The Wi-Fi chipset market was valued at USD 19.7 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach USD 25.2 billion by 2026; it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period (2021–2026).
Growing number of public Wi-Fi hotspots, adoption of Internet of Things (IoT), growth of Wi-Fi in enterprise and business, rising need for faster data transfer and significant increase in the internet penetration rate are significant driving factors in the Wi-Fi chipset market during the forecast period. The growth of the Wi-Fi chipset market would also largely depend on the success of new Wi-Fi technologies, including IEEE 802.11ad (WiGig), and 802.11ax standards. However, several factors, such as the decline in the shipment of tablets and PCs over the last few years and long standardization and certification time, are hindering the growth of the Wi-Fi chipset market. Moreover, increase in coexistence issues with LTE in LTE-U due to the use of 5 GHz band is a major challenge for Wi-Fi chipset manufacturers.
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The market, based on MIMO configuration, has been divided into SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO. MU-MIMO are expected to hold a major share during the forecast period. Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO) Wi-Fi chipsets offer up to 3 times higher throughput than single-user multiple input multiple output (SU-MIMO) Wi-Fi chipsets. MU-MIMO chipsets use beamforming to distinguish client devices in a multiple client environment by sending data to more than one client simultaneously. This reduces the wait time for each client on a Wi-Fi network. The growing penetration of MU-MIMO Wi-Fi chipsets in enterprise and consumer access point equipment is expected to be the major driver for its growth during the initial years of commercialization. The adoption of these chipsets in smartphones, 4K TVs, and gaming consoles is expected to accelerate the growth of the MU-MIMO Wi-Fi segment during the latter half of the forecast period
By band, the market is segmented into single and dual band , and tri band. The single and dual band Wi-Fi chipset market is expected to lose a significant market share to the tri-band Wi-Fi chipset market during the forecast period. Single band (2.4 GHz) and dual band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) have become highly congested due to the other existing Wi-Fi protocols and wireless technologies. The high congestion of these 2 bands has negatively affected user experience and throughput. The tri band segment is expected to account for a 24% share of the overall Wi-Fi chipset market by 2026. The high growth of the tri-band Wi-Fi chipset segment is attributed to the use of 802.11ac in smartphones and Wi-Fi access point equipment. The upcoming 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6 is expected to provide 160 MHz channel widths to accommodate data-hungry applications over the 6 GHz band; it could lead to the adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and next-generation security of WPA3.
By end-use application, the Wi-Fi chipset market is segmented consumer devices—smartphones, laptops & personal computers (PCs), and tablets; cameras; smart home devices—appliances, smart speakers; gaming devices; AR/VR devices; mobile robots; drones; networking devices—routers & gateways, access points; mPOS, in-vehicle infotainment and others (medical devices, portable devices, defense equipment, and educational devices). Recent developments in various application areas and continuous improvements in verticals such as consumer electronics and automotive are a few of the key factors driving the adoption of Wi-Fi chipsets. The consumer devices are expected to hold the largest share of the Wi-Fi chipset market. IP cameras, smart home devices and gaming devices are the growing end-use application markets during the forecast period.
By IEEE standard, the Wi-Fi chipset market has been segmented into 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7), 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6 and 6E), 802.11 ac (Wi-Fi 5), 802.11ad and 802.11b/g/n. In 2020, IEEE 802.11n, 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), and 802.11ad were the most widely used IEEE standards in the Wi-Fi chipset market. During the latter half of the forecast period, 802.11ax is expected to witness rapid growth in the overall Wi-Fi chipset market. This standard is expected to offer the highest spectral efficiency among all other existing IEEE 802.11 standards and is predicted to have a top speed of around 10 Gbps (as tested by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (China)). However, to meet the emerging demands for faster speed, a new amendment standard—IEEE 802.11be – Extremely High Throughput (EHT), also known as Wi-Fi 7—is anticipated to be released in March 2021. This new additional 6 GHz band with new features, including speeds up to 320-MHz bandwidth, will help achieve the target of EHT—a maximum throughput of at least 30 Gbps. It will find applications in high-throughput and low-latency services, such as 4K/8K video streaming, AR/VR applications, and online gaming
By vertical, the Wi-Fi chipset market is segmented into consumer electronics, enterprise, industrial, retail, BFSI, healthcare, automotive and others (government & public sector). With the emergence of several smart appliances that can connect to the internet and smartphones, the IoT technology market for the consumer electronics segment is expected to witness healthy growth, and so is the Wi-Fi chipset market. Therefore, it tends to hold the major share of the Wi-Fi chipset market during the forecast period. Similarly, wide coverage range, fewer access points, minimized costs, and simplified network deployment are the factors fueling the demand for Wi-Fi 6 in enterprises, which was the second-largest market for Wi-Fi chipsets in 2020.
In 2020, the Asia-pacific market accounted for the largest share of the global Wi-Fi chipset market and is expected to become the largest market for Wi-Fi chipsets by 2026, accounting for an estimated 50% share of the market, in terms of volume There are several consumer electronics product manufacturers operating in China, South Korea, and Japan, such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (South Korea), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (China), ZTE Corporation (China), and Sony Corporation (Japan). The large pool of consumer electronics manufacturers and low-cost manufacturing of Wi-Fi chipsets in China have led to the largest share of Asia Pacific in the Wi-Fi chipset market. North America is expected to hold the second-largest share in the Wi-Fi chipset market by 2026. The presence of key consumer electronics and Wi-Fi networking product manufacturers such as Apple, Inc. (US) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (US) has contributed to the growth of the Wi-Fi chipset market in North America. Wi-Fi-based communication technology is gaining significant momentum as a mobile offload technology in North America. Moreover, connected devices ownership in North America is expected to increase significantly during the forecast period. This factor is expected to drive the growth of the Wi-Fi chipset market in North America during the forecast period.