The natural progression of Wi-Fi into more capable protocols and new use cases will coincide with the Wi-Fi chipset industry’s continued growth. Smaller players will try to make a play for market share while the established players will defend their turf. In the meantime, the shift to 802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO and to multi-band solutions, including WiGig (802.11ad), will bolster Wi-Fi chipset ASPs. This will change what would otherwise have been flattening revenue into continually growing revenue over the next five years.

This market has seen multiple driving forces that are creating significant market shifts into the 5 GHz and 60 GHz bands, from SISO to MIMO, and from 802.11n to 802.11ac and 802.11ad. The Wi-Fi industry continues to adapt to new market requirements. One example is HaLow (802.11ah) in the 900 MHz band. Another is 802.11ax, which will add OFDMA, more flexible use of spectrum, self-optimizing networks, and could add a low-power wake-up radio for IoT applications. 802.11ay will push WiGig further into territory where it could act as a wireless bus and support cross-device hardware sharing far beyond just microphones and cameras. Wi-Fi Aware will enable applications to communicate with other devices in the vicinity and allow devices to be aware of local services.


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