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As popularity of wireless networks grows, more and more devices acquire some kind of Wi-Fi support, which will condition tripling of the market of Wi-Fi chipsets from now to 2009, found market watch firm In-Stat.

The research company believes that the wireless local area network (WLAN) chipset market is on a phenomenal growth pace that is projected to continue over the next few years. The market will soar from just over 140 million annual chipset unit shipments in 2005 to 430 million in 2009, believes In-Stat.

“The market has been driven primarily by traditional networking devices over the last five years, as well as embedded Wi-Fi in mobile PCs,” says Gemma Tedesco, In-Stat analyst.

In 2005, growth was driven primarily by mobile PCs, home/SOHO wireless routers and residential gateways, and external clients, the high-tech market research firm says. It also reported that in 2005, overall chipset revenues were expected to reach almost $1 billion. Broadcom, Atheros, and Intel were the market leaders in 2005, each ruling specific market segments.

 “But the market is shifting, as it will be increasingly buoyed by new categories of devices such as handheld games, gaming consoles, cell phones and printers,” Ms. Tedesco added.

In 2007 and 2008, the phone segment will noticeably emerge, driven by embedded Wi-Fi in cellular phones.

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