Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Global chipmakers are keenly developing Wi-Fi 6 chip solutions to support sub-6-GHz 5G smartphones, the mainstream new-generation models estimated to register annual shipments of over 200 million units in 2020, providing new business opportunities for IC testing, certification and packaging firms, according to industry sources.
The sources said chipmakers including Qualcomm, MediaTek and Realtek Semiconductor have ramped up their orders for testing and certifying Wi-Fi 6 core chips with IC certification labs including Sporton International, and other IC designers such as RichWave are also showing testing demand for Wi-Fi 6 RF front-end modules.
Sporton noted that the Wi-Fi Alliance launched its Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) certification program in mid-September 2019, marking the arrival of the Wi-Fi 6 era and prompting handset vendors and network equipment suppliers to incorporate the new wireless communication standard into their devices. The company cited ABI Research statistics as estimating that annual shipments of Wi-Fi devices may top one billion units by 2022.
Sporton obtained the world's first 802.11ax wireless RF certificate from US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the third quarter of 2019, and has since been receiving inquiries and orders for high-end Wi-Fi chips certification services, with clear order visibility through the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, Taiwan III-V semiconductor supply chain players are also eyeing business opportunities for Wi-Fi 6 RF and PA devices, including Win Semiconductors, Visual Photonics Epitaxy, Advanced Wireless Semiconductor, Global Communication Semiconductors and Intelligent Epitaxy Technology. They are seeking contract processing orders from US IDMs as well as RF and PA chips designers in Taiwan and China, industry sources said.
As RF front-end modules for 5G and Wi-Fi 6 applications must integrate silicon-based devices and III-V semiconductor components, SiP technology is needed to support the heterogeneous integration, generating new packaging opportunities for ASE Technology and its affiliates, the sources continued.
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