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Broadcom Hot on MoCA

Jeff Baumgartner

5:15 PM -- Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) may be playing its Docsis 3.0 modem chipset plans close to the vest, but it's gearing up to take a gamble on a strategy centered on Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) , a coax-based high-speed networking platform that can shuttle multiple streams of high-definition video around the house. At least that much was clear when the company conducted its third quarter earnings call yesterday. (See Broadcom Reports Q3.)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s already a heavy MoCA user, but cable operators are expected to adopt it as well for multi-room DVRs and other video-centric home networking applications. Apparently that gives Broadcom enough of a reason to make some hay on its acquisition of Octalica last year. (See Broadcom Jump Starts MOCA Strategy.)

Broadcom, which is looking to give Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) a run for its money in the MoCA silicon sphere, will integrate MoCA into its line of broadband modem, home router, and set-top chipsets, according to company president and CEO Scott McGregor. (See Entropic Goes Gold.)

"We are going to use [MoCA] across a variety of things... We'll use it not just in set-top boxes but also a variety of cable modems and even things like TV sets," he said, the latter a reference to Broadcom's acquisition of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD)'s digital TV division. (See Broadcom Buys AMD's DTV Unit.)

But MoCA won't be the only place Broadcom will hang its hat for networking HD streams in the home. "We are big fans of 802.11n," McGregor adds. "I would say those [MoCA and 802.11n] are certainly two technologies we think are going to very important in connecting the home going forward."

And, like last quarter, he gave relative short shrift to Docsis 3.0, still viewing it as a 2009 play. (See Broadcom Shrugs Off Docsis 3.0.) Broadcom's been hush-hush about its silicon roadmap for the platform, and there was no change in that posture on yesterday's call.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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