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As consumer electronics, mobile phones and other devices will continue to get Wi-Fi capabilities, more and more products with wireless network controllers will ship and by the year 2012 their annual amount will rise to one billion.

According to a new report by ABI Research, during 2006, the Wi-Fi semiconductor market shipped just under 200 million Wi-Fi chipsets, and reached over 500 million chipset shipments cumulatively. The research indicates that around the middle of 2008, the industry will have passed the one billion mark for cumulative chipset shipments.

“Cumulative shipments of one billion Wi-Fi ICs mark a significant milestone,” said principal analyst Philip Solis, “but even more impressive, there will be well over a billion chipsets shipped in 2012 alone, with cellular handsets and consumer electronics accounting for over two-thirds of that total.”

Currently Wi-Fi is found mostly in notebooks, however, cellular phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) with WLAN integrated are gaining popularity nowadays. Moreover, modern game consoles also have Wi-Fi and the trend towards other consumer electronics to have Wi-Fi built-in will continue.

“From our point of view, cellular handsets and consumer electronics were always the most important end products for Wi-Fi chipset vendors to focus on,” Mr. Solis added. “With more than two-thirds of Wi-Fi chipsets going into these two product categories in 2012, it is critical for chipset vendors to secure the appropriate customer wins in order to sustain or grow their market share.”

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