Semiconductor provider Broadcom corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Beceem communications, inc., a privately held company that provides fourth-generation (4G) wireless platform solutions. recently, Beceem garnered headlines by announcing a 4G multimode platform that can support Long term evolution (Lte) and WimAX 4G networks. By supporting peak broadband download speeds to 200 mb/s, this technology promises to enable true mobile-broadband connectivity for smartphones, mobile computing, consumer-electronics products, and wireless gateways.

With the acquisition of Beceem, Broadcom gains a team with expertise in developing and selling 4G solutions for equipment providers and operators. Broadcom already boasts third-/secondgeneration (3G/2G) cellular solutions, wireless local-area networking (WLAn), Bluetooth, GpS, ethernet switching, and other associated intellectual property (ip). When combined with Beceem's 4G technology, those offerings should enable combined customers to accelerate the availability of highly integrated, lowercost, 4G wireless-broadband devices.

In connection with the acquisition, Broadcom expects to pay approximately $316 millionnet of cash assumedto acquire all outstanding shares of capital stock and other equity rights of Beceem. the purchase price will be paid in cash. the portion attributable to unvested employee stock options, however, will be paid in stock options exercisable for shares of Broadcom's common stock. A portion of the cash consideration payable to the stockholders will be placed into escrow pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement. excluding any purchase-accounting-related adjustments and fair-value measurements, Broadcom expects the acquisition of Beceem to be neutral to earnings in 2011.

"The combination of Beceem and Broadcom creates a leader in providing multimode wireless connectivity solutions to service providers and equipment manufacturers around the world," says Scott Bibaud, Broadcom's executive vice president & General manager of the mobile platforms Group.

The two companies' boards of directors have approved the merger. the transaction is expected to close in Broadcom's fourth quarter of 2010 or by the end of Broadcom's first quarter, which is march 31, 2011. For more information, visit www.broadcom.com.