LONDON The WLAN chip sector is about to get major boost with Atheros Communications Inc, a pioneer in the field, filing a prospectus yesterday (26th November) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a listing on the NASDAQ exchange that could value the company at up $100 million.
There were no details about the timing of the IPO, the potential price range, or number of shares to be made available. The offering is being underwritten by Banc of America Securities LLC, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Thomas Weisel Partners.
In the prospectus, which can be seen on the SEC's website, Atheros reveals its major customers, directly or indirectly, include personal computer manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NEC, Sony and Toshiba and networking equipment manufacturers such as D-Link, IO Data, Linksys, Microsoft, NETGEAR, Philips and Proxim.
The document includes a roadmap that indicates Atheros is working on a 'fourth generation' wireless system on a chip, dubbed the AR2313, which has a 180MHz processor, one 802.11 MAC and baseband for 802.11a/b/g capability, Super A/G proprietary throughput enhancement, embedded encryption and authentication security, and USB support.
The roadmap also shows Atheros plans to cease production of its first generation radios and MAC and baseband parts during 2004.
Atheros has raised nearly $100 million in three rounds of funding from August Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Foundation Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and others, and has recently announced it shipped 10 million 802.11 compliant chips.
The company states its objective is to become "the leading provider of innovative wireless technologies through a combination of systems expertise, design capabilities and complete solutions. We intend to address the opportunities created by multi-mode, multi-band function integration to enter new, high-growth markets with solutions providing high- performance and cost-effective implementation. Using our proprietary technology extensions, we have successfully built the Atheros brand and seek to continue to build brand value through further technology advances".