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RF Micro Devices to Buy Resonext

Cellular phone chip-maker RF Micro Devices (RFMD) of Greensboro, NC, has announced an agreement to purchase privately-held wireless LAN chip-maker Resonext Communications of San Jose, CA.

RFMD is known mainly for is fabrication of power amplifiers, but has expanded into other areas, including chips for global positioning systems with the purchase last year of IBM's GPS development operation. The company began shipping some 802.11b transceiver chips in March 2002 and by September had shipped over two million.

Resonext, meanwhile, has been making a push into the high-speed wireless LAN chip market with the recent announcement of production beginning on its RN5200 802.11a chips and plans for a dual 802.11a/b chipset (based in part on the RN5200) that should see production in 2003.

"We (RFMD) bring the manufacturing expertise," says Eric Creviston, vice president of Wireless Products, at RFMD. "We make hundreds of millions of components per year in RF. We're an established player.... and now we can leverage off the Resonext research and development for 802.11a."

The deal to buy Resonext was announced Tuesday but despite a same day announcment of earnings above their expectations, the RFMD stock took a light beating over the next day, probably because of the dismal earnings report by Motorola , RFMD's biggest customer.

Creviston say the $133 million stock deal should progress rapidly. "It'll go through the anti-trust proceedings, and we expect to close by the end of the year." The deal also needs to be approved by shareholders.

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

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