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Broadcom Lands Chips in TiVo Video Recorder

Broadcom Lands Chips in TiVo Video Recorder

Irvine Sensors Exec Adds President’s Title; TransDimension Ships Camera Chip


by Andrew Simons

Irvine’s Broadcom Corp., which recently lost out on a design win for Motorola Inc., landed one with TiVo Inc.

Alviso-based TiVo recently said it plans to use two Broadcom chips in the latest design of its video recorders, which use disk drives instead of videotape to record shows.

The devices also allow for pausing and rewinding of programs as you watch them.

“Broadcom’s ability to provide products addressing leading-edge television functionality helps us to provide this optimal consumer experience,” said Ta-Wei Chien, TiVo’s vice president of technology and licensing.

The TiVo win came on the heels of a design loss with longtime customer Motorola to Texas Instruments Inc., which sent Broadcom shares tumbling 12% the day the news broke.

Motorola accounts for about 14% of Broadcom’s sales.

Broadcom’s financial chief William Ruehle downplayed the Texas Instruments deal, saying it would not affect sales.

“It’s not replacing Broadcom business,” he told Reuters, saying Texas Instruments would only become an extra source of chips for Motorola. “This would have no impact on our expectations going forward.”

Broadcom has said it expects June quarter sales growth in the “mid-single digits” and September quarter sales in the “low double-digits.”

Speaking of Broadcom

Eileen Algaze, a former public relations manager for Broadcom who left the company after a successful fight against colon cancer, is back in action.

This time Algaze is representing Alpha Industries Inc., which in June is set to acquire the wireless business of Broadcom rival Conexant Systems Inc., Newport Beach.

“I thought it would be all right because it’s just the cell phone business and it’s not a part that competes directly with Broadcom,” Algaze said. “If it were, it would have been a real conflict.”

Algaze also does some freelance work for Broadcom.

Algaze is a PR professional about town. She was a spokeswoman for nine years at Rockwell Semiconductor, including during its spinoff as Conexant.

Before moving to Broadcom, she jumped to Irvine-based Quest Software Inc., which makes database management and retrieval software.

Irvine Sensors Gets New President

Costa Mesa’s Irvine Sensors Corp. gave more titles to an already double-titled John Carson, the company’s chief technology officer and chief operating officer. Carson now serves as the company’s president.

The company wasn’t available for comment, but it seems Carson will be taking some duties from Chief Executive Robert Richards, who’s got his hands full seeking funding for some of Irvine Sensors’ more promising businesses.

Carson’s new title comes at a tenuous time for the company, which is looking to fund a so-called “super-router” that aims to move data along at speeds much faster than routers in use today.

Last year, the company saw the bankruptcy of its once-promising Silicon Film Technologies unit, which offered a canister that turned film cameras into digital ones.

The unit’s technology sparked investor interest, but Irvine Sensors couldn’t get it up to volume production. Several investors in the Silicon Film subsidiary had pulled out, citing issues with management.

In the past month the company’s stock has climbed from below a buck to as high as 3.50. The company has faced several class-action lawsuits for allegedly misleading investors and artificially inflating its stock.

TransDimension Ships Camera Chip

The next digital camera you buy could have a chip from Irvine’s TransDimension Inc.

The company recently said it shipped a chip that allows cameras to link straight to other devices without having to go through a computer,a feature the industry calls “USB On-The-Go.”

USB is short for universal serial bus, a port used to connect cameras, printers and other devices to personal computers.

Presently, all USB connections go through a PC.

The company also whipped its recently acquired SoftConnex subsidiary into action, including some software from the company with the chip to help designers more quickly add the circuit into new products.

The company doesn’t disclose who its customers are.

“Our sole commitment to developing interconnectivity solutions for the embedded marketplace puts us in the unique position to address customer requirements in a timely fashion and with superior solutions that are fully integrated,” said TransDimension marketing vice president David Murray.

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