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If the Internet of Things will be SOOO BIG why did Broadcom just quit the market?

Radio silicon offloaded to Cypress Semi for US$550m as founder and CEO retires

Cypress Semiconductor has made Broadcom an offer too good to refuse: US$550 million in cash for its wireless Internet of Things business unit.

The deal covers the whole kit-and-kaboodle: Broadcom's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee Internet of Things product lines, its WICED brand and developer community, and the relevant intellectual property.

Exiting the Internet of Things seems a surprising decision from Broadcom, considering it endorses the wider industry's “50 billion devices by 2020” prediction in its promotional material.

Broadcom's canned statement about the sale says the segment generated $189 million in 2015, and the transaction will see 430 staff worldwide go to work under a new logo by the third quarter of 2016.

The acquisition gives Cypress Semiconductor its own radio silicon, with the company noting that at the moment it can only pair with “generic” radio sets in the Wi-Fi and Zigbee space (the company has its own Bluetooth Low Energy devices).

Cypress's main IoT play is in the programable system-on-a-chip (SoC) market, with low-power ARM-based mixed-signal devices, with the Broadcom acquisition to give it a footprint in micro-controller, SoC, memory, module, and now connectivity.

In a separate statement, the company's founder and CEO Thurman Rogers has announced he will step down from the role, saying that the board and executive staff have urged him to “bring new blood” into the company.

Rogers founded Cypress Semiconductor in 1982.

Earlier this year, the merger between Avago and Broadcom completed, with the now Singaporean-based entity taking Broadcom's name. ®

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