Realtek to Begin Shipping WiFi 7 Chips in H2 2023, Forecasts 5% Market Penetration

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Realtek has announced during its first-quarter financial results conference that it plans to start shipping WiFi 7 chips in the second half of 2023. The company estimates that WiFi 7 will achieve a penetration rate of approximately 5% within the PC and router market by the end of the year. This introduction is set against a backdrop where major players such as Intel, Qualcomm, and MediaTek have already launched consumer-grade WiFi 7 solutions. With the entry of Realtek into the WiFi 7 market, the availability of wireless network card chips is expected to expand, providing both manufacturers and consumers with additional options. Currently, the price of WiFi 7 products is about twice that of WiFi 6 offerings.

However, Realtek anticipates a decrease in prices over time, which should encourage further adoption and technological upgrades, potentially doubling the penetration rate annually over the next two years to reach around 20% by 2026. In the router segment, Realtek projects that WiFi 6 and newer technologies will account for over 70% of its revenue in this category for the current year. The company reported a first-quarter revenue of approximately $837 million, reflecting a 13.5% increase from the previous quarter, with a gross profit margin of 50.8% and a net profit margin of 10.7%.

Additionally, inventory management improved significantly, with the number of inventory days decreasing from 104 days in the previous quarter to 81 days, aligning with historical norms. Looking forward, Realtek is optimistic about the growth prospects in switches, automotive, Internet of Vehicles, and high-speed wired network communication chips, while maintaining a cautious outlook on the PC and other consumer electronics chip sectors.


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