infoTECH Feature

April 20, 2011

In-Stat: WiFi Direct-Enabled Devices Shipment to Touch 173 Million in 2011

The number of WiFi Direct-enabled devices shipped will reach 173 million in 2011, according to In-Stat.

Smart devices shipping with embedded WiFi (News - Alert) Direct in 2011 will be led by desktop PCs, digital TVs, mobile phones, and notebook PCs.

WiFi Direct enables the wireless networking standard to add peer-to-peer capability, without any need for a WiFi access point.

Working as a powerful WiFi solution, WiFi Direct creates a compelling standard. It will act as a one-stop-shop for wireless connectivity, and brings WiFi into competition with specifications such as Bluetooth.

Since WiFi Direct is software based, the marginal cost of WiFi Direct-enabled silicon over basic WiFi silicon is negligible, In-Stat said in its report called “WiFi Direct: It's All About the Software.”

“WiFi Direct enjoys wide backing from WiFi silicon vendors,” said Brian O'Rourke, research director at In-Stat (News - Alert), in a statement. “Ultimately though, the key to WiFi Direct's success will lie in the application programming interface (APIs) software that is developed to make WiFi Direct useful to the consumer.”

Companies such as Atheros, Broadcom, CSR (News - Alert), Intel, Marvell, Qualcomm, Ralink, and Realtek have plans for widespread release of WiFi Direct-enabled silicon. Many companies received WiFi Direct certification for at least one chip solution in the fourth quarter of 2010, shortly after the specification was released by the WiFi Alliance (News - Alert) in October.

The In-Stat research said every PC, CE device, and mobile phone that ship in 2014 with WiFi silicon will be WiFi Direct-enabled. The WiFi Direct-enabled device shipment compounded annual growth rate will be 79 percent between 2011 and 2015.

A report from ABI Research said that worldwide shipments of WiFi ICs unit forecast to reach 41 percent between 2009 and 2014. One of the major reasons for this increase is the hike in the number of laptops, netbooks, MIDs and smartbooks which have had WiFi embedded technology in them. Of the total of handsets shipped in 2014, WiFi IC placement in handsets grew by more than 50 percent in 2009 and WiFi-enabled handsets will account for 40 percent.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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