USB-enabled products to grow at 25% a year

High-speed USB has nearly saturated the PC desktop market, and now comprises over 75% of the notebook market, where slower design cycles mean less rapid adoption. Wireless USB 1.0 should make its debut in the PC market late in 2005 in the form of dongles that hook into USB ports. PC peripherals continued their transition from full-speed to high-speed USB in 2004. External hard disk drives and external optical writers were among the first to transition to high-speed, and essentially all have it now. Scanners and printers have rapidly adopted high-speed as well. Even price sensitive applications, such as flash card readers and USB flash drives, were mostly high-speed in 2004. A significant exception to this is the mouse and keyboard market, which use low-speed for their lower data transfer requirements. Products in this segment that should adopt Wireless USB include printers, scanners, and smaller, more mobile, external hard disk drives.

In Consumer Electronics (CE), the transition to high-speed hasn’t been as rapid as in the peripheral space, due to less dependence on PCs in this segment. However, products like set top boxes, digital still cameras, and digital camcorders are adopting USB. And although the majority of categories in this segment had full-speed USB, many will transition over to high-speed over the next few years. Many CE products are expected to integrate Wireless USB, including digital still cameras, digital camcorders, and set top boxes. In communications, mobile phones began integrating full-speed USB in large numbers in 2004. Cable and DSL modems have also rapidly adopted USB, and routers and residential gateways have begun to adopt USB. Wireless USB will allow the USB standard to operate wirelessly via an Ultra Wideband (UWB) radio Phy and MAC. It promises to have an effect, particularly on those USB-enabled devices that make frequent ad-hoc connections, such as portable digital media players and PCs, or digital still cameras and printers. The first Wireless USB-enabled devices should be available by the end of 2005. Altogether, USB-enabled products should grow at a rate of just under 25% annually through 2009.