LONDON – More than 5 billion wireless connectivity chips will ship in 2013, according to market research firm ABI Research. This category includes standalone chips for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, satellite positioning, near-field communications and ZigBee as well as so called "combo" chips that combine multiple standards.
Broadcom, currently the leading supplier in this category, will continue to dominate in 2013, ABI forecast. Qualcomm will also see growth due to the uptake of its Snapdragon chips in the smart phone market.
Standalone wireless connectivity ICs will continue to be important as the introduction of standards adds to the available market opportunities. Newer standards include: Bluetooth Smart, WiGig and NFC. All are seeing increased adoption in fitness, automotive and retail applications, ABI said. Combo chips are also a growing opportunity based on the popularity of smart phones, tablet computers and smart televisions.
A third category is the connectivity platform, which includes necessary software. Starting from a lower baseline it will enable OEMs to achieve faster time to market in such areas as entry-level smartphones.
"Both Broadcom and Qualcomm recently announced new NFC products which will be an essential addition as this technology sees market acceptance over the next 5 years," said Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director, in a statement. "In 2013 cumulative shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices will surpass 10 billion and Wi-Fi enabled devices will surpass 10 billion cumulative shipments in 2015."
5B wireless connectivity chips with 5 different types - Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, satellite positioning, near-field communications and ZigBee. If an assumption of putting each into a smart device including smartphone, tablet and laptop computer, 1B units of all these 3 devices doesn't sound ridiculously high. Nonetheless, will there be so many high end devices sold in 2013?
Very few companies can put multiple radios on a CMOS chip so contention that Broadcom and Qualcomm will dominate that market is not surprising...but 5 billion number is...if ASP is say $10 that would create $50B market for wireless chips, sounds too high...Kris