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Broadcom dumps DTV, Blu-ray biz

Posted: 27 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DTV? Blu-ray?

EE Times has verified the closure of Broadcom Corp.'s Blu-ray and digital TV (DTV) units across the globe, including China, Canada and the United States. Its team of about 30 employees in Yardley, PA and more than 100 DTV engineering and marketing staff based in Toronto have lost their jobs.

An internal company memo stated that Broadcom plans to exit the DTV and Blu-ray business, according to industry sources. However, Broadcom neither confirmed nor denied the decision.

Asked to confirm the move, a Broadcom spokesperson initially said he was not authorized to speak. Several minutes later, he replied with an official 'no comment' response from the company's management.

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Broadcom's DTV operation acquired its DTV team in Toronto, former employees of ATI's DTV division from AMD in 2008. Broadcom's DTV team in Pennsylvania, consisting of ex-Nxtwave Communications staff that developed the first VSB demodulation chips, was initially acquired by ATI in 2002. ATI's DTV unit later became part of Broadcom.

Broadcom is said to have been steadily losing DTV sockets to two Taiwan-based consumer chip companies, MediaTek and Mstar. They have grabbed the lion's share of mid- to low-end segments of the DTV markets. Japanese TV giants, who are seen as more willing to outsource mainstream TV manufacturing to Taiwan ODMs, have aided the companies.

Meanwhile, Japanese and Korean TV vendors aren't giving up their own high-end DTV SoC sockets, effectively shutting out Broadcom.

The impact of Broadcom's decision to close its DTV and Blu-ray chip businesses remains unclear. The market is buzzing, however, with Broadcom's competitors busily working to grab whatever the company is likely to leave on the table.

- Junko Yoshida
??EE Times

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