Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Upside Opportunities for Wireless Connectivity Integration

Wireless communication capabilities will become embedded in more and more everyday devices over time. The resulting connectivity applications seem limitless. Moreover, the growing demand creates a huge opportunity for wireless chipset manufacturers.

Annual wireless connectivity chipset shipments across Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, and ZigBee show no sign of slowing down, reaching almost nine billion annual shipments by 2019, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

Had it not been for combo chipsets and integrated platforms the number of chipsets shipped would have been even higher. Cumulative chipset shipments from 2010 through 2014 will have reached over 21 billion -- from 2015 to 2019, cumulative shipments will almost double to over 39 billion.

"That is over 60 billion wireless connectivity chipsets that will have shipped over the ten year span from 2010 to 2019, driven by the emergence of new device types," said Philip Solis, research director at ABI Research. "There is constant change in the wireless connectivity space across wireless connectivity technologies, versions of technologies and levels of integration."

The vast majority of wireless connectivity chipsets – 60 percent – will be standalone during 2014, and this share will increase to two-thirds of the market in 2019. Integrated platforms will remain relatively steady in share over the next five years.

In contrast, combo chipsets will remain steady in shipment volume, but fall in share. With regards to smartphones, Broadcom dominates combo chipset solutions and Qualcomm dominates integrated platforms with wireless connectivity.

In the overall market, Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, and Qualcomm Atheros are all strong players in standalone Wi-Fi chipsets. In the overall market for standalone Bluetooth chipsets, Broadcom, MediaTek, and RDA are strong. Broadcom is well ahead in the overall market for combo chipsets.

Wireless connectivity chipsets go into a vast array of types of products, and the dynamics of connectivity technologies and integration levels varies among them resulting in the aggregate effects.

The technologies and integration level are going to be different in smartphones versus home automation versus other product types in the Internet of Things. That's what makes this evolving market so interesting.