Infobox Company
company_name = Broadcom Corporation
company_type = Public nasdaq|BRCM
foundation = August 1991
location =
key_people = Henry Samueli, Co-founder
Henry Nicholas, Co-founder
Scott A. McGregor, CEO, President
industry = Semiconductors, Electronics
products = Integrated Circuits
Cable Converter Boxes
Gigabit Ethernet
Wireless networks
Cable modems
Mobile communications
Network Switches
Digital Subscriber Line
Server farms
Digital Televisions
Metropolitan Area Network
revenue = gain $3.78 billion USDFY 2007
net_income = gain $134.8 million USD Q2 2008
num_employees = gain 6,800 (2008)
homepage = []

Broadcom Corporation is an American supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) for broadband communications. Founded in 1991 by Henry Samueli (chairman and CTO) and Henry Nicholas, it became a public company in 1998 and now employs over 6,800 people worldwide.

Broadcom is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.


Henry Samueli and Henry T. Nicholas III founded Broadcom in 1992 in Los Angeles. The company was moved to Irvine only three years later. [cite news
title=GRASS ROOTS BUSINESS; A Place To Please The Techies - New York Times
publisher= The New York Times
last= Kotkin
first= Joel
date= January 24, 1999


The logo comprises bold black text upon a red waveform which takes a shape similar to a sinc function.


Broadcom's product line spans computer and telecommunication networking: the company has products for enterprise/metropolitan high-speed networks, as well as products for SOHO (small-office, home-office) networks. Products include transceiver and processor ICs for ethernet and wireless LANs, cable modems, digital subscriber line (DSL), servers, home networking devices (router, switches, port-concentators) and cellular phones (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/W-CDMA). It is also known for a series of high-speed encryption co-processors, offloading this processor intensive work to a dedicated chip, thus greatly speeding up any tasks that utilize encryption. This has many practical benefits for e-commerce, and PGP or GPG secure communications.

The company also produces ICs for carrier access equipment, audio/video processors for digital set-top boxes and digital video recorders, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transceivers, and RF receivers/tuners for satellite TV. Major customers include Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, IBM, Dell, Lenovo, Linksys, Logitech, Nintendo, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, TiVo and Cisco Systems.

Broadcom also authored its own VoIP codecs in 2002:
* BroadVoice 16 with declared bitrate 16 kbit/s and audio sampling frequency 8 kHz
* BroadVoice 32 with declared bitrate 32 kbit/s and sampling rate of 16 kHz (note hovewer that X-Lite SIP phone's menu declares bitrate 48000 b/s) Otheruses|BroadVoice

Consumer design wins

While Broadcom's primary business is strictly as an IC supplier to OEMs, the Broadcom moniker is known to home consumersFact|date=February 2008 through several high-profile consumer devices:
* Broadcom supplies the video processor chip for Apple's 5th generation iPod.
* In Q2 2005, Broadcom Corporation announced it would be providing Nintendo its “online solution on a chip” as deployed in millions of notebooks and PDAs across the globe, enabling Nintendo 802.11b connectivity with DS and 802.11g for the Wii. More specifically, Broadcom would provide Bluetooth connectivity for Wii's controller.

Broadcom and Linux

Some open source drivers are available for the 802.11 B/G family of wireless chips Broadcom produces. [ [ b43 - Linux Wireless ] ] . However, these drivers lack the ability to connect to WPA drivers and require a binary firmware to be loaded into the card for use.


Broadcom is known as a "fabless" company. It outsources all semiconductor manufacturing to Asian merchant foundries, such as Chartered, SMIC, Silterra, TSMC, and UMC. The company is based in Irvine, California in the University Research Park on the University of California, Irvine campus, after a 2007 move from its previous campus near the Irvine Spectrum. It also has other research and development sites in Silicon Valley and Bangalore, Hyderabad in India.

tock options scandal

On July 14, 2006, Broadcom announced it had to subtract $750,000,000 from earnings due to stock options irregularities. On September 8, 2006 the amount was doubled to $1.5 billion. The company may also owe additional taxes. [cite web|url=|title=Broadcom's Options Bombshell|publisher="BusinessWeek"|date=2006-09-09|accessdate=2006-09-09] On January 24, 2007, it announced a restatement of its financial results from 1998 to 2003 that totaled $2.24 billion.

On May 15, 2008, Samueli , Broadcom CTO, resigned as chairman of the board and took of a leave of absence as Chief Technology Officer after being named in a civil complaint by the SEC.

On June 5, 2008, Broadcom co-founder and former CEO Henry Nicholas III was indicted on charges of illegal stock-option backdating and of violations of federal narcotics laws. [cite web|url=|title=Drugs, hookers and cranked customers: Ex-Broadcom boss indicted|publisher="The Register"|date=2008-06-05|accessdate=2008-06-06]

Qualcomm Suit

In June 2007, the U.S. International Trade Commission blocked the import of new cell phone models based on particular Qualcomm microchips. They found that these Qualcomm microchips infringe patents owned by Broadcom. Broadcom has also initiated patent litigation in U.S. courts over this issue.

At issue is software designed to extend battery life in chips while users make out-of-network calls. In October, an ITC administrative judge made an initial ruling that Qualcomm violated the Broadcom patent covering that feature and the commission later affirmed the decision.


Through the years, Broadcom has acquired many smaller companies to quickly enter new markets.

A list of acquisitions is also provided [ here]

GPL Violations

In 2003, the Free Software Foundation caught Broadcom committing a GPL (or GNU General Public License) violation. Broadcom distributed open source code in a driver for its 802.11g router chipset without making that code public; a violation of terms of the GPL. The chipset was adopted by Linksys which was later purchased by Cisco. Cisco eventually published source code for the firmware for its WRT54G wireless broadband router. [cite web|url=,289142,sid7_gci932666,00.html|title=Linksys routers caught up in open source dispute|publisher="TechTarget"|date=2003-10-20]


External links

* [ Broadcom homepage]
* [ Broadcom Factsheet]
* [ History of Broadcom corporation]

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