- Buyers Guide
The growth of 802.11ac and 802.11ad will occur in very different ways. 802.11ac will explode into devices, including smartphones, from the start while 802.11ad will see a more modest and staggered growth. 802.11ac is being pushed into smartphones by key carriers’ device requirements that are in sync with 802.11ac hotspot plans for more robust Wi-Fi offloading.
Shipments of cellphones equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) will expand by nearly a factor of 10 from 2012 to 2017, reaching 1.2 billion units as the majority of smartphone makers are increasingly adopting the wireless communications and payment technology in their products as a de facto standard.
In many parts of the world, smartphone shipments account for a larger percentage of mobile handset shipments than feature phones and low-cost handsets. Yet within the smartphone class of devices, segmentation is increasing to three price tiers (low, mid, and high). Shipments of sub-US$250 low-cost smartphones will grow from 259 million in 2013 to 788 million in 2018, according to recent Market Data from market intelligence firm ABI Research.
Mobile device design is increasingly reliant on integrated platforms, which are chipsets based on combinations of application processor, baseband processor, and wireless connectivity technologies. In 2012, 19 percent of handsets shipped were based on an integrated platform; set to more than double to 46 percent in 2018.
Broadcom has been ranked number one vendor in three recent competitive assessments released by ABI Research on wireless connectivity IC markets. One was for overall wireless connectivity ICs, another on Bluetooth ICs, and a final on Wi-Fi ICs.
Skyworks Solutions Inc. expanded its wireless portfolio with the introduction of highly integrated front-end modules enabling 802.11ac connectivity in smartphones and tablets. The company’s precision analog semiconductors are already being utilized in many of the world’s first commercially-available 802.11ac notebooks, ultrabooks, LED TVs, routers, USB data cards and Blu-Ray® players.
RF Micro Devices Inc. announced the expansion of the company's entry solutions product portfolio to include multiple new solutions for 2G and 3G entry smartphones. The new RF solutions are designed to solve the increasingly complex RF requirements of entry-level 2G and 3G smartphones related to cost, band count, and thermal dissipation.
An update to the Status of the LTE Ecosystem report released by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) confirms that 87 manufacturers have announced 666 LTE-enabled user devices, including frequency and carrier variants.
In the past RF power amplifiers (RFPAs) for cell phone handsets have relied exclusively on GaAs or InGaP-based RFICs. However in recent years RF CMOS RFPA technology has made significant strides and is now strongly impacting the territory that was previously the exclusive domain of GaAs or InGaP technology. This new report from Engalco provides information concerning the players, industry dynamics and detailed, highly granular, market forecasts through to year 2017.
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.
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