Broadcom Corp., looking to speed up development of microchips that will go into the next generation of cellular devices, has acquired Santa Clara-based Beceem Communications Inc. for $316 million.
Chips from Irvine-based Broadcom currently power mobile devices including Apple Inc.'s iPad and iPhone, but have until now been largely limited to older-generation 2G and 3G devices.
Beceem, whose engineering hub is in Bangalore, India, manufactures microchips that work with newer cellular networks that will double or triple the speed of wireless devices in the coming years. By building Beceem's technology into its own chips, Broadcom wants to enable devices to take advantage of both existing networks and the faster ones — often referred to as 4G — currently under development.
Beceem's chips work with 4G technologies such as WiMax and LTE (Long Term Evolution), the fast new mode of voice and data transmission that Verizon Wireless and other major mobile carriers will roll out later this year.