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Thursday, January 25, 2007, 03:05 pm PT (06:05 pm ET)

Apple seen expanding Broadcom touch technology to future devices

Touch-screen technology from Broadcom currently featured in Apple's iPhone is likely to spread to additional consumer electronics devices from the iPod maker, UBS Investment Research said this week.

Analyst Alex Gauna, who on Thursday raised his rating on Broadcom to a Buy, said he foresees "a far larger opportunity" for the semiconductor firm's touch-screen technology than simply in the iPhone.

"Checks indicate application in larger screen displays, and we believe it makes sense that Apple will migrate this technology beyond the iPhone and into its broader MP3, Apple TV/iMac, and notebook offerings over time," he wrote in a note to clients.

Although early parts analyses from research firms indicate that the iPhone employs a touch-screen manufactured by Sharp, a report released by BMO Capital in December implied the handset would utilize an SoC from Broadcom to enable the onscreen touch functionality.

In its report, BMO added that the interface was likely to show up in next-generation media players as well.

Earlier this week Broadcom said it was restating financial results from 1998 to 2005 to reflect $2.2 billion in costs for its part in corporate America's ongoing options backdating quagmire. It's believed to be the largest restatement thus far by a company implicated in the scandal.