Conexant, Ikanos Pack 802.11n

On July 25, chip maker Ikanos Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IKAN) happily trotted out a gateway design that combines VDSL2 with 802.11n wireless LAN technology from Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR).

Which was nice, except Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT) might have beaten them to it.

Conexant tells Light Reading it integrated Atheros's 802.11n technology into its own VDSL2-gateway chips four months ago. It's just that Conexant never formally announced this.

"We thought about whether we should do a press release on that, " muses Joe DeLuca, director of Conexant's VDSL business.

An Atheros spokesman wouldn't confirm (but didn't deny) any partnership with Conexant, noting only that the company is willing to work with any DSL chip vendor. [Ed. note: How very broadminded.]

The Ikanos design is a reference platform; that is, it's a design intended for systems companies or original design manufacturers to adopt. Most chip companies produce reference platforms to help spur target markets.

Ikanos's platform is centered around Fusiv, a line of home-gateway processors acquired from Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI) last year. The new board adds WiFi, in the form of 802.11n draft 2.0, by putting Atheros's XSpan chipset alongside a Fusiv Vx180, a processor for VDSL2 gateways. (See Ikanos, Atheros Team and Ikanos Goes for the Gateway.)

This isn't all that surprising, considering Ikanos has worked with Atheros before, creating designs with 802.11b and 802.11g chips.

Conexant, meanwhile, offers a Fusiv-like chip with its CX96xxx family, announced in January. (See Conexant Intros VDSL2.) Conexant claims its chips integrate more functions than Ikanos's -- including 802.11n, as noted above.

That would suggest Conexant could make a platform similar to Ikanos's, but without needing any external Atheros chips. On the surface, that would seem to be a more compact way of doing things.

Ikanos officials declined to comment on the Conexant chip line.

The Atheros partnership wasn't enough to move Ikanos's stock, but yesterday's earnings announcement certainly was. Amid a down day on Wall Street, Ikanos shares rose 42 cents (5.8%) to $7.62 yesterday.

For its second quarter, ended July 1, Ikanos reported losses of $7.2 million, or 25 cents per share, on revenues of $25.7 million, compared with losses of $9.1 million, or 32 cents per share, on revenues of $24.7 million the previous quarter. (See Ikanos Reports Q2.)

Ikanos's non-GAAP losses of 10 cents per share beat Wall Street estimates by a penny, according to Reuters Research .

For its second quarter a year ago, Ikanos reported losses of $2.2 million, or 8 cents per share, on revenues of $41.2 million.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:04:50 PM
re: Conexant, Ikanos Pack 802.11n fwiw, analyst Anton Wahlman of ThinkEquity thinks Ikanos might start shipping an integrated CPE chip in 2H'07.

He also thinks Ikanos should acquire Centillium and/or pick up the Metalink DSL business.
Sign In