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Bluetooth chips, the central part of the much hyped and little seen wireless communications technology, could reach production volumes of 1.4 billion units by 2005.

A report released today by Cahners In-Stat Group also estimates that by the same time the market for Bluetooth enabled products will be worth $5 billion.

The researchers think that production will start to pick up in the second half of this year, with real market penetration beginning in 2001.

Despite the hype and the many demo-ed products that no one got to play with, Alcatel and Ericsson are both saying that the first Bluetooth compatible mobile phones will be available in December this year. Call us cynics, but we will not be holding our breath over this time frame.

The researchers indicate that demand for the products will be consumer driven, as it will apply particular to home computing - allowing linking of home computer systems without actually networking them. However, the firm also said that more work needs to be done to cut the cost of Bluetooth technology.®

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