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Business Segments (Sep. 30, 2015)
(in millions $)
III. Quarter
(of total Revenues)
(Sep. 30, 2015)
(in millions $)
III. Quarter
(Profit Margin)
133.57 100 % 6.72 5.03 %

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Growth rates by Segment (Sep. 30, 2015)
Y/Y Revenue
III. Quarter
Q/Q Revenue
(Sep. 30, 2015)
Y/Y Income
III. Quarter
Q/Q Income
-1.39 % 7.06 % 22.75 % -

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Business Segments Description


PMC-Sierra designs, develops, markets and supports a broad range of high-performance integrated circuits, which process analog and digital signals in a wide range of speeds and comply with multiple protocols, used in the telecommunications and data networking industries.

We have more than 180 revenue-producing products in our portfolio. Many of our products are designed with standardized interfaces between chips so our customers can easily develop and implement solutions involving multiple PMC-Sierra products.

We sell our networking products primarily into four areas of the worldwide network infrastructure, which we call the Access, Metro, Enterprise/Storage, and Consumer-related markets. The following describes PMC-Sierra’s view of these markets and some typical equipment that may include our chips and chipsets.  Due to the complexity of the telecommunications network, it is not possible to sharply delineate networking functions or markets served. In addition, many of our products may be used in multiple classes of networking equipment that are deployed across all of the market areas identified below, while some of our other products have highly specialized applications. For example, our microprocessors can be used in many networking equipment applications (such as high-speed routers or networked printers), while our Paladin chip may only be used in a single application (power amplification for wireless base stations). In some situations, different OEMs might use our chips or chipsets in equipment addressing more than one of the market areas noted below. Further, during the lifecycle of their products, our customers from time to time may redesign their products and exclude our products from the new design. We are not always aware when customers undertake such actions.

While our current product development efforts are focused on each of the following network infrastructure areas, we derive less than 10% of our current revenues from the storage and consumer markets. One of our key strategies is expand our business in these markets.

• Access: this area of the telecommunications network infrastructure encompasses wired and wireless equipment that aggregates transmissions from the home or office and connects that traffic to the metro and the wide area network (WAN). For example, our semiconductors would be used in equipment such as add-drop multiplexers (which add and drop signals and streams of data from optical networks) and switches (which direct the data traffic to other destinations within the network). The Access area of the network involves not only aggregation equipment but also termination equipment, which separates trunk data signals into lower speed, tributary data signals. Many of our networking devices used in wireline communications infrastructure are also deployed in the uplink of wireless data traffic to the network.

• Metro: the metropolitan area of the internet infrastructure is predominantly a fiber optic-based network that provides high-speed communications and data transfer over a city center or regional area. This portion of the network manages traffic inside its own region and manages traffic between the access and long-haul transport networks for inter-city or international transmission. Our products are used in metro equipment such as multi-service switches and routers that gather and process signals in different protocols, and then transmit them to the next destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. The next-generation equipment in the metro portion of the network that can handle different data protocols is often referred to as multi-service provisioning platforms (MSPPs).

• Enterprise/Storage: this area of the network includes equipment that is deployed primarily in the office for data communications and other local area network applications. Our products are used in equipment such as laser printers for the office, as well as switches and storage devices that enable data to be transferred to local telecommunications networks. It also includes storage area networks and storage systems equipment that manage, transmit and store large quantities of data utilized by enterprises, corporations and government agencies.

• Consumer: While not generally considered part of the network infrastructure, the consumer area includes equipment, used primarily by individuals in their homes for entertainment and communications purposes that require interfaces with the telecommunications network. For example, some of our lower-end microprocessors are used in equipment such as set-top boxes, high-definition TVs, and personal video recorders.

Our chips and chipsets can also be divided into the broadly defined functional categories identified below. As with descriptions of the network, particular categories may overlap and a device may be present in more than one category. In addition, some products, particularly multiple chip sets, integrate different functions and could be classified in one or more categories. For example, some of our products convert high-speed analog signals to digital signals and split or combine various transmission signals.

• Line interface units: these devices, also referred to as transceivers, transmit and receive signals over a physical medium such as wire, cable or fiber. The line interface unit determines the speed and timing characteristics of the signals, and may also convert them from a serial stream of data into a parallel stream before they are further processed for transmission to the next destination.

• Framers and mappers: before the data can be sent to the next destination, it must be converted into a proper format for transmission in the network. For example, the framing function arranges the bits into different size formats, commonly referred to as “cell” or “packet” formats, and attaches the appropriate information to the formats to ensure they reach their destinations. In turn, this data may be inserted into other frames, such as SONET frames, for transmission across high-speed fiber optics.

• Packet and cell processors: these devices examine the contents of cells, or packets, and perform various management and reporting functions. For instance, a switch or router may use a packet or cell processor to determine if a signal is voice or video in order to allocate the proper amount of bandwidth.

• Traffic managers and switch fabrics: traffic managers organize, schedule  and queue cells and packets into and out of switches. Switch fabrics interconnect the wires and fibers, allowing the data to be routed to its intended destination.

• Microprocessors: these devices perform the high-speed computations that help identify and control the flow of signals and data in many different types of network equipment used in the communications, enterprise and consumer markets.

• Serializers/Deserializers: these devices convert networking traffic between slower speed parallel streams and higher speed serial streams. OEMs use serial streams to reduce networking equipment line connections, and parallel streams to allow them to apply lower cost traffic management technologies.


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