The telecommunications industry is now entering an exciting phase of development many refer to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), including Internet of Humans (IoH), Internet of Digital (IoD), and Internet of Sensors (IoS). The objective here is to bring more “smartness” to the way humans and machines communicate. In order for this vision to materialize, enabling technologies must be harmonized under a common paradigm so they can enable seamless experiences across various verticals. There are five key technologies upon which the IoE world is built, namely sensor networks, connectivity, processing, software platforms, actuation technologies, and big data and machine learning. Based on these building blocks, the Semiconductors sector looks at the strategic technology deployment across various verticals with unparalled technology granularity covering all WLAN and WWAN technologies and technology combinations, processing platforms including CPUs, MCUs, MPUs, DSPs, ISPs, heterogeneous computing, high performance computing, key sensor technologies, and sensor fusions targeting various use cases from motion sensing, environment sensing, optical, and image sensing, to acoustic sensing and biometric sensing.
As attach rates have increased in certain markets for a range of wireless connectivity technologies e.g. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC, combinations of these have been developed to address the needs of customers, such as smaller die size, reduced costs, simplification of supplier base, and the elimination of issues introduced by the integration of chips from multiple vendors. These "combo ICs" have become increasingly important, particularly in the smartphone, laptop, and media tablet markets. Many wireless connectivity IC suppliers have already done and are continuing to invest in expanding their technology portfolios to enable them to compete in a market that is expected to grow to almost US$5 billion by 2016. This Competitive Assessment focuses on the wireless connectivity combo IC market and includes in-depth analysis of the main IC suppliers including a vendor matrix and market share analysis.