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Study: More wireless protocols to integrate

MANHASSET, N.Y. — A study from WTRS forecasts integration of as many wireless protocols as possible into one chipset and thus one device.
According to WTRS (Mountain View, Calif.), this is driven in part by semiconductor companies responding to the constant commoditization of chips and elimination of margins by attempting to add as much value as possible into a single RF component and thus stave off the inevitable margin erosion.
"Protocols and technologies that compete across more than one wireless application segment, such as CDMA, 802.16e, and the 802.11 family, define an area of intense market growth, corporate R&D investment, and potential generational product opportunities," said Kirsten West, founder and principal analyst of WTRS. "Those technologies that do not have the wherewithal to cross into additional operational segments may offer near-term ROI but will not provide an RF component manufacturer with prolonged profits."
The study projects the primary growth areas for wireless components over the next five years to be wireless telecom and wireless sensors. In the wireless telecom segment, key protocols to consider include CDMA, IEEE 802.11n, and IEEE 802.16e. By contrast, RFID, ZigBee, and IEEE 802.15.4 are the standard protocols likely to dominate the wireless sensor segment over the next ten years.
The study projects that IEEE 802.15.4 components in the wireless sensor sector will achieve annual shipments of 390 million by 2011 with a CAGR of 132 percent over the 2005 to 2011 period. In the same sector, competitive UWB wireless sensor components are forecast to reach more than 20 million units shipped annually in the same timeframe.