ADSL vs. Cable Modem Semiconductors: There Will Be No Knockout Punch in the Broadband Access Battle, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 11, 2000 – ADSL and cable modems will be able to co-exist in the semiconductor market. The success of one will not come at the expense of another. This is a key message in IDC's new semiconductor report, Worldwide ADSL and Cable Modem Semiconductor Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004.


"The question of cable versus ADSL is a moot one," said Kimberly Funasaki, a research analyst with IDC's Semiconductor program. "Both technologies will have their place in the market. Cable is targeted strictly at the residential market, while ADSL has been targeted at the small office/home office market. Both technologies will have a following; neither will eliminate the other."

Cable modem semiconductors currently outnumber ADSL modems, but that is because cable had a head-start with regard to service deployment and a set standard. Next year, IDC expects the number of ADSL semiconductor shipments to pass the number of cable semiconductor shipments, and through 2004, IDC expects ADSL will grow faster than cable. Specifically ADSL will increase its shipments at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67% from just under 2 million in 1999 to over 24 million in 2004. During that same time, cable modem chipset shipments will increase at a CAGR of 58% from just over 2 million to nearly 23 million.

ADSL and cable modem semiconductors' success in the broadband access battle will come at the expense of ISDN and V.90 modem semiconductors.

While ADSL will be able to co-exist with cable, within the ADSL market, G.Lite will have a tough time surviving with full-rate ADSL. "When G.Lite was introduced it looked like it had a lot of potential. Its promise of splitterless deployment, lower costs, and lower power consumption are naturally appealing," Funasaki said. "However, in little over a year, full-rate ADSL has caught up considerably, offering splitterless solutions as well, at only a minimal cost premium. To this end, favor has shifted away from G.Lite, and the multimode solution available in the market will be the winner in mass market deployment."

IDC recently published Worldwide ADSL and Cable Modem Semiconductor Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B22448). This report analyzes how the two technologies are faring in the broadband access battle. The report discusses trends in each market and forecasts full-rate ADSL, G.Lite, and cable modem semiconductor revenues by product through 2004. The report also forecasts cost and bill of materials per modem by product as well as ADSL and cable modem chipset shipments. To purchase the report, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 6787 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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