As smartphones and tablets boom, so do combo wireless technology chips and mobile SoCs featuring Bluetooth.
By 2017, mobile SoCs will
account for 23 percent of the market, up from just 2 percent in 2012 and
zero in 2011, according to IHS. Standalone devices' share of the market
largely will remain flat, declining to 21 percent in 2017, down from 24
percent in 2011, the firm said.
Many current smartphones and
tablets employ wireless connectivity combo ICs. Apple's iPad Mini and
iPhone 5 employ Broadcom BCM4334 single-chip, dual-band combo device,
IHS noted. BCM4334 includes support for Wi-Fi and an FM radio receiver,
along with Bluetooth. IHS said it believes Samsung's new Galaxy S4
smartphone includes the Broadcom BCM4335, which integrates Bluetooth,
along with the FM radio and a complete 5G Wi-Fi system.
mobile SoCs are on the rise. According to IHS, mobile SoCs take the
integration of combo chips to the next level, forming a single chip that
incorporates the cellular baseband, applications processor and wireless
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 family of processors,
released last year, integrated various elements, with many incorporating
both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, IHS noted. In these components, the digital
portion of the connectivity IC is integrated into the SoC, taking
advantage of benefits such as less power being required by the more
advanced manufacturing process, IHS said. The analog counterpart is
situated in a companion IC, which includes components for both Wi-Fi and
"MSoCs benefit manufacturers by reducing design
complexity while providing lower-cost mobile platform solutions," Quirke
said. “IHS is projecting that lower-end smartphones will be quick to
adopt such solutions."