Portable video to create chip boom, Broadcom says

Company expands demand for chips used in portable video players to surge, especially as multimedia heads to cell phones.

Broadcom expects demand for chips used in portable video players to surge on the back of rising global sales of digital devices, its chief executive said Thursday.

"We see portable video as a fast-growing market," CEO Scott McGregor told reporters in Bangalore, India's silicon hub, where his chip-designing company has a technology center. "I think it is very big because you will see multimedia going to cell phones. But it is too soon to have market data on it."

Broadcom is working with companies in this market including Apple Computer and Samsung Electronics, McGregor said.

Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom specializes in combining several features on a single chip to help make products such as television set-top boxes, cell phones and broadband devices. The company designs chips but outsources their production to companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

Executives said Broadcom is in preliminary talks with SemIndia--a public-private partnership involving chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices. Broadcom is interested in outsourcing its manufacturing to SemIndia's proposed $3 billion chipmaking factory in India announced Wednesday.

McGregor said Broadcom, which has $2 billion in cash, is also eyeing Indian companies for possible acquisitions related to semiconductor research.

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