'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


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

Other stories you might like

  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading
  • Utility biz Delta-Montrose Electric Association loses billing capability and two decades of records after cyber attack

    All together now - R, A, N, S, O...

    A US utility company based in Colorado was hit by a ransomware attack in November that wiped out two decades' worth of records and knocked out billing systems that won't be restored until next week at the earliest.

    The attack was detailed by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) in a post on its website explaining that current customers won't be penalised for being unable to pay their bills because of the incident.

    "We are a victim of a malicious cyber security attack. In the middle of an investigation, that is as far as I’m willing to go," DMEA chief exec Alyssa Clemsen Roberts told a public board meeting, as reported by a local paper.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021