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Increased wireless bandwidth usage to bolster Wi-Fi chip market

Here’s new research that lends credibility to the Obama Administration’s stated need for more wireless spectrum for its proposed National broadband Plane.

In a new report entitled, “Wi-Fi Chipsets: Is 802.11ac The New Black?,” the market research firm NPD In-Stat is predicting that in addition to cell phones, tablets and other portable media consumption devices, emerging new markets such as smart meters, wireless mice, automobiles, and home automation will stimulate sales of Wi-Fi chipsets to $6.1 billion in three years. Indeed, the firm said that by 2015, the three biggest markets for 802.11ac will be smartphones, notebooks, and tablets.

“As Wi-Fi appears in more and more devices the demand for additional bandwidth will grow along with it,” said Greg Potter, an analyst with NPD In-Stat. “Granted, broadband speeds are not yet fully utilizing the available bandwidth allowed by Wi-Fi. However, newer use cases‚ such as streaming high-definition video from devices to the TV, necessitate an increase in bandwidth. New standards such as the [IEEE] 802.11ac aim to provide that necessary speed increase.”

Among the findings of a new report, NPD In-Stat said that: the introduction of low-power Wi-Fi chipsets presents a challenge to Bluetooth in certain markets; the IEEE 802.11ac protocol will grow rapidly with chipset shipments to surpass 650 million by 2015; and all of the chips shipping in the automotive market will be Bluetooth/Wi-Fi combo chips.

Still in its nascent stages, the IEEE 802.11ac standard is a wireless computer networking scheme that will provide high throughput Wireless Local Area Networks that can operate on frequencies below 6 GHz (sometimes called the 5 GHz band).

The new NPD In-Stat research provides recent news in Wi-Fi, analysis of new standards such as 802.11ac and Wi-Fi Direct, analysis of low-power chipsets, and of monolithic, combo, and embedded chipsets. Chipsets are forecast by type (monolithic, combo, embedded) and by standard (802.11a/bg, 802.11n, 802.11ac) with data provided for the years 2010 through 2015. Data and analysis are presented on the number of Wi-Fi chipsets shipped worldwide across 33 different product categories.