The Wi-Fi Alliance certified 25 percent more products during 2012 than 2011, led by 64 percent year-over-year growth in certifications for devices in the consumer electronics (CE) category. The handset category drew a 34 percent year-over-year jump in certifications.
"We have set forth a vision of 'seamless connectivity,' and our members continue to deliver the technologies and products that achieve that vision," said Wi-Fi Alliance President and CEO Edgar Figueroa.
The alliance's Wi-Fi Certified program tests products for compliance with 802.11 industry standards for interoperability, security, ease of installation and reliability. As Wi-Fi works its way into new devices and applications, the Wi-Fi Alliance has been expanding its certification program.
For example, Wi-Fi certification for Miracast technology, which enables wireless sharing of audio and video content, became available in September 2012. Since then, more than 60 devices have completed certification, said the group.
The alliance said it will begin certifying Gigabit Wi-Fi products, based on 802.11ac, later this year under the moniker Wi-Fi Certified ac. The group said most 802.11ac devices are expected to be dual-band and interoperable with Wi-Fi Certified n devices. While 802.11ac only works in the 5 GHz band, 802.11n works in both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands.
In addition, multi-gigabit point-to-point wireless based on the WiGig 60 GHz specification will soon appear in products certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The Wi-Fi Alliance recently announced plans to absorb the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance and initiate an interoperability certification program for WiGig products late this year.
Wi-Fi device shipments are expected to reach almost 3 billion in 2016, nearly doubling 2012's count of about 1.5 billion, according to ABI Research. The firm said the total number of Wi-Fi shipments in 2012 increased 29 percent over shipments in 2011. The CE category led Wi-Fi year-over-year sales growth at nearly 42 percent, while sales of Wi-Fi enabled handsets grew 32 percent.
- see this Wi-Fi Alliance release
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