VoIP Semiconductor Market Heats Up
Major chipmakers battle for leadership in burgeoning broadband voice market.
As VoIP adoption continues to grow, so too do the fortunes of VoIP semiconductor manufacturers. Texas Instruments and Marvell both recently issued new product announcements and Broadcom Corp. claimed to be the fastest growing vendor in the IP phone chip market.
IDC's recent Worldwide VoIP Semiconductor 2004 Vendor Shares study found that the VoIP-specific semiconductor market grew by over 40 percent in 2004. According to IDC, Texas Instruments held the top spot in terms of market share by revenue based on its Digital Signal Processor (DSP) solutions, particularly in gateway sockets and PBXs. Broadcom came in a close second, trailing by slightly more than 1 percent market share, according to an IDC spokesperson. Mindspeed was third, on the back of "rapid growth in media gateway silicon."
IDC's spokesperson also noted that Broadcom was the only one of the top IP phone chip manufacturers to gain market share over 2003. Broadcom's 2004 market share was 38 percent. Broadcom has claimed that it is currently poised to become the Enterprise Phone Chip Market Share Leader and has more than three million IP phone chips shipped to date. Broadcom also claims that it supplies IP phone solutions to six of the top eight enterprise IP phone manufacturers.
"Next generation, cost-optimized, single-chip solutions with high-performance processing features, integrated Ethernet capabilities and hardware-based security will become increasingly adopted in Ethernet IP phone designs," said Allen Leibovitch, Manager of semiconductor research for IDC in a statement. "Broadcom's IP phone product lineup, including its most recent Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) VoIP chip, should continue the company's momentum in this growing market segment in 2005."
Broadcom's GbE VoIP chip was introduced earlier this year.
TI goes VoCable
Not be outdone, the current VoIP semiconductor leader Texas Instruments has announced a new voice-over-cable (VoCable) chipset and a new Wideband DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Systems Interface Specifications) reference design. Texas Instrument's TNETC47xx (Puma-4) is a DSP-based VoCable chipset includes advanced fax capabilities, low-bit-rate codecs for bandwidth efficiency, and advancements to help process cellular codecs.
The Wideband DOCSIS 3.0 reference design and related technology is intended to provide greater bandwidth and higher broadband speeds and incorporates multiple up and down streams in a single modem. Both VoIP and video streams are expected to benefit from the increased performance of the new standard.
Marvell has announced a new line of integrated system-on-a-chip VoIP solutions. The Marvell 88W8618 is targeted at both residential VoIP gateways and ultra-low-power Voice over WLAN handsets.
Low-power Wi-Fi circuitry that includes WLAN encryption including AES/CCMP and WPA/TKIP are on all on the chip, as is Quality of Service technology, which is intended to prioritize voice service. WPA or WPA2 security is enabled via Marvell's "Autolink" technology, which it claims is a one-click solution.
"Not only is this family of VoWLAN products so highly integrated that it will create a new class of applications for consumer, home use," said Kishore ManghnaniGeneral Manager, Broadband Home Business Unit, Communications and Consumer Business Group at Marvellin a statement, "it allows the company to take advantage of the explosion in broadband voice services that is about to occur."