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Broadcom finds GPS plan

US chip shop Broadcom, announced the acquisition of GPS specialists Global Locate on Tuesday, a company which produces GPS and A-GPS chipsets and software, as well as operating a network of A-GPS reference transmitters.

Broadcom has been making headlines recently for its lawsuit with Qualcomm, which resulted in a Federal ban on Qualcomm 3G chips being shipped to the US.

But in case Qualcomm gets the ban overturned, Broadcom’s acquisition of a GPS shop will better position it to fight its corner in the 3G market.

“With the acquisition of Global Locate, Broadcom will be the only semiconductor supplier in the world with top-tier customers in Bluetooth, wifi, FM radio and GPS, four of the key wireless technologies now being added to next generation mobile phones,” said Robert Rango, senior vice president and general manager of Broadcom’s Wireless Connectivity Group.

And let’s not forget the patents, Global Locate has a portfolio of over 175 issued and pending US and foreign patents.

“The combination of Global Locate’s navigation expertise with Broadcom’s well-known leadership in CMOS RF technology will enable Broadcom to develop a new generation of standalone GPS chips as well as GPS chips that incorporate other wireless standards, accelerating the adoption of GPS into all sorts of consumer devices,” said Scott Pomerantz, president and CEO of Global Locate. Broadcom is paying out $146m in cash for the firm, with a further $80M being reserved for a further payout depending on performance criteria being met.

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