- Buyers Guide
The number of Wi-Fi enabled devices shipped in 2012 is expected to surpass 1.5 billion. Growth is occurring across many markets including mobile handsets, laptops, media tablets, printers, TVs, and automotive. “Since 2009 over 9 billion Wi-Fi enabled devices have been shipped,” commented Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director, “whilst growth was driven by networking in the early years the smartphone soon became the major market.
The market for mobile handset IC, including platform and connectivity ICs, surpassed $32 billion in 2011 and is forecast to grow a further 11 percent in 2012 to reach $35.7 billion. Growth is being led largely by the smartphone segment, with ultra-low end handsets also growing strongly. “Qualcomm stands out as the market leader with 26 percent overall share in 2011,” stated Peter Cooney practice director, of semiconductors, “its continuing focus on the handset market and in particular its efforts to increase platform integration look set to further strengthen Qualcomm’s hold on the market in the near term.”
As wireless connectivity attach rates increase in many markets and OEMs continue to push for cost savings, IC vendors such as Broadcom, Qualcomm, TI, Marvell, MediaTek and others, have created integrated wireless connectivity solutions to gain market share. These solutions known as Wireless Connectivity Combo ICs have already seen rapid adoption in smartphones and are now seeing strong usage growth in many other end applications including laptops, flat panel TVs, and automotive infotainment systems.
Colt Technology Services in partnership with NEC, announced that it is conducting the first ever live trials of small cells using Femto-as-a-Service (FaaS) with a leading, large-scale European mobile operator, using a multi-operator small cell (Femto) gateway. The FaaS offer from Colt breaks down the investment barrier for mobile operators to start their own Small Cell service as it eliminates the need for mobile operators to have a dedicated Femto Gateway in the operator core.
Texas Instruments Inc. (TI), leading the industry with the most complete wireless connectivity portfolio for embedded applications, announced that the CC2538 is the industry’s first ZigBee® wireless network processor to offer the three most popular ZigBee standards for one end-device (ZigBee Smart Energy™, ZigBee Home Automation™ and ZigBee Light Link™). Now a single end-equipment can support these three standards, offering a seamless user experience with fast switching between each standard making it seem like concurrent operation.
Analog Devices Inc. introduced an FPGA mezzanine card (FMC) that incorporates JEDEC JESD204B SerDes (serializer/de-serializer) technology to allow digital and analog designers to simplify high-speed data converter-to-FPGA connectivity.
After many years of waiting, 60 GHz technology looks set to emerge from a niche technology to a mass market solution. The main enabler has been the linking of the WiGig Alliance with the Wi-Fi Alliance and the forthcoming ratification of the 802.11ad standard which will encourage more Wi-Fi IC vendors to add 11ad to future tri-band solutions (i.e., 11n / 11ac / 11ad).
API Technologies Corp., a trusted provider of RF/microwave, microelectronics, and security solutions for critical and high-reliability applications, announced the new SST™ Secure Communications Hub (SCH) with integrated encryption. The SB1500ER Secure Communication Hub is a single, integrated device that replaces case-based solutions. It provides both 3G or satellite connectivity and high grade (Type 1 equivalent) IP encryption. The SCH is currently deployed in the UK Government.
Satellite equipment provider Newtec, has supplied a VSAT system and IP satellite modems to Burkina Faso, enabling flexible satellite connectivity for the municipal and legislative elections.
Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the addition of wireless connectivity to its U1210 Series clamp meter. It also added new capabilities, including voice output and remote hosting, to the Mobile Meter and Mobile Logger applications that support the company’s wireless connectivity solution for handheld digital multimeters and clamp meters.
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