It was "a great year for wireless local area network [Lan] component manufacturers" in 2002, with sales of wireless chipsets doubling, industry analysts said yesterday.
According to high-tech market research firm In-Stat/MDR the strong sales bucked the trend of a slow semiconductor market and a slow world economy, with most growth being driven by the huge popularity of 802.11b (WiFi).
But 802.11g products have started to arrive with great customer acceptance, while 802.11a and combo chips will also play importantly into the mix.
"2002 could best be described as a transitional year for wireless Lan; both for chipmakers and the standard overall," said Allen Nogee, a principal analyst with In-Stat/MDR.
"It was the year that wireless Lan made the transition from niche application to mainstream technology, and one in which chipmakers refined their strategies and formed alliances and partnerships in preparation for the long haul.
In-Stat/MDR also found that despite terrorism concerns, a slow worldwide economy, and a horrible time for semiconductor manufacturers in general, the number of wireless Lan chipsets sold grew to more than twice the level of the previous year, to over 20 million.
The report, The Wireless Road Ahead - The Wireless Lan Chip Market Today and Beyond, predicted that the strong growth of Wireless Lan will continue.
In 2003, the number of chipsets forecast to be sold will reach over 33 million and, by 2007, the number is forecast to be over 94 million.
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