IDC Forecasts Healthy Growth Ahead for Worldwide WLAN Semiconductor Market

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – SEPTEMBER 5, 2001 – The total wireless LAN (WLAN) semiconductor market will show a healthy growth rate over the next five years. According to IDC, total market revenues will increase at a 2000-2005 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29%. Fueling this growth will be the development of the 5GHz segment, which will emerge in 2002. The more mature 2.4GHz market, which grew 53% to $216 million in 2001, will increase at a more moderate CAGR of 8.6% during this time.


"The demand for mobile connectivity, coupled with increasing support from PC makers, will contribute to the growth of the WLAN semiconductor market," said Ken Furer, research analyst with IDC's Semiconductor group. "However, the industry is still very young and has yet to prove itself. Successful adoption hinges on increased industry cohesion."

WLAN semiconductors continue to be a key area of growth within the technology sector. Revenue opportunities for baseband and radio chipsets supporting the more widely used 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11b standard remain strong, while IEEE 802.11a, operating within the 5GHz spectrum, offers even higher bandwidths and fewer interference issues than before. Although momentum remains behind the IEEE 802.11 technologies, HomeRF and HiperLAN/2 are still contending in WLAN as well.

Regarding the competition, Intersil remains the dominant supplier in the 2.4GHz market with a supporting cast that includes Agere, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Proxim, Philips, Texas Instruments, and others. A myriad of players are looking to enter the 5GHz market including start-ups like Atheros, Envara, and Resonext, along with most 2.4GHz vendors and other established companies like National Semiconductor and ST Microelectronics. "As the WLAN semiconductor market matures, products will become more standardized and cost reduction pressures will intensify. This will make it even more imperative for vendors to produce low-cost solutions," Furer said.

IDC's bulletin, Worldwide WLAN Semiconductor Market Forecast and Review, 2000-2005 (IDC #25432), examines the future semiconductor opportunities in the WLAN market. This bulletin provides an overview of the chipset technologies used to build various WLAN systems including network interface cards (NICs), access points, and other segments. Major trends are analyzed and an overview of the competitive landscape is provided. To purchase this bulletin, contact 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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