Qualcomm to Buy Ikanos to Grow Broadband Portfolio

Ikanos will bring such technologies as G.fast and A/VDSL2 to Qualcomm's Atheros subsidiary to boost its home gateway and IoT efforts.


Qualcomm is looking to grow its capabilities in the home gateway market and the Internet of things through its decision to buy Ikanos Communications for a reported $47 million.

Qualcomm's Atheros subsidiary will acquire Ikanos in a move that will bring together its portfolio of home gateway products with Ikanos' broad array of technologies, such as A/VDSL2 and G.fast for modems and chipsets and multi-mode gateway processors and accelerators for fiber, LTE, Ethernet and hybrid-copper uses, according to officials.

Ikanos' board of directors has approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

The home gateway space is an important one for Qualcomm Atheros, according to Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity at Qualcomm. It not only means Internet access to consumers, but also access to a range of services.

"The combination of Qualcomm Atheros' broad home gateway IP portfolio, including WiFi, 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," Patel said in a statement.

Telecommunications carriers are looking for faster ways to bring services into the home, with much attention being given to fiber. However, G.fast is a broadband standard that is being embraced by telecommunications companies to bring gigabit speeds to broadband networks over copper telephone wires, which enables service providers to bring high-speed broadband services to businesses and homes more economically than fiber. Fiber is still the goal of many service providers, but technologies like G.fast let them get more from copper in the meantime.

Having Ikanos in the fold will give Qualcomm Atheros a broader portfolio of technologies for ultra-broadband, including G.fast for not only consumer premises equipment (CPE) but also central office (CO) infrastructure. In addition, the company comes with Ikanos insight, software for remote diagnosis, management and optimization of broadband connections, and quality of service, officials said.