CHIP DESIGNER Broadcom will get into the Long Term Evolution (LTE) baseband chip business, with sampling to begin in 2013.
Broadcom, which traditionally has focused on chips that end up in midrange smartphones, will start sampling baseband chips that support LTE 4G networks. The firm said it will sample LTE baseband chips to its top customers in 2013.
Scott McGregor, CEO of Broadcom told investors that LTE support is on the list of "signpots" that investors should look for in 2013. He added, "We need to be there. We're not there today," though he didn't give more concrete information on when Broadcom's LTE chips will enter volume production and end up in handsets.
Broadcom could also look to sell baseband chips as singular parts to some of its customers, which include Apple and Samsung. However it will have to compete with rival chip designer Qualcomm, which is already sampling LTE chips.
Broadcom's decision to focus on the low-cost smartphone market means that it is lagging behind other chip designers when it comes to LTE support. Earlier this week the firm announced three smartphone chip designs that support 3G connectivity for low-end Android smartphones, but its decision to sample LTE chips in 2013 suggests that the technology will trickle down to midrange phones by 2014. µ