'Qualcomm, we will buy you... for... one HUNDRED... BILLION DOLLARS' – Broadcom

And Marvell and Cavium also hopping into bed, allegedly


Broadcom is channeling Dr Evil of Austin Powers fame, and considering blowing more than $100bn to buy Qualcomm, it was claimed on Friday.

Apparently, Broadcom is planning to offer within the next few days about $70 a share in cash and stocks to acquire California-based Qualy. Right now, Qualcomm's shares stand at $62.71 apiece, up from $55 just before Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal whispered of the looming biz gobble a few hours ago. In mid-2014, Qualcomm's stock hit $80, so an offer of $70 looks a little tight.

Broadcom and Qualcomm spokespeople declined to comment on today's rumors. Broadcom's shares remained steady at about $272 each.

Both organizations are designers of wireless communications and system-on-chip processors used in smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets and gizmos worldwide. Qualcomm is probably best known for its Snapdragon family of components, used in hundreds of millions of Android handsets, while Broadcom busts out, among other things, chips for networking gear, and the ARM-compatible system-on-chip that powers the Raspberry Pi.

Car on Monopoly board. PHOTO BY Kamira, editorial use ONLY VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

READ MORE

Interestingly, Broadcom once had dreams of designing ARM-based server CPUs, dubbed Vulcan, but last year thought it logical to axe that project. Meanwhile, Qualcomm is getting ready to ship its first data-center-class processor, the Centriq 2400, after shifting its focus to the fledgling architecture from its Snapdragon design work.

Both companies are powerhouses in the world of embedded engineering – an industry rebranded to the much more trendy-sounding Internet of Things – and specialize in lobbing ARM-based cores and custom-designed GPUs into silicon that drives phones, fondleslabs, routers, and more. They appear to be a match made in heaven.

Except for the fact that Qualcomm is in the middle of buying chipmaker NXP for $47bn, and is locked in endless battles with Apple and the iGiant's suppliers – as well as the US government and previously the Chinese authorities – over its, er, unique approach to technology patent licensing. Any marriage with Broadcom would be rather rocky, judging from these ongoing legal wars and the effects they've had on Qualcomm's bottom line.

Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, California, and is owned by Singapore-based Avago Technologies, which bought the chip architects in 2016 for $37bn, the same year Broadcom offloaded a bunch of its wireless technologies as well as ended its data-center processor plans. Avago, these days known as Broadcom Limited following the merger, needs to make up its mind: does it want more wireless and server stuff, or not? Because it's going to get a load of that – along with Qualcomm's cellular communications patent war chest, of course – if it successfully makes a bid for Qualy.

Finally, in other M&A rumor news – and it wouldn't be a Friday afternoon in the Valley without a sudden last-minute explosion in acquisition speculation – electronics giant Marvell is close to swallowing ARM server processor designer Cavium to create a $14bn silicon-touting monster, apparently. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022