The GaAs market staged a strong recovery toward the end of a tumultuous 2009 as a result of positive trends in wireless markets. The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies (GaAs) service report, "GaAs Industry Forecast 2009-2014," calculates that despite a recession, GaAs industry revenues managed to escape a drop in 2009, with a strong performance in the second half of the year translating to year-on-year revenues remaining flat at $3.7 B.

GaAs technology will maintain its position as the enabling technology for next generation cellular handsets. The smartphone category of the handset market, in particular, provided a vital lifeline in 2009, boasting stronger than average annual growth in terminal volumes. With an increasing average number of GaAs power amplifiers per terminal as well as increasing switch complexity in this sector, GaAs device demand from next generation handsets will grow faster than overall industry revenue growth.

"Our analysis incorporates individual wireless, consumer, infrastructure and defense market forecasts—taking into account technology trends," noted Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics. "There is no question that the improving capabilities of silicon and silicon germanium technologies, as well as emerging technologies such as gallium nitride, will provide increasing competition for GaAs technologies."

"Despite this competition, GaAs device demand will continue to see continued growth through 2014. The market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent to be worth over $4.7 B," concluded Anwar.