According to ABI Research the 802.11ad (aka WiGig) chipset market will reach a "critical juncture" in 2017, thanks to the technology increasingly penetrating PCs, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.
Since WiGig certification is currently underway, the analyst predicts WiGig chipset shipments will reach over 1 billion in 2021, as the technology enables wireless docking and enhances multimedia streaming, data transfer between devices, and networking applications. In addition more manufacturers should start making WiGig chipsets, including Broadcom, Intel, Lattice Semiconductor, MediaTek, Nitero, Peraso and Qualcomm, helping cut costs of the first WiGig-enabled devices.
“A major challenge for WiGig in moving to the 60GHz band is to build up an ecosystem and solid set of use cases to drive growth,” ABI says. “WiGig-enabled docks can be costly, and OEMs may choose not to implement the technology if there are only a limited number of devices that will work with the accessories.”
WiGig should also help expand overall network speed and capacity by offloading data traffic from the crowded 2.4 and 5GHz bands to the 60GHz band, selecting the most appropriate band for the environment in question. Such expansion in the unlicensed millimeter wave spectrum lays a foundation for the future development of wifi standards, even if WiGig's short range range make it unsuitable for internet access. However it remains ideal for future cord-cutting opportunities, potentially leading to completely cable-free computing.
“With continual improvements in physical connectivity through Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C, in addition to the next-generation 60GHz Wi-Fi protocol (802.11ay) on the horizon, the time is now for WiGig to forge its place in the market,” the analyst concludes. “2017 will be a critical year for growth and adoption of WiGig across the PC, mobile, consumer electronics industry, and beyond.”