1 Billion 802.15.4 Annual Units in 2022, Says ON World

The 802.15.4 market has gained momentum from multi-protocol chips that combine it with competing technologies such as Bluetooth Smart and WiFi, according to global technology research firm ON World.

“Low-cost chips that support both 802.15.4 and Bluetooth has removed the network compatibility objection,” says Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “This is a large win for IoT solution providers as they can now create a new generation of applications that combine the strengths of both protocols.”

Dual mode 802.15.4/Bluetooth chips are currently available from Qualcomm, NXP, Qorvo and Silicon Labs. The news for 802.15.4 gets even better with Qualcomm’s new tri-mode offering that supports Bluetooth Smart, 802.15.4 and WiFi. This system on a chip (SOC) also supports Zigbee 3, Thread, Android Things, Azure and AWS.

Annual shipments for 802.15.4 chips will reach 1 billion by 2022. Over the past two years, 802.15.4 unit shipments more than doubled for smart home solutions. Examples include Nest’s smart thermostats, smoke detectors and recently cameras too; SmartThings’ hubs and sensors; Philips’ smart light bulbs and Comcast’s Xfinity Home with 1 million subscribers. WiFi routers and access points are also appearing with 802.15.4 and Bluetooth Smart using the latest multi-protocol SoCs.

While the smart home will be the largest 802.15.4 market, there are dozens of other growing 802.15.4 markets including at-home health monitoring, building-wide IoT platforms, streetlight monitoring, metering, industrial automation and others. An example of this accelerating growth worldwide is TEPCO in Japan that currently has ten million 802.15.4g/e Wi-SUN meters as part of its race to get 27 million smart meters installed before the 2020 Olympics.

With combo chips solving the network challenge…

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