The landscape of networking device manufacturers has changed drastically within the past five years. The big names—Ralink, Ubicom, Atheros—are gone, absorbed by bigger companies. The ground is now held by two giants: Broadcom and Qualcomm. A relative newcomer to the field, MediaTek, is holding its own through the strength of acquisitions. Smaller manufacturers like Marvell and Quantenna have also introduced SoCs used in many mid- and high-end routers, while the networking division of RealTek supplies D-Link and Huawei with chips.
In 2015, there were some new technologies that affected the giant-dominated line-up, including 5G Wi-Fi Wave 2, 4x4 and 8x8 MU-MIMO. All of the players have exciting offerings, and some of the smaller companies (Quantenna, specifically, with its 10G SoCs) had a lead on Broadcom and Qualcomm at CES 2015.