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Broadcom tweaks cable modem chip for Europe

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Broadcom Corp’s first single chip for cable modems is now available for European markets, customised and made compliant with the recently-approved International Telecommunications Union J.112 cable modem standard. Available already in the US, the BCM3300 chip is designed to cope with high-speed Internet access and Voice over IP (VoIP) applications. Broadcom’s President and CEO, Henry Nicholas, said: “It represents the first single-chip integration of all of the communications and protocol functions needed for broadband interactivity and Internet access." Broadcom reported its third quarter financials only last week, announcing profits of $8.1 million compared to a loss last time, and the company signed a number of strategic deals during the quarter, including an alliance with MIPS Technologies. Broadcom will use MIPS processors in a range of forthcoming products, including cable modems, digital set-tops and Ethernet adapter cards, and the BCM3300 chip interfaces to the MIPS CPU. Tim Lindenfelser, Broadcom's vice president of marketing, said there is growing European interest in cable modems and high-speed Internet access. He added: “European manufacturers can use the customised BCM3300 in advanced cable modems at very attractive consumer price points, [placing] European cable operators in a very competitive position to provide high-speed Internet access over cable. Telephony over cable should generate profitable new revenue streams.” The chip’s architecture is IP-based, leveraging the Web’s native format and avoiding the overheads of cell-based protocols such as ATM. The protocol addresses variable length IP packets, catering for integrated data, voice and video network. The BCM3300 is available in sample quantities as a 256-pin ball grid array at $50 in 10,000 piece quantities.

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