Late last year Broadcom paid $3.7 billion for NetLogic, a maker of chips and other silicon products designed specifically for networking environments, and this week it unveiled the first product that’s based on technology from the firm. The new 28-nanometer processor is faster, more economic and handles big data workloads better than the competition, according to Broadcom chief executive Scott McGregor.
The XLP 200-Series is a high-end chip that’s particularly good at trafficking millions of small data units with minimal lag – a huge differentiator in case any action is carried out on all that data, such as analysis and encryption. According to McGregor the chip offers four times the performance as some of its rivals, while only using up 60 percent of the electricity. Broadcom hopes that the overhead reduction will be enough to justify the premium:
“This is a pretty serious product,” McGregor says. And the new chip is not cheap. Broadcom, which doesn’t typically disclose pricing when it announces products, sells chips that range from single-digit dollars to thousands of dollars. “This is more in the latter category,” explains McGregor.
The XLP 200 is the first major advancement Broadcom can credit to the NetLogic acquisition. It’s also a much needed addition to its line-up, now that other vendors are also starting to address trends such as big data and software-defined networking.
Broadcom is certainly keeping its engineers busy, and its legal department is not slacking off either. The company recently reached a settlement with ItoM, a Dutch firm with a very intimidating patent portfolio: the Philips spin-off accused Broadcom, Qualcomm and several other big-name vendors in the mobile industry of violating two patents that cover transceiver technology. In August charges against the two firms were dropped after they apparently reached a settlement.