The Bluetooth SIG has been incredibly effective in combining the benefits of multiple technologies under a common umbrella. This is one of the major factors that ABI Research expects to drive integrated IC shipments, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wibree (now Ultra Low Power Bluetooth), WiMedia (UWB), and NFC along with FM Radio and GPS, in combined IC packages to a market that will represent nearly 880 million IC shipments in 2011.
ABI Research forecasts that by 2011 there will be over 146 million ICs that combine host processor and Bluetooth functionality, while Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and Bluetooth/UWB combination ICs are likely to see 61 million and 59 million IC shipments in 2011 respectively.
However such success does not come without a price, and manufacturers are likely to be in for some interesting challenges. Research director Stuart Carlaw says, “The need to have significant experience in multiple radio technologies, including incredibly complex solutions such as UWB, means that there are likely to be very few companies in an immediate position to capitalize upon this growing market trend.”
“The widening of the Bluetooth standard brings two opportunities,” he adds. “Multiple technology vendors can take a greater share of the whole short range wireless market. Meanwhile those on the margins of the Bluetooth space, but with experience in other technologies, may be able to penetrate the recently stable and tightly controlled Bluetooth market. Qualcomm will be the most interesting vendor to watch.”
ABI Research’s recent study, Connectivity IC Integration in Mobile Devices and Mobile Computing profiles the market for different IC combinations across the important product segments of mobile computing and mobile devices. It forms part of the firm’s Short-Range Wireless Research Service, which also contains other Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, the ABI Vendor Matrix, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.
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