In a rather stealthy mode, Qualcomm Atheros, a wholly-owned subsidiary of mobile giant Qualcomm has announced the acquisition of Bigfoot Networks, creators of innovative "Killer" line of network products.

Bigfoot Networks appeared on the market at the same time as AGEIA with their PhysX card, and both suffered from the same syndrome: launching a legacy PCI product for the market that was starving for the "all the latest and greatest", i.e. PCI Express cards. Both companies missed the boat, but to us Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC was a more interesting prospect.

Killer NIC featured an embedded Linux OS, enabling you to enjoy a hardware firewall, priority networking and a lot of quite nice features (for instance, you could plug in your mouse into the network card for lag-free gaming, or plug in USB hard drive to download files while the computer is shut down), but did not ignite the market – sadly.

We will see what the future will bring for Bigfoot Networks – tablets and smartphones with Killer NIC technology? Advanced gaming and wireless connectivity for desktops and notebooks? Hardware firewall on a smartphone – possibilities are limitless, we just hope this wasn’t an IP grab.