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Broadcom's Back on the Offensive

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you ever had doubts as to the "cutthroat" nature of some industries, you should look no further than the tech sector -- particularly in the semiconductors, where rivals want nothing more than to put each other out of business.

While you'll get no argument from me that Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) deserves to be considered as the gold standard among the group, it's nonetheless remarkable how quickly investors have hopped off the Broadcom (BRCM - Get Report) bandwagon.

I'm not going to blow smoke and tell you that all is well with the company. The recent 7% growth in the mobile/wireless business, which fell short of estimates by nearly 10%, shouldn't be ignored.

But I don't believe that this one quarter has now relegated Broadcom to the lower-tier chip class, which is occupied by (among others) Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report). And if Broadcom's recent acquisition serves as indication, the company fully intends to get on the offensive. It is also clear that under no certain terms does management plan to cede the mobile market to Qualcomm.

In a deal that went relatively unnoticed, Broadcom acquired LTE-related assets from affiliates of Renesas Electronics for $164 million. LTE, which stands for long-term evolution, is a communication standard for mobile devices, such as those produced by Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Samsung (SSNLF). Given the lack of attention that this deal has gotten, it seems as if the Street continues to underestimate this management team.

Essentially, Broadcom is gaining assets that are industry-tested and ready for volume production today. Not to mention, these included dual-core LTE SoC (system-on chips). What this means is that, although Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 continues to be the most widely used chip on the market, Broadcom's no longer just chopped liver. And management demonstrated strong confidence that it can harvest value from this transaction.

The Street, meanwhile, didn't share in the optimism. But given that these newly acquired LTE assets are already carrier-validated by leading global operators in North America, Japan and Europe, investors shouldn't discount the fact that Broadcom's ability to integrate circuit components onto a single chip has just meaningfully improved.

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