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

The chipmaker says the purchase of the semiconductor manufacturer will help it integrate new technologies into its mobile phone processors
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

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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