Broadcom on Wednesday said it will acquire Beceem Communications, which provides 4G chips that support both Long-Term Evolution and WiMax, for $316 million.
The deal comes as a bevy of chipmakers aim to set themselves up for 4G networks. Intel CEO Paul Otellini on Tuesday said the company is working to add in 3G and ultimately LTE into its Atom chips.
Beceem delivered the first chip to support both LTE and WiMax networks. The technology can support downloads of up to 200 Mbps. In the U.S., Beceem's platform powers Clearwire's WiMax network.
Broadcom's plan is to combine its 3G, wireless networking and other products with Beceem's 4G. Broadcom also gets engineering talent in India and other locales. The general idea is to support existing 3G networks while offering a bridge to 4G.
According to Broadcom, the Beceem acquisition will be neutral to earnings in 2011.