Qualcomm Buys Wilocity, Stepping Up Broadcom Challenge

Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest maker of chips for mobile phones, said it bought Wilocity Ltd. in an effort to speed up introduction of new Wi-Fi products.

Wilocity’s fast gigabit wireless-data capabilities will be included in sample products being shipped to customers, Qualcomm said yesterday in a statement. The company didn’t disclose terms of its purchase of the startup, which is based in Caesarea, Israel.

The San Diego-based chipmaker put itself in direct competition with Wi-Fi industry leader Broadcom Corp. with its purchase of wireless-chip maker Atheros Inc. in 2011. By accelerating the rollout of its new technology, Qualcomm is trying to cut into Broadcom’s lead in chips that power home wireless-Internet routers and other consumer electronics.

Devices capable of the new higher-speed Wi-Fi will go on sale next year, said Amir Faintuch, president of Qualcomm’s Atheros division, which has been an investor in Wilocity since 2008.

The new standard will allow the download of a high-definition movie in less than a minute, compared with about 15 minutes using existing technology, Faintuch said in an interview.

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