Already on the market in small numbers, Wi-Fi Direct is expected to have a break out year in 2011. The number of Wi-Fi Direct-enabled devices shipped will reach 173 million, says In-Stat.
Devices shipping with embedded Wi-Fi Direct in 2011 will be led by desktop PCs, digital TVs, mobile phones, and notebook PCs.
Wi-Fi Direct creates a much more powerful Wi-Fi solution, as it enables the premier wireless networking standard to add peer-to-peer capability, with no need for a Wi-Fi access point.
This creates a much more compelling standard, a type of one-stop-shop for wireless connectivity, and brings Wi-Fi into competition with specifications such as Bluetooth. And because Wi-Fi Direct is software based, the marginal cost of Wi-Fi Direct-enabled silicon over basic Wi-Fi silicon is negligible.
"Wi-Fi Direct enjoys wide backing from Wi-Fi silicon vendors," says Brian O'Rourke, research director, In-Stat. "Companies such as Atheros, Broadcom, CSR, Intel, Marvell, Qualcomm, Ralink, and Realtek all have plans for widespread release of Wi-Fi Direct-enabled silicon.
“In fact, many of these companies received Wi-Fi Direct certification for at least one chip solution in the fourth quarter of 2010, shortly after the specification was released by the Wi-Fi Alliance in October. Ultimately though, the key to Wi-Fi Direct’s success will lie in the application programming interface (APIs) software that is developed to make Wi-Fi Direct useful to the consumer.”
Recent research by In-Stat found that: Every PC, CE device, and mobile phone that ships in 2014 with Wi-Fi silicon will be Wi-Fi Direct-enabled, and that the Wi-Fi Direct-enabled device shipment compounded annual growth rate will be 79% between 2011 and 2015.