Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) announced that it shipped 14 million 802.11 ports to customers worldwide in 2003. TI has shipped over 17 million WLAN ports since 2002. According to preliminary market data from In-Stat/MDR, the WLAN silicon market is estimated to be approximately 53 million ports in 2003. This confirms TI's position as a leading Wi-Fi silicon and software provider to retail, broadband residential gateway (RG), PC and mobile equipment manufacturers around the world.
The 2004 WLAN market is expected to continue its rapid growth with more consumer and enterprise devices adding Wi-Fi for wire-free connectivity. From access points, PC cards and integrated broadband home gateways to smartphones, PDAs and VoIP phones, TI WLAN is working to fuel these markets in 2004 with innovative and cost effective solutions.
"Texas Instruments has definitely strengthened its position in the WLAN IC space by growing its shipments significantly in 2003," said Gemma Paulo, Sr. Analyst, In-Stat/MDR. "The Wi-Fi IC market is growing fast to keep up with the industry's demands for traditional networking equipment as well as the emerging broadband gateway, mobile and consumer electronics manufacturers that are including WLAN connectivity. Companies such as Texas Instruments with a diversified WLAN offering are strongly positioned to grow with the market and continue innovating for the next wave of Wi-Fi devices."
In 2003, TI also grew its customer base in the US, Asia, Europe and Japan. Today, TI provides WLAN technology to over 40 manufacturers worldwide including: D-Link Systems, Inc., HP, Intel, Motorola, Inc., NETGEAR, Inc., Netopia, Inc., Samsung EM, Siemens Subscriber Networks, SMC Networks, U.S. Robotics, Westell, and many Asian ODMs.
"2003 was a great year for TI in WLAN. We expect 2004 to be even better with three main trends pushing growth and innovation: the movement of 802.11a/g into the home for multimedia applications, followed by higher throughputs with 802.11n; the integration of broadband DSL and cable modems with Wi-Fi for improved home networking connections; and increased mobility with the convergence of 802.11 with mobile devices," said Marc Cetto, general manager of TI's Wireless Networking Business Unit.
Affordable 802.11a/g routers for the consumer market utilizing TI's wONETM universal router software are expected to hit the retail shelves in second quarter 2004. wONE software allows simultaneous operation of 802.11a and 802.11g with one chipset from TI which includes a CPU, MAC/baseband and RF front end. (See: www.ti.com/wone.)
wONE technology also paves the way for consumer use of equipment in the 5GHz band and the upcoming IEEE 802.11n standard, which promises speeds above 100Mbps. TI is an active participant in the 802.11n task group and is expecting 2004 to be the year that the 802.11n draft standard gets chosen. The retail market has seen a great increase in 802.11g-only devices and throughput extensions like TI's 802.11g+ throughout 2003. In 2004, TI will introduce improvements to its 802.11g+ technology to increase performance and maintain its accomplishments in throughput enhancements.
In the residential gateway (RG) space, TI is leading the way with integrated reference designs utilizing TI's broadband portfolio of cable modem and DSL modem solutions. For example, the AR7W combines TI's AR7, single-chip ADSL router, with its 802.11g technology. This reference design provides DSL manufacturers with fast deployment of WLAN-enabled routers so service providers can deliver bundled home networking to consumers. In 2004, TI expects to introduce reference designs that address the carriers' desires to increase the range of WLAN to cover an entire home.
TI expects the next generation of PDAs and the first generation of smartphones using TI-based Wi-Fi solutions to appear in early to mid 2004. The TNETW1100B and TNETW1230 with TI's low power ELPTM technology play integral roles in this market space. TI paved the way for WLAN in the mobile embedded market, with the announcement of the TNETW1100B in September 2002. This early leadership extended with the TNETW1230, which provides low power 802.11a/b/g connectivity for mobile devices.
TI is also answering the market's desire to converge multiple wireless technologies into one device such as a smartphone or PDA. TI offers a robust Bluetooth(r)-802.11 coexistence package that manages the potential interference of voice and data traffic since both technologies occupy the same band. For complete wireless solutions, TI is strongly positioned since it offers OMAPTM application processors and GSM, CDMA, GPRS, GPS, UMTS and EDGE chipsets to provide complete designs to manufacturers such as the tri-wireless Wanda PDA concept design.