Whether you know it or not, chances are pretty good that you have a networking chip from Atheros (NASDAQ:ATHR) somewhere in your house, your office, or both. If not, then get ready -- you’ll be getting some soon.

That's the message from this week's fourth-quarter report, as Atheros' management paid their respects to the usual financial details and then dove straight into exploring the numerous opportunities that lie before the company today. By the way, the results were excellent, starting with 89% year-over-year revenue growth to $186 million and ending with earnings of $0.24 per share -- up from a loss of $0.08 per share a year ago.

Atheros is famous for its wireless networking products, including Wi-Fi solutions adopted by just about every gadgeteer you could think of. PC builders like Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard use these chips, as do mobile device makers such as Samsung and Panasonic. Even your living room is under invasion by Atheros as Sony (NYSE:SNE) sells TV sets and Blu-ray players with Atheros networking inside. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) used Atheros XSPAN high-speed Wi-Fi chips in the new wireless networking for Xbox 360 game consoles.

That's not to say that Atheros wins every time, of course. Archrival Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) landed the Wi-Fi contracts for both the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 3GS and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus One smartphones, for example. There's still room for Atheros to grow, in other words.

And the company is growing indeed, outpacing the broader industry by a fair bit. This means that Atheros is stealing market share in an already unstoppable growth sector. Furthermore, Atheros is thinking outside the box and integrating powerline networking products in many of its flagship chips (flagchips?) these days. That's possible thanks to the $161 million acquisition of powerline data wrangler Intellon.

CEO Craig Barratt says that Atheros is "at an early stage of rapid growth in the types and number of connected devices throughout the home and office. Put simply, the number of IP addresses in the home and office is increasing exponentially." He is absolutely right, of course.

This Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation is sitting pretty with a focused and powerful business at the heart of the home networking explosion.

If you want to wax poetic over the open-source Linux drivers for Atheros hardware, the comments box is waiting below. Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation, and Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on the stock. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Atheros Communications is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick, and The Fool owns shares. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.