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Global shipments of Wi-Fi chips have experienced an extraordinary growth in recent years, due to the increasing demands for wireless-enabled devices and enterprise level applications. And they will continue to rise, according to ABI Research.

Wi-Fi chip shipments are forecast to surpass 770 million units in 2010, up almost 33% compared to 2009. Shipment of 802.11n controllers will surge ahead of 802.11g and dominate the market this year, accounting for approximately 60% of total Wi-Fi IC shipments.

“The 802.11n standard which was ratified last year is a powerful growth engine to drive the Wi-Fi IC market increases,” said ABI Research wireless and semiconductor industry analyst Celia Bo.

The accompanying chart shows the Wi-Fi IC shipment forecast by product type. The cellular handsets segment is seen to be maintaining the highest unit shipment of Wi-Fi-enabled products in next five years, achieving an estimated CAGR of 25% between 2009 and 2015; the penetration rate will reach approximately 40% of total handsets shipped in 2015.

Laptops, netbooks, and MIDs are other segments which will see higher shipments across all Wi-Fi-enabled products, and the trend will carry on throughout the following years.

“The penetration rate of Wi-Fi ICs in consumer electronic products will to grow continue robustly. Total shipments of consumer electronic products with Wi-Fi functionality are expected to exceed 530 million in 2015, with a 26% CAGR between 2009 and 2015. Shipments of Wi-Fi-enabled digital still cameras, TVs and DVD players will increase more than tenfold in 2015 as compared to 2009. The demand for Wi-Fi-enabled home entertainment products such as networked game consoles and handheld game consoles is increasing as well: between 2009 and 2015, the CAGR will reach 8% and 6% respectively,” added Ms. Bo.

Tags: Wi-Fi, WiMAX

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