Targeting more applications, companies are releasing models with multiple connectivity options.
Backed by years of experience in developing wireless technologies, module makers in Taiwan are expanding the user base to take advantage of the growing market for mobile devices. The island is a major sourcing center for notebook PC WLAN modules, with local manufacturer Ralink alone accounting for 10 to 12 percent of the global WLAN IC output. Companies hoping to penetrate more segments are now releasing units for iPad-like tablet PCs and smartphones because of these sectors' optimistic outlook. They are likewise targeting LCD TVs, game consoles and digital cameras.
Enterprises are also rolling out models with multiple connectivity options for portable telecom devices that require various wireless technologies. Mobile phones, for instance, operate on FM and Bluetooth, while high-end smartphones support GPS and Wi-Fi.
Following the trend, AzureWave has launched a 4-in-1 module for smartphones. It supports Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n, GPS and FM, and measures only 9.6x9.6mm. The targeted customers are white-brand mobile phone manufacturers.
A subsidiary of AsusTek, AzureWave is also developing 3G solutions for PC applications. In the 2011 Mobile World Congress, the company demonstrated a series of 3G modules, including those for 3.5G HSPA dongle and triband mobile routers that facilitate high-speed wireless Internet access. It offers products adopting HSPA and EV-DO technologies and compliant with W-CDMA and CDMA2000 requirements. The HSPA+ solutions are designed for tablet PCs and laptops, and feature a fast download rate of up to 21Mbps.
Ralink, on the other hand, has recently merged with MediaTek to provide a wider selection of Wi-Fi solutions and other networking technologies such as Ethernet, xDSL, GPS and Bluetooth. The first is currently among the world's top five vendors of WLAN ICs, together with Broadcom, Intel, Atheros and Marvell. Its Wi-Fi chip selection includes portable, fixed and mobile solutions. Products serve major brands such as D-Link, Linksys, Buffalo and Asus. MediaTek is also a recognized wireless communication and digital multimedia solution provider in Taiwan.
The other major module manufacturers in the island are Abocom, Arcadyan, Gemtek and Universal Scientific.
Note:This article was originally published by 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.
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