Mr. Market sure is a picky fellow. Communications chip designer Atheros Communications (NASDAQ:ATHR) reported earnings and revenue above the top end of its own guidance last night -- and the share price is down about 2% as of this writing.

Back in April, Atheros told us to expect earnings of $0.29 to $0.30 per share, excluding items, on $119.1 million to $121.4 million in sales. The numbers are in: $0.31 of non-GAAP net income per share and $121.5 million in revenue. These guys are hitting their targets with room to spare. Yet it's not enough for hungry investors. Nitpicking the report, you'll see that the gross margin shrank from 51.2% a year ago to 50.8% right now, but that's about it. It's hard to find any real negatives here.

On the other side of the scales, the company's next-generation 802.11n wireless network chips are becoming a serious source of income. That segment grew sales by 50% -- not year over year, but from last quarter. 11n now stands for 23% of Atheros' wireless chipset sales, ahead of the old-school 11a/11b and gaining fast on the mainstay 11g technology. 11n, four times as fast as the current 11g standard and with twice the range, is the company's stairway to sales-growth heaven.

Not that Atheros has given up on 11g quite yet; that spiffy Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) video-stream player features an Atheros 11g wireless networking solution. Other recent partner announcements talk about Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) and its Puma laptop platform, and a cable modem from Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) (curiously, also named Puma). Don't expect any big deals with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) anytime soon, because the chip giant makes wireless networking chips of its own -- but the customer roster includes other heavyweights like Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). That should keep the revenue train rolling for quite some time.

Again, I don't think that Atheros deserved the beating it got for this report. The Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation and five-star CAPS stock is living up to its Foolish rep and presenting a nice buy-in price today.

Further Foolishness:

Atheros Communications is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection, Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick, and Netflix is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns a few Netflix and AMD shares but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure knows that the future is wireless.