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Car wireless market to rise to $1.6B in 2018

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:car wireless market? Bluetooth? embedded cellular? Wi-Fi?

According to the latest report from IHS, wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and embedded cellular are accelerating in the car business, with market revenue set to rise by 41 per cent from 2012 through 2018. Global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market revenue for wireless technology in cars is set to rise to $1.6 billion in 2018, up from $1.1 billion in 2012, added the market research firm.

Revenue for wireless solutions in cars will reach a projected $1.17 billion this year, up a respectable five per cent from 2011. While growth this year has moderated from the sizable double-digit increases of 2011 and 2012, continued expansion is assured in the years ahead. Expansions in the eight per cent range are expected during both 2014 and 2015.

"In the automotive market, wireless connectivity demand is racing ahead of older wired technologies as applications increasingly focus on supporting mobile devices and cellular communications," said Luca DeAmbroggi, senior analyst for automotive infotainment at IHS. "For example, the USB legacy wired connectivity solution is being challenged by wireless mechanisms in cars such as Bluetooth for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances, as well as embedded cellular for two-way wireless telematics connectivity."

Bluetooth will remain the standard wireless connection between consumer devices and the infotainment stack unit of a vehicle for the foreseeable future. The next generation of Bluetooth, or 4.0, will offer higher transfer speeds with the high speed (HS) option, while ensuring that gadgets stay paired longer and take up less power.

Data transfers taking place, however, will not be carried over the Bluetooth link itself but via a collocated 802.11 link through a competitive wireless technologyin this case, Wi-Fi.

It remains unclear if OEMs will prefer a decoupled solution for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in cars, or if they will opt instead for a combo approach that optimises cost and reduces the design workload. A separate chip approach is likely in the short term because of the still limited pull of Wi-Fi in automotive, IHS believes, even though the broader diffusion of wireless technologies points to integrated combo solutions being used in the future.

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