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.
Oct. 22, 2014, 9:19 AM| 1 Comment
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Oct. 21, 2014, 4:12 PM
Oct. 20, 2014, 5:35 PM
Oct. 10, 2014, 9:59 AM
- Microchip's (MCHP -12.5%) calendar Q3 warning, which was accompanied by a declaration that it believes "another industry correction has begun and that this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future," is taking a heavy toll on chip stocks (SOXX -5.5%).
- Intel (INTC -4.2%) and many other chipmakers have joined the several firms that sold off AH yesterday in going in the same direction as Microchip: MU -5.8%. FSL -8.5%. BRCM -3.6%. SWKS -7.5%. RFMD -6.2%. XLNX -4.9%. MXIM -5%. AMBA -5.5%. IDTI -6.7%. CAVM -7.4%. AVGO -10.2%. SMTC -4.3%. SYNA -4.1%. POWI -6.9%.
- Chip equipment makers are also getting hit: AMAT -3.5%. KLAC -3.3%. LRCX -2.3%. UTEK -2.5%. KLIC -2%.
- As Microchip noted in yesterday's warning, the company's very diversified customer base, together with its recognition of distributor revenue on a customer sell-through basis rather than a distributor sell-in basis, often allow it to see industry changes before peers.
- The microcontroller vendor added its warning was driven by a September decline in sales to Chinese clients, and observed it has typically "returned to sequential revenue growth after two quarters" during past downturns.
- Chip stocks have had a good run over the last 12 months, aided by healthy mobile demand and the industry's consolidation wave.
Sep. 24, 2014, 6:46 PM
- Aimed at data centers shuffling huge amounts of traffic, Broadcom's (NASDAQ:BRCM) new StrataXGS Tomahawk chip delivers 3.2Tbps of Ethernet switching capacity - 32 100G ports, 64 40G/50G ports, or 128 25G ports. Dell, Juniper, Brocade, and Huawei are among the switch OEMs that furnished quotes for the PR.
- SDNCentral observes the Tomahawk isn't meant to replace Broadcom's flagship Trident II switching chip (can handle 100+ 10G ports), but instead aims for "an even higher-end market of hyperscale data centers and anything else requiring the highest port counts and lowest latency available."
- The chip also supports network visibility/analytics features that could make it well-suited for a budding software-defined networking (SDN) market. SDN is widely viewed as an opportunity for Broadcom, given deployments often rely on switches running off-the-shelf silicon rather than proprietary ASICs.
- Last week, Cavium's (NASDAQ:CAVM) newly-acquired Xpliant unit showed off a 3.2Tbps switching chip that supports a very high level of programmability (helpful for SDN). Broadcom's chip has begun sampling (mass-production could take some time), while Cavium's is expected to sample in Q4.
Sep. 19, 2014, 9:36 AM
- iFixit's teardown of the iPhone 6 Plus turned up five Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) chips, up from the three found in last year's teardown of the 5S and nearly matching the six found in certain Galaxy S5 teardowns.
- In addition to the expected Cat-4 LTE baseband modem, a Qualcomm power management IC, RF transceiver, receive-only chip (needed to enable LTE carrier aggregation), and envelope-tracking IC (relatively new, improves battery life) were found in the 6 Plus.
- In-line with rumors and the company's hints, an InvenSense (NYSE:INVN) motion sensor - specifically, a 6-axis gyroscope/accelerometer - was found. That suggests InvenSense has displaced STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) as the iPhone's motion sensor supplier.
- Two Skyworks (NASDAQ:SWKS) power amplifier modules are found, including a low-band LTE part. Avago (NASDAQ:AVGO) has both a high-band amplifier module, and an integrated ultra high-band amplifier/FBAR filter module. TriQuint (NASDAQ:TQNT) can claim a 3G amplifier module, and merger partner RF Micro (NASDAQ:RFMD) an antenna switch module.
- Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) appears to remain the iPhone's combo chip supplier (courtesy of a module from partner Murata), and also supplies a touch controller IC. Chipworks thinks Broadcom also has the Wi-Fi slot for the Apple Watch.
- As expected, NXP (NASDAQ:NXPI) is supplying an NFC module and the M8 motion co-processsor, and Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS) the audio codec IC. Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) is providing a touch transmitter IC.
- Moving in response: INVN +1.9%. AVGO +1.5%. STM -3.9%.
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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