Broadcom Inc.

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Broadcom Inc.
FormerlyHP Associates (1961–1999)
Agilent Semiconductor Products Group (1999–2005)
Avago Technologies (2005–2016)
Broadcom Limited (2016–2018)
Computer software
Founded1961; 61 years ago (1961)
HeadquartersSan Jose, California, U.S.
Key people
Henry Samueli
Tan Hock Eng
(President and CEO)
ProductsSemiconductor and infrastructure software products
RevenueIncrease US$27.45 billion (2021)
Increase US$8.52 billion (2021)
Increase US$6.74 billion (2021)
Total assetsDecrease US$75.57 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease US$24.96 billion (2021)
Number of employees
20,000 (Oct 2021)
Footnotes / references

Broadcom Inc. is an American designer, developer, manufacturer and global supplier of a wide range of semiconductor and infrastructure software products. Broadcom's product offerings serve the data center, networking, software, broadband, wireless, and storage and industrial markets.

Tan Hock Eng is the company's president and CEO.[4][5] The company is headquartered in San Jose, California.[6][7][8][9] Avago Technologies Limited took the Broadcom part of the Broadcom Corporation name after acquiring it in January 2016. The ticker symbol AVGO that represented old Avago now represents the new merged entity. The Broadcom Corporation ticker symbol BRCM was retired.

Broadcom has a long history of corporate transactions (or attempted transactions) with other prominent corporations mainly in the high-technology space.

In October 2019, the European Union issued an interim antitrust order against Broadcom concerning anticompetitive business practices which allegedly violate European Union competition law.[10]


20th century[edit]

The company that would later become Broadcom Inc. was established in 1961 as HP Associates, a semiconductor products division of Hewlett-Packard.[11] The division separated from Hewlett-Packard as part of Agilent Technologies in 1999, and was then renamed Agilent Semiconductor Products Group.[7][9][12]


KKR and Silver Lake Partners acquired the chip division of Agilent Technologies in 2005 for $2.6 billion and formed Avago Technologies.[7] Avago Technologies agreed to sell its I/O solutions unit to PMC-Sierra for $42.5 million in October 2005.[13] In August 2008, the company filed an initial public offering of $400 million.[14][15] In October 2008, Avago Technologies acquired Infineon Technologies' Munich-based bulk acoustic wave business for €21.5 million.[16] On 6 August 2009, Avago Technologies went public on NASDAQ with the ticker symbol AVGO.[12][17]


Broadcom office in Hyderabad, India

Avago Technologies announced its agreement to acquire CyOptics, an optical chip and component supplier, for $400 million in April 2013.[18][19] The acquisition aimed to expand Avago Technologies' fiber optics product portfolio.[19] In October 2013, Avago Technologies invested $5 million in Amantys, a power electronics technology provider, as part of a strategic investment agreement between the two companies.[20] Avago Technologies announced its agreement to acquire LSI Corporation in December 2013 for $6.6 billion.[7][9][17][21][22] The acquisition helped move Avago Technologies away from specialized products and towards a more mainstream industry, which included chips, especially storage for data centers.[22]

The company sold its SSD controller business to Seagate Technology in May 2014.[23] In August 2014, the company was the ninth largest semiconductor company.[8] Avago Technologies agreed to sell LSI's Axxia Networking business to Intel for $650 million.[12][24] The company also agreed to buy PLX Technology, an integrated circuits designer, for $309 million.[25] In February 2015, it was announced that Avago Technologies Limited had reached an agreement to acquire Emulex Corporation for $8 per share in cash.[26]

On 28 May 2015, Avago announced that it would buy Broadcom Corporation[27] for $37 billion ($17 billion cash and $20 billion in shares).[28] The combined company, which would be named Broadcom Ltd., would have annual revenue of $15 billion and a market value of $77 billion.[29] Broadcom Corp. strengthened Avago Technologies' patent position significantly in sectors such as mobile, the data center and the Internet of Things and made the company the ninth largest holder of patents among the top semiconductor vendors, according to an analysis by technology consulting firm LexInnova.[30] According to the company's web site, the transaction closed on 1 February 2016.[31]

In 2016, Broadcom proposed merging with Brocade Communications Systems. The merger was delayed for review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. In 2017, Broadcom announced it would relocate its legal address from Singapore to Delaware, which would avoid the review.[32] This action was linked to the parent company being renamed from Broadcom Ltd. to Broadcom Inc.[33] The pre-2016-merger Broadcom, Broadcom Corp., remains as a wholly owned subsidiary of the renamed parent Broadcom Inc.

