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22 October 2008


Double-digit growth for WLAN ICs to 2012, driven by 802.11n

The wireless LAN (WLAN) semiconductor market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8% to more than $4bn by 2012, according to a study ‘Worldwide WLAN Semiconductor 2008-2012 Forecast’ by IDC.

While PCs will remain the largest application segment, mobile phone applications will grow at 49.3% to become the second-largest category by 2012. However, IDC expects MIMO-enhanced 802.11n technology to be the next growth driver for this market, as its higher throughput and range provide a great opportunity for new applications and usage models.

“The need for connectivity and connected mobile clients continues to fuel the WLAN semiconductor market,” says Ajit Deosthali, IDC’s research manager for Short Range Wireless Semiconductors. “WLAN adoption is set to grow beyond notebook PC and into the mobile phone and consumer electronics devices,” he adds.

In addition, WiFi is set to take off in mobile handsets with dual-mode phones that provide both conventional cellular and WLAN connectivity. Connectivity is the fastest-growing segment for semiconductor companies, with WLAN leading the way. Mobile handsets and mobile internet devices will lead the integration of WiFi radio with other radio technologies such as Bluetooth, FM, and GPS for personal area networks, IDC concludes.

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