By Poornima Gupta
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Wireless chipmaker Broadcom is gearing up to launch new application processors for the lucrative and growing higher-end smartphone segment by the end of the year, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Henry Samueli said on Wednesday.
The Silicon Valley company, which makes Bluetooth and other wireless chips for phones, tablets, routers and game consoles, has invested heavily in expanding its portfolio of processors for phones that need more processing power, Samueli told Reuters in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show.
"You are going to start seeing products the end of this year and the end of next year in our portfolio that are starting to creep into the high end," Samueli said.
Application processors are the brains in smartphones, enabling a range of multimedia features like video and websurfing. Broadcom is mostly known for supplying chips targeted at feature phones and lower-priced smartphones - such as Samsung's Galaxy Y - but has been shifting its focus to address the higher-priced smartphone market.
"In term of internal capability, we are virtually there in terms of chips," Samueli said. "But getting chips qualified and designed into products, all the certification, testing, field testing, that takes time."
Broadcom is already working with smartphone makers who will be using these chips in their phones, Samueli said, but declined to name the companies.
Analysts have said the addition of higher performance chips in 2012 are critical for Broadcom to be part of top smartphone designs.
Samueli said it's a "major focus" for the company, adding that Broadcom's goal is to provide a "one-stop shop" chips platform for handset makers that integrates various types of processors.
(Reporting By Poornima Gupta; Editing by Richard Chang)