IHS iSuppli projects dramatic growth for WW residential gateway shipments-- predicting the market will triple during the 2012 to 2015 period as gateways start replacing the traditional STB.
Residential gateway and thin client box shipments are "miniscule at present." Global 2011 shipments total 345000, and a mere 1000 units in 2010. However iSuppli expects 2012 shipments to reach 4.2M, before climbing to 12.6M in 2015.
Residential gateways link a wide range of devices-- with a STB acting as a central server connecting to thin client boxes, delivering content to media devices such as smartphones and tablets.
iSuppli also believes the key component inside the residential gateway-- the media processor-- is "ready for prime time" thanks to technology from the likes of Intel, Broadcom and STMicroelectronics.
Operators are set to save money using gateways (by moving to cheaper server/client configurations) while boosting revenues by charging for the increased connectivity gateways provide. On the other hand customers gain in the beaming of real-time HD video to all media devices.
iSuppli does not expect residential gateways to "settle" on a single networking standard-- instead employing a "mix," as wired or wireless, Cat5, coax and powerline "vie to be the backbone of the connected home."