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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile

Short Take: Broadcom buys modem maker AltoCom

Chipmaker Broadcom has purchased software-modem maker AltoCom for $170 million in stock. AltoCom, a spinoff from General Magic, makes modems for PCs, set-top boxes, and handheld devices. Broadcom will incorporate phoneline home networking technology into the modems. Software-based modems are less expensive because they use the device's main microprocessor for computing power, rather than a set of special modem chips or separate digital signal processor.

Chipmaker Broadcom has purchased software-modem maker AltoCom for $170 million in stock. AltoCom, a spinoff from General Magic, makes modems for PCs, set-top boxes, and handheld devices. Broadcom will incorporate phoneline home networking technology into the modems. Software-based modems are less expensive because they use the device's main microprocessor for computing power, rather than a set of special modem chips or separate digital signal processor.