I’m sure you’ve seen the logo and/or names Broadcom or Qualcomm on some of your devices at home. Or maybe you’ve only see them in the fine print in the instruction manuals or tech specifications. At any rate Broadcom technology is in stuff that’s as ubiquitos as the Java that’s in billions of devices worldwide.
I just came across an article (Broadcom’s Tech Is in Nearly All Your Gadgets—Here’s Why That Suddenly Matters). It explains why Broadcom chips or other technology should be something to which you pay attention. Broadcom is currently facing antitrust investigations in both the US and Europe so it’s a good idea to know just how that might affect you.
Broadcom technology is built into controllers and chips for hard drives, Bluetooth and GPS devices. The company also make switches and bridges for technologies like PCI Express and Ethernet. They also manufacture customized silicon for some of the biggest names on the planet. And that’s just a few examples.
One of the products that caught my attention is a GPS chip capable of marking your location to within 12 inches! The standard now is about 16 feet! For someone who does a lot of hiking and camping in the great outdoors, that’s a huge benefit. I remember when the best GPS you could buy would “pinpoint” a location within about 1000 feet!
It turns out that if you buy any number of devices like laptop or desktop computers, smartphones or smartwatches and tablets, you’re going to have a Broadcom chip inside. Those devices need such a chip to connect to wifi and Bluetooth, or to perform that magic of wireless charging.
There’s Broadcom inside many popular laptops (Asus, Dell, Lenovo and more) as well as “Smart home devices” that need wifi and Bluetooth connections. Broadcom technology is in set-top boxes that run those big screens in your living room too.
But you don’t have to own a gizmo or gadget with a Broadcom-branded chip to be within the sphere of influence of systems built with Broadcom technology. Companies such as LinkedIn, AT&T, IBM, and Dell use Broadcom Ethernet switching technology to conduct their business activity.
So because of its incredibly broad reach (pun not really intended), the results of the antitrust investigations in America and Europe could have far reaching consequences to individuals and big business alike.
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