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Broadcom CTO tackles NetLogic buy

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:knowledge-based processors? wireless infrastructure? IP technologies?

Right after his meeting with NetLogic employees at Silicon Valley, Henry Samueli, Broadcom's chief technology officer sat down with EE Times and talked about Broadcom's bid to buy NetLogic for $3.7 billion.

EE Times: Does this mark a change in your acquisition strategy previously focused on small companies?

Henry Samueli: This is by far our largest acquisition and our first of a public company, but it's not a change in strategy. We've looked at acquiring numerous public companies in the last 5-10 years, but never got too serious about any of them.

You can't do too many [acquisitions of this size]. This fills a huge hole in the high-end embedded processor space for us. For the foreseeable future we'll revert back to smaller, tuck-in type deals as we build up our war chest. There are so many interesting companies out there.

Broadcom pays $3.7B for NetLogic
Broadcom's acquisition of NetLogic will its capabilities in knowledge-based and multicore embedded processors. Read more about the acquisition.

EET: What was the story behind this deal?

Samueli: We're always looking at companies; it's a very pro-active process. We have acquired about 50 companies in our history, that's about one or two per quarter. We have the process down pat for IT, facilities, HRit's all in place. But historically it's been smaller 50-100 people companies.

For three to five years we have wanted to expand into the high-end embedded processor space. That was a hole in our portfolio, and they had the best road map.

EET: Why not Cavium which has more market share and a lower market cap?

Samueli: [Cavium] certainly was a possibility. We looked at the long term road maps of all the companies out there, including startups. We are not doing this for short-term gains, but for a long term investment in the people and products.

We believe NetLogic's XLP processor line will be the highest performance one out there. We are betting on the future.

The XLP's quad-issue, quad-threaded, out-of-order core is one of the most high performance cores in the industry. It's scalability to put two to 20 cores on a chip and 160 on a board was very attractive to us.

Also, their knowledge-based processors [acquired from IDT in 2009] complement our broadband switches. And their Optichron acquisition in wireless complements our own recent acquisitions in microwave backhaul and small cells. We are now developing a very significant portfolio in wireless infrastructure.

EET: Will NetLogic have to change its design flow?

Samueli: From our due diligence, it looks like there's a lot of commonality in tools and foundries. I don't expect any significant changes. They just have a lot more opportunity in IP sharing and reuse now.

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