The total market for open short-range wireless (SRW) technology based ICs, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, NFC, and GPS, is expected to reach almost 5 billion units in 2013 and grow to nearly 8 billion by 2018, according to ABI Research. This includes standalone wireless connectivity ICs, wireless connectivity combo ICs, and also platforms with integrated wireless connectivity.
“In the year where cumulative Bluetooth enabled device shipments will reach 10 billion and cumulative Wi-Fi enabled device shipments will reach 7 billion, we will also see total wireless connectivity IC shipments break through 5 billion per annum,” said Peter Cooney, practice director. “It is truly a momentous year for short-range wireless technology.”
Consumer devices such as mobile phones, laptops, media tablets, games consoles, etc. have been the major driver of SRW technology growth but as many of these devices start to peak it is newer applications such as automotive, home automation, smart energy, retail, and many more that will be the major growth drivers over the next 10 years.
SRW technologies are enabling simple, low-cost connections to be made between multitude devices and helping to make 2013 the year that the Internet of Everything (IoE) hits an inflection point and starts to become a reality. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee are just a few of many technologies that will enable growth in this market, coupled with proprietary SRW, cellular, white space, and fixed communication technologies, also.
“Without interoperable short-range wireless standards the IoE will not flourish; it requires low-cost, low-power, ubiquitous technologies to create the myriad connections that will be needed,” added Cooney. “Technologies such as Bluetooth Smart (v4.0), ZigBee, and the upcoming 802.11ah standard will be key enablers for IoE.”