Light Reading

Qualcomm Buys Airgo, RFMD Assets

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/4/2006
50%
50%

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) says that it will buy Airgo Networks Inc. -- as well as the Bluetooth assets of RF Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: RFMD) -- in a move that instantly gives the company, which helped pioneer the CDMA networking protocol, a major presence in the market for the newest WiFi technology.

Qualcomm hasn't revealed how much it will pay for Airgo. The startup first introduced WiFi chipsets based on MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antenna technology, which is the basis of 802.11n WLAN, in 2003. MIMO "smart antenna" technology uses multiple antennas on the client device and -- often -- the access point to increase the speed and capacity of an 802.11 wireless link to over 108 Mbit/s. (See Airgoooooooooooo! .)

Airgo has been an early leader in this market. Initial sales in the so-called "pre-802.11n" have generally been in the consumer market with SOHO routers and WLAN cards being top sellers. (See Airgo Hits Million Mark and Enterprise WLAN Market Up 19%.) Qualcomm says it will continue to support these products and also bring the technology into its newer mobile silicon, such as its recently announced "Snapdragon" wireless multimedia chipsets (See Powering Up 3G.)

Additionally, Airgo has taken an active role in the long-running efforts to deliver an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 802.11n specification, an effort dogged by infighting between the multiple vendors involved. Qualcomm is also involved with the 802.11n spec work, so it's unclear if this acquisition will speed up the ratification. (See Dot-N Delayed Again.)

The Wi-Fi Alliance recently stepped in to foster interoperability between "pre-n" WLAN products and alleviate the early problems. Airgo and Qualcomm have used the Wi-Fi Alliance's interoperability specification to introduce an 802.11 "draft 2.0-compliant" chipset. The AGN400 chipset is currently sampling and will be publicly demonstrated in January 2007 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and be commercially available shortly thereafter. (See WiFi's High-Speed Compromise.)

Meanwhile, Qualcomm has acquired the Bluetooth assets of RFMD for $39 million. The buyout will give Qualcomm the technology to integrate Bluetooth into its own chipsets. The firm has previously worked with Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) on Bluetooth.

Both of these acquisitions give Qualcomm extra wireless technologies under one roof and should allow it to build more connectivity options into a single chip. Integration has become more important in the mobile chipset market as smartphones and other devices become increasingly powerful.

The Airgo acquisition is expected to close by January 2007.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
WiCipedia: Faulty Feminism, Worthy Women & Peculiar Perks
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.