1M to $173M. $104M was spent on buybacks.
- Q4 results/guidance, PR
Thu, Jan. 29, 4:50 PM
Thu, Jan. 29, 4:08 PM
Wed, Jan. 28, 5:35 PM
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Mon, Jan. 5, 8:09 PM
- With the help of recently-acquired Wilocity, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) plans to show off tri-band wireless home networking chipsets that support both 2.4GHz./5GHz. 802.11ac Wi-Fi and the nascent WiGig standard (uses 60GHz. short-range connections as a USB/HDMI replacement).
- Qualcomm also states: 1) Its high-end Snapdragon 810 baseband/app processor (due in hardware in 1H15) now supports the Quick Charge 2.0 and WiPower wireless charging standards. 2) It's partnering with drug giant Novartis to offer "a global connectivity platform for collecting and aggregating medical device data during clinical trials."
- A year after launching the Tegra K1 at CES, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has unveiled the Tegra X1. The X1 uses a more advanced manufacturing process (20nm vs. 28nm), replaces the K1's Kepler GPU with a next-gen Maxwell GPU (a key differentiator), and pairs four powerful cores with four smaller/low-power ones (ARM's big.LITTLE architecture). Nvidia, which has Tegra sales to the auto market grow rapidly, is also showing off two Tegra-powered "automotive computers."
- Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), battling with Qualcomm and others in the Wi-Fi chip market, has launched new 802.11ac chips for routers, broadband gateways, and set-tops - one is said to deliver up to a 4x speed boost through the use of MU-MIMO - as well as a dual-core network processor for Wi-Fi routers.
- Other Broadcom launches: 1) An NFC chip for cars. 2) An automotive Ethernet chip declared to be the industry's most power-efficient. 3) A satellite device for outdoor units that supports up to 32 set-tops.
- Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) has launched new ARM-based microcontrollers for wearables and managing sensor hubs, and a Bluetooth IC for embedded/wearable devices said to deliver unmatched dynamic power draw and sub-1µA standby power draw.
- Prior CES news
Dec. 16, 2014, 1:19 PM
- Broadcom (BRCM -0.8%) has launched a solution for satellite outdoor units (ODUs) declared to be the first such offering to integrate GPS connectivity.
- The solution pairs Broadcom's BCM4551 satellite transmission IC with its BCM4771 GPS receiver IC. The 4551 is uses an advanced 28nm manufacturing process, and the 4771 integrates a baseband processor and CPU with RF circuitry; Broadcom claims an industry-leading circuit board footprint for the latter.
- Hard-luck rival Entropic (ENTR -9.1%) has plunged following the announcement. Entropic is only a month removed from announcing it's cutting 40% of its workforce, and plans to end set-top SoC product development after struggling to compete against Broadcom and STMicroelectronics.
Dec. 15, 2014, 9:41 AM
Dec. 9, 2014, 4:25 PM
- Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) uses its 2014 analyst day to state it now expects Q4 revenue of $2.075B-$2.15B vs. prior guidance of $2B-$2.15B; consensus is at $2.09B. Strong iPhone combo chip sales are likely helping.
- The quarterly dividend has been hiked by $0.02/share to $0.14/share, good for a 1.3% yield at current levels. The next dividend will be declared in Q1.
- A $1B buyback authorization will exist for 2015. At current levels, it would be good for repurchasing 4% of shares. Broadcom has already been hinting at making bigger capital returns.
- Broadcom, whose stock compensation spend has occasionally been criticized, also promises to award 50% of its equity awards going forward through performance restricted stock units (PRSUs) vs. a prior 25%, and to link PRSU awards to "Broadcom's relative total shareholder return and relative earnings per share growth."
- In addition, Broadcom will now have an annual say-on-pay advisory vote, and won't include an annual share increase feature in future stock incentive plans.
- BRCM +1.2% AH. Analyst day webcast.
Nov. 26, 2014, 2:52 PM
- Chip stocks are outperforming after Analog Devices (ADI +5.2%) beat FQ4 estimates and offered in-line FQ1 guidance. The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +1.9%) has made new highs.
- Notable gainers include many analog/mixed-signal and telecom IC firms: TXN +3%. LLTC +2.7%. SMTC +3.1%. ISIL +3.3%. SWKS +3.7%. AVGO +2.9%. OVTI +3.2%. FSL +3.1%. EZCH +2.5%. XLNX +2.3%. ALTR +2.1%. MX +4.3%. PMCS +2.7%. BRCM +2%.
