Wireless connectivity goes native

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Wireless connectivity goes native

A third of all wireless radio equipment will be fully integrated by 2011.

A third of all Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, near-field communication, WiMedia, GPS and FM radio integrated circuit shipments will be integrated products by 2011, market watchers predict.

ABI Research said that such wireless data equipment will be incorporated into a connectivity package within five years, or added to host or baseband processors.

The analyst firm expects that the two equipment sectors are likely to see the majority of integration activity in cellular 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.

"Another example is CSR's purchase of NordNav and Cambridge Positioning Systems in order to realise the goal of producing a combined GPS/Bluetooth integrated circuit."

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

It also allows vendors to meet ever stricter OEM requirements for power saving and board space, according to the analyst.
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