Broadcom buys network-gear software maker

Broadcom has agreed to buy LVL7, a supplier of software for networking gear

Broadcom, one of networking's biggest chip makers, is buying a vendor of production-ready software for network gear.

LVL7 Systems sells software that runs switches and routers for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). By delivering that software to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and ODMs (original design manufacturers) and integrating and testing it with their products, LVL7 cuts development costs and time to market.

Broadcom will pay about US$62 million in cash for LVL7, based in North Carolina, U.S. The deal, announced Wednesday, has been approved by both companies' boards and LVL7 shareholders, and it should close by the end of the year, according to the companies.

Broadcom supplies various chips to some of the biggest names in networking, including Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola. LVL7 will let it deliver a complete package of hardware and software to vendors making SMB equipment, helping them more quickly bring out new products and enter new technology areas, such as wireless LAN switching, according to the companies. LVL7 said Broadcom has been a partner for several years.

LVL7, founded in 1999, has about 170 employees split between its U.S. facilities and Hyderabad, India. They will become Broadcom employees and remain in those locations, said Broadcom spokeswoman Gennis Lafayette.

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