Adoption of 802.11n MIMO with multiple transmit streams will help boost the market for Wi-Fi power amplifier modules to twice its 2008 size despite continued pricing pressure.

“As prices for single-stream 802.11n (1 x 1) chips dropped to match 802.11g, OEMs have quickly begun to switch from 802.11g to 802.11n in new products. Consequently, 802.11n will ship in more than half of all Wi-Fi systems by the end of 2010,” says Christopher Taylor, Director of the RF and Wireless Components service.

Not only will 802.11n quickly replace 802.11g, but as Wi-Fi continues to proliferate in new devices and applications, multi-stream MIMO configurations of 802.11n (i.e. 2 x 2, 3 x 3 and 4 x 4, transmit x receive) will rapidly grow in support of demand for greater range, faster file transfers and streaming multimedia in many of these applications. Taylor notes, “According to the Strategy Analytics forecast model, which considers MIMO stream adoption rates by application, 802.11n will push the Wi-Fi power amp market to almost $1 B over the next five years.”

SiGe Semiconductor has established a firm lead in power amplifiers despite increasing competition from GaAs PA module specialists such as Skyworks, RFMD, TriQuint and ANADIGICS. “A relatively small and nimble company, SiGe Semiconductor owes much of its success to concentrating its resources almost exclusively on Wi-Fi PA modules,” notes Asif Anwar, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor market research service.

Strategy Analytics has published its latest findings on Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi power amplifiers and ICs in two reports: ”Wi-Fi Radio Component Forecast 2009 - 2013: New Applications & MIMO Drive Growth,” and “Wi-Fi Radio Component Vendor Share and Outlook: Broadcom & SiGe Semi Positioned to Maintain Leads,” both published by the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components market research service. The historical and projected data in the forecast report is also available in EXCEL format as a spreadsheet.