Broadcom launches new chips to “connect everything”

broadcom logoChip maker Broadcom wants its chips to be the heart of connected consumer gear. The company announced today its array of new chips being launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

Broadcom is a huge publicly-traded chip maker that contends with the likes of Intel, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Freescale. So its new technologies span most of the industry sectors such as set-top boxes, digital video, wireless connectivity and mobile phones. Its core mission is connecting everything. It’s one of the key players in the battle for everything digital, everywhere.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company will demo communication between set-tops, digital TVs, broadband routers, and Blu-ray players. To date, the company has shipped two billion wireless chips.

Broadcom said at its analyst meeting in December that it had large numbers of combination chips — those that marry multiple radios on a chip, without interference — to bring together Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other wireless technologies at the lowest power levels and costs. Broadcom wireless executive Robert Rango also said last month the company would launch a combination chip every couple of months in 2010.

The company says a number of netbooks — which are smaller than laptops and are meant for surfing the web — will use its chips. Those netbooks are getting more and more capable, with support for web-streaming apps and high-definition video. The company is also pushing 3-D TV technologies to deliver more movie-like experiences in the home. Broadcom reported revenue of $4.6 billion in 2008, and it has more than 3,650 U.S. patents.

If the company has its way, its components will infiltrate the portable electronics gear that we are beginning to use in all parts of our lives. And it means the expensive stuff that people with a lot of money can buy will be in mainstream gadgets in the not-so-distant future.