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Broadcom is buying Zeevo, a privately held Bluetooth headset system-on-a-chip developer for $32m - $29.4m in cash, the rest in shares.

Zeevo pitches its products at makers of mobile phones, PCs, MP3 players and consumer electronics kit. It specialises in enabling high-quality audio over Bluetooth, a wireless technology known for basic, monaural sound - although version 2.0 of the specification enables stereo playback.

Broadcom is interested in Zeevo becaus of this audio functionality. It already offers a range of Bluetooth chips for phones and PCs, but will use Zeevo technology to extend coverage into more CE-oriented market segments. Big growth is forecast for Bluetooth headsets, which will reach 90m units sales a year by 2008, according to In-Stat/MDR.

Based in Santa Clara, California, Zeevo employs 50 people. Broadcom did reveal its plans for integration post-acquisition. The deal is expected to close by the end of the month. ®

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