Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) agreed to purchase chip maker Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR) for $45 per share, or a total of about $3.2-billion.

Rumors of the impending deal were reported late yesterday afternoon, which sent Atheros stock surging – shares closed at $44 per share on Tuesday.

Atheros stock price has actually doubled since hitting their lows in September.

For Qualcomm, which is sitting on a mountain of cash (about $18-billion as of the end of September 2010), this is their largest ever acquisition.

“It is Qualcomm’s strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content,” said Paul E. Jacobs, Qualcomm’s chief executive officer.

“This acquisition is a natural extension of that strategy.”