Broadcom to Push Security Improvements

In 2005, the company aims to integrate security into its enterprise products, back AMD's microprocessors and boost its presence in handsets.

Broadcom Corp.s 2005 to-do list includes integrating security features into its enterprise products, backing AMDs microprocessors and boosting its presence in handsets, executives said Thursday.

The communications giant held its semiannual analyst meeting at its Irvine, Calif., headquarters, touting its 2004 success as well as its plans to expand its business during 2004. Executives said the companys watchword would be "convergence," a word that describes the intersection of voice, data, video and communications as well as the resources that Broadcom will share among its 11 lines of business.

In some sense, Broadcom is to communications what Intel Corp. is to the PC. Broadcom utterly dominates the Ethernet space, and is trying to extend that leadership into storage and other enterprise markets.

But the company faces a much more competitive wireless market, and it has essentially ceded the enterprise chip-set market to Intel for now, choosing to develop platforms for AMDs Opteron processor.

One key communications technology that Broadcom apparently will forgo is WiMax, the high-profile broadband wireless standard that Intel and its partners are developing.

Instead, the company will support HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), a cellular standard being promoted by handset maker Nokia, among others.

HSDPA proponents say the technology is the next step in the evolution of wideband CDMA technology, offering downstream data rates up to 10-Mbits/s. Lanny Ross, Broadcoms president and chief executive officer, said a two-chip converged WCDMA/HSDPA solution is due in 2006, about the same time that the mobile version of WiMax, 802.16e, is expected.

Ross, who will yield his position to Philips Semiconductor chief Scott McGregor after Jan. 1, said the company is well-positioned. "Scott is absolutely the right person with the right combination of managerial experience at the right time" to take over a "very healthy" company, Ross said. "No aspect of this company is broken, dented or weak," he said.

Broadcom reported net income of $49.0 million on revenue of $646.5 million for the third quarter ended Oct. 21.

Next Page: Enhancing enterprise products.