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Steady climb for short-range wireless tech

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? Wi-Fi? ZigBee? NFC? GPS?

According to the latest forecast from ABI Research, the total market for open short-range wireless (SRW) technologies that include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, NFC and GPS are expected to reach almost five billion units in 2013 and grow to nearly eight billion by 2018. This includes stand-alone wireless connectivity ICs, wireless connectivity combo ICs and platforms with integrated wireless connectivity, stated the market research company.

"In the year where cumulative Bluetooth enabled device shipments will reach 10 billion and cumulative Wi-Fi enabled device shipments will reach seven billion, we will also see total wireless connectivity IC shipments break through five billion per annum," said Peter Cooney, practice director, ABI Research. "It is truly a momentous year for short-range wireless technology."

Consumer devices such as mobile phones, laptops, media tablets, games consoles, etc. have been the major driver of SRW technology growth but as many of these devices start to peak, it is newer applications such as automotive, home automation, smart energy, retail and many more that will be the major growth drivers over the next 10 years.

SRW technologies are enabling simple, low-cost connections to be made between multitude devices and helping to make 2013 the year that the Internet of Everything (IoE) hits an inflection point and starts to become a reality. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ZigBee are just a few of many technologies that will enable growth in this market, coupled with proprietary SRW, cellular, white space and fixed communication technologies.

"Without interoperable short-range wireless standards the IoE will not flourish. It requires low-cost, low-power, ubiquitous technologies to create the myriad connections that will be needed," added Cooney. "Technologies such as Bluetooth Smart (v4.0), ZigBee and the upcoming 802.11ah standard will be key enablers for IoE."

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