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WLAN chip market to reach $3.2B in 2010, says IDC

Posted: 09 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WLAN? IDC? Frost and Sullivan? Peter Clarke?

The worldwide market for WLAN ICs will reach $3.2 billion in 2010, having experienced a 17 percent compound annual growth rate, according to market research company IDC.

Back calculation from the two numbers provided by IDC would determine the 2005 market for WLAN chips at about $1.5 billion and the 2006 market at about $1.7 billion. Assuming continuing consistent growth of 17 percent per annum the market would be around $2.0 billion in 2007 and $2.3 billion in 2008 before reaching $2.7 billion in 2009.

Frost & Sullivan agrees in the direction of the market but calls the numbers differently. According to F&S global WLAN chipset market sales reached $910 million in 2005 and are projected to reach $2.3 billion in 2009. Global assisted-GPS chipset sales, $546.3 million in 2005, are projected to reach $1.4 billion in 2009.

IDC attributes the continuing strength of the WLAN semiconductor market to technology advancements in the 802.11 WLAN, such as single-chip low-power devices, production of pre-N and draft-N chipsets, and burgeoning end-market applications. While industry-wide competition has continued to force pricing down, opportunity continues to abound for WLAN chip suppliers. The primary growth opportunity is in embedded applications such as mobile phones and in consumer electronic designs, IDC said.

"To remain viable players in this space, chip vendors must think about WLAN as a portfolio technology that can complement products in broadband, wired networking, consumer devices, PC, or mobile device designs," said Celeste Crystal, senior research analyst for IDC's semiconductors group, in a statement. "By focusing on end markets and the ecosystem, WLAN chip vendors will differentiate products and drive pricing and product differentiation in the industry," she added.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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