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LSI Logic: Consumer Chips Ripe for Consolidation

We felt, and we still do believe, that we're in as good a position as anyone -- especially with our strong balance sheet that gives us strategic alternatives -- to be a leading player across these segments.

Weights and Measures

You've spoken of needing the right scale to succeed in consumer electronics. How do you envision getting that scale?

We've been looking at a number of different strategic alternatives. We know where we're strong and we know where we have to build our competencies to fill out the platform, whether that's through collaborations, through some form of an acquisition or organic investments.

So we're going to be -- and we already are to a large degree -- exercising all of those to build our capabilities beyond just the DVD-recorder space.

What are some other consumer markets you're looking at?

We have been working over the last six months, both organically and looking at inorganic alternatives, to participate in the set-top-box market and the digital-TV market. Our next-generation Domino[X] architecture will absolutely allow us to participate in these two markets.

We're looking at how we intercept that, but also [how we] participate sooner. We do have set-top business today. It's been more of an opportunistic approach up until the last six months when we're driving more proactive strategies.

You are in talks to purchase Agere. You recently acquired Metta Technology for $7 million. LSI has $1.3 billion in cash. Let's talk a bit about these moves.

Acquisitions are simply a tool to deliver on a strategy. We know what markets we want to participate in and that tells us, "OK what are we missing to be able to be successful and what's the best way to get that, from time-to-market, leadership technology and cost?"

LSI CEO Abhi Talwalkar

In some cases we may make a small acquisition, but meaningful in terms of the skill set that we pick up to potentially something larger -- or a collaboration.

Nvidia (NVDA) recently acquired PortalPlayer (PLAY) for its system-on-a-chip technology, a similar type of technology that LSI obtained with Metta Technology. Was PortalPlayer something you considered?

We're always looking at whatever might be out there that is consistent with our strategy. The way I'd comment on that is it wasn't going to be a good fit for where we're trying to go. But you could argue that's one of those leading indicators of this market -- this category of products -- going through some level of consolidation.

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