Components | November 02, 2011
802.15.4-based chipsets for IA market see growth
In 2010, global spending on WSN chipsets in industrial automation reached $2 million, with the overall market expected to grow to $8 million by 2016.
Industrial automation consists of two market segments, process automation and factory automation, in which WSN in field devices has seen broader adoption in the former, particularly in the realm of monitoring. Key adoption is seen in monitoring applications such as oil refineries, petrochemical plants to facilitate plant operation efficiencies, safety prevention, and compliance, alongside asset management. Two industrial WSN protocols that are based on IEEE 802.15.4 silicon, WirelessHART and ISA100.11a, have been the driving force behind WSN adoption in process automation. WirelessHART, leveraging on an estimated installed base of 30 million HART devices, has the largest addressable market for WSN deployment. This is aided further with its ratification as IEC 62591 in 2010, reassuring end users contemplating the deployment of standardized devices. Kelvin Chan, industry analyst, M2M and smart energy, comments, “After WirelessHART, a competing industrial WSN protocol, ISA100.11a, which is geared toward interoperability with a multitude of industrial protocols, is next in line to see wide adoption, albeit with a higher growth potential. Honeywell’s ‘One Wireless’ solution runs ISA 100.11a on its field network, with the option to connect via Wi-Fi to a plant communication network.” A third emerging protocol, WIA-PA, which is also based on IEEE 802.15.4 silicon, is undergoing standardization and will become a Chinese national standard. Chan adds,” Considering China’s market size by sheer size, scope, and level of manufacturing, WIA-PA should see significant potential within China, but it is unlikely to extend its reach across the globe without broader standardization efforts and support from manufacturers outside of China.”
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