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This Is the Future for Smartphones: Broadcom CEO

As the smartphone revolution continues to accelerate, Broadcom's CEO Scott McGregor is in a unique position to see the future of this key market. He spoke with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Wednesday about earnings and his perspective on the market.

"We did have a great quarter and it was better than expected," he said, which was driven by technologies like 5G Wi-Fi and new based bands. "The pipeline is definitely getting richer."

(Related: Mobile Growth Boosts Broadcom's Earnings)

McGregor said that the future of innovation in smartphones will focus on things like near field communication (NFC), which will allow users to interact with other devices within a close proximity. NFC can be used for activities like mobile payments or data exchange and will be more available in the next year, he said.

McGregor also said 5G Wi-Fi holds promise, offering wireless LAN with "twice the range, three times as fast, and your battery lasts a lot longer. It enables you to do video, it enables you to do all kinds of things to really improve that performance. Those are the kinds of innovations we're driving."

"Broadcom is in almost every new cool smartphone that comes out," he said. Another new technology he expects to see gain traction is indoor location, which would map venues like malls or sports arenas much like more traditional location services for navigating roadways.

In Apple's earnings report Tuesday, the company announced a plan to return $100 billion in cash to shareholders through buybacks and dividends by the end of 2015, but has been criticized for lacking innovation.

(Related: Why Apple's Plunge Has Been Positive for Stocks)

"Innovation is our lifeblood," McGregor said of Broadcom. "Our primary use of cash is to acquire new technologies and new teams that help us drive forward. We also look to return value to share holders through dividends. Broadcom is making some significant investments that we think is going to bring us to the lead in smartphones."

Broadcom reported net income of $191 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $88 million, or 15 cents per share, in the first quarter of last year.

Excluding the impact of one-time costs, Broadcom earned 65 cents per share. Analysts' consensus forecast called for adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share, according to FactSet.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

— By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street" @ToscanoPaul

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