In November 2017, Broadcom proposed to purchase Qualcomm for US$130 billion, which was rebuffed by Qualcomm's board.[34] The proposed hostile takeover, which was later revised to $117 billion, was blocked by the Trump administration by an executive order that cited national security concerns.[35][36][37][38] Specifically, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States expressed concerns that, due to Broadcom's close ties with China and Chinese chipmaker Huawei, the deal would result in Huawei gaining dominance in 5G and other technologies to the detriment of U.S. national security.[39] However, critics of the move stated that the decision was motivated by competitiveness more than security concerns.[40]

On 11 July 2018, news sources reported that Broadcom and CA Technologies agreed on terms for $18.9 billion acquisition.[41] And on 5 November 2018, Broadcom announced that it had completed the acquisition of CA Technologies.[42]

On 9 August 2019, news sources reported that Broadcom had decided to acquire the enterprise security business of Symantec Corporation (the consumer software portion of which is now known as NortonLifeLock) for $10.7 billion in cash.[43] And on 4 November 2019, Broadcom announced that it had completed the acquisition of the business, as well as the Symantec name and brand.[44][45][46][47][48] In 2019, Broadcom was announced the 5th best stock of the 2010s, with a total return of 1,956%.[49] In October 2019, Broadcom was ordered by the European Union to stop allegedly anticompetitive practices.[10]


On January 7, 2020, Accenture PLC had agreed to acquire Symantec's 300-person cybersecurity services division from Broadcom.[50] In February 2020, Broadcom announced the world's first WiFi 6E client device, the BCM4389.[51]

In May 2022, Broadcom announced their deal to acquire the virtualization and cloud computing software vendor VMware for $61 billion in a combination of cash and stock, with Broadcom assuming $8 billion in VMware debt.[52][53][54] In November 2022, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority regulator announced it would investigate whether the Broadcom Inc. acquisition of VMware Inc. would "result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services".[55][56]


An Apple AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi card that uses a Broadcom chip.

Broadcom provides a broad range of semiconductor and infrastructure software applications that serve the data center (mainframes), networking, software, broadband, wireless, and storage and industrial markets. Common applications for its products include: data center networking, home connectivity, broadband access, telecommunications equipment, smartphones, base stations, data center servers and storage, factory automation, power generation and alternative energy systems, displays, and mainframe operations and management, and application software development.

Some of Broadcom's core technologies and franchise products include:

Networking devices[edit]

Optical technologies[edit]

  • Copper/Optical PHYs
  • Switching Fabrics
  • Analog & DSP SerDes
  • FBAR & RF Front-Ends
  • SAS/SATA/FC/PCIe/Read-Channel
  • VCSEL/DFB Optics
  • Optical Sensing
  • Enterprise Infrastructure Software

Franchise products[edit]

  • Cable/Sat/IP Set-Top Box SoCs
  • Cable Modem/CMTS SoCs
  • Wireless Connectivity Combos
  • Ethernet NICs/Controllers/PHYs
  • Ethernet Switching/Routing SoCs
  • Network Processor SoCs
  • RF Filter and Front-End Modules
  • ASICs (Networking and Compute)
  • HDD/SSD Controllers & HDD PreAmps
  • Enterprise SAS/SATA/FC/PCIe
  • Optical Isolation/Motion Encoders/LED
  • Fiber Optic Products
  • Mainframe Management & Analytics Software
  • Enterprise Software Applications

Data storage[edit]

Systems on a chip (SoCs) for hardrives that embeds read channels, hard disk controllers, PHYs, and DDR memory interfaces on one single silicon chip.[57]


As of 2022 Broadcom has offered Enterprise software.[58]

Symantec enterprise security[edit]

Broadcom operates its enterprise security business under the Symantec brand; Broadcom purchased this business from NortonLifeLock (formerly known as Symantec) in 2019.[59]

BizOps technology[edit]

Broadcom also offers products for supporting BizOps, including:[60]

  • Clarity - product portfolio management
  • Rally - agile development, Blaze CT- Shift-left testing
  • DX Operational Intelligence - AIOps.
  • Agile Requirements Designer - model-based testing optimization of processes


Stock options backdating[edit]

In 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged executives of Broadcom with fraudulently backdating stock options. Through the scheme, company executives allegedly avoided reporting $2.22 billion in compensation expenses. The company also allegedly overstated its income by between 15% and 422%, and understated its loss by between 16% and 38%, according to the SEC.[61]

A judge dismissed the charges against company executives Henry Nicholas and Henry Samueli, citing witness intimidation on the part of prosecutors. The judge also dismissed charges against chief financial officer William Ruehle.[62] In the end, the company had to pay $160M to settle with the SEC.[63]

Patent suits[edit]

In 2020, Broadcom sued Netflix over multiple patent infringements. Critics have argued that Broadcom is suing Netflix for being more successful,[64] citing the declining number of traditional pay television subscribers due to the rise of streaming services.[65] The Leichtman Research Group calculated that the largest pay TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 95% of the market – lost about 4,915,000 net video subscribers in 2019.[65] Regular customers each pay $231 a year for their boxes. That's almost 20 billion dollars a year in profit for the cable industry.[64]

In 2017, Broadcom filed similar patent suits against smart TV manufacturers. The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in favor of the smart TV manufacturers.[66]

Anticompetitive practices[edit]

In 2021, Broadcom agreed to settle an antitrust complaint, in which the U.S. Federal Trade Commission claimed that the company abused its monopoly power using restrictive contract terms and threats of retaliation against customers the company deemed "disloyal."[67] The company faced a similar antitrust proceeding with the European Commission, which was settled after Broadcom committed to refrain from certain business practices. This included a commitment to suspend agreements containing exclusivity or quasi-exclusivity arrangements and a commitment not to enter into such agreements for seven years.[68]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]