Wireless Networking to Grow Fast

Even though the semiconductor industry is in the doldrums, growth of integrated circuits (IC) for home networking is expected to grow quickly, a report released Monday by Allied Business Intelligence says.

Leading the growth will be ICs for wireless networks, the study says. By 2006, wireless networking will account for 48 percent of all home networking according to the study. The lion’s share of the wireless networking in the next few years will be 802.11b while some support for HomeRF will remain, according to the study.

“Innovation and fierce competition is expected to drive down chipset prices, which in turn will spur greater market penetration,” said report author Navin Sabharwal.

A few years from now, faster wireless networking technologies, particularly 802.11a and HiperLAN2 will emerge to replace current wireless technologies, the study predicts. Overall, the IC industry for networking will grow from $49 million in 2000 to $887 million in 2006, the study predicts. That represents an average annual growth rate of 62 percent.

In addition to wireless technologies, the report says that HomePlug, which creates networks using in-wall power lines, also will grow. However, proprietary technologies threaten overall market acceptance of HomePlug, the report says.

The findings are part of the study: “Home Networking Chipsets: Wireless, Powerline and Phoneline IC Markets.”

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