Research suggests 2022 will be key for wireless innovation

ABI Research has forecast that 2022 will mark a new era for wireless connectivity innovation as Wi-Fi 6, 6E, and Ultra-Wideband adoption accelerates across a growing number of end markets.

The research suggests that Wi-Fi 6 will reach over 1.5bn annual chipset shipments next year, while 6 GHz enabled Wi-Fi 6E chipset will almost triple year-on-year. Furthermore, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) devices are expected to reach nearly half a billion units as adoption increases withing smartphones, wearables, speakers, personal trackers, and RTLS applications.

“The wireless connectivity landscape continues to evolve thanks to the emergence of new technologies, enhancements to established technologies, and continued innovation and competition across the chipset, module and device ecosystems,” explained Andrew Zignani, research director at ABI Research.

“2022 will be a critical year for wireless innovation as the rollout of Wi-Fi 6 rapidly accelerates well beyond flagship Wi-Fi devices, more and more devices support the 6 GHz band via Wi-Fi 6E, and UWB is embedded within increasing numbers of mainstream consumer devices.”

Throughout 2021, Wi-Fi 6 adoption grew across the board, with high-volume smartphone devices from Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo all adopting the technology. This is expected to continue into 2022, while the growing availability of mobile Wi-Fi 6E chipsets and platforms from leading chipset vendors such as Qualcomm, Broadcom and MediaTek will accelerate the transition to 6 GHz capable devices.

The tablet market is also expected to increase its adoption of Wi-Fi 6 from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and Huawei.

Also rapidly transitioning towards Wi-Fi 6 and 6E technology is the PC market. Intel launched its Wi-Fi 6 solution as a configuration option in 2019 and since then has been partly integrated into all its PC platforms. Hundreds of laptop models from notebook vendors now support Wi-Fi 6 technology too. Wi-Fi 6E is expected to see considerable growth within the notebook space throughout 2022 and beyond, following initial traction in 2021 and the development of new chipset and strategic partnerships.

Home entertainment devices will also experience increased adoption of Wi-Fi 6. In March 2020, MediaTek and Samsung partnered to introduce the first Wi-Fi 8K TV, while in April 2021, the two came together again to launch the first Wi-Fi 6E 8K TV based on MediaTek’s MT7921AU chipset. ABI Research expects the Wi-Fi 6 adoption to grow significantly in the home entertainment market throughout 2022 and beyond as new models support the technology.

Wi-Fi 6 support is also starting to increase within the media streaming adapter market. Apple’s latest Apple TV 4K model supports Wi-Fi 6 technology, as does Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

This research has been derived from ABI Research’s ‘Wireless Connectivity Technology Segmentation and Addressable Markets’ market data report, part of the company’s ‘Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Wireless Connectivity’ research service.

Image: StockStyle / Shutterstock

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