|Base Year Market Size
|USD 20.56 Billion
|Forecast Year Market Size
|USD 28.87 Billion
|Fastest Growing Market
The global Wi-Fi chipset market size was valued at approximately USD 19.24 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 20.56 billion in 2023. It is expected to grow with a CAGR of 5.6% to reach USD 28.87 billion by 2031.
The rising demand for connected devices, wearable technology, advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) connections, and the necessity of public Wi-Fi hotspots fuel the global Wi-Fi chipset market growth. Wi-Fi chipset use is regulated by the standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The latest standard, which was launched in mid-2019, is IEEE 802.11 ax, popularly known as WI-FI6. As per our analysis, Wi-Fi 6 is anticipated to cannibalize the Wi-Fi 4 and other IEEE standards, except IEEE 802.11 ac wave 2 and IEEE802.11 ay.
A Wi-Fi chipset is a hardware communication module or a system-on-chip (SoC) that allows a device to communicate with another wireless device. Hardware components such as external wireless local area network (WLAN) cards or WLAN adapters make extensive use of wireless (Wi-Fi) chipset. Moreover, Wi-Fi chipsets are used extensively for several applications in smartphones, personal computers, and laptops, among others. A Wi-Fi chipset is often available in three operating bands — single, dual, and tri bands.
The last few years have seen significant growth in investments for smart and connected infrastructures among enterprises and governments to enhance connectivity. The availability of low-cost sensors, intelligent systems, and other technologies enables higher investments in connected infrastructure, allowing organizations to generate real-time feedback. Investments in smart infrastructure have been rising across all verticals as players take cognizance of the importance of enhancing customer experience, reducing latency, and improving connectivity.
In April 2020, Nokia signed a contract with Central China Holdings Co. Ltd for smart real estate infrastructure. Under this contract, Nokia will provide a range of solutions that will enable Central China Holdings to design and build state-of-the-art developments, that leverage POL, home Wi-Fi, and 5G connectivity for enhanced business, leisure, and quality of life.
IT infrastructures are growing in complexity, accommodating more and more diverse end-user devices and Internet of Things (IoT) connections. Today’s applications are more interactive and bandwidth-intensive, generating massive amounts of data that support real-time analytics and problem-solving. This digital transformation requires more distributed and intelligent edge networking capabilities with constantly evolving security. Thus, IT enterprises are investing significantly in smart infrastructure to improve customer experience. For instance, in October 2018, TeamViewer, a remote management solutions provider, invested USD 32 million in smart infrastructure, comprising IoT connectivity and applications.
The IEEE 802.11b was a highly adopted Wi-Fi standard built using the 2.4 GHz technology, which was cheaper than the IEEE 802.11a. Its maximum data range transfer was 11 Mbps, with an indoor range of up to 30 meters, and CCK (DSSS) modulation (Complementary Code Keying and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum). The IEEE 802.11b standard was easily available in the market and highly preferred due to its ability to upgrade existing chipsets.
The IEEE 802.11g was a successor to the IEEE 802.11a and IEEE 802.11b. It supported high data speeds using 2.4 GHz, which had a similar impact as the speed obtained by IEEE 802.11a within the 5GHz band. Its maximum data throughput of 54 Mbps and CCK, DSSS, or OFDM modulation were used to provide resilience against multipath effects.
The IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g accounted for the largest market shares before the advent of Wi-Fi 4, mainly due to their ability to provide such high and feasible configurations. Today, these standards hardly hold any shares and have been replaced by newer standards, such as Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5.
Geographically, the market has been categorized across Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa, and South America.
Asia-Pacific still accounts for the largest share of the global Wi-Fi chipset market, owing to the increasing demand for smartphones and connected devices. Favorable technical infrastructure, cost-effective manufacturing, and the abundant availability of inexpensive labor in countries, such as Japan, South Korea, China, and India, support the regional market growth.
As of 2022, Asia-Pacific encompasses approximately 62.3% of the global population, accounting for a major part of global trade and consumer electronics consumption. According to the report titled ‘Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Trends 2022/2023,’ published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Asia-Pacific accounted for 36% of global trade in 2021–2022. Further, advancements in digitalization have boosted the adoption of smartphones in the region. According to the report titled ‘Mobile Economy 2022,’ published by the GSM Association, the smartphone adoption rate in Asia-Pacific and Greater China accounted for approximately 76% and 81%, respectively, in 2022.
|By IEEE Standards
|By MIMO Configuration
|By Fabrication Technology
|Qualcomm Incorporated Broadcom Intel Corporation Media Tek SAMSUNG STMicroelectronics Cypress (Infineon Technologies) On Semiconductor Peraso Technologies Dialog Semiconductor Others
|U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
|China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
|Middle East and Africa
|UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
|Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
|Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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For estimation and study, the Wi-Fi Chipset market has been segmented based on IEEE Standards, Band, MIMO Configuration, fabrication technology, and region.
The IEEE 802.11 ac Wave 2 segment accounted for the largest market share of 57.7% in 2022 and is expected to be outpaced by the IEEE 802.11 ax segment during the forecast period. The other IEEE standards are expected to diminish with minimal market shares. The declining market can be attributed to the emergence of Wi-Fi 6.
