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TI Snaps Up Radia

The long-expected consolidation of the wireless LAN semiconductor market is gathering speed, as Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) announced on Wednesday that it has acquired startup Radia Communications Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

TI says the acquisition will help it with the development of silicon that supports multiple 802.11 radio standards on a single chip.

A spokesperson for TI says that the company has been working on radio designs with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Radia since November 2002. The firms have already developed multimode chipset reference designs that support the 802.11a (54 Mbit/s over 5 GHz), b (11 Mbit/s over 2.4 GHz), and g (54 Mbit/s over 2.4 GHz) wireless LAN flavors, as well as b/g components.

The deal comes just over a week after market leader Intersil Corp. (Nasdaq: ISIL) announced that it is exiting the increasingly high-volume, low-margin WLAN chip market and plans to sell its 802.11 division to GlobespanVirata Inc. (Nasdaq: GSPN) (see Intersil Exits WLAN).

Analysts have been predicting increased consolidation in the 802.11 silicon market for some time now (see It's WLAN Seduction Season). That's just what appears to be happening right about now, according to IDC analyst Ken Furer.

"I think this is a kind of a transition point for the market," says Furer. Wireless LAN has moved from being an add-on product to something that is being installed in almost every laptop and is starting to appear in consumer products, he says. So TI is buying technology to ensure that it will be competitive with the likes of Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) in this market.

Radia is TI's second 802.11-related acquisition; the company also bought Alantro for $300 million in stock in June 2000.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 11:42:05 PM
re: TI Snaps Up Radia Radia has other interesting product lines beyond 802.11, though those probably count for a small part of revenues.
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