For release: 17 May 2011

New Atheros SmartLink Technology Delivers Highest Performance for Powerline Connectivity

Technology is Part of Newly Expanded Hy-Fi Solution, Uses All Three Electrical Wires for Transferring Data

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 17, 2011 - Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today announced SmartLink, a new technology that enhances the performance and coverage of powerline technology by transferring data across all three electrical wires-line, neutral and ground. Analogous to Wi-Fi switched antenna diversity, this new offering increases data throughput and is able to deliver carrier-grade multiple HD video streams within a single home.

SmartLink is a key component to Atheros' newly expanded Hy-Fi product portfolio, which showcases an innovative approach to solving many home networking issues consumers face, including complicated installation, spotty coverage and inadequate bandwidth for media applications. SmartLink improves performance by up to 50 percent at previously hard-to-reach outlets in the home. As a result, home networks receive better coverage, and the ability to deliver carrier-grade triple-play services including multiple HD video streams.

Key Facts:

SmartLink enhances throughput of the current Atheros AR7400-based powerline communications (PLC) adapters by up to 50 percent in high attenuation areas in the home.
By providing the greatest performance improvement in the most challenging outlets, SmartLink overcomes most environmental noise, filtered AC outlet strips and noisy equipment to ensure continuous streaming HD video throughout the home.
Analogous to Wi-Fi switched antenna diversity, SmartLink works by using all three wires-line, neutral and ground. This advanced powerline technology uses real-time information to send packets over the best powerline path (line-neutral or line-ground), dynamically adapting to changing conditions on a per-packet basis using a smart algorithm.
SmartLink is fully interoperable with existing HomePlug® AV/IEEE1901 devices to ensure full performance benefit with SmartLink on both sides.
Along with the introduction of SmartLink, Atheros is introducing a new reference design, the PL-19 Gigabit Ethernet Wall Adapter. This reference design incorporates everything needed for the adapter on one low cost PCB and features low power management, low profile housing and support for IEEE 802.3az. The reference design includes a schematic, Gerber, a reference bill of materials, datasheets, application notes and software.

Supporting Quotes:

Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, networking business unit, Atheros Communications: "With our strong portfolio in wireless and wired connectivity technologies, Atheros is optimally positioned to bring value to customers serving this exciting market. SmartLink is a demonstration of our commitment to provide innovative home and industrial networking solutions. By enhancing powerline technology, SmartLink increases coverage and bandwidth for applications consumers enjoy most, including multi-room HD video streaming, video-on-demand and 3-D gaming."

Flint Pulskamp, research director, wireless semiconductors, International Data Corporation (IDC): Consumers are looking to access and enjoy rich content not only in their living rooms, but throughout their homes through connected TVs, set top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices. Ultimately, a combination of wired and wireless solutions will likely play a part in the home. Powerline is one option that has the potential to help consumers overcome many typical home networking issues, and thereby encourage the adoption of an increasing number of connected home media devices per household.

About Atheros

Atheros Communications delivers innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications. Its mission is to invent technologies that connect and empower people in ways that are elegant and accessible to all. Building upon its broad expertise in RF and mixed signal semiconductor design, Atheros' portfolio includes a wide variety of connectivity solutions that are used by many of the world's leading networking equipment, computing and consumer device manufacturers. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Atheros has a significant and growing presence in Asia and Europe to serve its global customer base. For more information, visit www.atheros.com.

NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

Atheros, the Atheros logo, SmartLink and Hy-Fi are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. HomePlug is a registered trademark of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including the features, benefits and performance of Atheros' products and technologies, including its SmartLink technology, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, difficulties in the development of new and enhanced products, general economic conditions, the effects of competition and technological change, and the risks detailed in Atheros' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, as amended, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 , as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other reports filed with the SEC by Atheros from time to time. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Atheros disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

For More Information, Contact:

Laurie B. Falconer
Qualcomm Atheros
Phone: 408-616-3036
Email Laurie B. Falconer