Atheros Buys Attansic

Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR)'s planned buyout of Taiwanese Ethernet semiconductor manufacturer Attansic for $71.5 million will allow the WiFi chipmaker to get into the gigabit Ethernet game and provide the fastest possible conduit for 802.11n systems, the company said Monday night. Attansic is a subsidiary of Taiwanese motherboard vendor Asustek Computer. Atheros expects to pay about $46.5 million in cash and $25 million in common stock to close the deal. The acquisition is expected to be completed within three months.

Todd Antes, VP of marketing at Atheros says that, as WiFi connections accelerate, having control of the Ethernet interfaces on a WiFi chipset gets more important: "If you have 100 Mbit/s or more of WiFi throughput, you don't want to be constrained by the Ethernet interface."

With the latest buyout, Antes says, Atheros will be able supply "about 90 percent of the silicon in an 802.11n chipset."

Antes says that chips using the Attansic technology will initially be aimed at "gigabit Ethernet for the home" products. He expects that the technology will spread to other parts of the Atheros roadmap and product line over time, such as SOHO switching and carrier gateway chipsets.

Atheros announced the deal as it reported earnings for the third quarter. The chipmaker said its sales jumped by 74 percent year-on-year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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