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Broadcom acquires fabless semi company Athena

Posted by iTech - 2005-10-07

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Wireless and broadband semiconductor supplier Broadcom Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Athena Semiconductors Inc., a fabless semiconductor company that specializes in the design and development of mobile digital television tuner and low-power Wi-Fi technology.

Broadcom (Irvine, Calif.) expects to pay $21.6 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of Athena stock. The merger is expected to be completed by the year’s end, with Broadcom recording a one-time charge for purchased in-process research and development expenses in its fourth fiscal quarter.

Broadcom expects the acquisition of Athena (Fremont, Calif.) to complement its existing mobile and wireless product portfolio, which includes mobile multimedia, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VoIP, and 2G/3G cellular baseband solutions. Mobile digital television (including DVB-H) and low power Wi-Fi technologies are being adopted by handset providers at an accelerating rate.

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. Mobile digital TV tuner chips are slated to hit 81 million units by 2010, a CAGR of 205 percent over the next five years.

“Mobile television is a very exciting technology, and we expect that by combining Athena’s DVB-H tuner with Broadcom’s mobile multimedia technology for H.264 decoding, we will create the core of an industry-leading mobile digital TV chipset,” said Robert Rango, senior vice president & general manager of Broadcom’s Mobile & Wireless Group, in a statement.

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