Wireless infrastructure drives RF power IC growth
RF power semiconductors spending pushed higher in 2013. Today, Gallium Nitride (GaN)—having been identified as the emerging material of choice for RF power semiconductors—is accumulating growing shares, particularly in wireless infrastructure.
"Gallium Nitride (GaN) is delivering increasing market share in 2014 and is forecast to be a significant force by 2019," noted ABI Research Director Lance Wilson.
Wilson said: "It bridges the gap between two older technologies, exhibiting the high-frequency performance of Gallium Arsenide combined with the power handling capabilities of Silicon LDMOS. It is now a mainstream technology which has achieved meaningful market share and in future will capture a significant part of the market."
The vertical markets showing the strongest performance outside of wireless infrastructure in the RF power semiconductor business are the defence oriented segments, which Wilson described as being now "a significant market" in total. Despite the poor press for defence oriented electronic hardware, the actual performance in 2013 was better than originally thought for some sub-segments.
RF power devices have become ubiquitous in today's wireless world. The military, industrial, broadcast, space communications, instrumentation businesses, and many other industries use RF power devices. The devices are used in transmitters and amplifiers of all types and are an essential link in the total communications chain.
The telecommunications industry now spans almost the whole world, and RF power devices play an important role in it. These critical components are found in radio transmitters of all kinds, from mobile wireless infrastructure to military radar, MRI machines, HDTV transmitters and countless other applications and platforms. As wireless continues to expand, high-power RF equipment will play a critical role.
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