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IMS: 20 Million 802.15.4 Chips, Less Than Half ZigBee-Certified
Dec 9, 2010
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Of the 20 million IEEE 802.15.4 ICs shipped in 2009, less than half were ZigBee-certified, according to IMS Research—but the research firm also reported standardization occurring in home area networking (HAN) devices.

In the report, “The World Market for Low-power Wireless – 2011 Edition,” IMS said the market for 802.15.4 ICs using proprietary networking software is often underestimated, but also provided evidence of some application areas standardizing.

"In 2010, the product mix of ZigBee, RF4CE, WirelessHART, ISA100, and proprietary solutions using the IEEE 802.15.4 physical layer looks very different to that in 2009," said Lisa Arrowsmith, IMS senior market analyst. "On aggregate, 802.15.4 ICs using proprietary software appear set to lose 20% of their market to ZigBee and RF4CE. Even so, their shipments will triple from 2009 to 2015."

Standardization is happening in existing application areas and emerging ones, such as consumer health monitoring devices and home area networking (HAN) devices that can communicate with smart metering gateways.

IMS forecasts continued demand for standardized solutions, particularly where consumer markets are expected to develop, as they require interoperability between manufacturers.

IMS also sees growing demand for 802.15.4 solutions using proprietary software, which can offer simple network stacks, with relatively low memory overheads, and avoid the certification costs of ZigBee networks. Proprietary solutions continue where open networks are unneeded.

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