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802.11n models dominating WLAN card supply

Suppliers are hitting 450Mbps in transmission speed and introducing dual-frequency models.

China WLAN card manufacturers are releasing more 802.11n variants, spurred by the trend for high-speed wireless connection in electronic devices. To meet users' requirements, makers are raising data rates to 450Mbps and introducing dual-frequency models adopting 2.4 and 5GHz.

WLAN card

The WS-WN687N1 model from Winstars has 11, 54 and 150Mbps data rates and adopts 802.11b/g/n.

USB is the prevailing interface, although units running on PCI and PCI Express are also available.

Versions based on 802.11n find application in desktop computers and laptops. The type currently constitutes 80 percent of the country's total yield. It covers the entire line at Proware Technologies Co. Ltd and Tenda Technology Co. Ltd. The first aims to boost sales of this kind by 30 percent this year.

Models that support the 802.11n standard will account for 97 percent of wireless product shipments by 2014, up from 35 percent in 2009, estimates Gartner.

Manufacturers expect WLAN card output to climb by 10 percent this year as wireless connectivity becomes a key feature in communication, automotive and consumer applications.

The global market rose 12 percent in 2010 to nearly $5 billion, according to IDC. This comes as more notebook and desktop computers integrate WLAN modules.

Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi equipment market will post more than 9 percent CAGR in 2011-16, ABI Research said. The upturn is fueled by growing demand for mobile Internet access and the increasing number of hotspots worldwide. Robust PC shipments are likewise spurring the expansion. Outbound deliveries are forecast to hit 387.8 million units this year, an 11 percent jump from 2010. The number will rise by 14 percent to 440.6 million units in 2012.

Product gallery

USB WLAN cards prevailing

WLAN cards from China generally come in PCI, PCI Express and USB versions. The last rules the mainstream, representing 80 percent of yield. High-speed models supporting PCI Express will replace PCI-enabled kinds. Releases adopt 802.11a, 802.11b/g, 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n standards, with the last being the most popular. Such units boast 150 to 300Mbps data rates, and those with the former speed are leading supply. USB 802.11n cards adopt the 2.0 interface, 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2 security, WPS encryption and 2.4 to 2.485GHz frequency range.

Wi-Fi chipsets are key to the manufacture of WLAN cards. Enterprises source these from US providers Broadcom and Atheros, and Realtek and Ralink of Taiwan. Other inputs such as PCBs and ABS housings are obtained from local partners.

WLAN card prices are forecast to decrease by 5 to 10 percent this year amid falling Wi-Fi chipset costs.

WLAN card

Product gallery

Proware Technologies Co. Ltd

Model: PW-DN481D
Description: 802.1x, 802.11e; PCI Express 2.0 interface; 150Mbps data rate; 64/128/152-bit WEP, 128-bit WPA, WPS, WMM; infrastructure, ad-hoc modes; MIC, IV expansion, shared key authentication; Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 OS; detachable omnidirectional antenna

WLAN card

Tenda Technology Co. Ltd

Model: W311Ma
Description: 802.11b/g/n; USB 2.0; 150Mbps data rate; 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPS, WMM; 20/40MHz; infrastructure, ad-hoc modes; Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, Linux, Mac OS; Chinese SSID; 4.2dBi omnidirectional antenna

WLAN card

Winstars Technology Ltd

Model: WS-WN683N2
MOQ: 1,000 units
Delivery: 25 days
Description: 802.11 b/g/n; 11/54/150/270/300Mbps data rates; WPS; MIMO; 2.4/2.485GHz; Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Linux, Mac OS; CE, FCC, RoHS

Note: This article "Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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