Qualcomm to buy Wi-Fi silicon firm Atheros for £2bn

Qualcomm to buy Wi-Fi silicon firm Atheros for £2bn

Summary: The chipmaker says the purchase of the semiconductor manufacturer will help it integrate new technologies into its mobile phone processors

TOPICS: Networking

Communications firm and chipmaker Qualcomm is to buy Atheros, one of the top manufacturers of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications hardware.

Qualcomm to buy Atheros image

Qualcomm will buy Atheros, with Qualcomm chief Paul E Jacobs applauding the "integration of additional technologies". Photo credit: James Martin/CNET News

On Wednesday, cellular-centric Qualcomm said it will pay $3.1bn (£2bn), or $45 a share, for Atheros. The San Jose, California-based semiconductor specialist is particularly notable for its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth silicon, but also involved in the GPS, Ethernet and power-line communications businesses. Atheros will also take Qualcomm — which is headquartered further south in San Diego — into the burgeoning smart-grid business with its range of home area-networking products.

"It is Qualcomm's strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content," Qualcomm chief Paul E Jacobs said in a statement.

According to the statement, Atheros chief Craig H Barratt will become president of Qualcomm Networking and Connectivity. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year.

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Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • The deal between Qualcomm and Atheros is a smart move and it reinforces one key fact – for all the talk of 4G, Wi-Fi is a vital part of the ‘mobile broadband’ experience. Although it’s been played down in recent news, the industry is all too aware that today’s congested networks will ultimately become an operational hazard when the bandwidth demands of 4G come into play. With current 3G networks creaking under the pressure of unexpected data traffic and the looming introduction of data driven connections in LTE, an alternative traffic channel will be necessary to decongest and free up bandwidth on the network and to provide coverage in those areas where mobile networks just cannot reach. As a result, mobile operators will look to seamlessly access Wi-Fi networks to optimise the smartphone user’s indoor mobile broadband experience.
    Kineto Wireless