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Sigma vs. Broadcom

2:00 PM -- If nothing else, Sigma Designs Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGM) is having a good laugh over Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) entering its main market.

Broadcom announced yesterday that it's been certified for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Mediaroom, meaning Broadcom's media processors can officially be used in set-top boxes for Mediaroom-powered IPTV deployments. (See Broadcom Completes Mediaroom Integration.)

"Microsoft and Broadcom working together is the oldest news in the industry. They've been working together for two years now," says Ken Lowe, vice president of marketing for Sigma. "It's the longest integration cycle I've ever seen."

He's got a point. On isolated days during the past two years, Sigma's stock has taken occasional dips on word that Broadcom is close to getting certification, or close to landing a Mediaroom set-top deal with someone like Motorola. (See Sigma's Luck Goes Omega, Sigma Bounces Back, and Sigma Sinks on Broadcom Scare.)

[Sigma shares rose 49 cents (3.3%) to $15.34 yesterday. And by the way, Sigma's own Mediaroom certification took 12 to 18 months, depending on when you start counting.]

Lowe isn't discounting Broadcom's presence. Sigma has already admitted that it's feeling more pressure from the likes of Broadcom and STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM). And Sigma does have something to lose -- three fourths of its revenues come from IPTV, and half of that from Mediaroom deployments, Lowe estimates.

Broadcom, by the way, wasn't available for comment; their folks were en route to Amsterdam for the IBC show.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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