Standards-based wireless connectivity chipset market to exceed $10 billion in 2012

Telecom Lead America: The total market for standards-based wireless connectivity chipsets is expected to exceed $10 billion in 2012, says Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director.

Pix: wireless chipset (source: mobiledevdesign.com)

Standards-based wireless connectivity chipset includes both standalone and combo chipsets that use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, UWB, and ZigBee.

The number of Bluetooth enabled devices shipped per annum will surpass 2 billion in 2012, whilst Wi-Fi will creep over 1.5 billion; many of these (such as smartphones) will contain both technologies, often integrated onto a combo chipset.

“The market continues to develop with technologies – particularly Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – squaring up for a fight to be the dominant standard,” said Cooney.

Wi-Fi remains much more costly to implement due to significantly larger die sizes needed and therefore chipset revenues from Wi-Fi ICs (both standalone and combo) far exceed those for any other technology.

“There continues to be a competitive element to the market as standards bodies vie to push their technologies into new markets and others out,” Cooney added.  “However, in general there is a symbiotic relationship with each technology performing at its best in particular functions. This is driving the need for more integrated chipsets, with multiple technologies.”

The number of Bluetooth enabled devices shipped per annum will surpass 2 billion in 2012, whilst Wi-Fi will creep over 1.5 billion; many of these (such as smartphones) will contain both technologies, often integrated onto a combo chipset. Wi-Fi remains much more costly to implement due to significantly larger die sizes needed and therefore chipset revenues from Wi-Fi ICs (both standalone and combo) far exceed those for any other technology.

As overall chipset revenue growth starts to peak for the main wireless connectivity technologies it brings about even more fierce competition among vendors such as Broadcom, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Intel, MediaTek, Marvell, and most recently to enter the fray, Samsung.

To compete in the market, vendors need to keep ahead of the pack by adding new technologies (Bluetooth v4.0, 802.11ac, NFC, etc.) to their product portfolios and increasing integration, reducing process nodes, etc. where possible, according to Cooney.

editor@telecomlead.com