Qualcomm Buys G.Fast Chip Firm Ikanos To Further Fixed, IoT Ambitions

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Qualcomm looks to bounce back from recent troubles with Ikanos acquisition

Qualcomm is buying broadband chip and software manufacturer Ikanos as it looks to expand its reach into fixed line networking technology like G.Fast, which boosts speeds to fibre levels on copper infrastructure.

The $47 million acquisition will provide Qualcomm Atheros with chipsets for G.Fast, alongside a range of other fibre, LTE, Ethernet and hybrid copper networking technologies. Ikanos also develops network management software for broadband networks and VoIP access devices and bridges.

San Diego-based Qualcomm, which makes the chips that power the majority of the world’s high-end smartphones, recently announced a 15 percent drop in revenues and plans to lay off 4,500 employees as part of cost cutting measures.


HPThe company says Ikanos will allow it to combine its own LTE and Wi-Fi expertise with fixed networking technologies that will underpin the Internet of Things (IoT) and other developments such as small cells for mobile operators.

“Qualcomm Atheros has always viewed the home gateway as the enabler for consumers to not only access the Internet for browsing and downloading content and video streaming, but also as the hub of the Internet in the home for a variety of reliable and high quality services,” said Rahul Patel, general manager of connectivity at Qualcomm Technologies.

“The combination of Qualcomm Atheros’ broad home gateway IP portfolio, including Wi-Fi, powerline, small cell, and Ethernet switch technologies, and Ikanos’ advanced wired modem technology, is designed to create a complete solution for a wide range of home gateway products to better serve the carrier segment.”

Ikanos has been working with Alcatel-Lucent on G.Fast networks, which BT hopes will deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps to the majority of the UK within a decade. The G.Fast standard uses existing copper cables to maintain speeds of up to 1Gbps as far as 400 metres from the cabinet, making it a far more cost effective technology to boost speeds than Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), which involves the laying of more fibre.

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