LAS VEGAS — If you had to guess one product category conspicuously absent from Broadcom's CES booth this year, would you name smartphones?
If you did, you were right.
The Irvine, Calif.-based chip giant, who couldn’t hack its way into the global baseband modem market, decided to bag it all together last year. The smartphone modem market, locked up by Qualcomm for years, is now under fresh attack by a number of “must-win-at-all-cost” chip companies in Asia, according to Scott McGregor, CEO of Broadcom.
Noting that his company was losing about $2 million a day in the modem business, McGregor, who looked almost relieved, proudly pointed to the Broadcom booth and bragged, “We have no cell phones.”
The company’s focus is now on the broadband and connectivity businesses. “Our broadband is an extremely strong and valuable business. Our connectivity business is also very strong, and is focused more on the Internet of Things now,” he said. “Frankly, these are better businesses to be in and invest in.”
The company is broadening its technology and businesses. These include connected homes, and more recently, automotive. McGregor called the automotive segment “a great business we are sort of tiptoeing into” and finding it “very interesting.”
EE Times caught up with McGregor last week during CES and asked him how the company's decision to not participate in the baseband business is likely to affect Broadcom in the future. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.
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