IRVINE, Calif. and FREMONT, Calif., Oct 06, 2005 -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Athena Semiconductors, Inc. Athena is a fabless semiconductor company that specializes in the design and development of mobile digital television tuner and low-power Wi-Fi® technology, two markets of interest 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%(1), while mobile digital TV tuner chips should reach 81 million units by 2010(2), a CAGR of 205% over 5 years.
Mobile digital television (including DVB-H) and low power Wi-Fi technologies continue to be adopted by handset providers at an accelerating rate. Both technologies complement Broadcom's existing mobile and wireless product portfolio, which includes mobile multimedia (including audio, video and 3G graphics), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, VoIP, and 2G/3G cellular baseband solutions. DVB-H allows mobile handset users to view real time transmissions of news, weather, sports, and other video content. DVB-H services are in field trials around the world today.
Historically, Wi-Fi chipsets have served the PC notebook and home networking market segments, neither of which is particularly power sensitive. In the future, Broadcom 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 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 the functionality of a Wi-Fi phone and a cellular phone into a single handset.
"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 addition, Athena brings low-power Wi-Fi design capabilities and a seasoned engineering team with a proven track record whose expertise complements Broadcom's existing engineering resources."
Broadcom is a leading supplier of chips and system solutions for various wireless markets, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® and 2G & 3G cellular basebands. Cellular handsets that feature advanced multimedia capabilities can also take advantage of Broadcom's mobile multimedia processor technology, which enables new levels of clarity and power savings for mobile video applications. With a broad portfolio of wireless solutions and strong market positions in several of these segments, Broadcom is uniquely suited to provide all the pieces required by developers of next generation mobile devices.
"Athena's DVB-H technology complements Broadcom's mobile multimedia product line and our Wi-Fi experience will enable faster-time-to-market for key low-power Wi-Fi chips," said Pratap G. Reddy, President, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Athena Semiconductors. "We are looking forward to the opportunity to combine our resources with those of the existing Broadcom team to drive these key products to market."
Athena Semiconductors is headquartered in Fremont, California with highly experienced design teams in Bangalore, India and Athens, Greece. The group in India consists of 40 engineers, and the team in Greece consists of 23 engineers. The addition of the India team to Broadcom's workforce represents a key step in achieving the company's continuing goal of expanding its presence in India.
In connection with the acquisition, Broadcom expects to pay approximately $21.6 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of Athena capital stock and other rights of Athena. A portion of the consideration payable to the stockholders of Athena will be placed into escrow pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the merger. The merger transaction is expected to close during Broadcom's fourth fiscal quarter, which ends December 31. At closing, Broadcom may record a one-time charge for purchased in-process research and development expenses in its fourth fiscal quarter. The amount of that charge, if any, has not yet been determined.
About Athena Semiconductors
Athena Semiconductors is a fabless IC company specializing in CMOS radio transceiver IC products addressing rapidly growing wireless broadband communications and convergence markets delivering video, audio and data. Based on a distinguished patent-pending CMOS radio technology platform, Athena Semiconductors' products deliver a high level of integration, low cost and superior performance.
Broadcom Corporation is a global leader in wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors. Our products enable the convergence of high- speed data, high definition video, voice and audio at home, in the office and on the go. Broadcom provides manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices with the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.
Broadcom is one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies, with annual revenue of more than $2 billion. The company is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at www.broadcom.com.