Mobile Wimax chip market surged 332%

Pascal Deriot/ Maravedis
27 Apr 2010

The mobile Wimax chipset market exploded in the second half of the year to reach a total of five million units shipped in 2009.

Chipset shipments grew by a remarkable 332% and should translate into accelerated device shipments in the first half of 2010.

By contrast, the mobile Wimax equipment market experienced relatively disappointing growth of just 15%, to reach $1.22 billion in 2009.

Beceem announced one million units shipped per quarter starting in Q309, reaching an estimated total of 2.5 million mobile chipsets. Beceem is leading the mobile Wimax chipset market with almost a 50% market share.

Tier 1 chipset vendors captured most of the growth, with the top 3 mobile Wimax chipset manufacturers - including Beceem, Sequans, and GCT - accounting for almost 90% of the total 802.16e market.

Several factors have impacted the Wimax chipset manufacturer landscape in 2009, with scale being one of the most critical criteria. Remaining players appear to have the funding to survive through 2010, but consolidation looms going forward, which may precipitate mergers/acquisitions before funding runs dry.

One technical trend we have observed in 2009 was the sampling of more integrated chipsets – RFIC and base-band functions merged, or base-band and NPU subsystem integration, or even Wimax and WiFi MAC and PHY designed on the same die. All of these choices lead to the same goal: reducing overall cost of the chipset and platform to meet the pressure on Wimax device price.

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