Connectivity Semiconductors Industry Research

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Connectivity Is Driving Opportunity

Communication is growing smarter, faster, and more dynamic than ever before, and the evolution of wireless connectivity solutions has made it all possible. Short range, cellular-based, low-power wireless networks, and satellite-based systems are the fundamental enablers of smart communication between things  be it machines, sensors, humans, or infrastructures.

ABI Research forecasts a strong growth of these solutions across numerous verticals, reaching tens of billion devices over the next decade. At the same time, a new wave of wireless connectivity solutions are developing and deploying rapidly, unlocking new market opportunities otherwise not possible with existing generations. For example, the emergence of Wi-Fi 6, 802.11EHT, 6GHz Wi-Fi, 5G, NB-IoT, LPWA, UWB, Bluetooth beacons and mesh, Visual Light Communications (VLC), Low-power GNSS, Simultaneous Location and Mapping technologies (SLAM), High-Precision GNSS, among many other technologies, highlight this continued innovation and ever-changing connectivity landscape.

In addition, chipset vendors are increasingly investing in a combination of these technologies to strengthen their value proposition. Increasingly, these technologies are being integrated and combined to target a variety of use cases that leverage the strengths of individual technologies, and many of these solutions are likely to be leveraged alongside one another across key markets within the consumer electronics, mobile devices, smart home, smart building, smart city, and industrial environments.

A Changing Landscape Creates A Host Of Challenges

Despite these enormous opportunities, the connectivity semiconductor industry is facing a number of challenges. As technological innovation occurs at the bottom of the value chain, and with most of the reward coming from the top, new business models must emerge to spread the reward across the value chain and encourage continued innovation. 

Connectivity chipsets and solutions should be more integrated to increase performance, ensure determinism, and generate volume deployment through scalability across various use cases and market verticals. Yet, scalability and implementation remain difficult. That's because, unlike consumer devices, IoT is much harder to scale and is held back by a variety of obstacles depending on the targeted vertical. Vendors need to understand how to better target different industry verticals and simplify the technology complexity to implementers and end users.

Traditional chipset suppliers also face increased verticalization of platforms across key market segments, resulting in new challenges, loss of opportunity, fragmentation risks and closed platforms. Increased semiconductor consolidation has the potential to negatively impact innovators among the smaller vendors, making it increasingly difficult for them disrupt in such a competitive environment.

At the same time, players in this space face a number of poignant and game-changing questions, such as "How will other emerging technologies such as light-communications, energy harvesting, 5G positioning, wireless power, and other new standards disrupt the market and help to shape the future of connectivity ICs?" and, "As semiconductor integration increases, what will be the role of module vendors going forward?"

Connect With The Right Research

ABI Research provides chipset makers, technology partners, and end users with a holistic view of the connectivity IC market, providing insight, analysis and data across various market verticals.

Our resarch focuses on both technology suppliers and implementers across different industries, helping them understand the market dynamics, assess the competitive landscape, identify the most disruptive and innovative technologies, and quantify market opportunities and ROI for the different connectivity solutions and combinations out there.

We help answer a number of pressing questions, including:

  • How will IC vendor business models evolve beyond one-time hardware sales to ensure continued revenue streams as prices fall?
  • How can these technologies better scale and overcome implementation hurdles hindering widespread adoption?
  • How are different aspects of the connectivity supply chain, such as MCUs, RF sensors, energy harvesting, and power converging or integrating to increase performance, differentiation, and scalability?
  • What role will emerging innovations such as light communications or 5G positioning, energy harvesting, and wireless power over distance play in the coming years?
  • How will these solutions align to support both communication and positioning services to enable new use-cases such as seamless indoor-outdoor positioning and asset tracking, logistics tracking and monitoring, Simultaneous Communication Location and Mapping (SC-LAM), and Geo-Information Services (GIS)?


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