Built-in wireless set to boom


A third of all wireless equipment will be fully built into devices by 2011, new research predicts.

In four years' time, 32 per cent of all wireless data equipment - including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, near-field communication, WiMedia, GPS and FM radio - will be either incorporated into a connectivity package combining two or more solutions, or will be integrated with a host processor or baseband processor, according to ABI Research .

The research firm expects that the two equipment sectors most likely to see the majority of integration activity are mobile handsets and mobile computing.

ABI Research director Stuart Carlaw said: "We are on the cusp of a high level of integration activity as silicon vendors look to add value to their offerings, diversify and differentiate themselves in what are increasingly competitive markets.

"Precedents for integration activity can be seen in Broadcom's BCM4325 , which incorporates Bluetooth, FM radio and Wi-Fi in a single integrated circuit," Carlaw said.

He added that such integration is a "vital tool" that vendors will use to maintain margins in markets where OEMs continue to squeeze every last cent out of their suppliers.