Qualcomm expands, acquires 2 wireless firms

Qualcomm is expanding its wireless semiconductor capabilities with the acquisitions of a company that develops Wi-Fi technology for laptops and hotspots, and a business that specializes in Bluetooth connections between mobile devices such as a cell phone and headset, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Qualcomm is paying an undisclosed amount to acquire all of Airgo Networks, and $39 million to RF Micro Devices to buy the majority of that company's Bluetooth operations.

The acquisitions are expected to close by the end of December, the report said.

Qualcomm estimated the two acquisitions will reduce earnings for the fiscal year ending next September.

Privately held Airgo, based in Palo Alto, California, makes chips based on multiple versions of the Wi-Fi standard, also known as 802.11, supplying them to makers of portable computers and wireless routers that connect PCs to the Internet, the report said.

Besides supporting that business, Qualcomm plans to integrate Airgo's technology into its own chipsets for cell phones and laptops. Qualcomm specializes in a CDMA for mobile calls, and a related technology called EV-DO that provides high-speed Internet access to phones and laptops, the report further said.

Qualcomm also plans to integrate the acquired RF Micro Bluetooth technology into its chipsets.