Report: Broadcom cracks top 5 smartphone chipset suppliers

Chipset maker Broadcom became one of the top five smartphone applications processor suppliers for the first time in the third quarter, reflecting its growing presence on phones using Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. The researchers said in a report that Broadcom has the potential to challenge traditional smartphone silicon powerhouse Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).

The report found that the total smartphone application processor market spiked 59 percent in the third quarter to $2.24 billion. In terms of unit shipments in the quarter, Qualcomm led the market, followed by Samsung, Texas Instruments, Marvell and then Broadcom. Nvidia lost its No. 5 position in the market to Broadcom, according to Strategy Analytics.

"Thanks to the ramp up of its Android business, Broadcom finally broke into the top-five vendor list for smartphone applications processors in Q3 2011," Stuart Robinson, director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, said in a statement. "Strategy Analytics continues to believe that Broadcom has the potential to be a strong competitor to Qualcomm in the long-term, given the company's integration capabilities, cellular IP strength and strong emphasis on wireless markets."

Broadcom agreed in September to buy wireless infrastructure chipmaker NetLogic Microsystems for $3.7 billion in a bid to bolster its position in the wireless market and deliver end-to-end networking and processing platforms to customers. 

Interestingly, the report found that standalone applications processors outgrew baseband-integrated applications processors, accounting for 41 percent of total smartphone applications processor shipments in the quarter, up from 31 percent in the year-ago period. Strategy Analytics said the growth can be attributed to strong demand for dual-core processors and growth in LTE smartphone shipments, both of which are relatively new to the market and therefore not yet part of a standard integrated solution. Qualcomm, which has long been an advocate of integrating baseband processors and applications processor into a single system-on-a-chip, or SOC, has also started playing in the standalone applications processor market via its Snapdragon offerings.

For more:
- see this release
- see this VentureBeat article

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