MANHASSET, N.Y. In a move that was widely anticipated, Cisco Systems Inc. announced its intention to acquire Radiata Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), a maker of CMOS-based RF-and-baseband chip sets for 5-GHz wireless LANs. In a deal valued at $295 million, Cisco, which already owns 11 percent of the company, will use the Nov. 13 acquisition to strengthen its clout in delivering next-generation wireless networks based on the 802.11a standard.
Radiata broke onto the wireless-LAN arena only weeks ago when it announced it had cracked the code to 5-GHz versions using inexpensive CMOS technology. The solution, which could reach data rates of up to 54 Mbits/second, consists of an RF chip and a baseband processor (a third-party media-access controller was to be announced soon). Since the price tag of $35 per 100,000 puts the chip set on a par with existing 2.4-GHz wireless solutions, the idea was that OEMs could zip past the crowded, interference-filled 2.4-GHz band and plunge right into 5 GHz, netting a fivefold increase in data rates.
Cisco plans to integrate the Radiata chip set into its Aironet wireless-LAN products, which include access points, adapters and bridges.
The San Jose-based networking-equipment giant will take a one-time charge of 2 cents per share.
Radiata was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 1997. The company's 53 employees will join a newly formed business unit, the Wireless Networking Business Unit of the Ethernet Access Group, at Cisco.