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Small cells

Broadcom to Buy Femto Chip Startup for $86M

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) is on a serious mobile M&A jag, announcing plans to buy up femtocell chip-maker Percello Ltd. for "approximately $86 million" in cash or stock on Tuesday.

The planned buyout comes after the chip-maker announced earlier this month that it will buy Beceem Communications Inc. for US$316 million. (See Broadcom to Buy a 4G Strategy Via Beceem.)

Buying the Israeli femto startup will continue to enhance Broadcom's Long Term Evolution (LTE) strategy while adding small-cell technology to its portfolio. Percello has developed 3G system-on-a-chip (SOC) technology for femtocells and is working on LTE for home basestations. (See T-Mobile Backs Femto Chip Startup and Percello Intros HSPA+ Femto SoC.)

Broadcom could also potentially integrate femtocell technology with some of its own home gateway smarts. The firm now offers a number of reference designs for home gateways.

The move to take Percello puts Broadcom directly in competition with UK-based femto SOC-maker Picochip , which now has its own HSPA+ and LTE home base station silicon designs.

Broadcom says it expects to close the acquisition by the end of March 2011.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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