Qualcomm has announced that it plans to buy San Jose’s Atheros Communications for $3.1 billion. Based in San Jose, Atheros develops semiconductors for network communications, particularly wireless chipsets. Over the years, Atheros has itself acquired several companies, including Zydos Technology (2006), Attansic Technology and U-Nav Microelectronics (2007), Intellon (2009), and the Shanghai-based Opulan Technology (2010). Qualcomm, based in San Diego, is the largest fabless chip supplier in the world. The new acquisition will position Qualcomm to dominate the rapidly growing market in chips for smartphones and tablets.

Qualcomm agreed to pay $45 per share. When trading closed on Tuesday, Atheros stocks were selling for $44, up 19 percent from the start of trading.
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