While industry-wide competition has continued to force pricing down, opportunity continues to abound for WLAN chip suppliers, according to market research company IDC.

On Wednesday, the firm stated that the primary growth opportunity is in embedded applications such as mobile phones and in select consumer electronic designs,

To remain viable players in this space, chip vendors must think about WLAN as a portfolio technology that can complement products in broadband, wired networking, consumer devices, PC, or mobile device designs, said Celeste Crystal, senior research analyst for IDC's Semiconductors group.

Strong advancements in low power devices and the 802.11 standards, the same technology that connects consumer notebooks and electronic devices to the internet, should help the industry reach $3.2 billion by 2010 - 17 percent annual growth rate.

By focusing on end markets and the ecosystem, WLAN chip vendors will differentiate products and drive pricing and product differentiation in the industry, Crystal concluded.