We are a leader in the design, development, and marketing of advanced high-speed wireless communication solutions enabling wireless local area networking. Our solutions are designed to deliver leading-edge Wi-Fi performance to support an increasing number of connected devices accessing a rapidly growing pool of digital content. We apply our wireless systems and software expertise with high-performance radio frequency, mixed-signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated Wi-Fi solutions to our customers. Our technical expertise and focus on innovation enable us to address the increasing complexity inherent in managing Wi-Fi network access for multiple client devices with different high-bandwidth content streams, while simultaneously delivering superior network speed, broad coverage area, and high capacity and reliability. Our innovative solutions have historically addressed the communications service provider, or service provider, market for home networking applications, including home gateways, repeaters, mesh nodes and video clients such as set-top boxes, or STBs, but we are seeking to increasingly address additional end markets, with solutions for retail, outdoor, small and medium business, enterprise, industrial and consumer electronics. As a pioneer in high performance Wi-Fi solutions, we believe that we are well positioned to serve the rapidly evolving Wi-Fi needs of customers in both our existing and future end markets. We also believe our significant engineering expertise in wireless and communications can expand our addressable market beyond Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is a ubiquitous standard for wireless network connectivity, defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, 802.11 standardization body working group that is rapidly evolving to deliver continued performance improvements while maintaining backward compatibility. According to ABI Research, in 2018 approximately 2.9 billion Wi-Fi-enabled devices are expected to ship, of which approximately 0.8 billion were non-portable devices, and cumulatively, over 18 billion Wi-Fi-connected devices are expected to ship worldwide as of the end of 2018. The rapid growth in Wi-Fi connected devices, coupled with the steadily rising volume of global Internet Protocol-based, or IP-based, traffic, such as web browsing, email, Internet audio and video, file sharing, cloud computing and online gaming, has significantly increased the performance requirements of access points that power Wi-Fi networks. The Cisco Visual Networking Index forecasts that monthly worldwide IP traffic over Wi-Fi will grow from 54 exabytes per month in 2017 to 202 exabytes per month in 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 30%. Such requirements have led to the adoption of ever faster and higher performing Wi-Fi with every standard iteration.
The current generation of Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac, which experienced its initial adoption in 2013. Due to its higher order modulation and spatial streams, which increased to eight compared to four in the prior generation, as well as its introduction of multi-user, multiple input and multiple output (MU-MIMO), the 802.11ac standard provided an opportunity for us to differentiate our solution from our competitors and gain market share by meeting the full performance and standard requirements. The next Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ax, designated as "Wi-Fi 6" by the Wi-Fi Alliance in October 2018, is currently in draft form and anticipated to be ratified in late 2019. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest revision of the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, which offers improvement in network speeds over its predecessor and accommodates more users and client nodes. Wi-Fi 6 makes use of orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), which allows better multiplexing of various users. We believe once again that our solutions meet the Wi-Fi 6 standard and will differentiate us from our competitors and give us more opportunities to gain market share. Given the limited wireless spectrum available for Wi-Fi networks and the rapidly increasing demand for Wi-Fi-enabled services, the IEEE standardization body continues to define more advanced capabilities for future revisions of the standard, in particular a new standard to be based on the EHT (extremely high throughput) study group which seeks to advance 802.11 technology to the 6 gigahertz, or GHz, unlicensed bands, which offers more than twice the total spectrum the current 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi unlicensed bands. The 802.11 standard implementation is left to the chipset vendors, and the inherent complexity and many optional features of the standard result in trade-offs leading to wide-ranging levels of Wi-Fi chipset functionality, performance, power and cost.