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Broadcom to acquire dual-mode 4G chip designer

Hedges bets with both WiMAX and LTE support

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Communications-chip heavyweight Broadcom announced Wednesday that it will acquire Beceem Communications, a fabless designer of dual-mode 4G wireless chips that support both the rising LTE and fading WiMAX standards.

"The acquisition of Beceem accelerates Broadcom's time-to-market in 4G," Broadcom's announcement of the deal contends. "Beceem's 4G technology will enable our combined customers to accelerate the market availability of highly integrated, lower cost 4G wireless broadband devices."

Broadcom's announcement notes that the company "expects to pay approximately $316 million" for the privately held Beceem, which is based in Santa Clara, California, with operations also in India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

After nosediving in 2008 along with the rest of the tech economy, Broadcom's fortunes have been rising steadily in the past two years. Its stock value now approaches its pre-Meltdown high, although it's nowhere near its stratospheric dot.com-bubble valuation. ®

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