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Wi-Fi Enabled Devices Grow Chipset Demand

During 2006, the Wi-Fi semiconductor market shipped just under 200 million Wi-Fi chipsets, and reached over 500 million chipset shipments cumulatively, according to ABI Research.

The research indicates that around the middle of 2008, the industry will have passed the one billion mark for cumulative chipset shipments. "Cumulative shipments of one billion Wi-Fi ICs mark a significant milestone," says principal analyst Philip Solis, "but even more impressive, there will be well over a billion chipsets shipped in 2012 alone, with cellular handsets and consumer electronics accounting for over two-thirds of that total."

ABI's Wi-Fi IC database provides historical and forecast market data on a quarterly basis. Data and market share figures for the previous eight quarters are included, as is yearly data through 2012. Their market data includes annual overall IC market share statistics from 2001 to the present, as well as market share for laptops (mini-PCI and miniCard).

"From our point of view, cellular handsets and consumer electronics were always the most important end products for Wi-Fi chipset vendors to focus on," Solis adds. "With more than two-thirds of Wi-Fi chipsets going into these two product categories in 2012, it is critical for chipset vendors to secure the appropriate customer wins in order to sustain or grow their market share."

As the 'Wi-Fi enabled' wireless connectivity benefit is recognized in more rapidly evolving device categories, such as digital cameras/camcorders and MP3 players, the demand for these chipsets will clearly increase. I can envision that most new handheld digital multimedia recorder/player devices will come equipped with Wi-Fi capability as a standard feature.

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