Broadcom closes DTV, Blu-ray chip units
9/22/2011 2:00 PM EDT
NEW YORK – Broadcom has quietly shut down its digital TV operations, including offices from Toronto to Pennsylvania to China. The closures began earlier this week (Sept. 19), EE Times has confirmed.
More than 100 of Broadcom’s DTV engineering and marketing staff based in Toronto and a team of more than 30 employees in Yardley, PA., have lost their jobs.
An internal company memo stated that Broadcom plans to exit the DTV and Blu-ray business, according to industry sources.
Broadcom neither confirmed nor denied the decision.
Asked to confirm the move, a Broadcom’s spokesman initially said he was not authorized to speak. Several minutes later, he replied with an official “no comment” response from the company’s management.
Broadcom’s DTV operation had a checkered history of acquisitions.
It acquired its DTV team in Toronto, former employees of ATI’s digital TV division, from AMD in 2008. Broadcom’s DTV team in Pennsylvania, consisting of ex-Nxtwave Communications staff who developed the first VSB demodulation chips, was initially acquired by ATI in 2002. That ATI's digital TV division later became part of Broadcom.
Broadcom offers a range of single-chip solutions compatible with NTSC, the ATSC digital standard and the digital cable television spec.
Broadcom is said to have been steadily losing DTV sockets to two Taiwan-based consumer chip companies, MediaTek and Mstar, that have grabbed the lion’s share of mid- to low-end of the digital TV markets. The Taiwanese companies have been aided by Japanese TV giants, who are seen as more willing to outsource mainstream TV manufacturing to Taiwanese ODMs.
Meanwhile, Japanese and Korean TV vendors aren’t giving up their own high-end digital TV SoC sockets, effectively shutting out Broadcom.
The impact of Broadcom’s decision to close its DTV and Blu-ray chip businesses remains unclear. The market is already buzzing, however, with Broadcom’s competitors busily working to grab whatever Broadcom is likely to leave on the table.