According to the New York Times, chipmaker Broadcom has agreed to snap up Brocade Communications Systems, which makes routers and other networking gear, for a reported $5.5 billion.

Broadcom makes computer chips for a long list of tech heavyweights, including Intel and Apple.

This latest deal comes among a flurry of mergers: Qualcomm just bought chipmaker NXP for $38 billion last week, right after NXP merged with Freescale Semiconductor in a $12 billion deal, and Japan s Softbank shocked the tech world this past summer by snapping up British chipmaker ARM for $32 billion.

What s driving all the dealmaking?

Analysts say the rise of the internet of things is helping to fuel chip demand, because all those smarty things – which eventually, will be every thing – will all need little computer chip brains.

Microsoft is pushing users to upgrade to Windows 10, and they just made the decision easier by announcing they will no longer sell Windows 7 Pro and 8.1 to PC system builders.

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