The growth of 802.11n in connected consumer entertainment devices will rapidly outpace that of other networking technologies, new research predicts.
A study by ABI Research found that demand from consumers to deploy video entertainment around the home via high-speed networks will lead to 216 million 802.11n chipsets being manufactured by 2011.
"Many consumer electronics vendors see Wi-Fi as the primary way to get network-delivered content to their devices," said ABI Research director Michael Wolf.
"As consumers increasingly source video content on the internet and look towards multi-room distribution, older Wi-Fi technologies do not have the bandwidth to deliver this content, particularly over longer ranges.
"802.11n, in particular 5GHz solutions using 40MHz-wide channels, will help alleviate these constraints."
Competition will be fierce in the consumer electronics space, which is one of the largest growth segments for Wi-Fi chipsets, according to ABI principal analyst Philip Solis.
"Well-established Wi-Fi semiconductor vendors, such as Broadcom and Marvell, will be competing against up and coming Wi-Fi chipset vendors concentrating on market niches, such as Metalink and Nanoradio, " he said.
As laptop OEMs make 802.11n standard on high-end laptops, ABI Research believes this will have a "natural pull-through effect" on 802.11n-enabled home routers.
The wider installed base of 802.11n routers and gateways, combined with increased demand for IP-delivered content on consumer electronics, will push large consumer electronics brands to integrate Wi-Fi in their devices, the study found.
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