Qualcomm Atheros

Qualcomm Atheros

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Qualcomm Atheros

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Qualcomm Atheros is a developer of semiconductors for network communications, particularly wireless chipsets. Founded in 1998 by experts in signal processing from Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley and the private industry, it became a public company in 2004. The current President and CEO of the company is Craig H. Barratt.

On the 5th January 2011, it was announced that Qualcomm has agreed a takeover of the company for an enterprise valuation of US$3.5 billion. The acquisition was completed on May 24, 2011 and Atheros became a subsidiary of Qualcomm operating under the name Qualcomm Atheros.

Atheros chipsets for the IEEE 802.11 standard of wireless networking are used by over 30 different wireless device manufacturers, including Netgear, D-Link and TRENDnet.


In the free software community, Atheros has been known for not releasing the appropriate documentation that would allow free software developers to write open source drivers to support Atheros wireless devices without resorting to reverse-engineering. As a result, OSS support for Atheros hardware was rather limited. However, there are some completely free open-source drivers written via reverse-engineering techniques. For example, Reyk Floeter of the OpenBSD project reversed-engineered the HAL-module of the ath driver found on FreeBSD and provided a...
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