The IEEE 802.15.4 IC market, often referred to as wireless sensor networks (WSN), will expand to more than 850 million units per annum by 2016, experiencing a compound annual growth rate of over 60 percent from 2010 to 2016. While growth is led by advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) equipment, significant uptake is expected in home automation, home entertainment, medical, and others.
ZigBee is the most widely-used IEEE 802.15.4 technology, accounting for 40 percent of total shipments in 2012 and growing to more than 50 percent by 2015. Current deployments and growth are being driven by the ZigBee Alliance, the industry body now comprising more than 400 members including IC suppliers such as Freescale, Intel, Marvell, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.
“Many IC suppliers have seen the potential of ZigBee and other 802.15.4 technologies and are helping drive new application solutions including the latest ZigBee Light Link standard,” saidPeter Cooney. “No doubt these vendors see the potential of adding ZigBee to their arsenal of wireless connectivity technologies alongside Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, and others.”
As ZigBee grows in its key markets and expands into new areas it will see increasing competition as other technologies also continue to develop. One technology that will compete with ZigBee, particularly in the home environment, is Bluetooth. “ZigBee offers many advantages for smart home applications including large network sizes, low power consumption, and low cost solutions, however the ubiquity of Bluetooth in the smartphone and consumer desire to use this device as the home hub/controller will drive use of Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready devices in the smart home environment, making it a strong competitor to ZigBee in this space,” said Cooney.
ABI Research’s study, “Wireless Sensor Networks,” analyzes IEEE 802.15.4 and which standards, such as ZigBee, Wireless HART and ISA100.11a, will influence and drive the market.