Wi-Fi 6E chipset shipments will triple by 2022

New research also predicts an increase in the adoption of UWB devices

Wireless technology/cyber space visualisation

Wi-Fi 6 chipset shipments are expected to reach 1.5 billion units in 2022, while Wi-Fi 6E sales are set to triple, according to ABI Research.

Furthermore, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) devices are expected to surpass 500 million units, as their adoption among smartphones, wearables, speakers, trackers, and other RTLS applications grows.

The year 2021 saw Wi-Fi 6 become more widely adopted among major smartphone brands, including Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo.

With the increasing availability of Wi-Fi 6E chipsets and platforms from leading chip vendors such as Qualcomm, Broadcom, and MediaTek, the transition to 6 GHz devices will accelerate into 2022. Wi-Fi 6 adoption is also expected to be rapid in the tablet industry.

"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," explains 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."  

Additionally, Wi-Fi 6 is seeing increased adoption in home entertainment devices. For instance, MediaTek and Samsung teamed up to debut the first Wi-Fi 8K TV in March 2020, followed by the first Wi-Fi 6E 8K TV in April 2021 built on MediaTek's MT7921AU chipset.

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UWB will account for almost a quarter of smartphones, as more models incorporate the technology. As new models support Wi-Fi 6, ABI Research predicts greater uptake in 2022 and beyond. In the PC market, Wi-Fi 6E is expected to grow significantly in the notebook segment. 

"By 2026, ABI Research forecasts there will be over 7 billion Bluetooth, 5 billion Wi-Fi, and well over 1 billion UWB annual device shipments. Greater availability of IoT-centric Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E chipsets, combo ICs, and innovations in performance and power consumption will combine to help the market to scale to new heights," added Zignani.

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