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Texas Instruments acquires Wi-Fi partner

The chipmaker has acquired Wi-Fi partner Radia Communications as TI looks to speed up the integration of Wi-Fi technology into a range of devices.

Texas Instruments is looking to speed up the process of integrating Wi-Fi technology into new devices with its recent acquisition of partner Radia Communications.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Radia will become part of TI's Broadband Communications Group and will operate as Texas Instruments Sunnyvale Incorporated. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The start-up, founded in 2000, employs about 50 people and specializes in radio frequency designs for use in 802.11-based products. The two companies previously worked to develop reference designs for combination 802.11b and g, and 802.11a/b/g, products.

"Wi-Fi networking is quickly becoming ubiquitous with opportunities to integrate 802.11 into a wide range of applications including broadband modems, PDAs (personal digital assistants), cell phones and digital cameras," Joseph Crupi, TI vice president and general manager of the Broadband Communications Group said in a release. "Having increased RF product offerings and engineering expertise in-house will accelerate our integration momentum."

As a result of the acquisition, TI will be able to provide customers with a wireless local area networking media access controller, baseband and RF, which will help decrease the time it takes customers to add Wi-Fi technology to products because they can get a complete solution from one company.

Earlier this month, fellow chipmaker Intersil announced plans to sell its wireless networking group to GlobespanVirata for $365 million in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter. Intersil will focus its business on supplying high-performance analog components.

The 802.11 wireless networking market is expected to grow from a $1.5 billion business in 2002 to $3.1 billion in 2007, according to a recent report from research firm Dell'Oro Group. The biggest trend will likely be the transition from products and networks based on the 802.11b standard to the 802.11g and the combination 802.11a/g standards.