The latest market research report by Technavio on the global radio-frequency (RF) power semiconductor devices market predicts a CAGR of close to 12% during the period 2017-2021.
The report segments the global RF power semiconductor devices market by application (telecom segment, military segment, and industrial segment), by material (gallium nitride, gallium arsenide, and laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor), and by geography (the Americas, EMEA, and APAC). It provides a detailed illustration of the major factors influencing the market, including drivers, opportunities, trends, and industry-specific challenges.
Increased proliferation of smartphones and tablets: a major market driver
Increased proliferation of smartphones and tablets is one of the major factors driving global RF power semiconductor devices market. The network traffic is growing at an exponential rate because of the increased popularity of mobile computing devices. As a result, there is the continued deployment of the next-generation wireless standards such as 4G and 5G across the globe. The integration of progressive wireless technologies such as long-term evolution (LTE) and Wi-Fi in smartphones and tablets has generated an increased need for new RF features in these devices. The proliferation of mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets are expected to encourage RF device manufacturers to develop high-performance RF filters that meet the requirements of smartphones and tablet OEMs.
APAC: largest RF power semiconductor devices market
The RF power semiconductor devices market in APAC will grow rapidly during the forecast period. There is a high demand for improved cellular networks from developing countries such as China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Most of these nations are almost at their saturation of 3G services and have started offering 4G as well as LTE services. The high population density of nations such as India and China, along with the economic growth has increased demand for power applications in network infrastructure to offer better services.
According to Rohan Joy Thomas, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on embedded systems, “Taiwanese manufacturers are developing RF devices for smartphones and wireless communications. Companies such as WIN Semiconductors and Visual Photonics Epitaxy are competing in the optic fiber telecommunication markets using their advanced technology to raise their product value and gross margins. WIN Semiconductors utilizes its production facilities at 90% of overall capacity. These positive developments are expected to push the overall market to gain traction in the forecast period.”
Competitive vendor landscape
Like most emerging compound semiconductor technologies, the theoretical benefits of wide bandgap (WBG) materials are well known. However, the practical realization of this technology in microelectronic devices remains at its nascent stage. The strong supply chain of RF devices can help push the use of this technology for RF infrastructure. In 2015, the RF power industry witnessed growth, driven by the large-scale adoption of LTE networks in China and increased demand for cellular infrastructure. Many device manufacturers are equipped with the requirements to make GaN commercially successful. Therefore, Technavio anticipates a speedy increase in the process and product development toward mass manufacturing.