Spending on RF power semiconductors for the wireless infrastructure markets has taken another jump in 2013. Other markets are seeing some moderation in growth as the global economic picture and political factors come into play but some sub-markets are showing a nice upside. Also, according to a new study from ABI Research, Gallium Nitride – long seen as the likely promising new “material of choice” for RF power semiconductors – is continuing its march to capture share, especially in wireless infrastructure.
“Gallium Nitride (GaN) is delivering increasing market share in 2014 and is forecast to be a significant force by 2019,” notes ABI Research Director Lance Wilson. “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 defense oriented segments, which Wilson describes as being now “a significant market” in total. Despite the poor press for defense oriented electronic hardware the actual performance in 2013 was better than originally thought for some sub-segments.
“RF Power Semiconductors” examines RF power semiconductor devices that have power outputs of greater than 4 watts and operate at frequencies of up to 3.8 GHz, which represent the bulk of applications in use today. The last study ABI Research published on this topic appeared late in 2013.
With the current release, analysis of the six main vertical segments (wireless infrastructure; military; industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM); broadcast; commercial avionics and air traffic control; and non-cellular communications) which was previously subdivided into 24 sub-segments, is expanded to 29 sub-segments.