Networked media processors will show the strongest growth rate of all the sub-segments throughout the forecast period (2004-2008) at 16.3%. As devices, such as media center extenders, media adapters and media servers begin to ship in volume, the revenue for dedicated media processing engines for networked devices will grow from $329 mln in 2004 to over $700 mln in 2008.
But as the newest segment of the home network IC market grows at the fastest rate, the largest segment will continue to be the PHY segment. The wireless LAN segment is garnering the biggest portion of the revenue pie for PHY layer devices, growing from $290 mln in 2004 to over $720 mln in 2008, with an average growth rate of 20%, year over year. This market will grow as WiFi becomes as ubiquitous as Ethernet is today, finding itself in consumer electronics devices, mobile devices and nearly every form of PC, be it desktop or laptop. Ethernet will continue to be integrated into nearly everything, but the overall dollar value of the market will continue to shrink as much of the Ethernet functional blocks are consumed by PC core chipsets, and embedded and communication processors.
Both MoCA and HomePlug will see growth, from a silicon perspective, during the forecast period. The release of a the second generation of HomePlug, called HomePlug AV, will give new life to the fledgling, powerline networking technology, as service providers look for ways to network video without having to rely on wireless. MoCA will flourish for much the same reason, and the two technologies could find themselves largely competing against one another in this space. The communication processor portion of the market will continue to ramp up throughout the forecast period, as many gateways, media servers and other networked devices look for dedicated processing engines for networking traffic. This segment will tally a 3.5% unit growth rate, year over year, and reach $338 mln by 2008.