Wi-Fi 6 is the next-generation wireless standard faster than the 802.11ac. It offers a broad range of attributes, including higher data speed (about 40% comparable to Wi-Fi 5), longer battery life, improved MIMO (Multiple In-Multiple Out), and the ability to divide a wireless channel into a large number of sub-channels. However, currently, very few devices in the market are capable of using Wi-Fi 6 features. Some of them are Samsung Galaxy S10 and Intel 10-gen processors, including the Wi-Fi 6 chipset; thus, Wi-Fi 6 is expected to gradually gain a foothold in the market over the next one or two years.
Dual-band Wi-Fi routers account for the largest value share in the global Wi-Fi chipset market owing to their high coverage, ability to cover maximum devices, ultimate performance, and flexibility on two separate independent networks —2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Their characteristic of lower interference with other devices that use other networks reduces their chances of discontinuation due to the utilization of 11 and 23 channels of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, respectively.
Dual-band Wi-Fi routers also provide an aggregate bandwidth of 1.9 Gbps – 600 Mbps from 2.4 GHz and 1.3 Gbps from 5 GHz. The IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4) standard added the 5 GHz frequency band to increase wireless speeds to at least 450 Mbps and maintain backward compatibility. And the introduction of IEEE 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5)has led to faster data transmission speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps.
Wi-Fi ac1 and ac2 have led to better connectivity on account of high speed. Thedual-band offers less network congestion as it supports up to 8 antennas, each of which runs at 400 Mbps, providing faster speed than the single band that supports up to 4 antennas, which run at roughly 100 Mbps each. Further, the advent of Wi-Fi 6 has boosted the market growth. There is high adoption of Wi-Fi 6 along with dual-band frequency in the market due to its prominent features, such as multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output technology (MU-MIMO), and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA).
The MU-MIMO segment accounted for 60% of the global market share in 2022. The incorporation and utilization of the MU-MIMO have been among the differential factors in the Wi-Fi IEEE 801.11ac Wave 1 and the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 standards. The configuration allows multiple users to connect to Wi-Fi simultaneously and delivers high capacity internet access from fixed networks. The technology focuses on transmitting multiple streams to differential Wi-Fi devices (single or multiple antennas), thereby connecting to all small and large devices.
FinFETs hold the largest market share owing to the larger adoption of the technology by leading companies, majorly Intel and TSMC. Continuous innovations in planar technology have led key companies, such as TSMC, Intel, and IBM, to stick to FinFET. However, the introduction of the FDSOI has hampered the share of the FinFET market to a certain extent due to the ability of the former to incorporate a smaller size.
Properties such as higher battery backup of FinFET, along with appropriate performance and cost ratio, have resulted in the inclination toward FinFET. Additionally, considering IoT and wearable devices, FD-SOI takes over FinFET technology due to low power consumption and the lowest leakage issues offered by FD-SOI.
The smartphone segment holds the largest share in the global Wi-Fi chipset market, which is attributable to the widespread adoption of smartphones, the large-scale utility of mobile connections, and the deployment of cost-effective Wi-Fi chipsets that aid in the transfer of a high data volumes. As per the CISCO Annual Internet Report, by 2023, over 70% of the population will have mobile connectivity, taking the mobile user base from 5.1 billion in 2018 to 5.7 billion in 2023.
The increasing compatibility of OTT (Over the Top) platforms with smartphones has led to an increase in the demand for high-resolution video quality. Smartphones are embedded with highly compatible Wi-Fi chipsets, and currently, most of them use single-band frequency or dual-band frequency Wi-Fi SoCs to obtain the right amount of wireless signal. However, the single band 2.4 GHz is expected to observe a decline in the smartphone segment, as dual-frequency bands are expected to cater to the current needs of large data transactions on smartphones.
The Wi-Fi chipset market was observing significant growth before the COVID-19 outbreak on account of the emergence of Wi-Fi 6and IEEE 802.11 ay, as critical new features give Wi-Fi 6 networks and devices the ability to handle high traffic seamlessly and efficiently. The new standard enables more client devices – and many times more IoT devices – to operate unimpeded on the network. It enables the transfer of more audio, video, and other real-time data. Furthermore, the technology was deployed in a number of smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S10, Note 10, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro. These deployments spurred market growth pre-COVID-19.
The pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes in the market. It has affected business operations and disrupted supply chains with a shortage of raw material and labor. Additionally, the temporary shutdown of electronic retail shops has hindered the sale of new Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices, which adversely affects the Wi-Fi chipset market. Furthermore, considering the short-term manufacturing shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, and the shortage of connected product availability, the IoT connection market is also anticipated to record a decline of 18% in the net addition of devices in 2020. Therefore, Wi-Fi 5 still dominates the market, and it will take another 4–5 years for the technology to be replaced by Wi-Fi 6.
Industry participants also back the decline of the Wi-Fi market in 2020 owing to the ongoing pandemic. For instance, as per Qualcomm, the demand for mobile phone shipments during the second quarter of 2020 dropped to about 21% compared to the previous year. And NXP Semiconductor N.V. witnessed an 18% drop in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year on account of the pandemic.