IRVINE, Calif. and FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 6 -- Broadcom Corp., a maker of wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Athena Semiconductors Inc., a fabless semiconductor company that specializes in developing mobile digital television tuner and low-power Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) technology. Broadcom says it expects to pay approximately $21.6 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of Athena stock and other rights. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the merger, which is expected to close by the end of 2005.
According to Broadcom, industry analysts expect the market for low-power Wi-Fi chips to reach more than 104 million units per year by 2008, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 121 percent, while mobile digital TV tuner chips should reach 81 million units by 2010, a CAGR of 205 percent over five years.
Historically, Broadcom says, Wi-Fi chipsets have served the PC notebook and home networking markets, neither of which is particularly power-sensitive. In the future, the company expects a new generation of Wi-Fi technology to be included in a range of mobile devices, including cellular handsets, personal media players and handheld video games, for which prolonged battery life is a primary design consideration. Embedded Wi-Fi technology will enable these products with faster Internet services and real time peer-to-peer connectivity. Low-power Wi-Fi devices, when combined with VoIP (voice over IP) technology, will also provide a "voice over Wi-Fi" solution. This will enable both a new class of smart cordless phones (Wi-Fi phones) and "one-phones," which combine both Wi-Fi and cellular phones in a single handset.
For more information, visit: www.broadcom.com/A>