- On its CC (transcript), ADI noted its telecom equipment chip sales are holding up well in spite of weak capex, aided by the fact its dollar content for 4G base stations is "at least 20% to 30% better" than for 3G base stations. The company also mentioned its lead times were stable in FQ4.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Nov. 19, 2014, 12:39 PM
Nov. 13, 2014, 8:47 AM
- "We expect product cycles in 2H15/16 to drive 5-10% upside to Street EPS," says Goldman's Mark Delaney, upgrading Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) to Buy.
- Those product cycles include: 1) Strong expected sales of Broadcom's new 3.2Tbps Tomahawk switching chip, including for Web data center investments. 2) Growing sales of set-top ICs supporting HEVC encoding (to help enable 4K and HD Web video playback). 3) Connectivity (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth) chip growth in "connected devices, IoT, and access points" that can offset phone share loss.
- Delaney also thinks "there could be additional EPS upside from capital allocation," but expects it to be moderate, given much of Broadcom's cash is offshore.
- Shares are close to a 52-week high of $42.38. Delaney has also downgraded Broadcom rival Marvell to Sell this morning, while upgrading SanDisk to Buy.
Oct. 31, 2014, 11:31 AM
- Three weeks after providing a calendar Q3 warning that triggered a massive chip stock rout, Microchip (MCHP +7.3%) has provided Q4 guidance that's in-line with lowered estimates. The microcontroller vendor, which has often seen trends emerge ahead of peers, also said it saw most of its inventory correction in Q3, and expects Q4 sales to be just "slightly below typical seasonal levels."
- Chip stocks are up strongly (SOXX +4%) on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.4%. Since Microchip's warning, a slew of analog chipmakers and microcontroller firms (e.g. Atmel, Freescale, STMicro, Intersil, Linear) have offered light Q4 guidance, and other firms have reported seeing high-end Android weakness (e.g. Synaptics, Cirrus Logic, Amkor).
- On the other hand, several mobile chipmakers (Skyworks, RF Micro, TriQuint, Silicon Motion), some of which have decent iPhone exposure, have provided strong results and/or guidance. Other chipmakers, such as Broadcom, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx, have rallied after delivering in-line guidance.
- Susquehanna's Chris Caso: "By now, we think it’s clear that the weakness MCHP saw in September is not company specific ... The question now is if the full extent of the weakness has been dialed into estimates. If it has, then this would be among the shortest and mildest downturns in many years."
- Notable gainers: SNDK +3.9%. MU +4.1%. AMAT +3.9%. TXN +4.7%. NXPI +3.9%. NVDA +3.5%. MXIM +4.7%. LLTC +5.1%. FCS +9.6%. FSL +8.8%. ADI +6.5%. TQNT +6.8%. RFMD +6.5%. ATML +5.9%. AVGO +5.1%. MRVL +4.7%. AMCC +8.9%. BRCM +3.6%. TSM +4.4%. ARMH +3.3%.
- Intel (INTC +3.5%) has recovered most of the losses it saw yesterday due to Intesil's (ISIL +3.3%) results and guidance, and related comments about a PC chip inventory correction.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Oct. 22, 2014, 11:02 AM
- Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) is above $40 after soundly beating Q3 estimates and providing better-than-feared Q4 guidance. On its CC (transcript), the company noted its Q3 beat was fueled by 16% Q/Q growth for its broadband/wireless connectivity chip reporting segment (67% of revenue).
- Wireless connectivity sales almost certainly got a lift (given Apple's numbers) from strong iPhone-related orders. The iPhone 6/6 Plus feature a Broadcom combo chip containing an 802.11ac Wi-Fi radio; 802.11ac parts carry higher ASPs than chips sporting 802.11n Wi-Fi radios (such as the one in the iPhone 5S).
- Broadband connectivity sales benefited from strong HD set-top IC sales (aided by share gains) for emerging markets designs. That appears to be giving a lift to set-top vendor/Broadcom client Arris (NASDAQ:ARRS) ahead of its Oct. 29 Q3 report.
- The networking/infrastructure chip segment's sales were roughly flat Q/Q at $651M, in-line with expectations. Data center and carrier-related sales both fell - soft telecom capex has taken a toll on many firms - while enterprise and home product sales rose. "Some pickup" is expected in carrier-related sales next year.
- During the Q&A, CEO Scott McGregor hinted Broadcom could announce new capital return plans during its Dec. 9 analyst day, given it now has over $2.7B in U.S. cash. $277M was spent on buybacks in Q3.
BRCM vs. ETF Alternatives
Broadcom Corp is provider of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. It provides a portfolio of SoCs that seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments.
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