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Altair Semiconductor

Based: Hod Hasharon, Israel
Founded: 2005


Why is it Fierce? Altair was founded 2005 by former Texas Instruments executives who previously helped found Libit Signal Processing, acquired in 1999 by TI for $365 million. Altair is a fabless semiconductor company working to develop silicon solutions which would allow seamless transition between networks based on WiFi and WiMAX technologies. The company probably won't bring its first baseband chip to market next year, but it has the proven scientific savvy and management prowess to do so. The company appears to base its development plans on the notion that that the mobile version of WiMAX, when finalized and ratified, will offer cellular networks stiff competition based on price and performance.

What to look for: The faster issues relating to wireless broadband standard specifications and spectrum allocation are resolved, and as the economics of WiMAX deployment become clearer, the more appealing Altair's solution will be.


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