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.
|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.
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.
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