Intersil sells Wi-Fi products to GlobespanVirata: I feel like I'm writing a headline on the order of "US out of North America," but Wi-Fi pioneer Intersil has an agreement to sell all of its wireless 802.11a, b, and g portfolio. GlobespanVirata is fabless chipmaker, which means they design and then outsource the actual fabrication (fab).
Analysts are pointing to Broadcom's slamdunk early entrance into 802.11g chipmaking as pushing Intersil to this option, although the company will receive substantial cash and stock as part of the deal, allowing them to focus on power management and other areas in which they still have an advantage. GlobespanVirata makes DSL chips as well, and will be able to integrate Intersil's technology with their own for DSL modem manufacturers.
Intersil's exit isn't a complete surprise, however, as analysts have pointed to the enormous pressure on smaller chip companies that had an early advantage in 802.11b and even 802.11a, but have lost that lead with the massive push by major chipmakers into 802.11g and a/g. Atheros is the last man standing without a diversified chip portfolio. Broadcom, for instance, also makes Ethernet chips and other networking products.