Along the halls of the Consumer Electronics Show, its impossible to ignore the international feel of the show. Attendees flock to Las Vegas from around the world and converge on the show floor speaking dozens of languages.
As a global company, Broadcom certainly launches products that drive innovation in different international markets and has an interest in demonstrating the technology trends from across the globe.
At the show this week, Broadcom hosted a press conference for the journalists who traversed oceans to get to Las Vegas, highlighting products launches designed specifically for those outside North America. More than a dozen journalists from all over Asia attended the event and peppered executives with questions. They asked about the company’s two largest broadband-related announcements, which are aimed squarely at emerging markets where high-speed Internet access is still making its way into homes and must be offered cheaply and efficiently.
Broadcom is hardly new to the ADSL router market. The new low-cost, low-power chip it announced at the show is actually the ninth iteration of a technology that carriers and consumers have been relying upon for years. The BCM6318 represents an ever-faster and less costly way to bring homes online, with Ethernet ports, USB 2.0 ports, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
In many Asian countries, DSL is still the dominant delivery method for high-speed home Internet, but in China, where 300 million people are expected to move from rural areas to urban areas in the next 15 years, fiber-to-the-home technology is in high demand. Broadcom’s newest GPON (gigabit passive optical network) home gateway unit launch will make those burgeoning installations easier. The new GPON system-on-a-chip meets China Telecom’s exacting E8C standard, as well.
At the event, Gregory Fischer, Broadcom’s vice president and general manager of carrier access in the Broadband Communications Group, elaborated about the efficiency of the GPON unit’s design but also took questions about other broadband technologies, including Small Cell base stations and Powerline networks. Fischer encouraged the reporters on-hand to look forward to potential announcements in this areas at the next major international tech conference on the horizon: Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona next month.
During the press event, reporters also got a chance to get their hands on one of Broadcom’s many smartphone reference design units. Michael Civiello, senior director of product marketing in the Mobile & Wireless Group , explained the finer points of Broadcom’s power-efficient 3G chipset designs and pointed out the details that phone-maker partners have opted to retain in their branded smartphones for consumers in China and other emerging markets.
These reference designs help manufacturers get their phones into production quickly, according to Civiello. “We’re very interested in getting into high-volume markets with chips that are lower-priced but more efficient,” he said.