Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wi-Fi Success Paves the Way for Super Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has achieved consumer electronics device ubiquity, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The number of applications and devices where Wi-Fi technology is integrated continues to expand.

Not only is Wi-Fi now in nearly every smartphone sold, but the wireless connectivity technology is in almost every handheld game, tablet, netbook or notebook computer sold.

Now, include new wireless network applications such as automotive, digital cameras, E-readers, Blu-ray and personal video recorders -- plus, new medical and industrial applications -- and with every type of device, there is likely a Wi-Fi chipset inside.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that In-Stat's latest forecast for Wi-Fi chipsets will pass one billion units shipped annually by 2012.

"Overall the Wi-Fi chip business has never looked stronger," says Allen Nogee, Principal Analyst at In-Stat.

While traditional products like routers, wireless access points, and business gateways are not growing at past rates, many new markets for Wi-Fi chipsets have emerged that more than off-set these slowdowns. Cellular phone handsets alone will account for almost $2 billion worth of Wi-Fi chip revenue.

Meanwhile, this week the FCC adopted rules for the development of "Super Wi-Fi" applications.

In-Stat's market study highlights include:

- While the notebook PCs once was the market for most Wi-Fi chipsets, mobile handsets have now passed notebook PCs.

- Most Wi-Fi chipsets currently support the 802.11n standard. However, the 802.11ac and 802.11ad standards will eventually become the predominant technology.

- Devices with the largest revenue growth rate over the next five years will include mobile Internet devices, automotive applications, E-readers, and DVD or Blu-Ray players.

- Wi-Fi chipsets for notebook computers and mobile handsets are each expected to have revenue of over $1 billion in 2015.