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January 24, 2014

Mobile PCs and Smartphones Will Provide Top Revenue Opportunities for High-speed Wireless IC Suppliers

A new IHS report, 60GHz Technologies and Other Competing Wireless Standards – World 2013, makes it crystal clear that when it comes to revenue opportunities for high-speed wireless integrated circuit (IC) suppliers mobile PCs and smartphones will dominate, and the time to prepare for this is now. The IHS report forecasts that by 2018 these device categories will be the highest-volume applications in the market.

For purposes of the report, IHS defines a high-speed wireless-enabled device as one that includes at least one of the following technologies: WirelessHD, WHDI, 802.11ad (WiGig) or multi-stream Wi-Fi (802.11n 3x3 higher or 802.11ac 2x2 and higher).

Between 2013 and 2018, more than 400 million high-speed wireless ICs are projected to ship cumulatively into the mobile PC market, generating global revenue of $2.5 billion. The report also notes that more than 80 million high-speed wireless ICs are projected to ship cumulatively over the same period into the smartphone market, with worldwide revenue forecast to exceed $260 million in 2018.

Shipments of high-speed, wireless-enabled mobile PCs are forecast to exceed 125 million devices in 2018, driven primarily by the adoption of multi-stream Wi-Fi for these devices. This is detailed in the chart shown below.

Stephanie Gibbons, senior analyst for connectivity at IHS says that, "The primary use cases for high-speed wireless mobile PCs will span both the consumer and enterprise markets. In the home, high-speed wireless-enabled PCs will be used to stream HD content to TVs on the home network. In the office space, mobile PCs equipped with high-speed wireless will be able to receive and transfer large files in seconds, compared to the minutes it now takes, and act as a source device for larger displays for use in applications such as video conferencing."

Annual shipments of high-speed wireless-enabled smartphones will reach 36 million devices in 2018, IHS projects, driven principally by the adoption of 60 Gigahertz technologies. The primary use for high-speed wireless smartphones is expected to be HD video streaming from smartphones to TVs within the home entertainment network. This is already happening of course, but will become more or less standard operating procedure within five years for most consumers.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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