The IEEE 802.15.4 IC market will grow to over $1.1 billion in 2016 — up from just $90 million in 2010. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is still a key adoption market and there is significant impetus behind the continuation of this market.
Some concerns have been raised around mass deployments ahead of IP support and the planned ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, but recent announcements by ZigBee to migrate its portfolio of profiles into IP-based solutions should allay such concerns.
The home entertainment market has also seen significant uptake, helping to drive up shipment numbers over the past twelve months or so with the development and adoption of ZigBee RF4CE. Initial products leveraging 802.15.4 are still led by P2P deployments using proprietary software stacks but the transition to standard software implementations is well underway and the market positions of both approaches will be reversed by the end of the forecast period with standardized implementations dominating. In addition, P2P deployments also dominate usage, but that too will shift over to mesh network configurations during the forecast period.
Chipset shipment will continue to grow at expanding rates as the 802.15.4 technology reaches a level of deployment maturity and price point that enables WSN to extend more broadly across markets, not just in AMI and home entertainment, where the bulk of the market is currently, but also across the building automation and healthcare sectors around the world. New markets are also emerging, such as traffic monitoring, smart parking, and flood alert systems within the smart city concept.
Kelvin Chan, industry analyst, comments, "Standard WSN protocols based on IEEE 802.15.4 will face a confluence of challenges from existing wireless technologies such as Low Power Wi-Fi, Low Energy Bluetooth, and a more recent addition, Low Energy DECT, as these technologies look to capitalize on their installed base and ubiquity stature, especially in the home area network (HAN) environment, to penetrate the smart energy market segment."
ABI Research's study "Wireless Sensor Networks," analyzes IEEE 802.15.4 and which standards, such as ZigBee, Wireless HART, and ISA100.11a, will influence and drive the market, as well as emerging technology and competitive solutions such as Z-Wave, 6LoWPAN, Low Energy Bluetooth, and Low Power Wi-Fi.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.