The total market for standards-based wireless connectivity chipsets is expected to exceed $10 billion in 2012, this includes both standalone and combo chipsets that use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, UWB, and ZigBee. “The market continues to develop with technologies - particularly Bluetooth and Wi-Fi - squaring up for a fight to be the dominant standard,” commented Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director.
The wireless sensor network market, led by ZigBee, grew ten-fold from 2007 to 2010 and exceeded 45 million annual shipments in 2011. “Strong growth is expected for 2012 and beyond as ZigBee pervades the home automation and home entertainment markets, whilst Smart Meters continue to be rolled out across the globe,” commented Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director.
In the first 10 years of its life (up to 2010) cumulative shipments of Bluetooth enabled devices reached 5 billion. Growth has been largely driven by its use in mobile phones and accessories. This market is still growing overall but it will start to plateau out over the next five years. So, will Bluetooth become obsolete before the end of its second decade?
Active DAS (distributed antenna systems) equipment revenues are estimated to cross $1 billion by 2013. Active DAS equipment is mostly made up of headend and remote units, which are used to distribute cellular signals throughout a building.
Despite competition clearly increasing within the contactless ticketing market, NXP maintains a dominate foothold, through its line of MiFare solutions. NXP achieved a combined market share in excess of 70% for 2011 smart card and RFID ticketing IC shipments.
As the mobile network struggles to cope with the growing level of traffic and pressures on CAPEX, the RF electronics of a typical base station design are subject to great innovation namely in the form of tower mounted amplifiers, remote radio heads, and active antennas.
U.S. PMI data for July 2012 stays flat at 49.8 from 49.7 in June 2012, this is indicative of a wider global malaise that is mirrored by not only other regional PMI index’s but also the results of major Semiconductor vendors. Lack of manufacturing capacity for key components coupled with the lack of investment in new fab space mean that this problem is likely to continue for a number of months and will eventually limit the availability of key flagship mobile products.
A U.S. election year combined with uncertain European financial fundamentals has clouded the economic outlook for the North American market. However, mobile operators are busily preparing their networks for next generation 4G services. “North American mobile cellular capital expenditure is expected to hold its ground in 2012 year-on-year, with expenditure of around US$ 10 billion”, said Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting at ABI Research.
Handset shipments have not seen a sequential YoY decline since the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. Although seasonality regularly brings a negative impact in Q2, the economic crisis in Western Europe has compounded the issue, leading to an uncommon annual contraction of handset shipments for two consecutive quarters,” say ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan.