Motorola, Conexant forge broadband deal

Motorola Inc. signed a multi-year agreement to jointly define, develop and manufacture equipment for broadband communications devices with chip maker Conexant Systems Inc., the companies announced Tuesday.

Conexant will supply standard cable modem chipsets to Motorola's broadband communications sector, a Conexant spokeswoman said. Conexant will also be a second source for chipsets for Motorola's semiconductor products sector.

"We will sell to a business unit in Motorola, which will sell to another business unit in Motorola, which will sell to customers," said Lisa Briggs, a Conexant spokeswoman. She declined to release financial details of the deal.

The two companies plan to create new, customized silicon components for cable modems, set-top terminals and voice-over-IP (VoIP) products, for use in Motorola's broadband communications division. Conexant makes semiconductors for communications devices.

Both companies have had hard times in recent months. Motorola reported its first operating loss in 15 years last week, losing US$206 million in the first quarter. The company has slashed jobs and expenses, as has Conexant.

Conexant warned investors in March of greater losses than expected for its March-ending second quarter, citing continued weak demand and excess channel inventory. Conexant cut 1,500 jobs -- 20 percent of its workforce -- and temporarily shut down its wafer-fabrication facilities in Newport Beach and Newbury Park, California. Conexant announces its second-quarter earnings on Thursday.

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