The GaN RF market enjoyed a healthy increase in 2015

2015 was a significant year for the GaN RF industry: within the new technology and market report, GaN RF Devices Market: Applications, Players, Technology, and Substrates 2016 - 2022 report, Yole Développement (Yole) analysts highlighted the dramatic increase in wireless infrastructure market sales driven by the massive adoption of LTE networks in China. By year’s end, the total RF GaN market was close to US$300 million. GaN RF devices market will double over the next five years, led by GaN’s adoption across various market segments.

This new GaN RF report from Yole, describes the GaN’s presence and development scheme in different markets including wireless infrastructure, defense and aerospace, satellite communication, wired broadband and other ISM band applications. The “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, Yole proposes a complete analysis covering different emerging GaN players and more than 600 GaN devices developed and implemented in such applications as radar, base transceiver station, CATV, VSAT and jammers. This report also includes a detailed analysis of the different scenarios related to GaN-on-SiC and GaN-on-Si developments beyond 2020.

gan rf graph

Sales will likely not soar as high over the next two years, but growth will continue, mainly driven by increased adoption of GaN technology in the wireless infrastructure and defense markets. A significant boost will occur around 2019 – 2020, led by the implementation of 5G networks.

“Market size will be multiplied by 2.5 by the end of 2022, posting a CAGR of 14% from 2016 – 2022,” explained Dr Hong Lin, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.

The wireless infrastructure and defense markets are the reason of this success: both market segments offer great opportunities for GaN technology. Wireless infrastructure, having surpassed defense is now representing more than half of GaN’s total market. According to Yole’s analysts, this positive evolution will continue growing fast at an expected 16% CAGR between 2016 and 2022.

“Though GaN was originally developed to support governmental military and space projects, mainstream commercial markets should fully embraced this novel technology as well,” commented Zhen Zong, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.

GaN’s increased implementation in base stations and wireless backhaul stems from the growing demand for data traffic and higher operating frequencies and bandwidths. In future network designs, new technologies like carrier aggregation and massive MIMO will actually put GaN in a superior position compared to existing LDMOS. GaN products have not yet covered the wireless infrastructure market’s full spectrum, and we see more opportunities in the higher-frequency range. When looking at different players’ products, most GaN players offer similar products for base station applications ranging from 800MHz - 3.5 GHz. The competition will no doubt grow fiercer, and the cake, even if it’s a fast-growing one, will not be divided equally for everyone. In 2016, new entrants like Infineon and possibly another LDMOS player will bring more uncertainty. In the meantime, defense remains another important market for GaN, and more and more new products and designs are benefiting from GaN’s superior performance and design simplification. Within its GaN RF devices report, Yole predicts a steadily-growing penetration rate for GaN in defense market applications like IED jammers, military communications, radar, electronic warfare, and more.

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