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Broadcom Introduces New Chip for Telephone Service Via Cable

September 21, 2000|KAREN ALEXANDER

High-speed communications chip maker Broadcom Corp. this week trotted out its first chip that enables cable service providers to offer customers telephone service over existing cable lines.

This is a new market for the Irvine company, which already has cable modem products that handle data and television traffic.

What makes the chip unique is its low power requirements, says Rich Nelson, a Broadcom marketing director. Other products on the market rely on battery back-up to insure that users can call for help in case of a blackout. This product draws its power from the cable network, so a battery is not needed.

Conexant Systems Inc. in neighboring Newport Beach also brought out new products this week.

One is a set of chips for global positioning systems for automobiles, wireless telephones and hand-held devices. The systems will allow users to find such information as directions, directories and maps based on their current location.

The company also touted a fast new chip for routing data through computer networks and a new technical design for digital cameras. The new design, it says, will enable longer battery life and a smaller camera size for still photography.

Karen Alexander covers high technology for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-5637 or at

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