Here it is halfway through 2007 -- basketball and hockey seasons are behind us and the sleepy summer heat is settling in. That means it's time for a mid-year stock review. Up this time is Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation and wireless communication chip maker Atheros Communications (NASDAQ:ATHR). With the S&P gaining 8% in only six short months, we'll review how Atheros has stacked up and what may be on the horizon for the balance of 2007.

First-half review
Atheros' investors are a happy bunch these days. The stock has roared ahead with a 45% gain since the start of 2007, easily topping the 9% gain in the Nasdaq. This spike came on the back of strong first-quarter earnings from the company that, thanks to top-tier customers such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), reported 56% revenue growth from last year. This came on top of a strong fourth quarter of 2006 -- revenue in that quarter was up 10% sequentially and 65% year over year.

Atheros was busily ramping up new products early in the year as well, and several have been gaining traction with design wins in the market. For instance, it released a full line of Ethernet switching products and began introducing Bluetooth chips to complement its wireless offerings. Not to say that the core business of Wi-Fi chips is lagging -- the company reached a major milestone by shipping its 100 millionth wireless LAN chipset in February.

Second-half prospects
To get a peek at what the top investors think of Atheros Communications' prospects going forward, we can tap the Motley Fool CAPS database of investor opinions and ratings on the stock. CAPS players give the company five stars, a rating that has been maintained all year.

Even in the face of giant competitors Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), investors like Atheros' strong position in the next generation Wi-Fi chip market, the product line from which the company expects the majority of its growth in 2007. But this is no one-trick pony -- the company has diversification as a long-term goal and is anticipating revenue from five product lines in the second half of 2007. The new product flow coupled with accelerating growth in current products gives Atheros good footing to continue its winning ways.

For more Foolish insight:

As a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection, Atheros Communications has returned subscribers 67% in less than a year. Check out what other stocks meet the Hidden Gems criteria with a free 30-day trial. Intel is an Inside Value recommendation.

Fool contributor Dave Mock would opt to cut back on winter to add a few more weeks to summer. He owns shares of Intel. He is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy is not afraid to roll down the window and ask for directions.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.