A company aiming to be the next $1 billion chipmaker has signed up the first two licensees for its high speed Internet access technology.
Broadcom, which went public in April, offers a single-chip solution based on digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, to support high speed Net access and delivery of entertainment to residential homes, over regular phone lines.
This week, the company has signed a deal with telecomms equipment supplier Reltec, which will integrate the Broadcom Scalable DSL Transceiver into its multimedia broadband access platform.
The deal follows another with equipment maker Next Level Communications (NLC), which will use the transceiver chip in its Residential Gateway and Digital Loop Carrier system.
The uniqueness of Broadcom's BCM6010 chip is that it supports different DSL speeds - Asymmetrical (ADSL) and Very High Speed DSL (VDSL). Broadcom claims to be the only company that can provide the silicon for any major high speed protocol for use over existing copper telephone lines.
Reltec's plans for the technology include delivering equipment to its telephone and cable company customers, supporting digital voice, video and data services for movie quality videos, CD quality sound, pay-per-view movies, onscreen integration of popular telephone features and high speed Internet access.
According to NLC, its broadband access equipment will be deployed in major cities throughout the US, enabling local telephone companies to deliver a range of new digital services to residential customers for the first time using existing lines.
NLC, a subsidiary of General Instrument, said its new subscriber services will include movie quality videos, 120 channels of entertainment and information cable programmes, as well as high speed Internet access.
Shortly after Broadcom went public, with one of the most spectacular IPOs ever, its CEO Henry Nicholas issued a statement that the company would attain $1 billion in annual sales by 2000.
To put that claim in perspective, venerable chipmaker AMD's revenues for its last full financial year were $2.4 billion; National Semiconductor's 1998 sales were $2.5 billion and Cypress Semiconductor's revenues for its last financial year were $544 million.
Since the IPO, which priced Broadcom shares at $24 per share, the stocks have traded as high as $83.75, closing yesterday at $75.375.
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